Laidback Luke Talks Kung Fu Takeover Class: "You Can Even Come in Furry Boots!"
Meet your new sifu.
His name is Laidback Luke. And though he may be most famous as a EDM megastar, this friendly Dutch dude also happens to be a kick-ass kung fu fighter.
At last year's "Olympics of kung fu," as Luke describes the world championships in Hong Kong, he snapped up four gold medals and a silver. "There's like 10,000 competitors," he told Crossfade a few months after his wins. "So it was a dream come true."
And now he's about to realize yet another dream -- teaching ravers to kick, punch, and fist-pump like true martial-arts masters.
As the host of Laidback Luke's Kung Fu Takeover, "a very special lesson led by the gold medalist," the DJ, producer, and world champ will instruct 200 possibly hungover fans ("everybody is welcome!") in qigong, tai chi, punching and kicking, and real kung fu.
"It'll be kind of like DJing, where you must respond to the crowd," Luke suggests. "My own sifu says, 'If you teach a class, you have to cater to your students.' So in this case, I will have to be aware of everyone's level of expertise and how drunk they are," he laughs.
Among his pupils, there will be novices, veterans, and all sorts of other folks. "You can even come in furry boots!" Luke exclaims. "That would actually be nice. Because when we do some kicking training, you won't be able to hurt anybody.
"To me, it's not about how you look," he sagely intones. "It's about how you train."
So throw on some shorts, a spirit hoodie, or whatever's comfortable. Here are the four lessons to be learned at Laidback Luke's Kung Fu Takeover.
Qigong. Need to get your chi under control after a crazy night of raving? Our sifu suggests the ancient Chinese practice of qigong.
"This is one of my little secrets," Luke confesses. "Whenever I am in the middle of a heavy tour and I don't feel the urge to train, because I am just lazy or too tired, it only takes some qigong to get me going.
"I will go into my breathing exercises. And soon, I've fooled myself, and I get the energy to start the workout. So these techniques are almost magic for de-stressing and activating the body.
"Most people could really use some qigong. Because when we hit our mid 20s, and we start working all the time and chasing success, there is a lot of strain. But these breathing exercises help us take control of our being, so we can just stop a moment and enjoy the moment. Or we can find the strength to do some kung fu. Or we can manage to go party for the sixth night in a row!"
Tai chi. Now perhaps you're wondering: Tai chi? Isn't that stuff for old people in public parks? Well, the answer, according to our sifu Laidback Luke, is an emphatic nope.
"Often," he says, "people think martial arts should be really fast. And that's true. But only in the end.
"So, to start, we need to learn the essential movements while going very slowly. We will practice balancing and holding positions and focusing our minds on the direction that we're sending our limbs. That way, when we speed things up, we will be doing everything correctly.
"Tai chi is like slow-motion kung fu," Luke explains. "And it teaches us to gain full control over our bodies."
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