Kung fu master’s visit

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A Wing Chun Kung Fu master who first brought the art form to New Zealand has returned to Queenstown to pay his old students a visit.

Master Kevin Earle, 72, is touring the South Island visiting former students and passing on tips from his upcoming book about the 300-year-old Chinese martial art –

His former student and Queenstown-based Wing Chun teacher Carl Newman caught up with Earle and practised some drills and techniques on the Village Green last week.

Newman, 52, says after growing up around a lot of violence and anger in Christchurch, Wing Chun’s been “life-changing”.

“It feels great to pass that on to people.

“Once you know how to hit someone you don’t really need to do it any more.”

He was about 30 years old when he first met Earle, who he lived with for a while to learn the art form.

Christchurch-based pioneer Earle has taken the martial art all around NZ since becoming the first to publicly teach it in the country in 1972.

He’s a former student of Master Choy Siu Kwong, who was himself taught by the Great Grandmaster Ip Man in Hong Kong, subject of the popular Man

Master Beau Bouzaid, Earle’s oldest student, who teaches the art at Mana Wing Chun in Sydney, also met up with the group in town to share his knowledge and skills.