HK Magazine: Isn’t skipping rope just exercise? Monkey Chan: Yeah, but it’s also an actual sport. There are official teams all around the world. I’m a member of the Hong Kong Rope Skipping Association of China. I have a personal team with my mates named Martial Skippers. And I’m a fulltime P.E. teacher at Pui Ying Secondary School. HK: So your expertise is skipping? MC: Actually, volleyball. I have volleyball practice from 7am-9pm and then skipping after that at the dorm. Volleyball’s different because it really depends on your opponents. For skipping, as long as you perform your best, it’s good enough. HK: Do you use special ropes? MC: Our ropes are ordered from India, although Indians don’t skip that much. They’ve got a rope factory there because some Belgians or Americans started buying ropes from them. There are many kinds of ropes: generic plastic and cotton ropes, the wire ropes for speed, and the bead ropes for color and aural sensation, mostly for performances. I have a glow in the dark rope as well, but it doesn’t really glow that well in the dark, even though I put it under the sun for a long time. HK: Does anyone denigrate skipping as a dorky sport? MC: After graduation, I basically started pimping skipping at the school I teach at, using Powerpoint. And I got a lot of positive feedback. Students came up to me afterwards and thought THEY were the dorky ones for not excelling in skipping. HK: Do you get high from skipping? MC: Definitely, both emotionally and physically. Even during warm-up, I’m high as a kite. And when I’m performing, I’m so in the zone I don’t even see anything in front of me. Spectators, everything just disappears. HK: Sounds like a dangerous sport. Serious injuries? MC: Not foot or leg injuries as people would expect. You can and should land lightly on your feet after jumps. It’s the wrists. There are quite intricate ways of maneuvering the rope with your hands, so it’s easy to sprain your wrists. I’ve gotten my hands hurt many times. HK: What are your future plans? MC: I guess to play and experience more. We did our first public street performances in Causeway Bay and Mongkok this year just to represent and spread the word. Hmm... Yeah, I’m not 22 anymore. My legs start to hurt after speed jumping nowadays. I’m planning on going to seminary in the near future. HK: Seminary? Are you a devout Christian? MC: I wouldn’t say “devout,” but I am Christian. I feel I can do more with my faith. I felt so weak before, like I couldn’t help the kids I teach, but my faith has enabled me to stabilize myself so that I can be stronger and deal with them at a different level; not just being responsible as a teacher, but as God loves me, so can I love. HK: ...Skipping culture? MC: Yeah, just different behavioral patterns. The Aussies are very laidback, and really enjoy the moment of skipping. The US teams are quite anal about executing the correct form. The Japanese are very street-oriented - a lot of their moves are based on hip-hop and breakdancing. But they always go out and try and chat up the girls. Us Chinese, we’re more shy and reserved. HK: If you could ask God one question, what would it be? MC: Um... How can I serve more? To find out more, check out the Martial Skippers’ site at ms.kakoy.info/web/index.htm.