Francisco (Kiko) Gonzales

As a returning student of Sifu Lin’s Martial Arts Academy I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive and constructive community. I began studying here when I was only five years old and continued until I entered high school. After taking a long break during which, I suffered several blows to my psychological stability, my mother suggested I return to the Kung Fu community. At that time, I was experiencing chronic anxiety and brief but powerful panic attacks. Within three years of returning to the Academy, my panic attacks had disappeared. I primarily attribute the process of my recovery to the Chinese Culture Center’s martial arts studies and the dependable friends I made there.

When one thinks of Martial Arts the mind jumps to well-choreographed fights between two masters, or a prodigal student taking on ten men at once as seen in martial arts movies. But since I’ve returned to these classes there’s something more grounding than simply being able to defend myself.  The movements of the forms are imbued into muscle memory, you find a beat to move to, a cyclical breath for every stance, and punch, and kick. I’m not so much learning how to fight as learning about my body, and how it works. This in turn leads me to vent emotionally and keeps me on a path to some form of contentment.

Everyone who comes to class has something to share. Sometimes we’re given wisdom from one of the older students, or we invent a way to make sparring a little more interesting, or sometimes we’re asked to help a newcomer by showing them the ropes, providing a learning opportunity as well as a sense of responsibility.In recommending this school to a wider community I would say they couldn’t find a better one. In our practice we all look for different things, but I would say you could find the majority of them here at the Chinese Culture Center.