Beginners Group

SiHing Donavan runs a beginners group through the 18 Lohan
Tendon Changing Qi Gong Set

Kung Fu Patience: Overcoming Obstacles

My early training in kung fu had me do many hours of stance work and other conditioning. It would not be unusual to hold stances or positions for a good amount of time. We were taught to not focus on the discomfort, but put the mind elsewhere. This allowed me to push my body beyond the limit I perceived. This training has served me well in times like 6 hour sittings for a tattoo (not 6 hours with breaks, but 6 hours straight without moving), or driving home in a crazy snow storm (very, very slowly). It is not just better reflexes, but a new way of controlling mind and body. It is a new found focus that allows me to know “I can do it” and then I DO do it. I have been able to push my body beyond limits while my mind is focused elsewhere – this comes from the knowing that I have already done it, over and over in class. Knowing I can do this in class gives me the peace of knowing I can do this any where at any time.

I am also recovering from a knee injury resulting in an operation last year. I continued to train with a revised program thanks to Tai Sifu Neil. Sometimes being patient was difficult for me as I wanted to perform as I did prior to the operation. I continued to train, sometimes having to stop as the pain become too much.

Last night I did the 8 stance exercise and other forms and left the Kwoon feeling good. I asked my wife (who trains alongside me), “Guess how much pain I feel? NONE!!!!” I’ve put patience and perserverance to the test and came out the other side a better martial artist for it.

SiHing Donavan S.


Tiger Claw

Working the Tiger Claw technique from Choy Li Fut

Kung Fu Cross Training for the Manitoba Marathon yields Huge Benefits.

Kung Fu has been a phenomenal off-season and cross-training complement for my regular half-marathon/10k road races. Typically in spring it takes about six weeks of regular road training to re-gain the conditioning lost through the winter of f season.

This spring particularly, because the winter was really long, I feared that my running would be set back quite a bit and I had actually ruled out signing up for the Manitoba Half. To my surprise, on my first really long 10 mile run this past weekend I was pacing in my splits faster than I had early last fall when I was at peak condition. Today I just ran a 10k tempo (moderate) run in 50 minutes! That has my current race 10K coming in at around 47-48 minutes, which in most years has only been achieved after about 12-15 weeks of focused training and is usually my target race goal.

I attribute these results to the stance work and the repeated practice of forms and drills, which have greatly improved my leg strength and stamina. My stride is longer and my legs do not tire, even at the end of longer runs where I’ve pushed the pace. I also notice that I do not feel as fatigued and my breathing is stronger and calmer as I stretch the distance. The Loq Quai Ma stance and the Jau San Ma drills along with the Lohan and forms have been my cross-training panaceas.

As a cross-training alternative, Kung Fu beats running on a treadmill or lifting weights in a staid gym by a thousand miles. Aside from the physical benefits that are achieved, you are also exposed to a dedicated, knowledgeable, and supremely skilled group teachers and senior students who together impart an exceptional art form that allows the student to connect with and harness the power and the energy that lie within our own bodies.

Jaime R.
Beginners Group

Kyle – Climbing the ladder to success

The Shaolin Jedi (to Be)

Kyle’s testimony – The Shaolin Jedi (To Be)

My two favorite things in the whole wide world are Kung Fu and Star Wars.

Tai Sifu Neil accepted me as a student when I was 5 ½ years old. I impressed him with my dedication and attentiveness in our first meeting even though he used to only start training kids at age 7 or older. That was 3 ½ years ago. After much practice and hard work I now have my orange belt with help and support of all the wonderful teachers at Plum Blossom. Kung Fu has given me more flexibility and strength by my learning low stances. It has also given me greater confidence in myself and pushes me to do my very best. My favorite part of Kung Fu is learning different types of weapons because they each have a unique flow to them and it allows me to build on my hand forms training. Sparring is also one of my favorite parts of Kung Fu. At first I was nervous going to tournaments but Tai Sifu taught me how to meditate which I use as battle meditation before my sparring matches. I have also used this technique when I am upset or nervous since, it helps me to calm down.

