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Thread: Matthew Ahmet

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Sichuan, China
    "It was intimidating. They had cigarettes."

    Those ruffians...

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Cape Town/South UK
    Apparently a nice guy, trains hard, with right intentions.....

    He's working very hard, friends have trained with him privately in UK and in China

    It's just a very British mindset of "right, I'm good at this now, let create an empire" - which perhaps doesn't transpose as well to Kung Fu.

    He obviously wants it to be his life, which is tough to do in the UK. It's hard for mainstream martial arts let alone niche disciplines.

    The performances will be bringing most of the loot in, but he's got a big premises to pay for which even on the outskirts of London will be costing a large amount.

    Not sure what to say really, he's got good intentions and lots of talent, but may be grasping a bit too hard at the expense of Shaolin's integrity.

    Having said that we may be looking at the man who creates the next Judo/karate/TKD style craze amongst the youngsters over here......

    But don't hate on him too hard.

    P.S. Gene, carrying a gun in UK is 5yrs in prison, also carrying an offensive weapon, which is determined a lot of the time by the circumstances, is also very sensitive here. Basically you get in a lot of trouble for getting caught with a knife with a fixed or locking blade over 2 inches or so.
    Last edited by bigopen; 05-30-2013 at 10:34 AM.

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Ya i think the implication is that if you're dealing with people who regularly carry weapons that could get them in big trouble if caught, you're dealing with people not afraid or intimidated by violence.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    I haven't watched this yet

    I'm hoping some of you will watch this and tell me if it's worth my time. I might watch it later regardless.
    Watch Sky1 Online
    Everyone can watch TV online with Sky Go. If you already have a MySky or SkyID account, simply log in to get started. If you do not, you can register here.

    Kick Ass Kung Fu: Ep 1: Aylesbury

    Shaolin monk and martial arts master Matthew Ahmet helps troubled youngsters through the power of kung fu, starting with a trip to the Aylesbury Estate in South London.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Cape Town/South UK
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I'm hoping some of you will watch this and tell me if it's worth my time. I might watch it later regardless.

    Have watched the last couple of episodes. Good intentions to the program, but again it's at the cost of integrity.

    Basically young tearaways are shown kung fu, and then briefly trained up to a final feat that shows their dedication - brick breaking, stick breaking etc etc

    It's ok TV. I suppose it wouldn't have been aired if it was anything else. Matt may possibly have tried to have more ch'an covered in the show but people want to see bricks breaking and bruises and that's what you get.

    I'm in danger of moaning so I'll leave it at that.

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Thanks for your comments from across the pond

    You're so right about Matt's intentions versus the directors of the series. You can never really tell what the original intentions might be - could be better, could be worse - you just have to look at the end product.

    Is it being well received over there? Any reviews or mentions anywhere? Any buzz?
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Cape Town/South UK
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    You're so right about Matt's intentions versus the directors of the series. You can never really tell what the original intentions might be - could be better, could be worse - you just have to look at the end product.

    Is it being well received over there? Any reviews or mentions anywhere? Any buzz?
    Sky 1 is a pretty pedestrian channel - it's had some ad spots on web and other sky channels but it's quite low budget I think. No written reviews that I've seen.

    He takes them to a Shaolin Temple branch on the outskirts of Hong Kong, there are a few resident monks who help with training and kick them about a bit. The dorms are actually really nice compared to dengfeng and there's a big astroturf training area in the courtyard. Standard stuff being taught: eight section, Xiao hong, then lots of fitness and conditioning stuff. It all accumulates in a test i.e. breaking a brick, stick over the back etc.

    It isn't causing any big fuss over here, but I think Matt has potential for movies which this will be another step closer to. Both Yan Zi and Yan Lei in London are involved in making movies now.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    ttt 4 2015!

    Want to be a kung fu master? Stand on your head for hours and sleep on a plank

    Londoner Matthew Ahmet left school at 16 to learn kung fu at China’s famous Shaolin temple. After years of gruelling training he now makes a living from performing with the monks around the world

    London-born Matthew Ahmet left school at 16 to train as a Shaolin monk and become a kung fu expert. Photograph: Shaolin temple Cheshunt

    Interview by Charlotte Seager @CharlotteSeager
    Tuesday 3 November 2015 02.00 EST
    Last modified on Tuesday 3 November 2015 04.55 EST

    I have always loved martial arts. Growing up I was inspired by Bruce Lee movies and I began training at the age of six, studying karate, win chung and others. Then when I was 11 the Shaolin monks put on a UK show for the first time. Seeing martial arts on TV was one thing, but seeing these guys perform incredible feats – such as a one-finger handstand – just blew me away. It gave me the long-term dream to want to travel to China and make martial arts my livelihood.

