Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Five "W's".... Who, What, Where, When and Why

Who are we, what is our purpose, where are we going, Why so much suffering, When will we find the answers? Profound questions indeed that have been asked since the dawn of mankind. And even with the thousands of years that have passed since man's creation, no answers have been found. When I first joined a Martial Arts school these questions were not on my mind at all, it was pure defense that I was concerned with. But it was my Masters, especially my Zen Masters, that opened my mind that just learning how to fight was really not the answer, it was much more profound of a problem that caused us the problems we face today.

In the beginning survival was all mankind had on its mind. But over time and the development of the human mind we have come to realize even more profound questions. We fight because we have not come to understand life and the real meaning and purpose of existence. If we really knew the answers, fighting would stop this instant. Wars would end, disputes would be nonexistent, mankind would change for the betterment of all sentient beings in every way. The human existence would take a tremendous transformation.

Is this all just wishful thinking? Yes, it could very well be just a dream, maybe we will never learn and we will all just destroy ourselves over time. Self destruction is more likely then finding the answers before it is too late. However, the mind of mankind has improved since the dark ages, so hope still prevails. Science has brought us from the darkness into the light. But still, we are a long way from real enlightenment.

The Buddha knew that when he awake from the dream it was useless to spread his new found knowledge and so, he just sat there and did not move. It is said even the Gods wondered why he did not get up and spread the word of what he had come to know. The answer according to many stories of his awakening; is that he knew mankind would not understand nor believe his new found revelations. He felt is was hopeless for him to even say a word of what the had uncovered. But after a while he decided that even if he could awaken just one person, then it was worth his efforts to spread the word to the people.

Buddha was right, few understood the profound truths of life. Only one or so ever really understood his message. If this was not the case then the world would have changed to that of all enlightened beings by now. But we have not, we remain in the darkness, still fighting, still killing, still suffering. In the preaching of Christ, he also indicated many would to not be saved, but rather many would be lost. He to saw the obvious as did Buddha. All you need do is look how mankind has progressed to see these Masters were sadly correct, mankind remains in the dark as to the meaning of life and its purpose.

Some have asked me; is there no hope at all for mankind? My answer is; I really don't know. I can only hope there will be some kind of earth shattering revelation that will awake mankind up in time. But somehow I am doubtful, only because of what I see around me. My Zen Masters were always preaching that mankind was asleep to truth, and to really accomplish self enlightenment takes more effort than more humans are willing to give. Waking a person up to truth up is almost as difficult as wakening a person from a coma, they simply have to awake themselves, it can not to be forced. Those who recognize truth say it will take more then one lifetime to awaken any one individual, more likely it will take hundreds or even thousands of lifetimes before you see the light of truth.

There is absolutely nothing harder to do then awaken from the illusion of life, and see it for what it really is. If we did, those small words of Who, What, Where, When, and Why would have been answered and the world you see today would have been long gone. But sadly, we as yet remain in darkness, which blinds us from the light of truth. I can only remain hopeful I am wrong and some how, some way the light will prevail over the darkness and in time and we find what the Buddha found.

My definition of enlightenment: = Release from Hypnotic Self Deception.

Enlightenment occurs only when you finally come to realize you been wasting your life by playing the fools game of Hypnotic Self Deception. Only by exposure to the light of truth do we have the capacity to wake up. Only then will the fool's game truly be over.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let's Just Kill It!

The martial arts was created for self defense, and I have no problems with a person protecting themselves at any costs. Your life is too precious to allow anyone to take it. But when it comes to killing people or any living creature on purpose when you don't have to, I am totally against that.

In my opinion mankind is vicious, we as a people seem to have no aversion to killing. The only instance I can see where killing is necessary is when there is no other way for your survival. We know anything backed into a corner will fight for its life, as it should be. But to kill when there is no need, then this is life's greatest sin.

If you look at Buddhism when they dig into the earth for some reason such as planting or building something, even if they come across a worm they move it to another spot so as not to kill it. Some will go as far to to wear a mask to they don't breath in an insect and kill it. I may not go that far myself but as for killing on purpose, as i said, I am totally against that.

When I was teaching people the Martial Arts I often said, in the ancient times people were at constant battles with each other, they had to fight for their life from road bandits, and in many cases fight hard just to stay alive. Well if you must fight, fight well and fight to win, but if you have an option not to kill, then the choice should be easy and obvious, NEVER KILL.

In today's so called modern age, we still go to wars, you would think after all this time people would find better ways to settle arguments rather then killing one another but is seems this is still not the case. Why don't those who have a problem with something, fight each other, rather then bringing in the entire world into their disagreement,as they say winner takes all. But killing mass amounts of people in wars or any violent act is the work of a sick, dumb mind.

We are suppose to be an intelligent race but you certainly can't tell that by our acts, the fighting that goes on in this world is simply insane. If there is a alien race of spacemen looking at us, I am sure they are saying this race on Earth is barbaric. They still go to wars and kill one another. As I have said in the past, if your life is on the line and there is no other way to survive to live and you have to kill your attacker or be killed then I guess you just might call this justified. But still I hesitate when I say this, because mankind tends to justify the most idiotic things if you analyze the decision mankind has made over our existence.

The US just executed a man by the name of Mr. Davis just a few days ago. They kept him in a cell for 22 years waiting to be killed. Can you imagine such torture on the human mind? He was convicted on hearsay testimony. The worst kind of evidence there is as people all see things differently or imagine the events they think they see, it becomes their reality. Also these so called witnesses all recanted their testimony over the years saying they were not sure now it was even him. Yet we killed this man.

There have been 138 known people who were innocent that have been executed according to an organization that investigates these matters and are still fighting against the death penalty. This year alone we have executed thirty eight people so far in the states and more waiting now to die on death row. Yet,they say sixty percent of the population still justify the death penalty. When this view changes then and only then will I say mankind is beginning to wake up the real values of life. Let God judge the so called guilty, not man, we are not capable of making intelligent decisions as history proves when it comes to killings. We even kill in God name. Somehow I don't think God advocates killing, if you think so, this is a not the divine loving God that I know.

Look back at the witch hunts that went on in our history and all the innocent people we burned alive simply out of stupid superstition. It is almost insane to thing people could be so dumb yet history proves just that about human decisions. If it wasn't for the sane people in this world I think we would have killed the entire population of the the Earth already, which by the way we still may do, with the Atomic bombs. I am still waiting to hear the announcement; the bombs have been launched, then all that is left to do is bend over and kiss your butt goodbye.