I have had made many great friends through my years learning Kung Fu. Recently my sister Jade has joined me in learning Kung Fu and we enjoy it very much. We also practice our Kung Fu together at home. (however, that sometimes doesn’t turn out as well as we hoped since we do tend to argue). Kung Fu class is very fun and I love it. I try to absorb as much Kung Fu knowledge as I can during my classes which is why I continue to look forward to my next class. I could not be happier learning and sharing with my Kung Fu family, Plum Blossom. I would like to take this opportunity to say a special Thank You to Tai Sifu Neil, Tai Simo Peggy, Sifu Les, Sihing Jessie and Sihing Hal for helping me with my training throughout all these years.

A word from Mom and Dad: As the parents of Kyle and Jade, we are so proud of their hard work and achievement throughout the years. Kung Fu training has made them stronger physically and mentally. It has given them strength, confident and joy. We are so happy we have chosen a high standard school like Winnipeg Plum Blossom. The teachers of Plum Blossom are extraordinary to say the least; they are highly knowledgeable, respectful, patient, caring and fun to work with. Thanks again Plum Blossom for making such a great impact on our kids lives.

Kyle, Jade, Jason and Connie

Strength and Confidence with Kung Fu

Kids having a blast

Kids having a blast with the challenging Kung Fu Program

Alarey is really enjoying yoiur classes and this is probably the best thing we signed her up for, this has strengthened her overall as a person and she has more confidence in herself now then I have seen in a long time.

The truth is that she loves it, and is always showing her dad moves, and they actually fool around doing this. Its so sweet! Thanks again for giving her new confidence i wish i found you a long time ago!!

Thanks again.
Karen L.

New Skills and Confidence Found

Kids Class

Working the Kung Fu in Kids Class

Our 9 year old daughter has been taking Kung Fu classes with Plum Blossom Martial Arts Center for five months. She has always been interested in martial arts because of her father’s love of martial arts and she has grown up watching martial arts movies. We have been thrilled with what she has learned and how the classes are run at Plum Blossom. The teachers encourage respect, teamwork and hard work and they help all levels of students, male and female, progress well through their techniques. Plum Blossom is very welcoming and functions as a family with fun activities throughout the year. Our daughter also takes dance, soccer, piano and she says that Kung Fu is her favourite. She told us that if she had the choice, she’d “take Kung Fu all day long!”.
Thank you Plum Blossom for your great program!

Angie and Mike M.

Staff Retreats – Provided the Management Team the opportunity to learn a new skill!

Kids Class

Tai Chi Workshop for Manrex Ltd

“Sifu Peggy McRitchie & DiSihing Eric Wallman were great with our management group. Their incredible knowledge and patience made the workshop a memorable event for us. Learning and understanding the meanings behind the few movements we worked on was very interesting. The demonstration provided at the end of our workshop was excellent. We would highly recommend this workshop to other groups.”

Manrex Ltd.


Happy Student

A happy student and family

It started with a healthy Saturday morning mother-daughter activity. Fatna and her mother joined the Women’s Self Defense Class at Plum Blossom Martial Arts Academy. Our daughter quickly developed a passion for Kung Fu and she is now enrolled as a student in the Women’s Martial Arts Program. From the start we were impressed by the quality teaching at Plum Blossom. There is great modeling by Tai Simo Peggy and the older sisters in knowledge. Students get to see what they have to accomplish, then they practice. During practice, they get a lot of specific feedback on how to improve. Hard work, constant effort, and a respectful attitude are encouraged. The result is constant, incremental progress. Fatna is in better physical health, has developed skills, and has connected with a group who help one another get better. It has been a good year.

Thank you.

The Soufi Family

Mom and Son

Effie and Howard after competing together at a Local Tournament.

My son and I joined the Plum Blossom family in September 2006. It was the first year of martial arts training for myself and the 2nd for my son, Howard. We immediately found a niche that we both enjoyed very much. The culture, the atmosphere and the comradeship seemed very inviting, which made Plum Blossom classes much more interesting to make a part of our lifestyle!

