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Social media has infiltrated just about every area of our lives and martial arts is no exception. Plenty of us make use of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to talk with classmates and fellow aficionado’s, about such things as movies, the latest moves we have learned, or who are taking home medals from whichever tournaments we take an interest in.

But not too many martial arts students have thought about actually learning a martial art through social media. That was until Chinese Kung Fu master Zhao Jilong came along.

Zhao Jilong Teaches Chinese Kung Fu with Social Media

Chinese Kung Fu social media

Zhao Jilong is not exactly a technical whizz, but he now teaches more than 30 students once a week using the Chinese social media platform WeChat. But it has taken him some time to embrace social media as a platform for sharing his skills. What Zhao lacks in technical skills, he more than makes up for in his martial arts prowess. He has been learning Chinese Kung Fu and Qigong, a type of martial art which is focused more on meditation and spirituality than combat skills since he was just 5 years old.

Over the years he has slowly honed his own techniques, which bring together a variety of different combat methods, Chinese Kung Fu skills, and healthy living practices, as well as a practical training system. He describes his own particular speciality as being “internal power”. But despite these admirable skills, he has not led a blemish-free life. His talent led to him competing in and winning, a lot of fights. But this led him into a life of arrogance and inevitably trouble soon followed.

A period spent living abroad in Australia helped Zhao to get back on the straight-and-narrow, and after his return to China, he was determined to help share his skills with others and pass on his passion for traditional Chinese martial arts.

“I realised that there will always be someone physically stronger than you; You can’t win forever,” Zhao explains. “But Chinese martial arts have some kind of energy which is powerful and inclusive… Being a teacher gives me a sense of satisfaction. When I see a weak person become very healthy, and then become a strong person through learning Kung Fu, I’m happy. And that has nothing to do with earning money.”

Teaching Chinese Kung Fu on Wechat

Chinese Kung Fu social media

As with all masters, the number of students they can teach is relatively limited and of course restricted by the region in which they live. China is a huge country and in order to make his skills available to more people, the idea arose to make use of WeChat.

It was actually Zhao’s business partner Liu Xin, who made the suggestion and it took some persuasion to convince Zhao of its merits. WeChat was the obvious platform to use for Zhao as his target audience is within China and other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are currently censored in the country.

So, with the WeChat platform set up, Zhao and Liu Xin set about breaking his martial arts down into bite-size sections which could be clearly demonstrated to people online through either video’s or pictures. The idea was that students could watch the visuals and then attempt to replicate what they were seeing, whilst asking Zhao any questions they may have through the platform.

Despite his initial reservations, Zhao has actually found the WeChat group a very effective way of sharing his ideas with a broader range of students from places right across China.

Social Media Success Story

Chinese Kung Fu social media

Its success is evident in the numbers Zhao has managed to attract to his WeChat page. It currently has around 300,000 followers, whilst Zhao has directly taught more than 6,000 students as a result of the page. Zhao is now a firm advocate of the use of technology to pass on Martial Arts skills to a who new audience who might not otherwise be attracted to traditional classes.

“Only through the Internet can more people learn and share the benefits of Kung Fu,” said Zhao. “And then it can be spread further to even more people.”

He also sees it as a great way to pass on more than just the traditional combat skills many students are looking for. Instead, he is hoping to pass on the broader and more philosophical elements of Chinese Kung Fu and culture to a whole new generation of students from all walks of life and from locations all over China.

The group has also freed up his time to teach more students through more traditional means as well. And he is also making a name in the TV world thanks to his CCTV reality TV show, Experiencing Real Kung Fu.

From an arch-sceptic of technology, Zhao has truly embraced it, and everyone is benefitting as a result.

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