DEDICATION: Owner and lead instructor of Traditional Kung-Fu School Laidley Octavio Mellado.
DEDICATION: Owner and lead instructor of Traditional Kung-Fu School Laidley Octavio Mellado. Contributed

Carrying on traditional kung-fu in Laidley

KUNG-FU: Shortly after he arrived in Australia from Chile in 1973, Octavio Mellado started practising kung-fu.

He had first begun learning from a book in his homeland but the switch to Melbourne allowed him the chance to attend a proper martial art school.

From the moment he started practising under the tutelage of traditional Chinese teachers, he formed an instant connection that has carried on to date.

"I've never stopped, it's something that you keep on learning and you keep on trying to be better with your techniques,” Mellado said.

"It's something you can do for life.”

Mellado has been passing on his knowledge of the craft for more than 25 years and in 2008 he started Traditional Kung-Fu School Laidley.

There are over 200 different styles of kung-fu.

"The main divisions are called short fist and long fist... ours is a long fist style,” he said.

"The teacher that I learned from in Melbourne for many years taught very traditional kung-fu so I just try to pass it on.”

Every action or exercise learned is done so with the aim of self defence.

The physiotherapist said the path towards learning the various techniques takes time and effort but it was a highly effective way to strengthen both body and mind.

"Kung-fu and martial arts is more a self discipline, your enemy is yourself,” he said,.

"It builds resilience against adversity, because it's something hard to master.

"It's basically you competing against yourself and trying to improve.”

It has been something he has carried on doing for more than forty years and will continue to do so for as long as he can.

"It's healthy for your body, all those elements of the art, they keep you healthy and you can carry on doing it,” he said.

"Some of them you get better as you get older.”

At his school, he offers classes for both juniors and adults.

The junior classes are more aerobically oriented, about developing body strength in a fun environment before techniques are introduced.

The adults classes are longer and focus more on learning self-defence and traditional forms.


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