The training that we were receiving comes from very experienced and knowledgeable instructors… Tai Sifu Neil, Sifu Peggy, Sifu Les (and the junior instructors). We liked the fact that we had separate classes, myself in the Adult Class and Howard in the Kids Class… because with Howard at 7 years of age, the expectation and atmosphere was accommodated for our age differences. Tai Sifu Neil knew how to appreciate kids for who they were and made sure they had fun, while learning the sport in a disciplined and very respectable environment.

Plum Blossom accepts each person’s individual capacities, but not without an extra “push” to challenge oneself. And I for one, can definitely attest to that! Being in my 4th year, I am about to enter my 3rd tournament… never would I have expected to perform in front of a group once, yet, a 3rd time! I despise being put on the podium! But I have to admit, each time I’ve done it, it gave me a true sense of accomplishment to have faced the fear (I really should not say this too loud because I’m setting myself up)! But I know it’s given Howard great self-esteem/confidence, discipline and attributes that are beyond the sport itself and into outside activities that he’s involved with.

Hopefully, we would never have to use our kung fu in a real life situation, but kung fu has given us strength, physically and mentally to use it, if we are ever are faced with danger! The balance, coordination and flexibility that this sport entails is overall one of the best well-rounded sports I’ve been involved in (and I’ve been actively involved in numerous sports throughout my life) and still continue so! My greatest reward in taking it, are for physical well-being, knowing self defense and retaining memory capabilities! Aside from it, we’ve gained great friendships with our involvement with Plum Blossom!

Effie & Howard M.


Football Star

Austin D.

My son, Austin D. has been participating in the Plum Blossom Kung Fu Martial Arts program for about 3 1/2 years now. He thoroughly enjoys this challenging and cultural sport, and has acquired many encouraging attributes such as self-esteem, confidence, and self-discipline. In particular, Kung Fu has tremendously impacted Austin’s football skills as a defensive lineman. This became very evident when Austin’s coach noticed his excellent coordination, balancing and maneuvering skills, positive spirited energy and exceptional stamina during football practices and games. The coach now encourages all potential football players, especially rookies, to seek out a martial arts program, like Kung Fu, to complement and enhance their football skills.

Thank you,
Connie D. (Austin’s Mom, and Plum Blossom’s biggest fan)


Family Kicks Together

Team Spirit – Mira and Don S. are pictured kneeling,
in front of our Tournament Team, and proudly displaying
their hard-earned tournament gold medals.
Mira, Don and Family are tremendous competitors
and embody the True Kung Fu Spirit of the “CAN DO” attitude.

Our family has been involved in Choy Li Fut kung fu at the Plum Blossom School since 2005.
Our son has gained confidence, motivation and focus that has spread beyond the “Kwoon” (Kung Fu School) to his home and school life. Both my wife and I enjoy the family atmosphere, quick pace, aerobic-like aspect of the training, which has made us both physically and mentally stronger. Further to this, training has brought our family closer together through a common interest. Our enjoyment of Choy Li Fut would not be possible without the excellent instruction, facilitation, and support of Tai Sifu Neil and Tai Simo Peggy. Tai Sifu and Tai Simo provide an environment which makes the training challenging and enjoyable. They promote an attitude of “I CAN” through encouragement and by example. It is a great pleasure for our family to train under such amazing instructors, and in such a rich art as Choy Li Fut Kung Fu.

Chase, Mira and Don S.


Junior Instructor

Here Vlad works a two-man sequence with a Junior Instructor.

I’ve been with the school since March 2008. Although I’m well past my teenage years, during over 20 years of participating in different sports activities and teams (including two other kung fu schools) I can honestly say that this is the one I have enjoyed the most.

The experience is challenging yet highly rewarding – not only in a sense of enhanced coordination, flexibility and overall fitness levels but also in a more spiritual sense, that of comaraderie, self-respect, mutual support and – above all – that optimistic positive attitude that both Tai Sifu Neil and Simo Peggy radiate. And that’s worth a lot, folks, trust me on that one! There seems to be this notion that kung fu is a sort of a cult, a highly secretive society of a closed circle of monk-like individuals far removed from normal day-to-day life and governed by strange and meaningless rituals. Tell you what. You’ll never meet a person more upbeat, open-minded and positive than Tai Sifu Neil! And Tai Simo Peggy’s vibrant smile is almost like a trademark of the school. Well, to me anyway.

