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Academy in Cyprus embraces Wing Chun Kung Fu
   2016-12-06 00:38:46    Xinhua      Web Editor: Ding Xiaoxiao

Sifu Yiannos Christoforou practises Wing Chun Kung Fu at his acadamy in Nicosia, Cyprus, Dec. 5, 2016. Christoforou started to learn Wing Chun Kung Fu in 1989 at the age of 21 from German Wing Chun master Philipp Bayer, who was from Ip Man lineage. He opened his academy in Nicosia six years ago and has 50 trainees currently, 30 adults and 20 kids. Wing Chun Kung Fu is a branch of Chinese Kung Fu which was originated from southern China hundreds of years ago. [Photo: Xinhua]

Christoforou believes that the popularity of eastern martial arts in Cyprus is due both to an increase in crime during recent years and to the influence of movies featuring street fighting.

He makes his living as a quality control manager at one of the most known ice cream factories in Cyprus, but he would like to only teach Kung Fu if he could make a living out of it.

"Had it not been for the economic crisis, I would have given up my job and teach Wing Chun full time. But the number of trainees I have at the time is small as many people are still without a job and they are not enough to give me an adequate income," said Christoforou after the last of his trainees left floor.

His training hall at the suburb of Strovolos, several kilometers from the center of Nicosia, is amply decorated with pictures of the founders of Wing Chun and instructing directions in Chinese.

Two large posters display the terminology of Wing Chun moves and striking in Latin characters according to the Cantonese pronunciation alongside the explanation in English.

"Although almost everyone speaks English in Cyprus, but I insist that all directions are given in Chinese. The trainees have learned to understand them," said Christoforou.

He did not visit China yet, but he says he admires the Chinese culture and civilization and loves Chinese food.

"I want to visit China sometime to see the country and also to pay my respects to the founders of Wing Chun in Guangdong and Hong Kong," he said.


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