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Live Kung Fu instructor Liam Bye hoping to ‘expand awareness’ of martial art across Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds

An instructor is hoping to ‘expand awareness’ of how the ancient practices of kung fu can help benefit people mentally as well as physically.

Liam Bye is a teacher at Live Kung Fu, in Haverhill, which is one of a small number of schools in the United Kingdom that privately teaches Shaolin kung fu.

This specific branch of martial art focuses on ‘the health of the practitioner’ and Bye’s school helps to build extreme confidence to its pupils.

Liam Bye (left) has been teaching for the last 15 years. Picture: Live Kung Fu
Liam Bye (left) has been teaching for the last 15 years. Picture: Live Kung Fu

At the start of next month, Live Kung Fu are hoping to move to Haverhill Physiotherapy Clinic as well as bring their teachings to homes across Bury St Edmunds.

“I went through a few traumas with a car accident a few years ago, I had a very weird and different upbringing to the conventional norm and martial arts as a whole has kept me on the straight and narrow, but it was Shaolin that really allowed me to blossom,” said Bye, who has been teaching kung fu for the last 15 years.

“It gives you that confidence to overcome every obstacle. It is specific meditation to help overcome some first-world problems like depression and anxiety.

The sessions last an hour and include breathing exercises, strength and conditioning training, self-defence techniques and meditation.

Live Kung Fu’s lineage, the direct line of instructors at the school, have learnt their trade from some of the most prestigious names in Shaolin teachings. Bye’s instructor was taught by their grand master in Malaysia and had a “lot of direct knowledge poured into him”.

Bye, who is also a 32-year-old three-time national champion in karate, explained that when their grand master passed away, a lot of the Shaolin teachings died with him because of his wealth of knowledge, hence why his school is one of the few in the United Kingdom that has the ability to teach this branch of martial art.

“One of my students was attacked by three people in Cambridge last year, luckily they were not carrying knives, and he got jumped,” he said.

“But he was able to use his martial arts to beat them all up and they ran off.”