I came here in collaboration with a Wing Chun Kung-Fu master and had previously studied for seven years in France. I reached a stage when the knowledge I could get wasn’t enough and it was time for me to meet even more experienced masters in other countries. I was lucky enough to meet someone who just finished studying this art and proposed that I come to Taiwan. At first, I wasn’t really into it and didn’t know how I could survive in other country, especially in Asia (knowing that I don’t speak Chinese and English very much). But this friend told me, “Life is never what you planned. Don’t think about security or comfort. You won’t be able to evolve like that, especially in martial arts." And he was right. So I came.

Today, I still need five to six years to finish learning about Wing Chun, but I am so passionate about it so I don’t mind. It’s the only sport where I actually feel better after practicing it. I love the spiritual dimension and feel like I am growing like a plant even though this growth is not always very obvious. You have to be patient, consistent and believe in yourself. Practicing it makes me feel like I exist, that I belong to the Universe; this amazing and rich place. For me it’s more important than being able to defend myself against aggressors. It is the quest of my life to find out who I am and how I can contribute to the world.

I hope that I can export this amazing martial art that was created by a woman. I really want to share this knowledge in countries where people don’t necessarily have the money to come here and learn, but really want to know about it, such as people in Brazil or some African countries. This knowledge has such a tremendous value and I find it’s a pity our best masters only go to Switzerland, Germany or France because people there have the money to study Wing Chun. This actually goes against Kung-fu’s values.

I had some trouble finding work in Taiwan and I did feel like it was because of what I look like. One challenge I had was convincing people that I was a real physics and math teacher, and not a music or hip-hop dance teacher, as many stereotypes would lead people to believe. But like Wing Chun, I am also very passionate about physics, chemistry and math, so this is a challenge I accepted. But I don’t blame people for having prejudices because it simply reminds me that I am also a human being and I, too, have a plethora of prejudices towards people that I don’t even notice. It pushes me to work on myself, too. Fortunately, life is full of surprises. A family fought really hard so I could keep teaching their kids and it moved me a lot. Appearances can be deceiving.

Edited by Olivia Yang

The News Lens has been authorized to repost this article. The original article was published on Humans of Taiwan here: (1/3) (2/3) (3/3)