The Leading Authority of the "European Wing Chun Association" and the Founder of the Reading Academy Wing Chun & Kali Eskrima schools since 1992.
For intensive Wing Chun or Kali Eskrima/JKD private training sessions/courses.
Phone: ++44 (0) 7957 401 306
Loukas Kastrounis has trained door supervisors at Brighton and Reading Berkshire in United Kingdom in allowing them to comply with the government regulations. He also has train police special forces in England, Bodyguards, Prison officers, individual martial arts practitioners, Wing Chun teachers and teachers from other martial arts styles or systems.
Loukas Kastrounis joined "The Basement", the Wing Chun school of Sifu Nino Bernardo, after attending one of Nino's seminars. During that time, Sifu Nino was the main representative in Europe of Master Wong Shun Leung.
Loukas Kastrounis has been practising and learning the Wing Chun Kung Fu and Kali systems under the guidance of Nino Bernardo at the legendary Basement (closed since December 2000) and Nino's oldest students of the Basement.
During his time at The Basement, Loukas met and trained with many seniors, including: Segun Johnson, Guy Cofie, Dougy, Mark Wallach and Kenny Robinson (teaching in London), Kevin Lyn (teaching in Malaga, Spain), John Turnbull, Steve Tabakin, Franco Regalzi (Italy), Wilfried Raimond and Jean Marc Noblot (France), Lemmy Man, Santi Pascual Martin (Spain), afterwards Jason Lai and Eddie Yuen, and many more.
As Loukas puts it, "Wing Chun is a complete system of self-defence, including boxing, trapping, kicking, grappling and throwing. The only condition for attaining all this knowledge is time - first complete the entire system in order to understand it and understand yourself. Use the concepts and principles that you have learnt and then it will become your own way." It is like hand writing!
Loukas strongly believes, as he has learned from teacher Nino Bernardo Sifu, that in a fight it is not who hits first that wins but who hits last - and if you hit first and the opponents does not hit back...you still hit last! Wing Chun teaches you how not to lose, and Kali familiarizes you with practical reactions to the threat posed by weapons.
In 1992 Loukas was using his garage to train himself and many seasoned martial artists - some of whom were Karate, Taekwondo, Aikido, etc., practitioners - until one day there were too many people turning up to fit in the garage.
With the authorization of his teacher Nino Bernardo, Loukas opened the first Wing Chun school in Reading, Berkshire - The Reading Academy of Wing Chun & Kali - and since then the school has become a good name in the UK and abroad. Students who had started practising Wing Chun in "The Garage" (the first school founded by Loukas in 1992) are still training today in the Reading kwoon headquarters of "The Reading Academy" schools are helping the new comers. A select few after completing the entire wing chun system and being certified at "The Reading Academy" with the autherisation of Lucas become instructors under "The Reading Academy Of Wing Chun And Kali".
Since Loukas Kastrounis opened the Reading Academy he has featured in a number of martial arts magazines and newspaper articles in the UK and abroad. He has also been interviewed three times, live on BBC Radio Berkshire. In 2000 he was in the limelight when he choreographed fighting scenes at the Sonning Mill Theatre in Berkshire.
In October 2003 Loukas Kastrounis was presented with the Hall of Fame Award by Combat Magazine at an award ceremony in Birmingham for recognition of his commitment and devotion to the development of Martial Arts in the United Kingdom and around the world.
Loukas Kastrounis was born in Athens, Greece in a good family environment. His father, George Castrounis, was a well known Master Violin player and this influenced Loukas to study the piano. But unfortunately Loukas' father died when he was only 10 years old. He was forced to grow up without much family support and began to cope with day to day survival. Loukas' younger years were spent enjoying sports such as swimming and football (he was goalkeeper) and with much dedication he continued his musical and general education before he began studying Hotel Management and Catering. Afterwards he started working in hotels, bars and discotheques in Greece.
As Loukas was growing up the Bruce Lee explosion began to happen in Greece. Although he thoroughly enjoyed the films, Loukas viewed the fighting scenes as untrue and simply as a good form of entertainment. However, Kung Fu was not popular in Greece at the time and the closest thing on offer was Karate. The way Loukas saw this Karate was that it had a greater focus on sport and belt grading, etc., and this was not really what he was looking for.
In Japan it can take up to 15 years of daily training before you become a black belt in Karate. Here with just 5 years training and two relatively easy lessons a week a black belt could be achieved. Through his interest in martial arts and boxing he discovered the beauty of fighting arts but following visits to boxing clubs to see what they could offer, he decided not to join up. Why? Well, as he puts it, why pay to have someone break your nose and teach you to get hit when you could go on the streets and get it done for free! As a person Loukas has a disbelieving nature so it took some time before he believed what martial arts (and eventually Wing Chun) could offer.
Loukas was still fascinated by boxing and martial arts and the way they could be used to look after oneself. He started training in a martial art called 'complete' Wing Chun, but through reading books and analysing what he was taught he felt something was missing.
At the age of 19 he was drafted into the Greek army between November 1976 - June 1979 (30 months) as a personal driver and bodyguard to a Greek Colonel. After leaving the army Loukas spent most of his time with his family, working and training. In his late twenties in 1986 he came to England for fun and began working in pubs and disco/clubs and continued his career in the entertainment industry as a General Manager. In order to survive and to support his family during the 1990's recession in the UK he also started working as a doorman.
While working in the UK, Loukas continued his search for a good Wing Chun Kung Fu school and counts himself very lucky to have had the chance to attend a Nino Bernardo seminar being held at the time at the legendary Basement in London. Through this one seminar Loukas believed he had found the truth behind Wing Chun that he had been searching for. Loukas then began as a private student of Nino's for the first 2 years and afterwards he continued progressing in his Wing Chun and Kali studies at the Basement in London, under the supervision of Nino Bernardo and his senior students.
The Basement closed its doors in September 2000. Before Nino moved for good to Ibiza, Spain, Loukas was given a personal letter by his teacher, signed as a friend and as teacher, to thank him for his time at the Basement and for what Lucas and his students have done for Wing Chun.
Nino taught Loukas that by learning to control one's ego, anger and pride in Wing Chun, the same attributes could be applied to improve one's everyday life.
Nino Bernardo and Wing Chun were to make Loukas realise that you have to understand yourself; then you can understand and help your friends, family, children and students to also discover the truth and not to force but wait. Wing Chun does not teach you knowledge, it teaches you to learn and discover one-self from your own feelings and emotions. Wing Chun makes you think faster, re-act faster. You need to practise it regularly. It is not just because you read, see or are told something that you know it. Wing Chun also can help you in your every day life. It is more than a system of fighting; it is also a system of thought.
Enjoy the journey in Wing Chun Kung Fu or Kali and it might change your life.
Stars in action film "Game Over"
September 2008 Lucas acted in an action-combat martial arts film "Game Over " in March 2009 The film was released at the short films festival in Italy . Swiss, Japan , Austria , L.A. USA & many other European countries.
The short film has won first position at the Tokyo short film festival, it was a semi finalist at, 2009 Hollywood USA & it had screened in Rome , Italy on Sunday the 18th October 2009 for the International Film Festival 2009.
Personal letter given from Sifu Nino Bernardo to Loukas Kastrounis