Martial Arts are the study of the techniques, traditions and cultures of combat systems developed throughout history. These systems cover a broad range of physical, mental and spiritual forms of development, and find uses in self-defense, competition, and even military and law enforcement. Martial Arts have been practiced all over the world for thousands of years, but many of those developed outside of Asia have been lost to time.
Since the early 1900s, Chinese Martial Arts have slowly spread across the world, as skilled practitioners such as Bruce Lee began to teach across the world, and most modern Martial Arts tought derive their roots from these ancient and honoured practices.
The study of Martial Arts attracts many different people, and for many reasons, but all Martial Arts help to develop not only physical fitness but also mental discipline. Whether you choose to study for self defense, for tournament, or simply to keep fit, Martial Arts can help you to achieve your goals, so long as you stray true to the path.
Always remember, the only real secret to Martial Arts is Practice!
The Zheng Dao Lo Martial Arts Academy is the culmination of many different martial artist's studies, ideals and experience. Because of this, the school offers a wide range of skills and styles to learn from, with different instructors specialising in different aspects. Each style has its own strengths and weaknesses, but all are equally valid - the path to greatness is different for everyone!
Our core ideals have always been to explore the root ideals of martial arts, and how each helps to promote fitness, health and self-improvement, and then to convey these ideals to people of all ages and conditions through the study of Chinese Martial Arts. To achieve this, our members are encouraged to explore many aspects of martial arts.
In 1997, five people with a vast background of martial experience chose to open a school together, pooling their knowledge and seeking out other masters to study with them, in the hopes of bringing together as much knowledge as possible into one great school. Together they chose to name this school Zheng Dao Lo (Translated as "The Way of the Venerable Path" or "The Way of the Original Path", named for the ideal of finding the root of each art and how it promoted health, fitness, and self-improvement and to teach keeping this core philosophy intact.
Since then, the school has gone on to teach for more than 25 years, and has earned the nickname "The School of Champions" for the number of world class athletes and championship winners who have studied with us.
Though the majority of our founding members have either left to seek other paths of training and teaching or retired, the school maintains the legacy and ideals they first promoted and continues to develop to this day, always striving to retain the core of the "venerable path", and to promote health, discipline and self-improvement by way of the medium of Chinese Martial Arts.
Former Chairman of ZDL, Master Omar El-Kilany began training in Martial Arts in 1975, first studying Lau Gar Kung Fu before branching out and expanding his horizons, earning multiple black belts in multiple styles of martial arts. He went on to compete in various arts where he specialised in full-contact fighting, beating numerous World Champions in tournament bouts. He also represented & captained the Portsmouth team in points fighting; light contact fighting & forms (both empty hand & weapons). After more than 150 tournament bouts and with an undefeated record in full contact fighting, Omar eventually retired from competetion to focus on teaching.
Spearheading the opening of the
Zheng Dao Lo Academy in 1997, Omar continued to hone himself and his skills, and taught multiple classes and seminars for decades, passing on a wealth of knowledge to an innumerable number of students, before finally retiring from active teaching in 2022.
Co-founder and current head of ZDL, Master Andrew Austin began training in martial arts at the age of 7, studying first Kyokoshinkai Judo and later Shotokan Karate. At 17 he began to study Kung Fu under Sifu Omar El-Kilaney, and followed on to study Kickboxing and Tai Chi as well.
Andrew is the 10 times British Tai Chi Champion, and 2 times Tri-National Champion. He has 9 gold medal in Tai Chi swordplay, has represented Great Britain on the European and World stage, ranking 2nd in the World on multiple occasions.
Andrew is also a published author on Tai Chi, with his book - "A Beginners guide to Tai Chi" published in 2004 and now available in multiple languages. He is dedicated to furthering his knowledge and passing on the arts he has learned to others.
Co-founder of ZDL, Kevin has studied various Martial Arts for much of his life, starting with Judo and Aiki-Jutsu at a young age before transitioning to Kung Fu, which he studied and taught for a number of years in multiple styles.
Kevin's desire to further his knowledge of Tai Chi eventually led him to move to Germany. There he studied the Ma Tsun Kuen style of Tai Chi for a number of years, before moving on to teach completely in his own path.
Kevin now lives in Portugal, where he continues to teach Tai Chi at workshops to those who share his passion for the art of understanding. He also occasionally travels back to the UK to teach workshops in either Tai Chi or Kung Fu.