Life is precious, so much so that even within the known universe around us we cant find life as we know it. Not to mention how short our life span is, so what do we do, Kill everything in sight. If there is life somewhere else in the universe it better hope we don't find it, because for sure we will kill them to. You have heard the slogan, if it moves Kill It!.

What I cant understand is even though mankind has the potential to do such great things and invent such great things how can we yet be so stupid when it comes to the value of human life? Our goal should be for total preservation of all life. We are killing species of animals in the world so fast that almost every species of animal is on the verge of extinction. We hunt them down and guess what, WE KILL THEM. In many cases just for sport, or to use the skins or body parts of our own needs. Look as the poor Fox as an example, nice fur coat your wearing isn't it, you killed for that coat.

I hope some day mankind will come their senses and use the brains God gave them and learn to live in peace, without being killing machines. The key to everything, as I always say is Love, Love of all humanity, Love of all life forms , Love of the Earth, We must learn to keep a deep appreciation for the life God has given us. Amen!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Woman in the Martial Arts

When I started in the martial arts there were few if any woman in the Martial Arts. In fact, in my classes I never saw a woman training, but I guess there were some woman in other schools unknown to me? Even if this is true, I still believe not many woman were training in the early days of the Arts in this country. Of course we know woman had been training in Asia for centuries but that is because that is where the Art comes from and it was well known and practiced by both male and female.

In Asian Martial Arts history it is recorded that a women created a style known as Wing Chun, or so it is believed. Some will argue this as true, there is conflicting stories as to the birth of Wing Chun but one of the reasons given why this style came to be is because the moves were better suited for woman. This is the same style Bruce Lee trained in so don't think it is a women art alone because it is not, in fact it is very popular today and is very effective and studied by both men and woman.

None of this is to say woman are perfectly suited for fighting, lets face facts, fighting history is centered around the fighting exploits of men most often. The reason for this is simple, because in many ways men are better suited for combat it just a simple fact most will admit. Men have always been known as the protector of the lady in distress. I am not into politically correct answers just to satisfy the ladies, I am into facts the why they are. Let's face facts, Little boys seem to learn toward playing with their little toy soldiers and fighting, whereas the girls are into their dolls and being motherly. It just nature's way, but that does not mean men cant play with dolls, " even though I don't @! " or that woman cant fight either, because they can!.

But to get back to the Arts, we all know there is physical differences between boys and girls such as body mass and strength and bone structure etc, even the female brain differs from men, which most men are still trying to figure out. But I am not going there, let's just say the bodies are built differently. The question is; do these differences effect a women's effectiveness in self defense? The answer is both yes and no, it depends on the person and the style they pick and how well they use it. This has always been the case with anyone practicing a martial arts, male or female alike.

However in Asia there is always a division between the male and female as seen in every tournament, the woman are not paired off against the men. But in a street condition, there is no division and most of the time woman will be attacked by men not other woman , so what are their chances of being effective in real life situations? Well the answer is they can be very effective if well trained. With the right techniques a women can defend her self just as well as any man, but they need focus on their strong points and use the right moves and hit the target point effectively.

I have had some very tough woman in my classes in my lifetime. In fact, one young woman I had was so tough she assisted me in teaching the Police one year at the Police academy and most of the guys did not want to come near. After a while, she was hurting many of the men and I had to tell her to go easy, she was that good. She was not using Wing Chun she was using Kenpo and joint locking techniques, she was that good. Yet she was not that big she was just plain old tough and determined to be good, and she was. The men gave her a wide birth and respected her abilities to defend herself very well indeed.

Women have certain attributes that are hard for men to attain, such as the shear beauty in their moves. I love watching woman perform much more then men. Men can appear awkward in the moves and not look graceful or flowing, whereas woman tend to be beautiful and flowing. But good defense has little to do with looking pretty either. It may win your points in a tournament where beauty grace and form mean a great deal but in the streets winning has all to do with hitting a vital point effectively, beauty has little to do with it. Beside's
there is nothing beautiful about getting hit in the groin, but it will certainly stop most men in their tracks.

Of course men tend to be more powerful but again this is just nature at work. But no matter what differences there may be between males and females in the strength category we have to admit, a poke to eye does not require muscular power, a child can do that. It is all about focus, and this is important to both males and females alike. A well placed knife hand to the windpipe will do wonders in stopping an attacker in their tracks as well, and this does not take that much strength to be effective. About twelve pounds of snapping power is enough to do great damage to anyone being hit in this area no matter what their size, especially if the hit is to a vital area..

The Martial arts has a vast array of movements that can be applied effectively by woman and be very effective to defend ones self. What really counts however is to fit the proper style to the person. If your sixty pounds in weight and four foot two it is a bit difficult to throw a man that is two hundred pounds. But on the other hand it not that difficult to push your finger into an eye socket and blind a person of any weight. It is always the style you pick and the person in the style that counts.

As another example you don't see many woman in Sumo wrestling as you would see them Aikido where strength is not the case to throw the person but rather to upset the center of balance which females can accomplish with little problem.. Many woman do learn Judo or Shuai Chiao as well, and under the right conditions and weight and size of their attacker they can be very effective. As I keep saying, picking the right Art for the person means a great deal for victory in the streets. But if you pick the right art for you and apply the techniques correctly both male or female are equally effective.

The bottom line is woman are effective in Martial Arts if they take into consideration the natural difference between the male and female and use moves wisely and effectively based on their physical differences.. Also in the streets woman wont be facing another Martial Artist so woman can defend themselves very effectively as they have the element of surprise and skill on their side.

We should also note the legs have been called the cannons or big gun of the Arts because legs are naturally powerful and a mans legs and woman legs both can muster a great deal of power, more then enough to stop an attack if you hit the targets. The main difference between men and woman is really more in upper body strength. But again I must inject if focus is right on, woman same potential to take a person down with a well placed kick. You don't need a massive amount of upper body strength to do this, just precision.

Today there are many well known female Martial Artists some of which are really good and have proven themselves to be worthy adversaries. I can tell you in China and Taiwan as well as Japan their are some top rated woman in the Arts. To name just one is Master Keiko Kurisake, my sister in the arts who runs her own schools in Japan as well as in Florida USA. She is a world class champion and for sure you would not like to be hit by her willing. In here schools she has more men then females, this must tell you something. She practices Shuai Chiao and many Chinese styles of Kung Fu and has proven to be a worthy adversary for anyone who crosses her path. In conclusion, the arts when used properly is effective for both male or female and has been so for decades in Asia and now more then ever in this country...... I bow to the woman in our Arts.

