An art is best learnt in its culture. One remarkable difference between the culture of the east and the west is the respect shown to a master. In this connection I have little complaint because my students, from both the east and the west, generally show much respect to me. But I have met many eastern masters commenting on the lack of respect, sometimes utter disrespect, shown to them. Often it is because of the western students' ignorance of eastern ways rather than their willful discourtesy that their eastern masters of chi kung or kung fu (including taijiquan) regard as disrespect.


Sifu Wong receiving the "Qigong Master of the Year" award at the Second World Congress on Qigong in San Francisco, November 1997

Having a good master is definitely a tremendous blessing in kungfu, taijiquan and qigong training. As mediocre instructors are so common nowadays -- some even start to teach after having attended only a few week-end seminars -- finding a great master is like finding a gem in a haystack. Here are some guidelines to help you find one.
 

An Example of What He Teaches


I remember one afternoon, when I was 17 years old, I went to see my White Crane master. I was a bit depressed and I had hoped to receive some comfort and sympathy from him. I told him that I was depressed about the fact that there were some White Crane techniques which I could not perform as skillfully as one of my classmates, who was a couple of years younger than me.


If you are a Chinese martial artist, I believe that you may have noticed many of the strange phenomena happening in Western Chinese martial arts society for the last twenty years. Many of you may have noticed these phenomena and let them happen. Many of you may get upset and feel you cannot do too much about it. If you are an enthusiastic Chinese martial artist, I invite you to read this article carefully and think about it. It is our future and responsibility. It is we who must change the wrong path into the right one.


Self-defense begins when you are required to defend yourself against an unlawful attack and it is a time honored principle that one is entitle to defend himself from physical attack by another person. However, you are only protected by the law if you are obeying the law. Notice this definition of self-defense is related to physical, and not verbal attacks. Words spoken by another, even if they use disparaging remarks about your ancestry, may generate an emotional response from you, but are not sufficient grounds for using physical force in the name of self-defense.


An art is best learned in its culture. One remarkable difference between the culture of the east and the west is the respect shown to a master. In this connection I have little complaint because my students, from both the east and the west, generally show much respect to me. But I have met many eastern masters commenting on the lack of respect, sometimes utter disrespect, shown to them.


Once upon a time there was a man who, when he left home every morning, would tell his two wives that he wouldn't be home for lunch or dinner. He had to meet with some important business friends, or some high-ranking government officials, and they would wine and dine him after the meeting. Every night he would come home full and drunk, and would brag about how great the banquet was, or about the important people he had met at dinner.


In the Han Dynasty in China about 2000 years ago, there was an old farmer named Chen Yin. For many years, he and his son worked very hard on their few acres of land, and they had gradually become tolerably rich. However, old Chen Yin was not happy. The one thing he regretted in his life was that he had never had any friends in the higher levels of society.


Although the Chin Na techniques from one Gongfu style may seem quite different from the techniques of another style, the theories and principles of application remain the same. These theories and principles form the root of all Chin Na techniques. If you adhere to these roots, your Chin Na will continue to grow and improve, but if you ignore these roots, your Chin Na will always remain undeveloped.


It is important that you know about the progress that has been made by modern science in the study of Qi. This will keep you from getting stuck in the ancient concepts and level of understanding.


 
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