Empowerment Through Martial Arts: Interview with Bogdan Rosu, Founder of 'Empowerment Wing Chun'
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Have you always wondered what you can do to step closer to the best version of you and create a better life? During our recent chat with Bogdan Rosu, the founder of personal development through martial arts club ‘Empowerment Wing Chun’, he suggested that taking up one or more martial arts can be one of the most effective ways one can take up to improve our body, mind, and soul.
Curious as to how? On this post, we’re sharing the answer as well as many more interesting insights from the beginning of his martial arts journey and how it has personally benefited him thus far!
As a part of the martial arts club that you founded, you also host your own podcast called ‘The ‘Personal Development through Martial Arts Podcast’. Can you share as to what it is about and why did you decide to start it?
The ‘Personal Development through Martial Arts Podcast’ is a place where the world’s most renowned personal development experts and martial arts masters get together to share their tools, experiences, and lessons so that you, the listeners, will be better equipped to handle life’s challenges and live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life.
When I first discovered personal development, I had been studying martial arts for seven years. However, when I dove in a bit deeper and started to better understand the principles in personal development, I noticed a powerful connection between the two.
From that point on it just felt natural that the two should work together. I realized that one had what the other was missing.
What martial arts discipline(s) do you practice? Were there any specific reasons as to why you chose these styles? If so, what are they?
I had actually started out with an acrobatic martial arts style. It was the only school in the city where I grew up in. It was interesting because the flyer said ‘Karate, Ninjutsu, Aikido, Kendo, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu’, which was all taught by the same guy *grins*. And for some reason, we did a lot of ground fighting, which was pretty good, and lots of jumping around and doing kicks.
Despite the fact that I ended up training there for three years, I wasn’t very happy with it. I wanted to learn how to defend myself, but I was still afraid of fighting on the streets. Three years later I moved on to Shotokan Karate, where I learned the value of hard work and pushing yourself over your perceived limits.
When I moved in Greece to study, I discovered Wing Chun – and I felt that there’s something special about it. Shotokan had taught me hard work, with Wing Chun, I learned the value of smart work. Needless to say, I fell in love with it and it later became the martial arts style that I would teach to others.
Based on your own experience and knowledge, what characters or any other attributes one must have in order to become a great martial artist?
I would say that the key is humility. And not to be confused with selling yourself short. I found that this kind of deep, authentic, loving humility is clearly visible in the highest level martial artists. I was fortunate enough to interview people like DK Yoo and Sifu Mark Phillips, and I really appreciated and enjoyed their energy and humility.
I think martial arts also has a very practical aspect to it as it allows you to learn something from every person you meet. What I mean by this is that by asking questions and seeking to understand how the person in front of you thinks, you get to see the world through their eyes.
In other words, through being humble, you allow yourself to grow more than you ever could if you think that you know everything.
In your opinion, what is the best benefit of training in martial arts?
The answer is simple – Knowing your (true) self.
What do you hope to accomplish through your podcasts?
We want our listeners to enjoy authentic self-confidence and self-love so that they become their strongest selves. Our mission is to inspire millions of people to discover their true potential, so that they may fully express it and live life to the fullest. And we want to do it through the principles of personal development and the practicality of martial arts training. In short, it’s just a way of getting access to the necessary tools to express one’s self honestly and enjoy one’s journey in life.
Who was your favorite interviewee(s) thus far and why?
It’s very difficult to choose one. However, one of my favorite interviews so far was with Jeremy Ta’kody. We talked about the mind, body and soul connection, life and death and he said something towards the end of the interview that I really enjoy and which will stay with me forever. I won’t say what it is, because I really don’t want to spoil it for you *laughs*.
Do you have memorable stories about your own martial arts practice? Or perhaps one that was shared with you during a podcast that really ‘stuck’ with you?
Yes. I remember when I first met Gary Lam in Crete, Greece. We were having a cup of tea by the sea. I had been studying Wing Chun for about half a year and I was very eager to learn more, but I also felt a bit overwhelmed by his presence and felt really shy about asking him too many questions.
I remember saying: ‘I’m really looking forward to the balance that Wing Chun gives you’.
To which Gary took a sip of his tea, looked towards the horizon where the sky met the sea and almost like accessing that ancestral wisdom, said: ‘It’s not easy! You need to know when to stay and when to go.’
To wrap up this awesome chat, what advice do you have for those seeking to start their own martial arts journey? Are there any specific discipline(s) that is best suited for beginners of martial arts?
To be honest, I don’t really believe in the separation of discipline, style, dogma anymore. I used to! But now, I feel that what works in one style, works in all styles. The body is the same.
I think it ultimately comes down to these two questions:
- ‘Do those who teach in the school/dojo/camp inspire you to become a better version of yourself (whatever that might look like for you)?
- ‘Do you feel good being there?’
If there’s an honest ‘Yes!’ to both of these questions I think it’s a good time to start your very own martial arts journey!
Want more from Bogdan? Be sure to check out his podcast videos on YouTube!
Interested in following in Bogdan’s footstep by practicing Wing Chun? There’s no better way to do so than to begin by signing up yourself for a Wing Chun training camp!