Faster then the Speed of Light

One of the article I wrote called What if ( see Below) actually happened A particle called a neutrino moved faster then the speed of light! I believe in time many more of these What If's will turn out to be " WHAT THEN?

I did not mention the speed of light but the fact E=MC2 has always been thought to be true and a fact of physics turns out to be not so......

1905 theory of special relativity says that light travels at a constant speed, regardless of how fast an observer is traveling, and that nothing in the universe can go faster than it.

Wrong Again!!!
On Thursday, scientists in Europe reported an experimental result thought to be impossible: They had observed particles moving faster than the speed of light.

A press release from the OPERA collaboration at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, reviewed the basics. It noted that the surprising result was based on more than 15,000 "neutrino events" that had been created when researchers sent a beam of subatomic particles called neutrinos from the organization's headquarters near Geneva to a detector at the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy, ABout 450 miles away. This particle moved fsster then the speed of light. The experiment was done 15,000 times so there is little doubt this is not true....

The bottom line here is that a particle actually moved faster then the speed of light which could change all of physics as we know it, The theory of E=MC2 would be wrong!!!!!

As I have been saying, what if the "What If's," turn out to be true Then what??? Well it happened!

Now What??? Maybe you should read my article again on What If?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Old Martial Arts Story

This is an old story which I wrote in more detail in a Biography of myself I am working on. But I thought you might enjoy one story from it. So here it goes, Enjoy!.

I had been working out and training in Chinatown in New York for many years but after my first Master decided to return to Hong Kong and retire I was hard pressed to find another Master. I was always on the search for anyone who could teach me more. As I have said in the past, finding any Teacher at all in the old days was a hard task to say the least. Martial Arts was not the popular here yet only in the Chinatown did you really have a chance of finding anyone plus at the time they were not teaching many to begin with, and no Americans at all. The only reason was because I actually lived near Chinatown and had a few Chinese friends that lead me to one Master that would teach me. I was in fact the only American boy in the class when I started with Master Huey.

The Brooklyn bridge is close to Chinatown so one day I decided to cross over the bridge with the hope I had could find a Teacher. I was told by one of my friends he had heard there was somebody called Mr. Body there who was teaching some form of karate, I think he was a mix bread guy from what I remember, half Philippine and half American, but I did hear this guy was good. I am not sure if Mr. they was his real name, but who cares, I think it was his nick name because he had a great physical body, very strong and seeing everyone called him that, so did I. I really had no idea where the school was so I just headed to the area my friend said he thought the school was. I walked from block to block looking for a sign or some hint where this school could be. Well after searching the area I was told he was teaching in I had some luck and spotted some guys with uniforms in their hands. They were waiting outside a building, I did recognized the uniforms worn in Karate, so that was the big give away.

I approached the guys standing there and asked them if they knew of the karate school around here, expecting a yes answer, which I got from them. They said they were waiting there for the Teacher to come to class, he had the keys so they had to wait outside the building until her arrived. They said he was expected soon and just to wait with them until he came. I asked about their Teacher and they praised him up and down and said he was very efficient in the Karate. I asked if I could join the class and they said well you will have to ask him, but wait and see, which I did. I never mentioned I had some Kung Fu experience, I acted like a total beginner which was the advice I was given years ago by my Master never to tell people or brag of one's skills even though mine was very little.

After while they said "Oh I see Teacher know, there he is" as they pointed up the block. I spotted a small man but well built holding a Karate uniform haggling over his shoulder and tired in a roll with his black belt. As he turned the corner I spotted three bigger guys step in his path and stop him by putting their hand on his chest and stopping him from passing. Just then one of the student standing by me said, "Oh no looks like trouble". I said maybe we should go help out, they answered "I don't mean trouble for Teacher I mean trouble for those guys, they don't seem to know who they are messing with".

I looked back to see what was happening when they said this but what I saw seemed to end so fast I can't recount just what a happened. All I see was a series of kicks and flashing hands and the three guys were all laid out on the street. It was over in seconds and Mr. Body picked up his uniform cleaned it off and headed to meet his students who were standing there with open mouths at how quick the encounter was over. Needless to say when Mr. Body reached us standing there I bowed and asked if I could join his class. I told him I was looking to learn martial arts. I told him I would be honed if he would accept me and but I knew nothing about martial arts. He nodded his head in approval and said, Ok join us. As he opened the doors to the building his students asked what happen with those three guys. Mr. Body answered, "oh them they just needed a lesson in manners" and said nothing more about it, but I will never forget it for sure.

I must say training with Sensei Body was an enlightening experience. His classes were rough and the style was very clean and not complected like Kung Fu but powerful. I stayed with him for a short time after that, maybe under a year as I was going into the Air Force. He was a good Teacher and loved his arts, I believe it was one of the Ryu systems called Isshin-Ryu Karate, "The One Heart Way" if I can recall, but there are many variations of the Ryu styles brought back to the USA, so I am not sure which one this was, but it certainly was effective and that's all I cared about. When I left him I did so on good terms and he wished me luck and said "keep up your training in anything you can find, remember he said, all martial arts are good". I did just that even when I went into the service. I really don't think I ever stopped training all those years but that's another story. But one thing for sure I will never forget Mr. Body.

If I ever finish my biography there are many such stories and more about Sensei Body and many more of my Masters.


When I was a kid you never head of kids killing them selves because they were bullied, they would simply fight back, and come home with black eyes or lost teeth. But the times seems you have changed and today it does not seem to uncommon to hear kids committing suicide just because he/she was bullied. Just yesterday I heard of a fourteen year boy that took his own life because he was being bullied in his school unmercifully. I am sure you of heard cases like this. Of course I realize there has been a increase in such cases these days because of the advent of the Internet. But still the taking of your life over such matters is not the answer, the answer is to fight back, and protect yourself. Some will say you should report bulling but I have also heard this being done with no resolution. The resolution can only be achieved by confronting your attackers and show them you wont just stand there and take it.

Bulling consists of, name calling, teasing, pushing, threats, spreading rumors, playing means jokes, social exclusion to name a few things. Name calling means little, just call them a name back and walk away, it when there are physical attacks that you must drew the line. Keep in mind bulling is not only centered on kids male and female, adults get bullied as well, that is if they allow it. Not to mention if you don't do anything it, will only get worse. The new age of computer Internet and Facebook and other social networking only makes this problem even more perverse. However it is the face to face encounters where physical abuse occurs, not on a computer. So what can a child, young adult or even adult do when confronted with new age problem?

