Angel Centre, Angel Lane, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1SF.
“Back in the early 1990s there were only a handful of JKD instructors teaching in England who had direct lineage to Bruce Lee. I consider myself extremely lucky that one of the these was opening a school in an area I could get to. I turned up for the initial session to have my mind blown. Lee Banda delivered an amazing demonstration of skills and knowledge, including breaking the jaw of a crash helmet with a left hook! The queue for those wanting to sign up was huge! Over the past 28 years I have been lucky enough to train with Lee all over the UK. Whether regular lessons or seminars, Lee never fails to deliver.
However, the ability to protect myself and those who I love is only a small part of what I have learnt from Lee and his JKD; self-confidence, self-discipline, self-control, self-belief … as well as self-protection. As Bruce Lee once said … “art is an expression of the*
*self ”. Part of this journey was Lee’s mentorship into teaching. In the late 90s / early 2000s Lee invited me to lead one or two classes, for the lower grades. I was nervous, however Lee had confidence in me. Now, I have been teaching for over 20 years and it is all down to the potential that Lee saw in me. Sharing the journey of other students growing and developing in all the same ways that Lee and martial arts have helped me, is an honour that I will continue to cherish.
Gradings were always tough, all of them. I don’t know many others who have had a 4-hour full on test for a blue belt, let alone the higher grades. I gave my all for all of them and they paid off. On 4th July 2013 Lee awarded me my Black Belt under ICE Black Belt Schools, something I initially never dreamed to achieved, however the learning carried on and continues to this day.
All those years ago when I signed up for my first month of training, I remember Lee saying to me “at worst, it will be a month of training; at best, it will change your life”. It has changed my life, beyond measure. I can only imagine what the next 28 years of training with Lee will bring … all I know is, it will be worth it’s weight in gold!”
Sifu Simon White
Chief Instructor – WHITE JKD
Bromley Jeet Kune Do Academy
St Barnabas Church Hall