About Hu Long Temple
Hu Long Temple was developed by Shifu Matt Bindon, specialising in teaching traditional Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, Traditional Long-Fist, Sanda, Qi Gong, Taiji and Meditation. Shifu Matt was given his buddhist name, ‘Shi Heng Liang’ at the North Shaolin Temple in China due to the dedication he has shown to Chinese martial arts over the last 30 years.
The school, based in the historic town of Totnes, has existed for over 25 years under various names, with our lineage tracing directly back to authentic Shaolin Kung Fu throughout history. Shifu Matt is now the only remaining teacher of this lineage in the UK, with our Kung Fu and Sanda being tried and tested throughout the ages, and our Taiji and Qi Gong proven to maintain long health, strengthen chi, and fight illness.
Hu Long Temple is considered a school with charitable purposes, governed by a constitution and committee. We are committed to benefitting the health and wellbeing of our community and the wider population by working together with multiple communities, charities, agencies and organisations to support young people, adults and seniors. Our current national charity we strongly support and run free workshops for is Teens Unite Fighting Cancer and we have recently established an Intervention Service in conjunction with local Police, called ‘Engage Empower Protect’. Hu Long Temple also works in close conjunction with the County Sports Partnership, Active Devon, Sport & Recreation Alliance, Safeguarding specialist trainers, EduCare, and the NSPCC Child Protection in Sports Unit, ensuring our practices focus on the wellbeing and safeguarding of adults and young people, as well as reaching out to help those in the community who need support in getting active and keeping healthy.
Our cohort of students come from all different backgrounds and are a variety of ages and abilities. Our youngest is 7 years old and our eldest member is over 70 — we hold a strong ethos to provide holistic training to everybody, with our instructor and assistants holding enhanced DBS certificates, professional qualifications and experience in working with children, adults and seniors with learning disabilities, mental health difficulties and life-limiting illnesses. As a result, we are able to offer a multidiverse range of skills and knowledge which enables people from all walks of life to experience the true essence of what Hu Long Temple stands for.
What We Offer
- One-to-one private tuition with Shifu Matt and assistant Kim-Leng Hills (for women and children).
- Over 25 years teaching experience.
- Teaching directly from Shi Heng Liang with over 30 years training experience in the Shaolin arts.
- Opportunities to compete in the BCCMA National Competitions, the European Wushu Federation Competitions, the International Wushu Federation Competitions, and the World Tournaments for Sanda, Wushu and Taiji.
- Classes in Traditional Shaolin Kung Fu, Sanda, Taiji Chuan, Qi Gong and Meditation.
- Open to all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
- Recognised and registered under the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA) Governing Body, and affiliated with the European Wushu Federation and the International Wushu Federation.
- Workshops and Shaolin training retreats throughout the year.
- Specialist classes in practical self-defence skills.
- Specialist Behavioural Intervention Sessions
- Specialist sessions for victims of crime or abuse.
- Specialist sessions for diverting individuals away from crime and re-offending.
Our vision is to create a full-time unique temple (a centre) by fusing the fundamental teachings of authentic Shaolin Kung Fu, Qi Gong and ancient Chinese practice to create a place dedicated in supporting people to develop their full potential. Our “temple” will be a specialist and safe environment following a Chan (Zen) philosophy. People can come to trian, or be referred for a more specific approach depending on an indvidual’s needs. Currently, we do not have a full-time training centre, which is why our “temple” will be at the heart of enriching the lives of all old and new students by being the first of its kind to exist in the South West of England.
What Does “Hu Long” Mean?
