Dave Courtney Jones
Head Instructor Dave Courtney Jones
In some ways, it was great good fortune that I was beaten up at school, with one person pinning my arms to my side from behind while the other punched me in the face, as this was the last thing in a chain of events which prompted me to walk through the door into my first martial arts class.
My motivation was purely to learn to defend myself, and this is exactly what I did. Forming up in rows, we repeated the unfamiliar movements again and again and, without knowing why, I stuck with it.
At the time it just inexplicably rang a note inside me which, looking back, is probably not that hard to explain. With the bullying at school and my alcoholic father at home, it gave me a space to focus my energy, vent my anger and just be myself. Somewhere deep down inside me there was the belief that I had found the answer to my problems.
I had a relatively brief start in Freestyle Karate with Mr. Don Came, who was very successful as my first teacher, as he expertly fanned that initial spark of curiosity into a steady flame. That flame carried me through the door into my first Tiger Crane Kung Fu class with Mr. Dennis Ngo who later, as Kung Fu was clearly becoming my lifelong obsession, introduced me to my Yong Chun White Crane Kung Fu teacher, Mr. Su Ying Han in China.
I trained with Mr Ngo for over 30 years, winning the title of AMA British Heavyweight Kung Fu Champion in 1992 and 1993, whilst studying Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, and twenty years later winning 3 Gold and 2 Silver medals, competing at International Level in China in the South Shaolin Invitational Tournaments in Quanzhou in 2013, and 2016.
More recently, in November 2022, I took part in the 13th Beijing International Wushu Tournament, receiving 1 Gold and 1 Silver Medal, as well as an Excellent Coach Award, Outstanding Organisation and Outstanding Contributor Awards.
While being a Kung Fu Champion was never really my motivation for training, at its core, Kung Fu is about achieving the best possible outcome from conflict and violence, and so fundamentally it has to be about winning. (No prizes for second place in battle, although as any student of the Art of War will tell you, the ultimate victory is won without the battle ever having taken place).
These days my learning still continues. I’m discovering and filling the holes in my knowledge, finding skills and training methods that I didn’t have, and didn’t even know existed. And this allows me to pass on a better and more complete version of Kung Fu to my students.
I’ve been teaching Kung Fu in Islington and the City of London for nearly twenty five years now, and I always enjoy taking on new students providing they have good manners and understand that the movements of Kung Fu are probably not going to come naturally, and will definitely take time.
Over the years the true test of a teacher’s ability is whether they can provide their students with the skills to surpass them, taking the art form to higher levels, or in new directions, developing their own areas of knowledge and specialism much like a PhD. Perhaps my most exciting challenge as I teach the next generation of martial artists is to nurture their own unique understanding of Kung Fu, and to give them the skills to become the masters of the future.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and who knows where yours will take you. Without that single step, though, you will just remain where you are, and that person that you might have become, may never come to be.
We enjoy exciting
Regular gradings, seminars, and training camps are part of our yearly programme, allowing you to deepen your understanding of Chinese Martial Arts, and to progress in a structured manner.
Regular full-day seminars give students the opportunity to train extensively, focusing on a particular aspect of the style.
Regular gradings allow students to test their skills in a formal environment, and to progress through the style syllabus.
Training camps give students the opportunity to further deepen their knowledge of Kung Fu in a week-long trip abroad.
what They’re Saying
Been with Dave for nearly 8 years so far, which have been truly life-changing. If you are looking for effective self-defence, improved health and fitness and greater strength (physical and mental!) – look no further! Forget the gym – Dave’s Kung Fu will give you all you’ve ever wished for, and more!
Dave has been a fantastic teacher over the last five years. I started training after seeing how he motivated my children and can honestly say five years later that despite middle age approaching I am in the best shape I have ever been, and can do things I was never able to do before. Kung Fu makes you awesome!
I began studying Tiger Crane Kung Fu with Dave over a decade ago and have not looked back. The style is as challenging as it is rewarding, and the physical and mental benefits are constant and lasting. The club is always welcoming and Dave is a very experienced instructor with deep knowledge and passion.
Please contact Dave and we will get back to you as soon as we can.