The ancient discipline of kung fu meets the hard core street culture of modern Britain, as Shaolin monk and martial arts master Matthew Ahmet mentors a group of young men and women from inner city estates across the UK. Kung Fu Saved My Life transmits exclusively on Sky 1 HD from early August.
The Sky 1 HD series will follow Matthew as he attempts to teach them self-control, respect and restraint and help present an alternative life far removed from violence, crime, drugs and underachievement. Filmed on location in the UK and Hong Kong, the series promises a risky and controversial approach to combating the UK’s rising ‘hoodie culture’ and anti-social behaviour.
Born in an area of London renowned its high crime and violence rate, Matthew chose a gruelling regime of sacrifice, training and punishment in a Chinese monastery. He returned to the UK several years later to tutor youngsters and offer them an insight into the beauty of Shaolin philosophy in a bid to focus their aggression in more positive ways.
Matthew will take 12 tough young men and women from estates in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, all under 25, on a voyage of discovery to Hong Kong. There, they’ll learn from some of the world’s deadliest kung fu instructors in a bid to teach them how to avoid conflict back at home by channelling their aggression into amazing feats of inner strength and confidence.
It will be Matthew’s role to impress upon his recruits that with this power comes a responsibility to be true to themselves, as well as others around them. Ahead of them lie gruelling twelve-hour days, basic living conditions and physical endurance training that will test their resolve to the limit. They may be able to perform jaw-dropping feats and gravity-defying stunts if they make it to the end, but will they be able to make some figurative leaps in their lives by returning to college or getting a job? And will they heed Matthew’s advice and use their new-found power and restraint for the greater good?
Matthew Ahmet says: "I want to show these kids that the choices they make affect not just their lives, but those of their families and others around them. The goal of life - happiness - is in their hands and only they are responsible for reaching out and finding it.”
Kung Fu Saved My Life is made by Optomen Television, responsible for hits The F Word, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares and Mary, Queen of Shops. Jon Swain and Ben Adler have executive produced for Optomen.