Sihing Eliot is the owner and head instructor of Metrowest Kung Fu. He teaches all Kung Fu and Tai Chi classes. A firm believer in responsibility towards one's self and one's community, Sihing Eliot has been practicing martial arts since 1993. After his parents enrolled him in karate lessons to help with bullies as a child, Sihing fell in love with the martial arts and studied several different styles for many years, eventually receiving black belts in Karate and Tae Kwon Do. In 2009, he began learning Kung Fu and Tai Chi from Sifu Gary LaChapelle, and received his black sash in 2013. He opened Metrowest Kung Fu in January 2016, where he strives to enrich his students and his community through the virtues that martial arts training provides.
Martial arts is my passion in life, and I love transmitting that excitement to my students. I love watching a student's face as "the lightbulb goes off" when they suddenly understand a difficult concept or successfully perform a difficult technique. Even better is when my students tell me that their training has helped them in some way outside of class, be it at school, at their job, or in their relationships.
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I break the movements down into smaller parts, repeat them, and make sure that the student has a good grasp on the material before advancing. I try to set my students up for success, not failure. For example, I never say, "Drop and give me 50 push-ups!" The students are given 30 seconds to do as many push-ups as they can, with the expectation that they improve over time; everyone works at their own pace, and their only competition should be with themselves.
I have been practicing martial arts since I started Karate as a child to help with bullies. I received black belts in Isshin Ryu Karate and ITF Tae Kwon Do, and also trained in many other styles, including Iaijutsu (samurai sword), Kali Silat (Filipino martial arts), Systema (Russian martial arts), Judo, and Ninjutsu, but my real love is for Kung Fu and Tai Chi. I have been teaching martial arts as an assistant or an independent instructor since 2005. I also have professional experience working in human services and healthcare, which greatly aids my instruction of both kids and adults.
Each program costs $100 per month. The classes meet at least 3 times per week. The students may attend class as often as they want, but a minimum of twice per week is suggested. There are also family discounts, as well as discounts for students doing more than one program, for example, Kung Fu and Tai Chi. Private lessons are also available.
My martial arts training is a gift from my teachers. It helped to make me a better, happier, stronger person when I needed it most. As a teenager, I decided I wanted to give that gift to other people. I ran martial arts clubs in high school and college, and always attended classes as often as I could even after college when I was struggling to find a job. In October 2015, after many years of searching and hard work, I was blessed with a wonderful opportunity and opened my own school.
Everyone! I have taught children as young as 4, all the way up to adults in their 70s. I have taught men and women of all shapes, sizes, colors, social backgrounds, and nationalities. Kung Fu is the great equalizer!
My students recently competed in the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship and did well, winning medals in forms and sparring. I was very proud.
People get caught up in choosing "the right style" when shopping around for martial arts, especially in Kung Fu. The teacher matters a LOT more than the style. Most martial arts mostly teach the same basics; what REALLY matters is the student/teacher relationship. Can he convey the information in a way that makes sense to you? Can she simultaneously work with students of all levels? Are his students training hard? Are her students smiling as much as they're sweating? Does he answer questions openly? Does she conduct business honestly? These things are FAR more important than deciding whether Hung Gar or Wing Chun is better-suited to your needs.
Ask yourself why you're training. Is it to get fit? For self-defense? To meet people? To win a professional fight? To try something new? Keep your long-term goals in mind as you meet different instructors, and ask them if they're capable of helping you to reach those goals. Some will not be, and that's okay, you can take the time to find a place that is a good match. Any decent martial arts school will allow you to at least observe a class before committing...but it still means walking through the door and introducing yourself. I hope to meet you!
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