    When I was 16 I decided to move to China. School wasn’t necessarily negative but it wasn’t challenging me and I felt bored. I was doing well but every year I was counting down the days until the chance I could pursue martial arts. I was always told to wait and that it was going to get better – but I just didn’t feel like it was the right path for me.

    When I arrived at the temple, I was thrown in the deep end. Straight away you’re waking up at 5am and training 10 hours a day. It’s very intense and the level of discipline and focus is extremely different to what we’re used to in the UK. It’s strict with a lot of punishment. If you’re not lined up on time in the morning, you get beaten with a stick. I didn’t see any abuse but I did see a lot of discipline. Everyone knew that if they stepped out of line they would be getting punishment. It was either some sort of beating, or you were made to hold a headstand on concrete for hours on end. Which is extremely painful. So that aspect of it was shocking.

    It was a culture shock. In western cultures, it’s all about looking good and feeling good – but in eastern cultures it’s about being the best you can be. Everything was about how you can get rid of that ego. In the UK I had everything – PlayStations and TVs – but I didn’t even make my bed. In China I had nothing. My thin bed was just a plank of wood with bed sheets that had to be folded every morning. Living like that at the start was challenging. Forget the training, just the lifestyle change was immense.

    Training at the Shaolin temple. Photograph: Matthew Ahmet

    I never wanted to leave, but I did miss home. You get lonely at the start, but what kept me going were the others training alongside me, some of whom were as young as five years old. When I was struggling to balance a handstand, I would look to my left and see two five-year-olds just holding it. They were also in pain, but their focus allowed them to push through it and achieve their goal. There were times when I felt like giving up, but I think being in that community motivates you. It’s a very close relationship – you live, sleep and train with these guys. They’re your brothers.

    When I started to do small performances around different provinces in China, I felt like I’d made it. I had always wanted to become a Shaolin monk and now I was living in the temple and learning their philosophy. It really felt like the pinnacle of my journey.

    My career highlight was appearing in the Wheel of Life show. It was just incredible because that was the same show that inspired me when I was young. And 10 years later my wheel of life had continued to turn and I ended up being in the very same show. So it really touched my heart and gave me focus and passion for what I was doing.

    Kung fu is something that anyone can put their mind to. All you have to do is remember that without struggle there is no progress. It’s not going to be easy, but with hard work and dedication you can achieve anything.

    If you want to become a Shaolin monk, you can’t rely on your teachers. You personally have to give it 100% and make it happen. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you no or gives you any negativity, they will be the same people congratulating you 10 years on.

    Matthew Ahmet is a London-born practitioner of Shaolin kung fu, and performs shows with the Shaolin temple worldwide. In 2009 he set up the Shaolin temple Cheshunt, home to the Shaolin Warriors London.
    "win chung"? Is that the proper English spelling?

    Awww. The images are blocked.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    UK, England

    Spelling Police

    Gene, pretty sure its a typo

    Although it could be a super awesome crazy style not yet made public!!

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    I thought it might be an English spelling, like colour of flavour.

    It's all 詠春 to me.

    Here's more from Matthew.

    11 life-changing secrets of Shaolin monks
    Matthew Ahmet was just 16 when he left home to train to be a Shaolin monk in China. Here he shares what he’s learned, and it could just change your life.

    By Kate Whiting
    Last updated: 20 November 2015, 11:39 GMT Print this story
    Wise beyond his 27 years and with a down-to-earth north London accent to boot, dad-of-one Matthew Ahmet followed his teenage dream of performing Shaolin kung fu on stage as a monk from the Shaolin Temple.

    A decade ago, at 16, he left behind the life of a normal teenager – computer games and trainers included – to wash his clothes in a bucket and sleep on a plank of wood in Zhengzhou, China.

    “I saw the show The Wheel Of Life when I was 11 and then I was in that show when I was 21 – a decade had gone round and my wheel had gone in a full circle, my dream had come true,” he says.

    Now back in the UK and running the Shaolin Temple Cheshunt, Ahmet shares what he’s learned.

