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Brief History of Paul Cowley

Paul has always been a very active individual. As a child, having an abundance of energy, he found himself enjoying most sports on some level. Swimming, football and tennis were the one that stuck until his late teens, playing for various teams and clubs over the years. In his later teen years, interest swayed to skating and snowboarding until he began full time work and gave up all his sporting activity. It was not long before he began to feel a change in his physical and mental demeanour, but it took a while to put the two together.

Paul began looking for something new and challenging to his rekindle his love of physical activity; he came across martial arts.  In the past, apart from wrestling with his brother and the usually admiration for the cinema martial arts, he had no previous experience with them.

In the summer of 2005, having found several clubs locally and researching what they offer, he decided to try a lesson of Sil Lume Kune. This one session was enough to make him want to stay, and so started training once a week. After a few grades, he was training more nights of the week and also began attending the monthly training days which helped Paul gain a lot more knowledge in the art.

He has attended weapon seminars including the spear, butterfly knives, and double daggers. He has also attended sparring seminars, judging seminars, and various fund raising events to support the club. He says, “I love the friendly atmosphere within the club, and I have met some great people, but best of all, I have found something that will still challenge me in years to come. Every lesson I get to push myself physically and mentally and I feel more alive than ever!”

Through the club, Paul has achieved a Qingda Coaching qualification, and B.C.C.M.A National coaching award level two. He is aiming to take level three in the future. About mid 2006, Paul began assisting Sifu Dave Richardson in coaching his Wednesday night Little Tigers class, and in the summer of 2007, with permission from Sifu Paul Burkinshaw, he began teaching his own Little Tigers class. In the future he hopes to open more classes for Little Tigers and Kung Fu.

Paul was a shy individual before training martial arts, but over the years his Sifu and class mates have helped him develop confidence in himself and his ability as a martial arts practitioner.  “Confidence has given life to all aspects of my practice, especially forms and sparring.  My sparring has developed the most thanks to Sifu Paul Burkinshaw’s tuition. Sifu Paul has had an illustrious competitive fighting career, and his expertise and experience has been invaluable in my own development”.

More recently, he has found himself wanting to expand is martial arts experience, so has begun training in Chinese Wrestling and Grappling, Kick boxing, and Lion Dance, all within the Sil Lum Kune Association. 

In August 2008, Paul achieved his Black Sash after a gruelling 6 hour examination.

After the grading, Sifu Paul Burkinshaw invited Paul to become an inner chamber disciple which he graciously accepted.

Paul performing cartwheel in Horse bench seminar
In January 2010, Paul achieved his 1st Degree and shortly after was given the Coventry classes from his Sifu Paul Burkinshaw to run. Paul achieved his 2nd Degree in April 2011 and later in the year performed the Hak Fu Horse Bench rountine at the BCCMA National Championships. Paul's performance was flawless with spectators, judges and competitors from all the other events stopping to watch. For this outstanding performance, Paul was awarded the title of British Champion for Southern Short weapons.  In September 2012, Paul achieved his 3rd Degree. 
During Alan Low's visit to the UK in April 2013, Paul attended several classes and seminars. This experience training with Alan inspired Paul to travel to Hong Kong in April 2015 to train and attend the Annual dinner. During the dinner Paul and his Sifu, Paul Burkinshaw demonstrated several Tiger self-defence techniques which proved very popular with the spectators. Also during this trip, Paul had the privilege to visit the late Grandmater Wong's grave in Punyu, China.