The answer to me as a martial artist is simple, learn to build confidence and good physical abilities to confront these problems head on. The best way to stop a bully is to face him or her head on and make it clear your not such an easy target of such assaults will not be tolerated. Usually this can settle the matter, but other times it will lead to a fight, then what? This is where learning a Martial Art can assist you when all else fails to settle the matter and you are attacked.
The martial arts builds self confidence in one abilities, by teaching the necessary skills to deal with whatever comes your way. Not to mention in a Martial Arts school you build very strong relationships and many classmates that will stand by your side if it is a question of large numbers of people bulling you. Large numbers of people standing by your side tends to deter any further attack from groups of kids trying to frighten you. Keep in mind I am not calling for gang wars here, I am just saying usually the person being bullied is alone and has no one to stand by them against large group of kids who tend to follow the leader bully. My Teacher always said when being bullied always go after the leader and the rest will back off after you put him or her down. I might add some of your best friends will be your fellow classmates in a Martial Arts school and if you ever find yourself with them in a street situation and confronted by a large group of people, you can be sure your classmates will be at your side, in situations like that you will never be alone.

Martial Arts installs confidence and the skills to deal with most if not all common confrontations. It is too bad those who feel they are in some way inadequate and don't try the study of martial arts, they are loosing a great chance to find ways to stop these personal assaults. I have seen the most shy, weak and timid of people turn out strong and self confidant when trained properly. They learn how to deal with any situations that may come their way in life. You can be sure of one thing, if people think your a push over, someone with be there to try it. However, it is also easy to spot people who just won't be pushed so easy and it is this type of person who is less likely to be picked on. If trained in the martial arts the attacker will be in for a big surprise when they try to confront a well trained Martial Artist.

Confidence has a way of showing up in your personality and most bullies will shy away from those who he thinks are confident in their abilities and not easy to push around. Bullies tend to be cowards at heart that is why they always try to find those who they think are weak and just cant take it, or wont fight back. Martial Arts has a very good reputation for changing people's opinions about themselves and building confidence to handle themselves very efficiently. This confidence shows up in the way you walk or talk and confront attackers and the chances are that alone with end the situation right there.

So in conclusion, if you feel you are being bullied and a polite get lost does not work that is the time to do something about it before it get worse. But before you can do that be sure you know how to handle yourself and that is where learning a martial art comes into play. Remember unless you can hire a body guard or have your parents walking around with 24/7 then it's all up to you to protect yourself. The arts was not meant to bully others, that is far from what I am saying. In fact Martial Artists are the nicest people you will ever met as long as you don't attack them.. It was only meant for self protection against those who would hurt you.

Sometimes no matter what you do, there is no way out of dangerous situations but to take a stand. This is the time the Arts is used for self preservation. Even if you trained for years and it saves your life just once, it is well worth the time to invest in a good Martial Arts training program. Training in a Martial Art will change the way you deal with situations for the rest of your life. If you learn to stand up for yourself people will back off more often then not, and really that all your looking for. As I have always told my students, "Fighting is the lowest form of compromise" if you can't talk you way out of it, and you and have to fight, your not that well skilled to begin with. But there are those time where just taking wont work and there is no compromise and you are forced to act, then you certainly don't want to lose, that where the Martial Arts comes into play.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Perfect Society

This is a fun article, a dream BUT POSSIBLE, so enjoy it. I know I often speak of truths or what I think are truths, but let deviate and try to imagine the Perfect Society. How could we develop such a thing. Well if we look back in Science Fiction movies or TV shows, like Star Trek you will see a society that did away with money. That's a good start I think because it causes more trouble then I can to talk about. Start Trek showed how people of all races even aliens could live together in peace. How about people needs such as food, well again Start Trek showed how they were able to reproduce food by matching the molecular structure of any food, so ended starving people in the world. Let me digress here by saying even now they can scan an object let say a wrench and then produced another wrench that actually works by re- scanning it into another machine that contain a substance that actually created another working wrench. You can check this out yourself by looking at this link, http://www.hoax-slayer.com/3D-printer-video.shtml .So to in the future we could do this with a foods so ending starvation. One of the most popular movies was called the Matrix, which could very well be true in many ways. It was a computer program that produced a wonderland for all people, that is if it is programmed the right way of course, not like in the movie. Life would change from a bad dream to a wonderful dream. Of course this movie had the machines take over where I am taking about a controlled and wonderful machines that would solve the problems mankind simply cant, or so it seems.

We will then have to find a way to give all people proper living quarters and supply each with enough to live a long comfortable life. The world would have to unit borders would be open and all people would live together in harmony. There would be no need to rob or cheat people because we would all have the same. Education would be free and people would be educated in fields that would serve humility as as whole for its betterment.

In another Science fiction movie I saw years ago as a kid, a monster computer was built that took care of the needs of mankind but kept them in check. I think it was called Coleus, but I could be wrong about the name? It was built into a mountain and made sure people did not commit crimes or start wars. In essence this Hugh Computer solved problems of mankind and found cures for all diseases. The world was like a large commune where people worked for the benefit of all in the world. We all focused on the needs of humanity and nothing else. Of course we were all free to do as we wished and enjoy ourselves as well but, only those things that did not hurt others.

Is all this possible, the answer is yes of course and if we don't kill ourselves in the meantime there is a good chance the future could very well be like this. Governments would disappear because they are run by people and people are floured with desire, greed and the other emotions which tend to destroy or hurt others. In the futuristic world I am taking about there would be no need to steal or hurt people because we would basically have all have all we need to live a good life. The society we have now simply does not work, All you need do is look at the the state of the world and most would agree we are on the road to self destruction now.

Our population is growing and all we have in the world now is, those who have, and those who have not. Yet we are all brothers and sisters under the skin and of the same species and should care for one another. We should be working for the betterment of all mankind. All we do now is seek power and wealth, and as you know total power corrupts totally. Of course all this is science fiction but I must add most of the science fiction we pictured in our past has come to be in today's world, so it is possible this could be done.

One thing for sure the system we have today just don't work and is dividing people, people starving, people going to wars killing one another, some who have a great deal of wealth and live in the lap of luxury while other live on the streets and have nothing. Some who can get medical assistance while other cant afford to see a doctor and simply die. All this can be changed if we change our direction and come together as as people. Dream On!!!!!!! But is a nice dream don't you think???