    Don’t take anything for granted
    “Growing up in London, you have this attitude – I was very egotistical. I went out to China wanting to learn just to flip and to kick and what I ended up getting out of it was completely different. Living at the Shaolin Temple I had to wash clothes by hand and fetch water.

    "A lot of youngsters believe their life is hard here, but we have running water, we have hot water, we have regular showers and it’s these things that we take for granted, and that we don’t really realise we do, until we see a different kind of life.”

    Passions – not possessions – make you happy
    “People say, ‘You’ve got to have [running] water, how can you live like that?’ Well we do in China. That’s the lifestyle for the monks and they’re extremely happy. I feel that’s missing from Western society. People might have money, iPhones, a car, but what they don’t have is happiness. It’s a real goal in life, to find what you’re passionate about.”

    Don’t fear death, live
    “I think people are dying to live, they’re struggling to survive, so they can one day die. It should be the reverse: living to live. We only have one life and it’s inevitable that we die. In Shaolin philosophy, no one fears death. There’s no way out of it, so you’ve got to make the most of every single second of every single day that you have.”

    Stopping will help you go further
    “Rather than stand still, people like to keep moving, but what happens is they drain themselves out. You can actually get further by stopping sometimes. It’s like going on a long road trip. You say, ‘No, I’m not going to stop my car. I’m going to keep going, then stop when the fuel dies out’.

    "But if you stop every so often at a service station, you get that break and then keep going. Meditation is a way for me to recharge my batteries without panicking. So many people live in a fast-paced world and think they’re achieving their goals, but they end up getting stressed and overworked, then they get sick more often. Kung fu really gave me a different outlook on living.”

    Meditate every day
    “Like with everything, meditation has become a big fad at the moment, but people expect to go to a meditation class and find peace, whereas in actuality, meditation isn’t like a class that you can take. It’s an emotional state you have to find and you have to practise every day. If you only meditate once a week, you’re not going to improve, you have to give yourself a lot of time to find that inner peace.”

    [Related story: 'Mindfulness meditation as effective as antidepressants']

    Don’t be afraid of silence
    “Sometimes people are actually afraid of that silence. Sometimes the loudest noise can be silence. Inner peace worries people because when they’re not seeing something, they don’t know what to think about.

    "So they turn on the TV, they go and eat – but meditation is about finding your inner self and what your passion is. Just lie in bed a little bit longer in the morning, not trying to sleep, just thinking about your goals. What’s your dream?”

    Wake early and embrace the day
    “I wake up around 5am and it starts with training, going outside. It’s just a habit now, but it’s also my passion. I know what I want to do. It’s like children. Children very rarely sleep late, because as soon as the light comes into their room, they just want to get up, play Lego, or draw, because for them, life is glorious.

    "For a lot of adults, especially in Western society, it becomes a chore – five more minutes snooze and then another five minutes snooze. They’re energised at work, but then when they get home, they slouch on the couch and get into bad habits.”

    Find your goal, find yourself
    “Some people laugh and say, ‘You know what, I can’t even remember what I used to dream about when I was a child’. They’ve become objects of society and they’re not really fulfilling their goals, they’re filling the goals of society. Deep down they feel lost. It’s very important to find yourself.

    "Meditation allows you to reflect on yourself and look at that person in the mirror and decide if that person is who you want to be. If you’re so engaged all of the time, you’re on email and your phone and you never stop, you never have the chance to look at yourself.”

    Give 100% every day
    “Think about when you’ve had a great day and you feel 99% and so high on your own energy. Then you go to work and most people probably feel under 60% for most of their days. When you add up the days, you’re only living half the year and half the life. There are so many great things out there, but because you’re only running at 60%, you can’t get much more out of life than that.

    Life is as simple as a choice. If you love to swim, then you need to swim every day. If a kid loves to play Lego, he has to play every day. If you love something, you have to commit to it. Whether you’re fascinated by space or music, you have to give 100% and when you give 100%, you will get 100% back – that’s how it works. It’s karma in the most obvious way. What you put in, you get out.”

    Responsibility gives you purpose
    “In 2007, I became a coach where I was teaching a class of students, and you’re living at these temples and you become a father figure. It’s such a wonderful experience, so I really wanted to have my own children. A lot of people I’ve grown up with and students of mine who are older than me are scared of having that responsibility.

