Interview with Michael Bardon, Kung Fu instructor!
Michael Bardon is a 30 years old French man. He began practicing Kung Fu wushu at the age of 4 when his father opened is first Dojo at Bordeaux, after coming back from the martial art institute of Beijin. He practiced everyday since his earlier childhood. Between 12 and 16 years old he ran at hundreds tournaments and championships either national and international. He obtained his black belt at 16 in 2004 and started to teach at his father dojo. He taught both Tao lu ( technical animal forms) and Sanda boxing. He now lives in Tokyo and gives Kung Fu classes!
Why did you choose to practice Kung Fu ?
Actually, I have not chosen it but it chose me. My father is a Kung Fu specialist 8th duan, certificated by the Beijin Institute, and has taught me Kung Fu since I was four years old.
I like that the practice of kung Fu provides the harmonisation of the body and spirit, which are inseparable in my opinion. So I like the physical and spiritual dimension of this sport. Millions of psychologists have put in evidence the link between physical illness and the fact that mental block is associated.
What is the difference between Kung Fu and other sports?
It lies in the fact that it is not only a sport as it is not only about body activities. It is also a way of living, Kung Fu means “be a master of something”. It is used in western countries to talk about what is called in China WUSHU which means “martial art”. So it is the art of fighting.
The difference is that when you practice Kung Fu you learn to control your body, your mind, yourself. And when you can control yourself, nobody can control you. According to me the big difference is that you learn to know the only person you don’t really know in your life: YOU.
Who can learn Kung Fu?
Absolutely everybody! There is no discrimination. You learn at your own pace to reach your goals. In France, I had a class with 5 years old children and the eldest person I have taught was 75 years old!
What are the benefits?
Kung Fu will teach you rhythm through every session and how to move in the space. It will teach you how to defend yourself in the game of life. Because whether you like it or not, ‘taking hits’ is something we all experience in life. Practicing Kung Fu will make you stronger to face them more confidently.
Kung fu will build your mental aptitude. It will build your resilience in addition to teaching you the external art of punches, slips, and parries. It will also teach you to slow your mind and focus on your breath.
Finally it will get you in a great shape trying to fit in all of the training modalities (endurance, strength, power, flexibility, aerobic, and anaerobic training) which can be a big challenge in our busy life.
Kung Fu is considered one of the toughest arts mainly because you need to have proficiency in all of the above disciplines.
Can you describe a training session?
The first training is very important for me to evaluate your level, your shape and your expectations. Before the first session, I will send you a questionnaire to have a first idea of what you want to focus on. At the end of the first session, we will set your own goals together in order for me to build the best training plan for you.
Where do you give your lessons?
I am very flexible! I provide lesson at my place in Ojima or at the student's place, group lessons (for 12 persons maximum) are held in a room in Ojima, smaller group have their lesson at my place or at one of the student's house if it is more convenient for them. I also provide consultation with Skype.
Michael, is there something you want to say to your future students ?
I want my students to stop comparing themselves with someone else. Kung fu will help you to refocus on yourself and forget about the idea of competition. If you want to compete with someone, I will be here to help you compete with your worst enemies : yourself, your fears and your doubts.