SIFU BRIAN ATKINSON
2nd Generation Student of Master McNeil
From a young age, I always had an interest in martial arts and in 1987, I joined the White Cloud Kung Fu Club; a local class close to where I live. The club was run by the late Master Derek Gordon, who taught a very hands on, mixed martial arts syllabus derived from aspects of Northern Praying Mantis, Tai Chi, Hsing-I, Pa Qua, Wing Chun and several weapons. I studied at all available classes and gained my Black Belt First Dan Instructor in 1991. In 1994, sadly Master Gordon passed away suddenly. However, from 1994 to 2003 I continued to train and coach at the school under direction of the senior instructors.
In 2003 I was invited by my friend and Kung-Fu brother to visit a Hsing-I class in a neighbouring town, which was being taught at the Little Nine Heaven Kung-Fu School. This was run by Sifu Andrew Jackson, a student of Master James McNeil.
On attending my first class, from the moment I walked in I was surprised how friendly everyone was. I spent most of that lesson working alongside a young student and was impressed by the level of detailed instruction he gave me. This made me realise the depth of knowledge that the teacher and his teacher must have. When the class ended, Sifu Jackson invited me to attend a seminar the following week, which was being conducted by his teacher, Master McNeil. I did attend and it immediately became obvious to me, the exceptional knowledge and skill his teacher had. To this day, it is that which has inspired me to continue to make the hour long journey to and from each training session.
At the Little Nine Heaven School, the warmth, friendship, detail of instruction in training and care for all students; combined with a deep respect for the school’s ancestry creates a unique atmosphere and is unlike any other martial arts class I have attended.
I regularly train under Sifu Jackson in Hsing-I, Chen Tai Chi, Tzu-men Chuan, Basic Iron Hand method, Shih Shui, Chi-Kung, Taoist Meditation, Acupressure Massage and Moxibustion. In 2007 I was awarded my Black Belt in Hsing-I Chuan and in 2010, I was honored to be awarded instructor status and my First Degree Black Belt by Master McNeil on his visit to the UK and now help Sifu Jackson instruct at the schools regular Hsing-I classes.
In 2009 I was invited and accepted as a direct student of Master McNeil to study the rare Taoist System of Little Nine Heaven Wu Tao and completed my basic training over two years. I have recently furthered my training with Master McNeil in Psychic Healing Chi-Kung.
I feel very fortunate to have met such teachers, who constantly inspire me. The Little Nine Heaven UK School has shown me kindness and given me great encouragement, guidance and support over the years.