I started practicing Kung Fu in December of 2021. This was one year into the pandemic, and I had been sufficiently isolated from the world. As my mental health deteriorated, I decided it was time to start exercising again. Because I am incapable of running and needed to be held accountable, I decided to learn Tai Chi.
I looked online for different schools in Grand Rapids, trying to find one that was authentic. I came across Chan's Kung Fu School in my search. And when I read about Sifu and the instructors, about the lineage of masters, I knew I had found something special.
I signed up for six months without visiting. To my luck, I just so happened to choose a world-renowned studio. Again, to my luck, the quality of the instruction is rivaled only by the quality of the people.
I joined this school when I was at my lowest. Because of more than just the pandemic, I was going through the worst year of my life. After my first class, I called my dad, and he notice how much happier I sounded.
Just one class made a noticeable difference in my life. A year and a half have done more than I can express.
I started taking more classes until I was there five days a week. I've gotten three sashes, learned ten forms, performed in a Chinese New Year celebration, attended Sifu's 60th birthday party, and recently went to Chicago's Chinatown.
To say that I have found a second family would be cliché. But they say clichés are cliché because they're true. And it is true, but I think it is more true to simply say that I found friends.
So dear Chan's Kung Fu School, now that I am leaving Grand Rapids, I need to say thank you for changing my life. Thank you for sharing the joy and discipline of Kung Fu. Thank you for welcoming me in with open arms. Thank you for empowering me to fight. Thank you for being my friends. Please don't be strangers.