Seventeen year old Peter Kibe from Kiambu County will represent Kenya at the Kung Fu trials to be held in Beijing, China on December 5.
Kibe, who trains at the Kiambu Kung Fu club under the tutelage of veteran Kung Fu specialist Joseph Ngaruiya, was selected during a countrywide talent search sponsored by Star times held at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) a couple of months ago.
Despite initial hiccups to get a sponsor to cater for his travel expenses, Kibe is set to represent the country in the little known sport which has very few fans locally.
“At the global stage, Kung Fu is a revered sport especially among the Asian countries which have been participating in the sport for ages,’ said Ngaruiya.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency in Kiambu on Wednesday, Ngaruiya, a Kung Fu expert and trainer, said that he would use his exposure at the international stage to guide Kibe during the world championships.
“My motivation for this sport dates back to age ten when I developed a liking for Kung Fu. That time it was an alien sport in the country but I soldiered on and became a specialist in the trade because of my passion,” added the Kung Fu coach.
Ngaruiya said that he was hard pressed with resources to support the training but quickly adds that he would not want his years of experience in the sport to go to waste.
“I am keen on passing the baton to the young generation to carry the mantle of this sport going forward. Such determination will ensure that the skills will remain in the country to support its growth,” he added.
In order to maintain the Kung Fu club since it has no sponsors, Ngaruiya engages in odd jobs such as matatu driving to eke a living for his family but still spares some time for training interested Kiambu youths.
At the moment, the Club has enrolled 54 youth and school going children to equip them with self-defence skills.
Hadassah Njoki, aged ten, joined the club to learn self-defence skills to defend herself from bullies in school.
‘The society is so hostile to the girl-child. We have witnessed many rape cases of young girls in the media. Armed with such skills, one is able to disarm a rapist and protect oneself,’ said a beaming Njoki.
Leon Kanyingi, 12 years old, said the training is providing an avenue for the youth and children to expend their extra energy in a constructive way.
Kanyingi said Ngaruiya has instilled discipline among the club members, a vital ingredient for developing and inculcating good morals.
According to Ngaruiya, who is the club’s patron, the youths were not initially interested in learning Kung Fu skills but after a little prodding and showing them the importance of acquiring such skills they started showed interest.
Speaking on Thursday in Kiambu, Ngaruiya said that 43 parents have enrolled their 50 children in the club for training, among them ten girls.
The club, which began in 2012, currently has a total 54 registered children aged between four and 16 years.
Ngaruiya, said the club which was formerly known as Intellectual Centre for Life Skills started with a vision of equipping the youth with self-defence skills as well as engaging them in physical activities that can boost their health.
“I was a very sporty person at a young age had engaged in Karate at 12 years which led me to countries like Egypt and China where I was fully equipped with the right techniques of Kung Fu,” he said.
After a few years of training, Ngaruiya wanted to start his own training institution but did not have the funds.
“With the help of the parish priest at St. Peter’s and Paul Catholic Church Kiambu in 2011, I advertised my expertise to parents and urged them to allow me make an impact in their kids’ lives by teaching them the self-defence skills,” said a beaming Ngaruiya.
After some time, he said that parents started taking their children for practice.
He now trains children every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday while adults are trained every evening from 5:00 pm at Madaraka Gardens.