Master Ai Aimi

What are your credentials?

  • 10th Degree Tian Kai Kung Fu
  • 5th Degree Hung Gar Kung Fu
  • Level 4 Coaching
  • Fully DBS checked – registered with the Update Service
  • First Aid trained – regular refresh courses taken
  • 6 time World Champion (BBKF / BBF / WKA) in Kumite and Kata
  • Level 3 Counselling
  • Level 3 Massage Therapist (Sports)
  • Level 3 Personal Trainer
  • Level 4 EYFS Teaching

When did you start martial arts training?

I started training in Hung Gar Kung Fu, under Sifu Eddie Pugh, in 1994.

Why did you start martial arts training?

Like many other people, I started training because I was a victim of bullying in my school.

When I was 13, an uncle suggested that I attend the Kung Fu class that he trained in, to see if it would help build my confidence, and teach me some self-defence in case the bullying ever turned physical.

Throughout the rest of my school life, thanks to my Kung Fu training, my confidence increased; and although the bullying never really stopped, it did decrease significantly, because I never let it affect me any more.

When was Shi’hing Kung Fu establised?

It was the 7 January, 2003.

I opened the school following the passing of my Sifu, Eddie Pugh.

Have you ever studied any other form of martial arts?

I have dabbled in several martial arts styles, but I found that they didn’t really fit me.  Some of the styles I have tried, are Karate, Brazilian Ju-jitsu and Savate.

How would you describe your teaching style?

It’s rather difficult to describe my teaching style, as I am incredibly versatile to each and every student.  One particular teaching style cannot be used for every student.  Sometimes a student can be told / shown what to do, and they can do it without question…  Other students need a different way of being told / shown what to do, and can take several weeks – or even months, before they can understand and perform the technique.  I can usually devise which teaching method can work with any given student within just one class.

What do you like to teach?

  • Syllabus work
  • Self defence
  • Weapons
  • Forms / patterns
  • The philosophy behind the movements

Do you have any techniques that you don’t particularly like to teach?

Not really, but if I am being honest, I am not a fan of sparring.  It is not in the Tian Kai system, and I prefer to stick to the heart of the style.

Do you have a favourite technique(s)?

  • Dragon’s Tooth
  • Floor Sweep
  • Spider Kick
  • Circle the Moon

What is your greatest achievement in teaching Kung Fu?

I have a couple of great achievements, and I can’t pick just one as the “greatest”.

I have taught many people with some form of learning difficulty, and / or mental health problems; and I have managed to increase their confidence in dealing with issues in their lives because of my teachings.  I have had a lot of feedback from the students themselves, and in some cases, their family members, stating that they (the student) are more comfortable in themselves due to the school.

Another example of a great achievement, is that one of my students attended several pattern (forms / Kata) competitions, and was invited to join a team to represent England in the World Championships (WKA).  She (and I) then went to Karlsrue, Germany, to compete, and was placed 5th in the world, in her category of soft-style forms.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn a martial art?

Never sit and watch.  If you watch, you will only begin to doubt your abilities, as you are watching people who already have knowledge of the art – whether it’s been several years or just a week.  As they say – “you never know until you try”.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” ~Lao Tsu