Journey into Gung Fu (continued)

In 1993 I met Sid Sofos, who ran what can only be described as a Kung Fu cult. Members were coerced into flyposting, cleaning duties and generally attending to his every whim at his Wing Chun club in Tottenham, North London. The most distasteful practice appeared to be the pressure that students exerted in trying to initiate new members to their cult.

Sofos himself was a laughable buffoon of a man. Adorned with Seagal-esque pony tail and pudgy belly. I didnt get to see any of his skill. I walked away from the hard sell given to me by one of his students who resorted to near threats to get me to join. The atmosphere in the club on my one and only visit frightened me.

Around the same time and on a recommendation, I also ended up visiting ‘the basement’, run by Nino Barnardo. I wanted to train there but Nino’s arrogance was a huge turn off. I was pretty quiet and introspective as a University Student and Nino’s attitude appeared particularly money oriented. When I mentioned that one of his students had told me the monthly dues were a little lower than Nino had quoted, Nino hit the roof and I decided that even if he had skill, I wasn’t prepared to put up with his arrogance. (I managed to get my own back years later,when one of Nino’s student came knocking on my door, literally).

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