    "I think having that responsibility gives you greater opportunity because you have this meaning, this ‘why’. It’s this automatic push to be the best person for your children, your family. It’s a very powerful motivator. I think a lot of people lack motivation in their personal life, because they don’t have any responsibility.

    "At work they do, but when they get home, there’s no meaning and all they want to do is engage in TV shows for countless hours or scroll on Facebook on their phone for hours on end, whereas just playing with a child sometimes is such a powerful, wonderful thing.”

    Find your ‘why’
    “There are so many different sayings I love, but one of the things I say to people the most is that you have to find your ‘why’. As soon as you find your ‘why’, you’re set. I have this saying which is ‘know why, then no why’. So many people ask, ‘Why should I do this?

    "Why do I need to pay this bill? Why do I need to go to work? Blah blah blah…’ The reason they’re asking ‘why’ is because they don’t know the answer. But as soon as you know why, there are no questions.”

    Do you practise meditation? How does it help you? What do you think of Matthew’s advice? Let us know in the Comments box below.

    SHAOLIN is available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download from November 30.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    3 articles in a month. Is Matthew trending in U.K.?

    Britain's only Shaolin Monk? What about these guys?

    Meet Matthew Ahmet, Britain's only Shaolin Monk
    After years of gruelling training, Matthew nailed the one-finger handstand and was asked to join the Shaolin Monks onstage
    GARY OGDEN 4 DEC 2015

    Can you break a spear across your neck? What about balance your bodyweight on two fingers? Smash iron bars over your head? Matthew Ahmet can, because he’s the first ever British Shaolin monk, and that’s what Shaolin monks do (among other things). We caught up with him and attempt to balance our inner Qigong.

    Why did you decide to become a Shaolin monk?
    Like a lot of young boys, I was always interested in martial arts – Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and that sort of thing, and when I was 11, I was invited along to see the original Shaolin theatre show, The Shaolin Wheel of Life. It really inspired me – seeing these guys live on stage was amazing. It blew me away and gave me this dream to study Chinese martial arts and travel to China to the Shaolin Temple.

    When I was 16 I wasn’t really happy with school. This idea to go to China had stuck with me all throughout my education and I thought then was the time to follow it through. So I ended up flying out to China where I spent about four years training. It was very intense, waking up at 5.30am, running up mountains, crawling back down on my hands and knees, doing headstands on concrete for hours on end. I progressed quickly and ten years after I saw the show I was chosen to be the first and only non-Chinese Shaolin warrior in that same show.

    Is Shaolin kung fu a good way to keep fit?
    Kung fu is more a way of life than it is exercise. The philosophy of Shaolin is to create longevity, positivity and happiness for yourself, and I think there’s a confusion in the Western world, where exercise has become almost a chore, where you choose to do it. You don’t choose to eat, you don’t choose to sleep, but you choose to exercise. However, it should be for everyone, and kung fu is very much that: it’s a way of life, where the exercise element is peppered throughout the day with meditation, stretching, jogging, walking, forms and movements which are inspired by animals and wildlife. It’s a very creative and uplifting practice.

    What does it teach you about discipline?
    Any exercise is a form of discipline – through achieving your goals, setting yourself a target and so on. Discipline comes into play when you reach a stage where you train and exercise not necessarily for pure enjoyment. Shaolin kung fu gives you that discipline. You don’t just get to pick the days you have fun – you have to go through the whole process and complete that puzzle. That kind of discipline is very much taught and required to practice kung fu.

    How long before you’ll see results?
    With kung fu, you’ll see results after pretty much the first day – often the mindset will change instantly, and with that mindset you’ll see how quickly you can make progress. It’s about understanding that you’re always going to be progressing and kung fu is a way in which you can achieve those progressions. A thing I often say is “NOW”, meaning “No Opportunities Wasted” – it’s about taking every one you have and getting the most out of it.

    How painful is learning Shaolin kung fu?
    Good question! There’s 168 hours in a week, and you might sleep for eight to ten hours a day, so it’s all about how many hours you want to put in, and how hard you’re going to work. If you really want to go all out and give 100%, then you’re going to feel pain, but we have a saying: pain is glory. You go through the stages of pain to reach that stage of glory, and without struggle there is no progression.

    What about self-defence? How good is Shaolin kung fu in a fight?
    With any martial art, there are elements that can be used in self-defence. We don’t specifically train for combat but during practice, the movements become so regular that in a situation when you needed to use them, you could definitely defend yourself without a doubt.

