GATES, N.Y. (WROC) — Sifu Brian Bateman (“Sifu” is an old term for “master”) has studied for decades domestically and abroad in Hong Kong crafting his Kung-Fu skills and passing his methods to Rochester since 1991. His new facility on Lyell Avenue has some serious upgrades for students.

“About double the space, much higher ceilings, central air,” says Bateman.

And those larger spaces and higher ceilings are certainly needed at the new Shoalin Kung Fu Academy, if the demonstrations were any indication. The central air as well. The students and fellow sifus worked up a sweat. 

“Kung Fu helps me in all aspects of my life; just general work discipline, physical fitness,” says Sifu Jonathan Rivera.

Rivera says Kung Fu is like a moving meditation for him. Not so much for yours truly, or camera man Dan Gross, as we got out first introductory lessons into the Preying Mantis form of Kung Fu. We “hit the mats” quite literally in a dizzying hands on demonstration.

For Sifu Bateman, seeing his students perform brings him a level of accomplishment. “Oh, I love it….it’s almost like when you go back to day one and you’re like “wow”.