Letter to Tampa Kung Fu
A Personal Testimony from J.
The purpose of this reflection is to provide a
personal account of my experience at Tampa Kung Fu.
As well, I’d like to express my profound gratitude
to Shifu Kevin Brazier (and all the current
students) for making a great impact on my life
during the last year. My hope is also that this
testimony (and I attest that it is entirely
unsolicited) will encourage prospective students to
try Kung Fu under the guidance of Shifu Kevin.
I came to Tampa Kung Fu in August 2009. At that
time, I had no idea about I was really looking for—I
just wanted to enroll in some form of physical
exercise and I wanted it to be Kung Fu. Why Kung Fu?
Perhaps it was the idea that all schools of martial
arts derive from Chinese boxing. I wanted something
authentic and something that would also entail
elements of spirituality. I found both—great school
of traditional Kung Fu and a deeply spiritual
approach to life. I was deeply saddened when I had
to leave the school in July for personal reasons (I
had to relocate to Salt Lake City to complete my
Shifu Kevin is not only an exquisite martial artist,
but also a tremendously talented teacher. As a
martial artist, he is familiar with countless forms,
and has an expert knowledge of the history of Kung
Fu, Tai Chi, and Chinese culture. During my time at
Tampa Kung Fu, he led all training classes, and
offered individual guidance to all students. He is
also fluent in Chinese, and offers great tips on the
impact of diet and lifestyle on functioning. I
learned more in one year of training than I ever
imagined I would (or that I thought I was capable of
learning). When I attended a Kung Fu class in Salt
Lake City, Master Lu (who leads instructions here)
thought I studied Kung Fu for at least 5 years!
As a teacher, Shifu Kevin is one of the best
teachers I’ve ever had. He offers individual
attention to all students, is patient, kind, and
inspirational. He teaches by example, and not just
by instruction. From him, I learned that daily
practice and hard work can make a profound
difference in my own life. Not only did I learn some
Praying Mantis, but I began to feel less stressed,
improved my physical condition, and learned to
relax, breathe properly, and literally “close my
mouth” (I was truly unaware of how I used to keep my
mouth open when tired). I also lost 35 pounds,
stopped snoring, and began feeling generally more
positive about myself.
Did I mention that studying Kung Fu with Shifu Kevin
is a lot of fun? I was never bored, and I should say
that I attended training almost every day! There is
also plenty of humor, and many opportunities to
interact with either Shifu, his wonderful family
(April, Pierre, and Yvonne), or other Kung Fu and
Tai Chi students. These interactions make Tampa Kung
Fu a very unique place.
There are a number of students at Tampa Kung Fu that
make training there very enjoyable. Jeff and Phil
(two of the older students) are both very skilled in
Praying Mentis, terrific sparring partners, and are
always helpful to others. Shimu April never misses
an opportunity to ask about your well-being. If you
are lucky (as I was), Rachel will make sure you’ve
had your intake of vegetable juice for the day. In
fact, many students of Tampa Kung Fu that are just
terrific people (do take time to get to know them on
a personal level, which will not be difficult if you
decide to come).
In closing, I would like to encourage all those that
think of trying martial arts to consider Tampa Kung
Fu. When I was looking for a school, I came to Tampa
Kung Fu for a one-time free trial session. After
meeting Shifu Kevin for just a few minutes, I never
looked for a different school. I never regretted the
decision to stay.
Jacek Brewczynski, Ph.D.
Psychology Fellow at SLC VA