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In Open Hearts Kate Bull, formerly a cardiologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, tells not just of the development of heart surgery in children, but of the patients, past and present, whose lives have been transformed.

Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity featured Amelia's story in their Valentine Day 2011 fundraising project.

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Shaolin Kung Fu



Click on the photo to watch her in action (YouTube video).

Amelia learns Shaolin Kung Fu when she was 11 years old. She goes to the Shaolin Temple everyday during summer holiday. She loves sparring. She picks up the Kung Fu movements taught in class very fast. The Master encouraged her to join the Advanced Kids class. She is also welcome to join the Adults class after her kids session.

In the kids class, she spars with the kids around her age. In the Adults class, she pairs up with an adult when sparring. She is kind of the cool one there - the youngest fighter.

What is Shaolin Kung Fu?

Shaolin Kung Fu Ch'an is Shaolin Kung Fu and Ch'an Buddhist philosophy and there are indivisible. You have to learn both if you want to reach the highest level.

Stamina is really important. If you have no stamina then you cannot acquire the real Kung Fu.

Body flexibility is important. If you are skilful but your body is not flexible when you meet an equally skilled more flexible opponent you will lose because they will have more options available to them.

Improving your fist, leg and footwork coordination gives speed and fluency to your movements and makes it easier to move closer and move away from your opponent, with good coordination you can use throws, punches and mixed skill combinations to trick, confuse and control your opponent.

Shaolin Kung Fu has powerful and useful fighting techniques that are valuable for actual combat. The footwork directions of Shaolin forms are linear, the punches are done with the appearance of straight arm, but the elbow never locked straight. Shaolin forms can be practiced in a confined space.

Perseverance and hard training are essential if you want your Kung Fu training to be successful. The best way to improve your Kung Fu is to learn a few things and practice them thoroughly for a long time.


Understanding your body

Your external body - You should know where the roots, middle and the ends of your body.

The Roots of The Middle of The Ends of
Roots of the body are the legs

The legs are

' The hips The knees The feet
Middle of the body is the upper body

The Upper body is

' The dantian The heart The chest
Ends of the body are the arms

The arms are

' The shoulders The elbows The hands

Your internal body

The ends of
Blood The hair
Bones The teeth
Tendons The nails
Muscles The tongue

Understanding your body would help to make a rapid improvement in Kung Fu practice. When you practice forms and techniques send the qi through to the 4 ends of the internal body by pressing the tongue hard against the clenched teeth, clench the teeth like you want to break something, send the energy to the hair as if you push off a hat and clench your fist like the nails will pierce the palms.

She practices the following at Shaolin Temple and she has passed the preparation level of Shaolin Kung Fu on 24.11.2017. She is now at Foundation level.

Preparation level

Stamina (Nai li)
100 raise the knee running
20 press up
30 squats
Repeat 3 times - last 6-8mins

Flexibility (Rendai)
Left leg, forward splits (Zuo shu cha)
Right leg forward splits (You shu cha)
Box/side splits (heng cha)
Movement should be correct

Kicks (tui fa)
Front (Zhen ti tui)
Cross (shi zi ti tui)
Side (ce ti tui)
Outside to inside (li he tui)
Inside to outside (wai bai tui)
Body, arms and legs must be kept straight

Balances ( Pin heng)
Kou Rui (stand on 1 leg with the other knee supported, balance to be held over 1 min).

Stances (bu fa)
Gong bu
Xie bu
Ma bu
Pu bu
Xu bu
Each stance must be correct and stable

Combinations (zu he)
Zuo you Kai gong shi
Ma bu jia da
Pu bu bian gong bu Chong quan
Should be smooth, stable and correct

Body movement (Shen fa)
Wu long panda - breathe and movement must be correct

Forms (Tao lu)
Wu bu quan
Mentally and physically alert with correctly synchronised breath and movement.

Foundation level


Breathing is important in kung fu training because without the correct breathing you cannot improve internal and external kung fu techniques and forms. Using the correct breathing can help to make your kung fu movements easier, build up your combination skills and improve your internal power.


When practice Sanda you need to have a calm mind.


Practicing the form can improve your coordination, the continuous movements of the form help you improve breath control, in the form you can discover good techniques to help your Sanda skills. Shaolin traditional forms contain a lot of knowledge that can be passed onto the next generation.


Combinations are advanced techniques that are superior to individual skills. Combinations are fast and don't give the opponent time to react. Combination techniques contain good strategies.


Before practicing Sanda, you should have good stamina, flexibility and coordination. You should have learned some Sanda attack and counter attack techniques. You should have improved your whole body conditioning.

Stamina (Nai li)
Gao Tai Tui 100 raise the knee running
Fu Wo chen 30 press ups
Ma bu dun qi 30 squats
San shou shi dun qi 15 squats (each side)
Tan tiao 30 jumps
Repeat one after another, 3 times each, last 6-8 mins

Flexibility (Rendai)
Left leg, forward splits (Zuo shu cha)
Right leg forward splits (You shu cha)
Box/side splits (heng cha)
Movement should be correct. Students need to be able to do or nearly do one of these.

Kicks (tui fa)
Front (Zhen ti tui)
Cross (shi zi ti tui)
Side (ce ti tui)
Outside to inside (li he tui)
Inside to outside (wai bai tui)
Body, arms and legs must be kept straight and able to kick high.

Combinations (Zu he)
a. Ce er pao 1.front leg steps forward 2. back leg steps forward
b. Ma bu jia da
Movement should be smooth, stable and powerful.

Body movement (Shen fa)
Pu bu chuan zhang
Stable and smooth movement

Qi gong
Ba duan jing qi gong
Students must know the movement and breath coordination

Balances ( Pin heng)
Kou Rui (stand on 1 leg with the other knee supported, balance to be held over 2 min).

Jumps (Teng Kong dong Zuo)
Dan cai jiao preparation (left/right)
Er qi jiao Jump kick(left/right)
Movement correct and sharp

Sanda ji ben gong
Sanda shi Stance (left/right)
Bu fa - Jin tui bu fa footwork(left/right)
Quan fa - zhi quan mixed punches
Tui fa 1. chaui tui 2. bian tui
All movements should be correct and smooth.

Forms (Tao lu)
Wu long panda - preparatory form
xiao hong quan (1st part)
students must be mentally and physically alert with correctly synchronized breath and movement.

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Amelia's documentary

(YouTube Videos)

Amelia's favourite books

Amelia loves reading. click on the book cover to see her books collection.

Thank you for your generosity and support with the charities that work hard to help babies born with congenital heart defects.

Total Donations raised for the charities that help babies born with congenital heart defects by Amelia and her parent so far is £2,039.92:

  • Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children Charity
  • The Sick Children Trust
  • Make A Wish Foundation

By participating in the following activities:

  • SwissAlpine Kids Run 1.4km 2015 by Amelia herself
  • Henley On Thames Kids Triathlon by Amelia herself 2014
  • Westminster Mile Run by Amelia herself 2014
  • Fun Triathlon by Amelia herself 2013
  • 2010 Bupa London 10000.
  • British Heart Foundation Hyde Park Jogs 2010
  • 2011 Adidas Women's 5k Challenge at Hyde Park London.
  • Climb Mount Kinabalu expedition on 1 December 2011.
  • Bupa London 10K 2012