Why so Much Violence in the World?

Why so much Violence in the World? When you really think of it, it's not God fault there is no so much violence in the world, it is mankind's fault, Yet people will say "God Why Me?" Yes, there are earthquakes and all kinds of natural disasters, and of course these can be sad events, but it is not an act of God, it's nature, the majority of violent problems comes from people. The very reason the Arts came into existence was because mankind, we have a tendency to want to beat the hell out of each other or kill one another for whatever reason.. We don't fight rainstorms or volcano's, we fight other people. Violence is running wild in the world. Just turn on the news and listen and all you here about is killings, one after another, sixteen killed today, hundreds blown up in bomb attacks, who killed who or who is fighting with who. It is literally a killing festival and after each news broadcast you can count the thousands that were killed that day alone.

The list is endless, most of the news is filled with events like this every day of the year more then any other types of news, you might find one good story about someone caring for another or helping another, but the violence totally outweighs those kind of reports fifty to one.. Stop blaming God and start blaming mankind. I ask you how much trouble have you caused to others in your short life span here. Or better yet how much good have you done for someone this day, I think that is the rarity, as this virtue stems from Love which is surely lacking in the world.

I remember seeing on the news a man who was hit by a car and people did not do a thing, they just let him lay in the street and waked around the body to cross the street as he lay dying. Yet another time I saw on the news a motor cyclist get hit by a car and people rushed in to pick the car up the car that trapped him underneath. This is what we should all be doing, not just turning our head to those in need.

This new candidate Perry who is running for President, he brags his state has executed more people then any other state in the union, wow! There something to be proud of right, ya right! When asked if he can sleep at night, he said he has no problem, although it has been proven many innocent people have been wrongly killed by capital punishment, oh well win some loss some!

To some killing seems to be the answer that will solve the problem. Maybe it would be better to find out why such violence exists, seems to me that makes more sense. Chances are you will find it is our laws and how we treat people that causes so much violence to begin with. I ask you, if people had enough money and were living well enough and loved one another, how much violence would there be left? I dare say not much at all.

This is why the biblical writings speak of Love as the cure for mankind, and non judgements. It is the lack of these elements that separates all of mankind. The world is separated although we all share the same world, and we should all be sharing the gifts of the world. We are even destroying the very world we live on. Yes, mankind is the most dangerous and violent of all the species. People in the world choose their religion, some are who a Jews, or Muslims, or Christians and all preach love yet, etc, yet it is these very people that fight or kill in the name of God. In fact, there is more blood spilled over religion then anything else !

Can you imagine religions speak of Love and sets rules for being good to your follow man yet what do we do, we kill those who don't agree. People are staving in certain countries right now, children literally dying of hunger, where here in the states we throw out food by the tons each day that could feed a country. If people were really as good as some make them out to be, food would be there within days to save the lives of these starving people, but it isn't, doesn't that tell you something?

It is mankind who is the greatest danger on earth. They tell us man has the biggest brain of all the species, yet animals don't even kill unless their is a need to live and feed. We kill for almost any reason you can think of and think nothing about it. We create weapons of mass destruction that are so dangerous if someone decides to push a button our own world would be totally destroyed this very day, and really I am not convinced we will not do that to in the long run. It is downright scary to think some one individuals who has control over such destruction, if they find a reason to lean on the button. Bye Bye world!!!!

We have more lawyers in the world I dare to count, why so, because people going after people left and right. Yet we make even more laws and the more we make the more that are broken with more people being prosecuted. No one is above committing some short of crime, even our own Police have been convicted on brutal charges, one such case was in the news just today and the news reports they beat a man to death, yet another Police officer in California today was charged with murder for beating a homeless man named Kelly Thomas to death, i believe he was 23 years old. Oh well, one more gone. Nobody is even safe from those who enforce the very laws that should protect us. We imprison people by the thousands in cells like animals, does such action make loving citizens out of them, more human insane logic. Because violence is on such a rampage did anyone stop to think maybe it is because of something society is doing that creates such violence?. Hmmm Maybe?

So again I ask, what causes all this violence? As I have always said it is lack of true Love and respect for each other. It is greed and power, money, judging and lack of true Love. There are some who have nothing while others have more then they need, who would not try to get some to live? People are only trying to survive in a brutal world, with a cold heart.

People are on all types of drugs either for medical reasons, or so called illegal drugs just to escape the hardships of life. If life is so good why then do people want to escape it? The answer should be obvious to all, it is because of lack of Love and consideration for others, people feel alone where no one to help. The odds are against people to do fairly well in this society, or any other society so they rob and steal or commit all kind of crimes just to make it in this world caring very little about the victim's.

In this country a recent poll showed six people out of twelve live in poverty ( news polling fact) yet costs keep going higher and higher in tax but paychecks remain the same. And that is our country, the so called best country in the world can you image the other less fortunate countries? Time for another antidepressant...

If we were really loving creatures don't you think we would care for our follow man and share the worlds abundance's with those who needed it? We are not separate, we all live in the same place in reality, namely the World! One planet divided by Greed, Power, Hatred and Mistrust, judgement and lack of real love for each other. Our system is not working, people are desperate and desperate people do desperate things to survive.

We arrest those who kill someone saying killing is a big NO NO ! yet we capture them and what do we do to show how bad killing is, we kill them to. To date 138 man have been found innocent and spent time in death row and in some cases they stayed there for years as much as twelve years according to the news. We put them in a electric chair and burn them to toast, we kill them with lethal injections or hang them or cut their head off in the name of Justice. We put a stipulation on killing, it is ok in war, or when someone is sentenced to die, or in self defense, but not at any other time, I ask you does this make sense to you, something is either good or bad it cant be both.? If you think it does your part of the problem yourself. If we could only get along as a race, violence would stop. If we valued life, killings would stop. But I must say some states have come to their senses and the death penalty is slowly becoming less, maybe there is hope for mankind? Just a fanciful thinking on my part..

If you really wanted our Earth to flourish, all you need do is get rid of all it people. Yet there are those who preach people are basically good and I believe to be true. But some have it easy since birth while other suffer from birth. It is this that drives them to the edge. It is the good people in the world who keep us from a total war and bringing an end to civilization. It is those sane God fearing people who make the big difference in keeping the balance, and a sense of sanity, so we don't start a world war.

