But running more along the lines of Buddhist than fist, Shaolin Kung Fu champions controlled technique and body mechanics. Instead of pounding weights in the gym, you’ll be learning a new skill (you never know when you might need some Kung Fu moves). And these moves help you tone up – especially around the thighs, bum, upper arms and stomach – and burn calories quick. You’ll be punching, kicking and using your own body weight to get fit. Combat techniques such as take-downs, throws and nerve points are taught (don’t take these outside the studio). Instructors make it clear that Shaolin Kung Fu isn’t a sport, but a martial art and that students have to keep to rules of courtesy. Sounds like a polite way of having a laugh while learning some moves and getting fit to us. And it’s been around for thousands of years so we can’t argue with its fitness benefits. Classes run every Tuesday from 6.30pm-8.30pm and all levels are welcome.

Ashcroft Technology Academy, 100 West Hill, SW15 2UT
Tube: East Putney