Graduate publishes Kung Fu grandmaster's astonishing life story in book
A Kung Fu fighter and former University of Sheffield student has authored an account of the incredible life led by his martial arts grandmaster across South-East Asia.
History graduate Nick Hurst, 36, who works in marketing and lives in Angel Islington, London, was inspired to write a book about his grandmaster, Sugong, after travelling to Singapore to hone his skills.
While training under Sugong's tutelage, Nick learnt as a teenager the grandmaster was kidnapped, had been left for dead after a family feud, and fled conscription only to descend into the criminal underworld of Singapore.
Sugong was saved by a Shaolin warrior monk and paid his penance by undertaking eight years of fiercely-enforced temple training. What followed was a near-fatal fall-out with his master, love affairs, race riots and gangland vendettas, throughout which Sugong struggled to adhere to the martial arts' ethics.
Nick said: "It's an incredible story, and one that shouldn't be lost. I took a sabbatical from work for six months and went over there. The more I learnt about Sugong's incredible life, I thought 'someone should write this down' and I decided to take the plunge.
"It was his personal story, and the heritage of Kung Fu, something I wouldn't want lost. I went out to Singapore in 2006 and ended up staying for more than three years."
Nick, who has been practising martial arts for about 15 years, said Sugong's dedication and fitness put other pensioners to shame, adding, although aged in his 80s, he was "built like a tank" and could smash concrete blocks with his bare hands and hammer nails into wood using his forehead.
Once written, academics from the University's School of East Asian Studies checked the historical accuracy of the book as well as writing the calligraphy for the book's cover.
"It's not meant as a kung fu book, my reason for writing it was his extraordinary adventures," added Nick. "This book is a mix of my experiences in South-East Asia and the story of Sugong's extraordinary life."
For more information on Sugong visit: Sugong
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