Just maybe if we wake up in time and see the lunacy of humanity, we can prevent the total demise of our race. All we need do is to learn how to live in harmony with each other and find the love and respect we all deserve. And finally we must learn not to judge each other with such cruelty, then there is a chance we can make it as a intelligent and just race. We tend to divide the good from the bad but I ask you, who is perfect, even Jesus said " He who is without sin let him cast the first stone". If we can understand this profound statement, then I might agree there is a chance for our continued survival. But until this happens, people will continue to judge and condemn others without looking within their own heart. Until this day comes be sure you lock your door tonight before going to bed. Pray one day people will wake up, this will be the day violence comes to end, and love begins.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What Makes a Kung Fu Book Rare?

There are numerous books on the Martial Arts today, as compared when I started training there were few to none. But today you will find book after book on some aspect of the Arts. But even with all the books you can find today only a select few are considered the cream of the crop. When this books go out of print they become very expensive to buy that is if you can even find one. But what is it the makes a book rare and expensive ?

The answer to this comes because of a few factors. For one the book could have been written by a very famous master who has passed on and only a select number were ever printed. This would create a great demand to get hold of a copy. Another reason is the book in question might detail an very rare Art Form where not much has ever been written about, making it again rare,expensive and hard to get. Yet another reason is the book may advocate a style of a certain famous Master who never wrote books to begin with but was released by one of his students divulging the style for the first time.

There could in fact be others reasons that a book may be in great demand but hard to find. I like to think of my first book on Chang Shih Tai Chi Ch'uan rare because Chang seldom wrote anything down.. It is the only book with his seal of approval on it after I wrote the book, and the first page has his dedication in it with his seal. This made this book a one of the kind and I only printed a certain number of them for release more then Ten years back. Needless to say they were sold out quickly and became a rare item. Even if you can find a copy, I have seen it selling for a much a five hundred dollars.

Well it has been many years now and Master Chang has long passed away, and because of great demand I rewrote the book again for release again after these many years in an updated version. It has new articles and tributes to the Master as well as new and better pictures of his form. It is the same form of course but greatly improved after almost fifteen year's more of practice for perfection.

Along with the re-release of the Tai Chi Book I wrote a second book introducing Great Great Master Chang version of Hsing Yi called "Hsing Jing Ch'uan" which means "The Best of Hsing Yi". Again this has never been released up until now to the public. This is the making of the next rare book when out of print. Some my or may not know I am the adopted Son of Chang and that was the only reason he allowed me to release his Tai Chi Book in the first place. Sadly he passed away when I decided to release his Hsing Yi version but I am sure he would have approved as I went into great detail with in this book as well as creating a DVD's on both his Hsing Yi version and his Tai Chi Book for the first time.

My hope now these books and DVD's will serve to further spread the name of this great Master to the world. There will never again be another Master such as Chang Tung Sheng. It is said when Master Chang died a hugh amount of Kung Fu knowledge died with him. I am gratified I was able to save what I did of some of his knowledge for those looking to learn some of this renowned Master Arts for future generations to come.

For those wanting copies of these books and DVD's before the go out of print go to my web site at www.kungfu.org and order them there while there still around. Once out of print they are gone forever like most other rare books.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What If ?

What if, these are the biggest little words in the world. What if, we are wrong about everything that we know, or should I say what we think we know? What if, there is a God? What if, cosmologists are right that there are many dimensions of reality? Or maybe there is not three dimensions but rather, only one? What if physicists are correct about their findings in quantum physics that the world we think we know is an illusion? What if, time itself is an illusion? What If, those who had a NDE (near death experience) actually are seeing a glimpse of the afterlife? What if, there if there is spirit world or another dimensions we all go to after death? What if, The soul does exists and consciousness never dies with the physical body. What if, aliens do exist and we are only a products of their genetics? What if, such theories such as the String theory and M theory are in fact true? What if, reincarnation is a fact?

How can I say this when it seems to make no sense, there is no absolute proof of any of this. All these are only potentialities that have not been proven right or wrong. One thing for sure, if you close your mind nothing I just said will mean anything, it all becomes nonsense. But nothing of any value has ever been discovered with a closed mind, those who opened their mind to possibilities have achieved great discoveries.

There will always be those who say these are all possibilities, while others will refute all of this as all nonsense. But when the mind is closed nothing anyone says has any chance of agreement. All I can say is at one time we also thought the Sun revolved around the Earth and that was false, we also thought the earth was flat, another error. Mankind is has been proven wrong more then right most of the time. Of course we are always learning new facts, and each day as science progresses we know a little more. But still there is Hugh amount of knowledge we have no idea about as yet, to name one, what is life?

We have no idea how how life started only ideas or possibilities. What we don't know much when you think of it, even how our own consciousness works, even our own body is yet a mystery to us. Think about your life, one day you popped into existence out of the darkness, you have no recollection other then you know you were born and will die. Your life is a mystery, it consists of confusion, fear, pain, suffering and you don't know why. Some will tell you life itself has no purpose and nothing really matters, because death robs us all of everything we worked for in our short span here on Earth. This generation is like a wave hitting the shore and it gone. Billions of others have died already, and as I write this article other people are dying by the thousands this very second and in a short time after that it will be like they never existed at all.

So what does mankind do during the short life span we have? Well in short we kill each other and fight and hurt one another. We are envious of others for what they have and spend our time seeking power and money and status. We seek pleasure but never really finding it, for pleasure is fleeting at best. In short life is pain and suffering. We all feel we are misunderstood and few if any really knows us and our true feelings. So we seek another, a mate who we think we can lean on. One who we think knows us and our feelings and our wants and needs, and is able to give it to us. We look for the perfect love, which is just another dream. The reason is simple; nobody is happy or secure enough themselves to give it. We look to the other and the other looks to you, each lost in the search for love that never ends.

There is no one who can lessen our fears and shower us with love and affection without wanting it in return. Each looks to the other for something nether have, yet both want it! It is like the blind leading the blind, both are lost in a world of doubt, confusion as to what is real and tangible. We become attached, to people and material goods thinking that is all life has to offer. I ask you, does it not make more sense for mankind to join forces, helping each other instead of persecuting one another.

We are all one race of humans yet we are divided by race and beliefs. Whereas we should be helping each other, and join forces to find the answers that will help people lead a descent life for the time we share on this earth. We should be looking for the answers to the profound questions I have presented here, because if we find them our lives will have meaning and purpose. Sadly humans are the cruelest creatures on Earth, compassion, love and respect for each other and nature is lacking. Maybe we have no purpose at all, maybe we are born and simply die. That would mean life is meaningless just a throw of the cosmic dice, and crap shoot that nobody wins or loses. Yet we all try to sustain life for the only reason we fear death.

