Reportage

REPORTAGE

From Vietnam to Malindi Italy

How Qwan Ki Do won Kenya

07-02-2012 by Freddie del Curatolo

Christopher carving wood to the local craft market.
From his hands come out of giraffes, elephants, Maasai warriors.
Martin brings fun of people of the suburbs of Malindi with his "piki piki", the Chinese motorcycle that he bought in installments endless.
Her feet shifting down, leaning on the humps of the dirt road, on unstable and sandy paths sidewalks.
It is not an easy life, is the Kenyan daily life of those who aspire to something more than a plate of polenta and vegetables.
Christopher and Martin find themselves in the gym three nights a week. They wear the kimono who bought (always in installments, of course) and lead the lesson.
The Christopher hands now draw the air, the world they would like.
The feet of Martin fly up, as he got up the plane that took him to Italy to race.
A dream come true.
In Malindi you practice the Qwan Ki Do, Vietnamese ancient discipline.
It 'was a passionate Italian, Franco Oriot, to bring the Qwan Ki Do in Kenya.
He has rented a space in the square of the matatu, on the outskirts. An enclosed terrace which overlooks the African coastal misery.
Others arrive in dribs and drabs. Five, ten, thirty boys, wearing kimono, they stop for two hours their labors, their problems, the contradictions of living in the sparkling sea of ​​Italian Malindi and to keep breathing mouthpiece just above the mire of poverty line.
Here they line up, hover the lower limbs as imaginary wings, fly eastward, toward a better life.
Watch out for the Oriot teachings, but also ready to fight each other selflessly.
Some make the askari and wants to improve not only their own self-defense, there are houseboy, chefs, laborers. Many work for us Italians.
Some people have a foolish way to vent life, those who have seen his death in the face and that of his loved ones in the heart.
It 'a tight-knit group, and we know through the same motions you understand and it's like dividessero pain in so many microtrauma, as if a well-placed kick, a swing steering wheel, a sharp and sudden blow, could break the daily bars of' African indolence.
"The courses, workouts, races are free - explains Oriot - no one is obliged to participate, it is only those who feel the need, as it should be. This is why the boys have to buy the kimono. I'm going to use the gym and my teaching time.
All the rest has to come from them. "
Yet it manages to be a social project. Many of these young people have been recovered from the risk of prison, drugs.
Some, thanks to Qwan Ki Do, have recovered confidence in themselves and have found a job.
The sun on the outskirts of the gym. The world, under, disappears into the shadows and even wonders if it is continuing to turn.
Franco will be on stage tomorrow by Christopher Martin and tomorrow, from children to an orphanage in Mijikenda, who are learning to dance in Vietnamese.
They are eager to learn, kids. For them and Christopher Martin are two heroes, two symbols.
They have it made.
And now they may teach them, with perseverance and discipline, to draw air at drawing the world.
The world as close as possible to what they would like.

FOTO GALLERY
TAGS: Qwan Ki Do KenyaFranco Oriot

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