‘Hu’ 虎 means ‘Tiger’ and ‘Long’ 龍 means ‘Dragon’, together, the Tiger and Dragon are the most powerful opposing energies that sit opposite each other creating the Yin Yang, bringing balanced harmony to life and the universe. The Tiger (yin) is seen as the guardian of the West, its White Tiger constellation sits in the West of the sky, opposite the Azure Dragon constellation in the East. Throughout Chinese mythology, the Tiger and the Dragon have been old enemies, constantly battling, and through battling, consequently balancing each other out. The Dragon (yang) is seen as the most powerful of all Chinese creatures and is the chosen symbol of the Emperor. The Dragon is the guardian of the water and the skies, bringing great floods, hurricanes and storms with the ability to change, adapt and succeed incredibly quickly. In ancient texts, the Chinese described the Dragon in Winter to hibernate at the bottom of its pool in the mountains, writing it as the ‘submerged Dragon’, which is often translated to as ‘Hidden Dragon’. The saying, ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ comes from the meaning of obscurity, implying that the person can be usefully underestimated, which is often adopted in Martial Arts terms. So, the person bides their time, awaiting their time to emerge e.g. the Dragon is in hibernation, as he is also not needed. The Tiger, however, remains hidden until the very last moment, when it pounces on its prey. Known for its immense build up of energy that it holds on to, glaring at its prey and holding back to wait is one of its highest skills. It knows its own power, but will refuse to make a move until it is necessary. The Tiger harnesses inner change — it is able to adapt and bring upon great courage and inner strength or understanding, for example, sudden enlightenment after years of meditation.
Original artwork designed by Greg Haynes and Kim-Leng Hills
Hear it from them
I’ve been training in tradtional Kung Fu and Sanda for about 5 years. I get a lot of enjoyment from it, especially all the aspects of Sanda and competition training. I take part in the National Sanda Championships every year and recently became a national Gold medalist and train with the GB Team. As part of my Hu Long Temple training, I was lucky to train at the North Shaolin Temple training in Sanda for 8 hours a day. Training helps me keep fit, increase my stamina and achieve my personal goals. I can’t imagine life without it and will keep training well into the future!
I have managed to overcome many psychological barriers I gave myself throughout the years and have pushed myself to never give up during aspects I may find difficult. Everyone is so friendly and classes are hard work, but hugely rewarding. Shifu is always happy to explain applications and makes lessons challenging but possible for every student to apply themselves.
I feel connected to an ancient health system and enjoy its low impact, ‘soft’ movements. I try to practice every day. I find it meditative, relaxing and afterwards I feel lighter, energized and balanced. It is helping me strengthen my body. I am more focused, aware of the space around me, my posture, controlling how I move and balance. I have confidence that Shifu Matt is well qualified and knowledgeable to lead the group. He teaches in a quiet, inclusive and compassionate way, which I like very much. I learn something new every session. Qi Gong is for everyone.
I have been training with Shi Heng Liang for several years. I have been learning traditional Kung Fu, Sanda, Taiji and Qi Gong. The benefits to me have been huge, helping me in my personal and professional life as a paramedic. I have especially found all the training to have helped with my health and recovery from a serious heart condition. I continue to train regularly and have found my physical health as well as my spiritual well-being improving as I get older.
When I joined Hu Long Temple I had just suffered a miscarriage. After my first few classes I immediately gained a sense of myself back and a taste of strength to come amidts a difficult time. I’ve noticed an improvement in my nervous system which renews my faith in how I rely upon my body. I feel the influence from combined classes (Kung Fu, Sanda and Qi Gong) has increased my awareness on how energy works and the influence of the mind and body working together. I have more strength in my fluidity of movement, confidence and stamina. My will-power has increased and I’ve got more self control. My child at the age of 4 has been joining the classes with these authentic and skilled teachers.
I have been a student of Shi Heng Liang’s over the past 10 years and he has inspired and instructed me and my daughters with wisdom, understanding and encouragement. I would strongly recommend anyone wishing to train to come to Hu Long Temple as Shifu is a very high level skilled practitioner of Shaolin Kung Fu, Sanda, Taiji and Qi Gong, and has a thorough understnaidng of the Buddhist roots and traditional history of this awe inspiring marital art.
Tai Ji and Qi Gong have given me some new skills to improve my fitness. I’m very grateful for the personal advice, which I will use. I really enjoyed being able to to take part in everything despite my disability.
I’ve been training under Shifu Matt for a number of years, his focus and committment is inspiring which encourages me to keep training. You can see the lineage in what we do, tracing it back to its root which is extremely important when finding a good solid philosophy and discipline to train in. The health aspects of our training is excellent, I am always shocked to see how much my own health has improved because of my focussed practice and belief in my internal and external training. I had asthma, a heart condition and an auto-immune disease for many years, all of which are remarkably gone now, and I was finally given the all-clear recently. All I do is train, meditate and listen to Shifu Matt, focussing and overcoming the mind. Easier said than done, but never give up.