Monthly Archives: August 2012

From Seattle To Hollywood And Back: How Kung Fu Master Leong Got His Start And You Can Too!

Have you ever thought that a fitness program would lead you to starring in movies or modeling? Most of us don’t start exercising with that goal in mind, but some of us want to look like they do in the movies or in magazines and that motivate us to go to the gym. The problem is that we get bored or too busy to stick with it.

The people who keep out of that cycle are usually athletes. They have invested years into their body and know it needs consistent work to keep in shape. Does this mean most of us non-athletes can’t find something that keeps us in shape? No. But, what we need to see is that there are no quick-fix programs to keep a model fit body. We need consistency. If you try a work out class and it doesn’t feel right, try something else. You’ll have the most success with something that makes you want to keep at it. There are several fitness focused “lost arts” that have done just that because they have proven themselves over centuries.

Have you heard of Kung Fu? If so, do you think of Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee? Well, they certainly have made the traditional art popular in movies over the last 30 years. What you don’t know is that it takes years of dedication to perform moves like the ones you see on the big screen. And, you don’t have to be a fit athlete to do it too.

As a kid in Seattle, David Leong tried Kung Fu when he was 6 years old. He wasn’t interested at first. His inspiration came a couple of years later at 8 years old when he watched a celebratory Lion Dance. Years later, after embracing Kung Fu and learning the art, his skill led him to acting and choreographing with Steven Seagal, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Jackie Chan, and even modeling.

Lucky for us, he opened his own school in Seattle where he is known as Sifu Leong. You will find him today at Northwest Kung Fu and Fitness where he teaches everyone from age 5 and up. With 20 years of teaching experience, we interviewed him and learned a bit more about how Kung Fu can help improve a person’s life.

Here is Holli’s interview of Sifu Leong

Holli: Who would be a successful candidate for Kung Fu?
Sifu Leong: Anybody who has the desire to better themselves is a good candidate.
Kung Fu was developed through many systems to benefit everyone for health and fitness over centuries.
Holli: What does Kung Fu specifically do to help improve a person’s health?
Sifu Leong: It is an art that provides fitness, but not only that. It requires that a person takes whatever time they need to develop. The top three benefits I’ve seen over about 3 months time are: increased energy, overall improved health and confidence. You can see a difference in the way they walk and carry themselves when they enter the room. There are many more benefits like increased agility, strength and posture.
Holli: What is the most common question people have when they first try a class?
Sifu Leong: The most common one is, “Do I have to be in shape first?” The answer is no. You come in whatever place you are to start. Kung Fu is an individual art. I tell students not to compare themselves with everyone in the room. Only focus on your improvements and work on yourself. You get to continue at your own pace.

Sifu Leong offers a free class for anyone who wishes to try it. Just tell him Juli at Hen Sen Herbs sent you! You can learn more about his style and teaching at