KFK’s Got Talent Winner 2016: Alex Woo!

Here at Kung Fu Kingdom we often get to see some great video clips from our readers practicing their various skills. We truly enjoy seeing so many talented and enthusiastic martial artists from around the globe performing all aspects of the arts.

As such, we decided to hold a “Kung Fu Kingdom’s Got Talent” event on our Facebook page. The submissions were excellent! Every single clip we watched entertained us and was a great example of the discipline that each performer demonstrated. There were some amazing acrobatics, Hong Kong-style fight choreography, devastating self-defence techniques and traditional and modern martial arts performances.

When it came to choosing a winner, we went for two martial artists that we thought epitomised all those skills. It was a really tough decision for our judges to pick an individual victor, so in the end, we put it to the fans to help us by voting with their Facebook “Likes” and “Shares”.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of Kung Fu Kingdom’s Got Talent 2016 is: ALEX WOO from Boston, USA!

Here is his winning submission video

Here is a little bit more information about him. We hope Alex inspires YOU to train hard and take part in future Kung Fu Kingdom events!

Hi Alex! Well done and congratulations on winning Kung Fu Kingdom’s Got Talent 2016!

Thank you so much Kung Fu Kingdom! I am honoured to be part of something so great!

What do you think of the site and what do you think of the name Kung Fu Kingdom (KFK)?

The website is nice! It’s like a Wikipedia for martial artists. You guys give great in depth info on martial artists and provide really interesting articles on current events happening in the martial arts world. I like how there’s a “Martial Art of the Month” piece, too. It gives all styles of martial arts an opportunity to be recognised.

I like the name Kung Fu Kingdom! It’s a nice alliteration that’s eye catching and will appeal to those who are interested in the Chinese martial arts as well.

Let’s find out a bit more about you for our readers. When and where were you born, and what is your height and weight?

I was born on January 22nd, 1993, in Boston, Massachusetts. Height is 5’ 8” and weight is 173 pounds.

How did you first get into martial arts, how old were you?

I first got into martial arts when I was 8 years old. My dad told me about how my aunt’s dad used to have a Kung Fu school in Boston’s Chinatown, and later as he got older one of his students (Calvin Chin) started his own school, in Newton MA, called Calvin Chin’s Martial Arts Academy, Inc. My dad asked me if I was interested in learning Kung Fu and I was very determined to start. What really triggered my interest in joining was after watching the Shaolin monks when they came to Boston with their show called “Shaolin: Wheel of Life.” Seeing how powerful they were with their skills I was inspired to learn and train hard so I can become like them.

What have you achieved during that time in your martial arts training? Have you ever competed in any tournaments?

Throughout my 15 years of Kung Fu training I have amassed about a couple of hundred gold medals from national and international tournaments, along with several grand champion awards. A couple examples are winning the “Competitor of the Year” award 7 times at the United States Kuo Shu Federation tournament, and winning 5 Grand Champion awards at the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship (ICMAC) tournaments. This year during Lunar New Year my Sifu Calvin Chin promoted me to the Sifu ranking, now giving me the level to teach and to soon start my own Kung Fu school so I can carry on our school’s tradition of Lam Family Hung Kuen.

That’s an impressive tally! Who else would you credit as having most influenced you in the martial arts and who would you consider your heroes or inspirational figures? A top five perhaps?

Of course I would have to give credit to my Sifu Calvin Chin for influencing me in the martial arts as he has accomplished so much with his martial arts career. Being able to carry on his teacher’s tradition of Hung Kuen inspires me to be like him and to help our tradition of martial arts live on. My inspirational figures are Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and two martial artists who are currently in productions for Cirque Du Soleil: Zengjiao Jian and Jade Xu.

Can you outline one of your typical training sessions?

A typical training session for me is spending about 15 minutes of stretching and warming up, 10 minutes of going through Tai Chi forms, and about an hour or more of external forms (traditional and modern wushu). At nights I would train with weights and callisthenics to help with my strength.

That sounds like a good balance! What is your favourite exercise and what specific or special training techniques do you find brings out the best in you?

My favourite exercise is probably any type of abdominal work out. A special training technique of mine is going through two external forms back to back, to help with my cardio. But one training technique that brings out the best in me is practicing an external form with tumbling incorporated in to it. That way I am practicing both the martial arts and acrobatic aspects of my skills.

What is one interesting thing that people don’t really know about you?

One interesting thing that people don’t really know about me is that during my Junior and Senior year in high school I was part of the Cheerleading team, and the Gymnastics team. To add to that, I was one of the captains for both teams during my senior year.

Excellent! Cheerleading is a skill that I can see would benefit from your proficient acrobatic and wushu skills, but not one that I think people would immediately connect with martial arts! What are your Top Ten Martial Arts Movies?

My Top Ten Martial Arts Movies (in no particular order) are: “Five Deadly Venoms”, “Shaolin Drunken Monk”, “Enter the Dragon”, “Way of the Dragon”, “The Last Dragon”, “Red Dragon”, “The Monkey King”, “Kung Fu Hustle”, “Shaolin Soccer”, and “Ip Man 3”.

That’s a great selection of Dragons old and modern there! Who are your favourite martial artists?

My favourite martial artists (top five, in no particular order) are:

Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Steve Terada, and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Nice to see Steve Terada in there outside of the more obvious choices! What in life do you really like and dislike?

In life, I really like spending time with the whole family and going on vacations with them. I also like having the time and opportunities for my martial arts, whether it’s training, competing or performing. I really dislike things that prevent me from doing what I am passionate about and people that try to send out negative vibes. Life is too short to be thinking negatively and to be surrounded by negative people.

Absolutely! What would you say is your proudest accomplishment so far?

AW: I believe my proudest accomplishment so far is being promoted to Sifu level, with special thanks to my Sifu, Calvin Chin.

What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years?

I am hoping to start my own Kung Fu school, but also I am hoping to become a part of Cirque Du Soleil and be in one of their shows. Cirque Du Soleil has inspired me so much as they have done many great things with martial arts by incorporating it into their shows, specifically in Las Vegas. When I saw the beauty of acrobatics and martial arts together in amazing productions it only inspired me even more to train and improve my overall skills and to someday be part of the great things they’ve created.

I think they would be well-deserved additions to your accomplishments so far! Do you have a special or inspirational message for KFK fans?

To all of the KFK fans out there, I would just like to say, stay inspired, and never give up on your training. The hardest part is the work and training you have to put in but once you see the results you will be thankful for all of the hard work. It is key to become inspired every day. When you think about quitting just remind yourself of why you wanted to start in the first place. Thinking about what inspires you helps motivate you to continue training. Dream big, be patient, stay determined, and more importantly, believe in yourself.

Thank you Alex for sharing your time and inspiration with us! We wish you all the best for your future endeavours. Congratulations on being the first ever winner of Kung Fu Kingdom’s Got Talent and please keep in touch with us on all your exciting future projects!

Find out more about Alex on his Facebook page!

Influenced by the movies of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, Glen began training in martial arts and gymnastics in 1995. He made his first of many visits to Malaysia and Singapore in 1998 to learn Chin Woo kung fu under the supervision of Master Teng Wie Yoo. Glen is the author of "The Art of Coaching" and "Fearless The Story of Chin Woo Kung Fu", and runs a kung fu & kickboxing school in Hertfordshire, England.

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