We plan for a future that has no guarantees of finding anything better, in fact it will get worse as we grow older and get sick, fear and uncertainly will grow worse. We think it is our duty to stay alive, but for what reason nobody seems to know other that we fear death.. And so, all we do is work and slave to find food, a home, and money so we can buy things we think will make us happy and content. But the truth of the matter is money does not make you happy, those who have great amounts of money tend to be as unhappy as those with none. Money only buys things, and that too wears off, so you buy more and more and it all amounts to the same thing, namely nothing at all. Some of the poorest people are better off because they appreciate the little things more. But no matter who we speak of the rich or the poor humans themselves are confused and lost in a world nobody can figure out.

On the other hand what if, the afterlife is in fact real? What if, death is but a doorway to another existence in a different form? It seems to me our life here in this plane of existence could be the hell the biblical writings speak of. They say hell is torture, forever craving for what you can't have, always wanting and never really finding satisfaction in anything or anyone. Our entire existence is spent in a search for the perfect life with all our desires satisfied. But the fact of the matter nothing material can bring pleasure for very long. it all wears off and we start our search again trying to find pleasure that never comes for any worthwhile duration of time. Is this not a hell, never finding eternal satisfaction and bliss?

We are always seeking what we can't find or have, is this not an inner torture? People don't like to admit they are not happy, but in their heart they know the truth. Deep within people there lies fear, worry, regrets, sorrow, unfulfilled desires and tension when you can't find the answers. Let's face this fact; mankind has been confused since we took our first breath, and opened its eyes as to "who am I" "Where did I come from" and "what is life's purpose". We have no idea, yet decades of time have passed, the questions remain the same. I am not convinced mankind will find the answer to these questions; I can only hope they do.

What if, we are all wrong and reality is far different then we think it is? Scientists have no idea what is real and what is just an illusion. When one scientist comes up with a theory about life and it meaning, another disputes it. And so the search for what is real is still going on within the scientific world. What is it they are looking for? They in fact don't know themselves. All they do know is that they don't know. The search goes on as they break down the atom itself into protons and neutrons and further yet into quarts only to find there is nothing there, all is empty. This leads to other theories but as usual they come with nothing they can say for sure about anything. They do know that quantum physics does not follow the universal laws that we thought to be the same throughout the universe. They also know the laws of quantum physics operates on a totally different level that science cannot understand, yet it is there and is shown that it works and exists yet still unknown as to why. One discovery only leads to more questions.

What if, death is the release? Maybe that is why when people die they always say; REST IN PEACE, and so I ask; were they not at peace in life? Obviously not! There is enormous suffering in the world, everywhere you look people are suffering with sickness, loss, or just trying to survive. The problems seem endless and people are in despair with no way out nor anyone that can help. This is why suicide exists, people feel death is better then living. Sleep has been called the small death, you loss the world. There is no unhappiness in sleep, you lose your identity and you find peace and rest. That’s why people who are depressed always like to sleep, it is the great escape from this world. When you awake the first thought is, I don't want to get out of bed, you would rather be sleeping. We don't even know the reason why people sleep, all they know if you don't you would go crazy in a number of days and start having delusions.

When we are young children we seem happy because we think the future will be good, kids cant wait to grow up, and when they do they wish they were kids again, because reality strikes home and they see and realize all the troubles and pain in the world and what it takes to survive. The older we get and live the more we realize you cant find what you really want that brings you bliss, it just doesn't exist in this world. And so the circle goes round and round with no end, always searching for what you cant find. Some my dispute this but I ask you where can you found pure lastly bliss?

This is why I always say, hell could very well be the here and now, and our spirit self really does exist. The afterlife is in fact our real home. A place where pain stops, the need for money food or any material things all fades away and you exist in pure unbounded love and bliss, HEAVEN! Those who have had a NDE (near death experience) often say once they saw paradise they never wanted to come back, they felt a feeling of unconditional love and peace. If true how wonderful this would be, would it not? I don't believe in a hell after death, how could a God who is defined as unconditional Love create a hell? This is not unconditional love it would have a stipulation. I truly believe it is all about LOVE.

Those who were revived from the NDE through medical intervention say being brought back was a traumatic experience to say the least. Their life completely changed but the fear of death was banished. In fact, many of these people say they were then looking forward to their real life in the next world. They felt dead and burdened in the physical form, it felt like carry around massive weight and a body and mind were filled with the burdens of life again. In many cases it took them months of time to adjust to this world again, but were never the same after the experience. What If, what they saw and say about their NDE is true? This all may sound glum to some readers, but to me it is a hope, a chance it could be right and this existences is but a testing ground to learn these facts. Life is nothing but a chance to better our self and prepare for the real existence in the spirit form.

What if, any of this is correct? If so then what should we be doing to find this paradise, maybe we should keep an open mind. Maybe we should try to change our perceptions and the way we live, if not we could very well suffer the rebirth, another incarnation to do it all over again. Nothing remains the same, your entire body chances about seven times through out your life, a new heart kidney in short everything, and even you mind changes. You don't believe today what you did years ago and more will change as long as you grow older. Change is the one constant, you should realize this fact and try not to be so steadfast in what you believe. The fact of the matter is you will change as time progresses whether you think so or not..

What if, our true punishment reincarnation? The Buddha said; he did not want to return, why isn't life great?, he certainly did not think so, and neither did Christ when he said "Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." . Rest from what? Namely all we have been taking about in this article. Buddha's only goal was to escape the Karmic Wheel of Life and Death and Rebirth. Of course I don't have the answers; I am only giving you food for thought. I am only asking you, What If, I am right? Then what???

Let me drew this to end by telling you what I believe, I believe there is a higher power, call it by any name you like, I simply call it the Divine Source, what the Chinese call the Tao. I believe that our consciousness never dies, but it part of the universal consciousness and merges again with the universe after death of the body. I believe our brain is not a creator of thought but rather a receiver of thoughts and those thoughts come from a divine source. I believe we are in fact spiritual beings composed of light, the same light we return to after death. I believe organized religions are all the same, no one way is the only way. In fact, I believe no religion is needed, religions tend to divide us not join us, just look at the world now to see this is true.

