Updated: Oct 17
Guernica 37 Co Founder Toby Cadman talks about his love for Shaolin Gao Can Mun Nam Pai Chuan and how it has helped change his life.
"Everyone has a journey. "I have always been a fan of martial arts having practised Judo and Kuk Sool Won in my youth and then Jiu-Jitsu when I lived in France. I had always been fascinated by Kung Fu and so when I was given the chance to study Shaolin Kung Fu I jumped at the opportunity. It has now become such an important part of my life and I am eternally grateful to Sifu Jerome de Silva for truly transforming my life.
"I have included Nam Pad Chuan on this website as it has become such an important part of my life. In early 2018, I took a long hard look at myself and realised that at 47 years of age I had become seriously overweight and desperately unfit. I needed to make some dramatic changes to life. What followed was an awakening.
"My daughters had been practising Nam Pai Chuan for some time and I had watched the class with a sense of envy. Pushed by my daughters to participate, I took the step to try the adult and kids class. I was joined by several other unfit adults and so I did not stand out too much. Despite the fact that I almost collapsed through exhaustion, I managed to get through the class, in truth I was hooked. However, I needed to develop the strength, physically and psychologically, to continue. "I knew that joining a gym was futile. I had tried this before without success. The first step was starting a diet. I embarked, on my sister-in-law's advice, on a ketogenic diet. I removed all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, pastry and high carb foods from my diet instantly. The results were astounding. Weight fell off. I also knew that without exercise the weight would return. I asked Sifu Jerome de Silva to help me. I didn't have the confidence to train in the class and expose my own insecurities at that time. "The first class was tough. After 20 mins I had to sit down and take a series of deep breaths. This was going to be demanding. I was fat and seriously unfit. This would not be a quick fix. I was also going to have to stick with it and I didn't have a history of long term commitment to exercise. I surprised everyone, including myself.
"I am now three years into my new lifestyle. I am no longer obese. I train at least twice per week, sometimes more. I have also added into my exercise regime DDP Yoga which I try to do every day. I ensure that I keep this up during my frequent and hectic travel schedule. "I recently turned 50. I took my brown belt and continue to exercise. I am now a committed vegan. "I still have a long way to go. I remain committed, but above all, I absolutely love it. It's never a chore. I continue to push myself to achieve more and I am grateful for the amazing people I surround myself with at Chiswick Kung Fu. Thank you"
Toby Cadman, Co Founder Guernica 37