    When you were training at the temple, what did you miss most about home?
    Things like family, obviously, but you also miss the smaller things like hot water, showers, beds and electricity. We were sometimes living in huts the size of a garages, with no windows, no running water, no electricity, just light that came in from outside.

    If there’s no hot water or heating and there’s three foot of snow, it is cold. But when I came back to the UK, I appreciated this simplicity of life and found it added value to my life, just by understanding. On the map, the UK is just a tiny speck, and there’s all these other countries around you and people live completely differently to us – it’s very valuable to understand that, and it gives you a powerful purpose in your life when you see the other way.

    What’s the greatest feat of strength that you’ve witnessed?
    One of the things that really inspired me about the Wheel of Life show was the one-finger handstand. Bruce Lee could do a press-up using a finger and a thumb on one hand, and he made that famous, but then I saw a guy support his whole body weight on just one finger on each hand, and I was blown away. In that moment, it wasn’t something I thought I’d ever be able to do, but one of the reasons I was chosen to be part of the show was because I was the only person in the group who could do the one-finger handstand.

    Recently I’ve been kicked off my block by one of my young students who’s just 13 years old – he wakes up every day before school and he can do the one- finger handstand. He’s the second Westerner, and I believe the only boy under the age of 15 in the world that can do that. It’s one of the most advanced practices of the Shaolin Qigong.

    Finally, what’s your favourite martial arts film ever?
    I would have to say Wheels On Meals with Jackie Chan. He’s one of my favourite martial artists – he trained at the Beijing Opera, and the training they undergo is very similar to Shaolin. They live on site for years on end, from when they’re young children, and they are made to train between eight and ten hours every single day. His level of expertise is very high.

    The breathtaking new show SHAOLIN from the Shaolin Monks is out now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  12. #57
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    ttt 4 2021

    The Hertfordshire Britain's Got Talent star who moved to China at 16 to become a Shaolin monk
    Matthew Ahmet left Hertfordshire at 16 years of age, on his own, to become a monk living in the Chinese mountains
    By Charlie Reynolds Multimedia Journalist
    14:46, 16 MAR 2021

    Most teenagers at 16 have the wildest dreams of becoming a Hollywood actor, a professional footballer or a multi-millionaire, the list goes on.

    But when 32-year-old Matthew Ahmet was that old, he had a very different vision.

    Growing up loving martial arts movies and inspired by actors Jackie Chan and Jet Li, he simply wanted a taste of their lives.

    The dream for him was to travel to China and learn what it takes to become a Shaolin monk, and that's exactly what he did.

    Living their dream is something not many people can say they achieve, especially at the age of 16, but Matt was so inspired that he left school without knowing a single word of Chinese and moved out to a temple in Henan - on his own.

    It was something his family and friends couldn’t believe, including himself, when the daunting prospect in front of him sunk in.

    Within a few days, Matt went from being at school to living in a Chinese temple with his head shaved only equipped with a small Chinese language book.

    “I was 16, didn’t really enjoy school and always had this dream of going to study Chinese martial arts,” he said.

    “One day I was in school with my friends and I’d been telling them I wanted to go for ages, but came in one day saying I’m going tomorrow and none of them believed me.

    “The next minute, I’m in China with my checklist book for Chinese language training eight to ten hours a day.

    “We’d have to get up at 4am, run up mountains and crawl back down on our hands and knees. It was intense.”

    Matt doing a two finger handstand
    Fast forward 16 years and it’s all had a massive impact on his life.

    He’s gone on to become a semi-finalist in Britain’s Got Talent, have his own reality TV show and more.

    But his greatest two achievements are the Shaolin Temple in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, that he owns and runs for the community, and the 11-year-old son he shares with his wife, who he met in China.

    His work has helped hundreds of people by getting them off the street and giving them a focus.

    This is something which helped him at the tender age 16 as, to his own admission, China shaped and moulded him into the man he is today.

    “Back then we didn’t have smartphones and all I had was a language checklist book - I didn’t have access to much, if any information,” he said.

    “The lifestyle was completely different. Where I was located, at the temple, it was poverty driven.

    “There wasn’t always running water, we had wooden beds, concrete floors - it was a huge culture shock but it woke me up.

    “A lot of youngsters think their life is hard including me at that age, but they’ve got food, free education, water, their own bedroom and it’s very different out in China.

    “However everyone out there is so happy.”

