Interview by Aiden Phillips, Welwyn Hatfield Times
WALL Street consultant by day, martial artist by night, Jeet Kune Do (JKD) instructor Lak Loi is bringing his branch of street-fighting classes to Times Territory.
Already teaching a London-based club, Lak has recently opened new classes in Knebworth and Welwyn, where he has resided with his wife and children for just over a year.
“The community has helped us integrate well and, personally, I wanted to give something back,” he said.
“The way I see it, why have this knowledge and not share it with others?
“I’ve had students whose lives have been transformed through JKD. If I can help more people achieve this, then I have a responsibility to do so.”
A combative art form created by Bruce Lee, JKD takes inspiration from other martial arts and integrates what is considered useful into an ever-improving repertoire of techniques.
It stresses the flexibility to react to any given situation, to adapt whatever techniques are most suitable to each individual and to enable a person to combat threats whenever they arise.
Yet, as Lak explains, the art side is just as important as the martial.
“It’s more than just hitting stuff. There’s as much philosophy involved as there is combat.
“I use it in everyday life to stay relaxed, hold back emotions and respond intelligently to whatever situation I’m in.
“Ultimately, it’s more than just fighting; it’s a way of life.”
Taught by one of Lee’s own students, JKD gave Lak the philosophy he was seeking.
“Sikhism made no sense [to me] and the Bible was too confusing,” he said.
“At the time we were expecting our first child, and I wanted to start practising martial arts before I lost the chance altogether.
“Stumbling across JKD by chance, I found the simple wisdom and physical benefits I was looking for.”
The classes are open to anyone, although that doesn’t mean they are suited to everybody.
Lak said: “JKD is not for everyone. Everybody is looking for something different, and if you just want dirty, ruthless combat then it’s not for you.
“You need to be able to think and appreciate the philosophy behind it.
“Only then will you achieve your potential and feel liberated through your own personal expression.
“Otherwise, it doesn’t matter what age, gender or fitness level you are; anyone is able to join and take away something valuable.”