One of the UK’s best exponents of the ancient Shoalin martial arts now wants to pass on the skills he has learned for over 30 years.
Bill Moran is probably best known in Haverhill as a former player in the town’s cricket team, having retired two years ago with more than 4,200 top order runs to his name.
But Moran is more than just a cricketer. Since the mid 1980s the 46-year-old has been practicing the arts of the 2,000-year-old Shoalin Lineage and has become so skilled at it he was first made a Disciple and is now a Master, which aside from a Grandmaster and Great Grandmaster is as highly ranked as you can get.
In 1991, he travelled to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, to a school run by the late Grandmaster Chee Kim Thong, who took him under his wing and for five years, on and off, Moran returned there to continue his tutelage at the school.
Having recently sold his share of a successful distribution business, Blue Sky, based near Heathrow, he now has more time to dedicate to teaching others the benefits of Shoalin (the Shoalin Temple in China is considered the home of martial arts), specifically Kung fu, Qi Gong and meditation.
He has started the Shoalin Internal Arts Academy in order to pass on these disciplines and all the benefits they can provide, principally health, relaxation, physical and mental wellbeing with improved powers of concentration, stamina, energy and vitality through Qi Gong and meditation.
Kung fu uses martial skills for self defence, while internal power and body conditioning are further benefits.
Classes are held in Haverhill and Linton on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at the moment, but Moran wants to pass on the benefits of Shoalin to more people.
He said: “I was really lucky being made a disciple with this teacher (Grandmaster Chee, who has awarded the title of China’s National Living Treasure in 1989).
“I was very good friends with the most loyal teacher who teaches the presidential guards and the SWAT teams in Singapore. They have encouraged me saying ‘why are you not passing on the teachings, you have done all this training and you are not passing it on.’ There are a couple of other guys in the UK that do the same thing, but they are not so highly thought of among the teachers.”
If the school is well received, Moran wants to offer something back to the community, such as using Qi Gong to help the elderly improve their mobility and movement, or meditation to help people working in the emergency services to deal with trauma.
He added: “I’m just trying to put it out to people who would not normally do a martial art because there are so many benefits to be had. There’s something for everybody.”
n Full details of the Shoalin Internal Arts Academy set up by Bill Moran can be found at www.siaa.co.uk)