    To an extent, before his trip, Matt didn’t really know what he was getting himself into.

    He was used to getting up every morning to travel from Hertfordshire to Camden for school but in China, he’d be getting up as early as 4am to start training.

    It isn’t like any normal training though. To condition his body, Matt and the other students would do headstands and knuckle push ups on concrete for hours on end, hitting sand with his hands and even having to balance a cup of hot water on his arms so if he moved, he’d get burnt.

    Matt always wanted to learn Chinese martial arts
    “It’s all about discipline, strength and conditioning your muscles,” he said about the training methods.

    “A lot of it is to do with the mental side of it. Of course it was hard but I enjoyed it so I found pleasure in the hardships.

    “The temple is a place to learn, express yourself and have fun. We’re focusing on the beauty of martial arts.”

    Not knowing any Chinese and being the only English student at the temple was very strenuous for Matt.

    “The language barrier obviously made it very difficult out there," he said. "For example if you did something wrong, you’d get a beating.

    “It wasn’t abuse but it was all to teach you discipline so you didn’t do it again - it was part of their culture.

    “At our temple, we don’t discipline anyone but it’s all taught me big life lessons.

    “But the language barrier slowly got better the more I learnt. I basically just learnt by listening to the other students and catching on.

    “In the moment it was hard because I didn’t understand anything, as you can imagine, but i just learnt on my feet.”

    Recently during lockdown, his social media channels have exploded with everyone watching videos of him flipping, doing one finger press ups and more.

    It’s not only him that entertains his social media followers but his 11-year-old son, Tian, too.

    Following in his dad’s footsteps, Tian trains everyday with his dad and is known on social media as TJ - The Young Warrior.

    Tian featured in his first Shaolin show at just two years old and hasn’t looked back since. For an 11-year-old, he has more muscle and abs than most men.

    Matt, known as The Modern Warrior, and his wife, known as The Kung Fu Mom are the dream team and now run the temple in Cheshunt.

    Matt with his wife and son (Image: IMAGINEREEL PRODUCTIONS)
    Matt said: “I met my wife out in China as she studied at a temple which now has over 50,000 students. She studied there and was learning English and on the off chance bumped into each other and we just clicked.

    “We moved back to the UK when we were 20 and she was just about to give birth. Plenty of people had a lot of things to say but now look at what I’ve got and ask me how I got it all.

    “For me, I needed to find love, drive, passion and live the journey.”

    They moved back to the UK with the dream of creating something more substantial and it was at this time when they started laying the foundations for the temple.

    Matt started Shaolin Kung Fu lessons for the community by hiring out a court at the former Grundy Park Leisure Centre.

    Later that year, he found the building which he would transform into the temple, the plans for which he had been drawing and designing when he was just 10 years old.

    He said: “When we came back, my wife was pregnant, I was all over TV, on ITV, BBC and was in a great place.

    “It was all going well, people were turning up in their numbers for the lessons, we were handing out flyers, doing shows at school fetes and people were loving it.

    “People hadn’t seen Shaolin before so they were blown away and then it was around the same time when I found the derelict building and when we went on Britain’s Got Talent.”

    Matt and his team, known as Team Shaolin, were in the 2010 BGT show and got all the way to the semi finals.

    Then the year after, in 2011, Matt was presented with his own reality TV show where he would get people from the UKs most notorious areas and take them to a Shaolin temple in China to get them back on the right track.

    Matt had a dream of working in martial arts from a young age
    “It was amazing for me and everyone that took part,” he said.

    “We taught them life lessons, martial arts to avoid conflict back home and self control and that’s exactly what we teach people at the temple.

    “We’ve put so much hard work into the temple, we were there day and night and it took time but it’s a true extension of our vision and goal.

    “All we wanted to do was share with the community - offer them something different.

    “Thousands of students have walked through the door. Families, adults, children, people from all ages and backgrounds.

    “It’s just cool knowing we’ve helped so many people and it’s all because I’ve focused on myself and my dream.

    “If I followed society's way of doing things then I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

    As a result of lockdown, the temple has been shut but should be reopening in April.

    Matt said all the classes will be back but people can’t book them at the moment and it will be a first-come-first-served basis.

    The temple can be found on 40 High Street, Cheshunt, Wycliffe Close, EN8 0AQ, and you can also look at the temple on it's social media sites @temple.ldn.
    Good to hear he's reopening soon.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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