Flight attendants learn Kung Fu in fight against terrorism

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By cabincrew.com on Tuesday 26th Aug, 2014 at 11:58

Flight attendants in China are getting to grips with martial arts, undergoing combat training specifically designed for a cabin crew environment. The idea is that being equipped in ancient Kung Fu skills will help to keep the skies safe.

Attendant trainees at Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation, in the city of Chengdu in China's Sichuan province, are learning Kung Fu in addition to the more typical in-flight duties, according to China Daily.

This summer the college started a special course to teach its 20,000 cabin crew students how to subdue opponents while on board, hiring trainers steeped in the tradition of kung fu. Although the intended purpose of the course, called Eighteen Combat Movements of Anti-Terrorists in Civil Aviation, is to help cabin crew combat potential terrorists, the tactics could also be used against drunk or otherwise disorderly passengers.

"The threat of terrorism is increasing and so personnel must really be equipped to deal with life and death situations at thousands of feet up in the air," explained Tu Tengyao, a trainer at the college who is the son of legendary kung fu master Ye Wen. "It is impossible to use firearms in such places so people must rely on their wits and their strengths. I hone them into becoming adept martial art practitioners."
Ye Wen passed down the tradition of Wing Chun kung fu.

The college said Wing Chun is "quite suitable to be practiced in narrow and confined spaces" — and it is not the first organization to consider it for air safety. Wing Chun is also known as Ving Tsun or Wing Tsun. It is specifically for close-range combat, and the moves focus on striking and grappling.

Since 2011, Hong Kong Airlines have required all cabin crew to train in Wing Chun, according to South China Morning Post.

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Photo: Hong Kong Airlines