By Tony Mariadass
Pictures by Azneal Ishak
Former World champion wushu exponent, Ho Ro Bin is on a mission possible - to crave a career path for his students.
In wanting to more than just to promote the sport, he wants them to be of good personality, built on character and finesse.
The 41-year Ro Bin since he retired in 2005 after winning the World championship title for the second time (first time in 1999) had set up his training centre - Ho Ro Bin Wushu Training Centre - in Subang Jaya 2007.
The academy which started with about 15 students has grown in popularity and Ro Bin now has about 300 students in four centres and three schools in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Klang.
“Wushu is my passion and my life,” said Ro Bin who works 24/7 in developing, promoting and making it vocation for his students.
“For me wushu is not just martial arts or sport, it is an education for youngsters to have the right mind setting and putting them on the right path in life, building their character and providing opportunities to make living out of wushu.
Ro Bin’s trope have been performing at several places as a run-up to Chinese New Year which included performance at the KLCC.
|Kimberly Goh performs during a show at KLCC. She is one of Ro Bin;s proteges|
|Ro Bin has a word with hs students before their performance at KLCC last week as part of Chinese New Year's run-up at the mall.|
“I am glad that I have been able to assist many in becoming coaches, performing at functions besides excelling in the sports to win honours,” said the Selangor coach who holds the 7th Dan (green tiger).
The Ho Ro Bin Wushu Training Centre also conducts yearly wushu camps - MILO Wushu Exposure Camps - in collaboration with Nestle as the main sponsor. The camps had been held with great success since 2007.
“The main objective of this camp is to nurture the younger generations not only as future athletes but also to instill a healthier lifestyle with strong moral ethics and discipline,” said Robin who has also acted in a couple movies and dramas demonstrating his wushu skills.
Ro Bin is also planning to organise a trip to Shaolin in September for members of his training centre to compete in competitions besides visiting the home of martial arts.
“I am thinking of taking 50 to 80 of my students and are in the midst of raising funds while the students will be charged some minimal sum. It will be an experience of their life. I have been there and it is amazing.”
Ro Bin first came in touch with wushu at 12 years old and made his national debut as a 22-year-old and was with the national team for eleven years.
In his eleven years competing in the Nanquan, Nandoa and Nangun combined, he has won gold medals in competitions like the World Wushu Championship, Asia Wushu Championship, South East Asian Wushu Championship, Asian Games, South East Asian Games, and other invitational championships.
The gold medal at the world championship went down in the Malaysian Books of Records for being the first person in Malaysia to win gold medal in the NanDao event during the 1999 World Wushu Championship which was held in Hong Kong.
In addition, he won the Olympian of the Year 2002 before being inducted to the Olympic Council of Malaysia Hall of Fame in 2009.
Ro Bin owed his rise to his sifu (master) – Cheang Ah Chow – who nurtured him from a 12-year-old.
“My master passed away in 2004 when I was training in Shanghai and it was the same day my first daughter (Gwyneth Ho Rexuan) was born. I could not come back for the funeral or for my daughter’s birth because after the training in Shanghai, we went for a competition in Mynamar. It was only 12 days after my birth of my daughter that I returned and saw her for the first time.
“That is the kind of dedication I had for the sport and I thank my wife – Yong Sook Ching – for her understanding and support. Even today when I spend more time with wushu than at home, she supports me,” said Ro Bin who has another daughter – six-year-old Gladys Ho Kerni.
The Penangite said that while his centre charges a minimal amount for classes, he also give free lessons who cannot afford it.
“I have had many students come up to me and say that they are interested to learn wushu but come from poor families. I take them on board but they must be serious and committed.
“I have also had many who have come to me as problem teenagers who was to make good in life and turn a new leaf. And I am glad that I have through wushu shape the life’s of a few too.”
Ro Bin is currently on the yearly recruitment drive and hopes that more will take up wushu.
His main training centre is at SJKC Tun Tan Cheng Loke in USJ.
Ro Bin can be contacted at 012-377 0012 or visit his website: www.robinwushu.com