TELEVISION celebrity and singer Peter Andre is convinced learning martial arts can keep youngsters out of trouble. So convinced, in fact, he has thrown his weight behind a move by Alan Paterson of Kung Fu Schools (Croydon) to spread his teaching countrywide. Working with kung fu Master, Paul Hawkes, Mr Paterson is aiming to use his school on the Capital Business Park in Carlton Road, South Croydon to train instructors who would go on to run franchises across the country. And last Friday Mr Paterson and Mr Hawkes launched the venture with help from Andre, who is shareholder in the business. Katie Price's ex spent time talking to pupils and parents about the importance of martial arts and also joining pupils in a Kung Fu demonstration. Other guests at the event included Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Yvette Hopley and Croydon Central MP, Gavin Barwell. The celebrity told the Advertiser said: "A lot of people think that if you learning kung fu you are going to fight. "What you are actually learning is self-defence which gives you the confidence and discipline to get you out of every situation. "If you can defend yourself, you will be able to walk away." Mr Paterson said Kung Fu Schools already had operations in Sutton, Hastings, Portsmouth and Peterborough but the intention now was to spread the message much wider. He said learning kung fu helped build confidence and discipline which would help meet challenges young people were going to encounter in the world later in life. He, too, stressed that while martial arts could help deal with bullying: "We don't believe in rewarding a child for smashing another child in the face." But he said: "Self defence is all about looking ahead to what is going to happen. "Kung fu gives you the chance to walk tall and lead by example. "It you have got a confident air about you it puts the bully off." Kung Fu Schools (Croydon) has around 700 students who attend regular training sessions. The organisation also works with schools and community project to spread its self defence message. In addition to kung fu displays the launch event also included demonstrations of Chinese lion dancing and music.
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