Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Culture / Cultural Exchange

Youth in Kenya get a kick from kung fu

China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-15 08:08
Share - WeChat

NAIROBI-Standing with his feet apart and his knees bent, Benson Kuria raises his hands in a claw shape as he prepares to execute a dragon move.

He is practicing Chinese martial arts at the Kiambu community hall about 16 kilometers east of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

The part-time teacher trains on the weekends with other kung fu enthusiasts. He is among a growing army of Kenyan youth who have taken up the sport because of its many benefits, such as improving physical fitness.

Since he took up kung fu, his strength and endurance have improved greatly, says the 26-year-old. "Kung fu involves a lot of dynamic stretching where most body muscles are engaged."

Ngaruiya Njonge, chairman of the Kenya Kung Fu Wushu Federation, says eight clubs in the country are involved in kung fu. He is keen to popularize the sport among youth because, he says, it will improve their confidence to deal with the challenges of life.

He is now training those as young as 10 and adults in one-hour sessions in the evenings.

Larry Kamau is a member of the Kayole Kung Fu club in Nairobi that conducts weekly training at a local sports ground. He says he was drawn to martial arts because they promote self-defense and nonaggression.

He likes practicing the horse stance, which involves standing with feet apart in a squatting position while swinging the arms in the air. "The sport has helped to improve my stamina," he says.

Nelson Ikiara, 30, a member of the Dragon Kung Fu club, has practiced martial arts for four years. When he was a child, he watched Chinese movies that included scenes of kung fu masters practicing their craft, he says.

"I used to practice the moves in the martial arts films. When I completed my university studies, I decided to join a kung fu club."

Edward Naliaka, 28, a member of the Muthurwa Kung Fu club in downtown Nairobi, says he was drawn to martial arts because they combine physical training and promote courage and tolerance.

"These are qualities which I can apply in my work and social interactions," he says.

Jude Njomo, a local legislator, says kung fu is gaining popularity as a sport, particularly among school-age children. More schools will begin to promote the sport because of its role in building Sino-Kenya ties, he says. In addition to Chinese language, kung fu skills can be taught in schools.


Most Popular
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349