My gratitude and appreciation are also extended to all the other members of the team, senior belts as well as junior fellow students who make this place a wonderful and uplifting experience.

Love and peace,
Vlad (Vladiator) P.


Tammy in Beijing

Tammy in Beijing. Here Tammy is shown
“representing” at the Great Wall of China.

I have practiced martial arts for approximately 9 years, Kung Fu being 2 of them. Although I do appreciate my previous training, I honestly feel that since joining the Plum Blossom Family, I’ve learnt and done much more.

During my research, I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on many martial arts classes and see what they can offer. Each had great attributes and qualifications which I found interesting. After contacting Tai Simo Peggy, she not only answered all of my questions and concerns but also allowed me to participate in a class. I was immediately hooked.

It has now been 2 years and I have neither regretted my decision, nor have I looked back. This was the atmosphere I was looking for: very knowledgeable teachers, safe and courteous training environment, and many, many opportunities. Even on days when I’m tired, I find myself looking forward coming to class, and end up learning something new and getting a good workout, leaving me feeling completely energized.

After many years, I have finally found something that works… for me. Tai Sifu Neil and Tai Simo Peggy have instilled a confidence in which I can display in demonstrations, tournaments and in real life. They have helped me to push myself in overcoming mental and physical barriers, and to always strive for the best. I cherish the friendships I have made, as well as the confidence and knowledge I have acquired. My hope is that I can give back to others and the school as to what they have given me.

Tammy B.


Iron Bridge

Dai Sijay Chantal on her path of Kung Fu training at age 9 with Tai Sifu Neil

My life has always been impacted by training martial arts with my mom (Tai Simo) and my stepfather (Tai Sifu). Since I was 7 years old, I have been in incredible shape and have really learned so much living amongst this Kung Fu Family, which includes all of our students!

This testimonial is not only to encourage others to find out how martial arts really impacts your physicaly and emotionally, but also to give an example of just how much it has been such a blessing to have this training and all of the lifelong skills and knowledge I have acquired.

Of course Martial arts has taught me how to defend myself from attackers, which unfortunately has happened to me on a few occasions, and it was because of these skills that I survived each one of these life-threatening events. Most importantly though, my scoliosis (which for those of you who are unaware of what this is, it’s a quite crooked spine!!) is why I have a deep appreciation for Kung Fu Training. I have the Moderate-Severe type – therefore, one side of my back is really rigid with built up and exaggerated muscle, and the other side of my back is extremely weak. This is something I have had to live with my whole life, and training Kung Fu has always kept my back and core strong enough to stand up straight and continue living normally without leaning over to one side all the time (literally!).

For the past 2 years, I took some time off Kung Fu training, and WOW!!! I have never felt so weak! I couldn’t even lie down in bed with my spouse’s arm over my side without feeling extremely uncomfortable / painful pressure. MY CORE MUSCLES were SOOO WEAK! Massive pain in my hips, lower back, upper back, headaches which would cause nausea, joint problems, the list continues. I knew that if I continued to stop training, this crooked spine of mine would only get worse, probably to the point where I would be walking hunched over to one side and in massive amounts of pain all the time!

I am now training again, and I am also seeing a new Chiropractor (but I still miss Neil very very much :) I also do light weight training, basically starting fresh, and my body seems to be getting stronger every day.

Training Martial Arts in particular is what “wows” me because it uses every muscle in your body in some way, and you don’t realize it until you walk away from training Kung Fu and then FEEL what it’s like to not have that full body strength anymore. I never knew what being “out of shape” felt like until that point in my life, and I can definitely appreciate how Martial Arts has always kept me strong and I thank my Kung Fu Parents for keeping me ” UP ” – literally!!!

Chantal ~ Business Owner
Martial Arts & Fitness
Southwestern Ontario

Dai SiJay Chantal

Dai SiJay Chantal at age 20
Strong, Flexible and “Upright”