I believe Love is the key. I believe there is no sin as we know it, God forgives all our sins, this again comes from the ignorance of not knowing who we are. I believe there are other dimension of devoid of time, a place that exist now and always has. I believe death is but a doorway to return to our real home and source. I believe once mankind finds these What if questions to be true then life will have served its purpose. Lastly, you may ask why then do I practice the Arts, which is so violent, the answer is because mankind has not yet found these answers, and until they do mankind will continue to hurt one another, so we need to protect our self. But if you study this art long enough the way will lead you to the answers I have discovered. The smarter you become the less you will fight and the greater your love will be towards your follow man and your God, fighting will end and true Love will begin.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Running a Traditional Martial Arts School

I have spoken about the Goal of Teachers to create other Teachers to safeguard our Art for the future. But what happens once a teacher is made and they open a school? Becoming a Teacher is only the beginning. The next step is open a school of their own simply because that is why they were made a Teacher, namely to pass the art on. This is the start of a whole new set of problems a Teacher must face. Teachers are not businessmen or business woman, they are Martial Artist that have a responsibility to teach. But running a school requires business knowledge to stay afloat.

Most Martial Artist schools close within the first five years, they simply go under with all the pressures of maintaining the overhead to keep a school viable. In the old days this was not so much of a problem. The reason is simply we did not have schools, we taught in parks, or someone basement, or rented some place at the local CYO, or some church, as I did in my beginning years. But today is much different., people expect to see some kind of organized school before they will join. And so the problems begin trying to make do with meeting rent, and utilities, insurance etc.

Far to often students become delinquent in paying the Teacher, it seems the Teacher is always the last one to be paid for teaching. Yet the bills must be paid and usually the money needed comes from the Teachers pocket. This is how schools go down as the Teacher winds up paying the student fees himself. In essence the Teacher is paying to teach students instead of the other way around. Of course I am referring to Traditional schools, commercial schools will have a student under contract whereas Traditional schools teach without contracts , everything is done on honor and your word.

If I told you I have taught entire families and that never paid me, most would not believe that, but it is a fact. A traditional Teacher is always trying to help those in need, that is our oath, and trust we hold in the students word to pay his or her fees on time to maintain their schools upkeep. But sadly there will always be those who take advantage of their Teachers generosity and leave them in a lurch.

Traditional schools try to keep costs down so people can learn the arts, commercial schools don't, they charge you for the air you breath, or so it would seem. Everything got a price tag on it. Each promotion is paid for, you pay for your belts for your certificates, and the list goes on. Whereas in Traditional schools most everything is included in your monthly fee.

In my entire teaching career I would venture to say I lost thousands of dollars on delinquent students who never paid for their lessons, even with the low costs we charge. Even at the time of my retiring from teaching I was never paid for my time and effort I gave to teach them. It would seem my word to teach was good but their word to pay a fee was not.

Running a school is indeed a problem a Teacher always has trying to maintain the bills. There is always something in need of repair, there is always the costs of phones lights heating and supplies. Traditional Teachers are usually taken advantage of more so then the Commercial school Teachers who has a contract to fall back on if the student become delinquent in their fees. This is why finding a true Traditional schools is becoming harder and harder to find as time goes on, simply because too many students fail to pay the Teacher.

When I trained with my Teachers paying therm was always my first thought. Many times when I had no money I would borrow it from a friend just to pay my Teacher. Sad to say today students just complain they have no money and ask the teacher to wait a bit, yet they will go on vacation, of course their is always money for that. Again the Tractional Teacher is left holding the bag for the monthly bills.

As I have always said my word is my bond, but it was my Teachers who taught me that and for that reason I always made sure I never owed anyone anything and if I did I also made sure to clear it up within a short period of time. Yes, running a Traditional school is indeed a hardship few understand unless your doing it yourself. Few understand what a Teacher goes through just to teach.

I will end this with what I have told my students who wanted to become a traditional Teacher, " If you looking to become rich, don't become a Traditional Teacher" We do what we do out of love for Art and following the old ways, but finding such Teachers today is becoming like trying to find a ice cream store in the desert. If your lucky enough to have one, consider yourself among the few that do, they are indeed rare in todays day and age. Sad to say, but most traditional schools do go under due to students who take advantage of the one rare thing they have, namely " The Traditional Teacher"

Monday, September 12, 2011

Which Art is Best?

Probably the most asked question I have gotten over the years is "What Art Should I Study, or What is the Best One" The answer to this question is one i usually say, There is no best, it is the man/woman in the Art that counts and not the Style you pick. Of course people may still be left wondering as to what Art to pick seeing there are so many Arts to pick from.

This best way to figure what is for you is to first ask yourself what do you like best? Some like throwing Arts such as Judo or Shuai Chiao, some like fancy Kicking Arts like Taekwando , some prefer Locking Arts like Jiujitsu.. Some Like hard hitting Arts like some of the Japanese Karate styles, some love weapons like Ninjutsu. If you like beautiful and unusual postures, Mei Jung Ch'uan is a good choose as well. So what style should I pick? First ask yourself what are you looking for, and start from there. Then try a few of these styles and make your pick. Remember you can always change your mind if your find it not for you and try another style, the door is never closed.

So why did I pick the arts I study and what is my favorite? Well I decided to go for the root arts, the ones that most of the styles you see today came from. I did try the hard Japanese styles but leaned towards the softer Chinese Arts. Now all I needed was to pick what style I wanted. My choice was the go for the traditional Shaolin Styles like Low Han which has very clean moves. This style was famous as one of the founding styles. I also like throwing and took up Judo but later turned towards the father of throwing styles, Shuai Chiao.

It was later yet when I looked towards the internal styles, Tai Chi for it flow and its internal power, then Hsing Yi for it directness and simplicity of Five Moves and finally Ba Gwa for it circular and twisting moves. But if you ask me what my favorite I would have to say Kenpo.

This style had in it early beginnings no forms, It was composed of Techniques only and known as the street fighters Art. Most of the ancient body guards of the ancient time learned this style for it effectiveness and numerous techniques, which I love. The Forms of Kenpo were created much later by the founder of American Kenpo, Edward Parker when he decided to add Forms to round off his system. One person that added Parker in creating some of the forms, namely the star blocking set, was James Wing Woo.

Kenpo resembles a few of the Southern Chinese styles such as Hung Gar and Choy Li Fut, but the focus was always on Techniques more then forms. Parker was never taught forms, the founder Professor Chow really focused on hundreds of Techniques. As I said, it was later when Parker came to the USA that he created his classical forms based in these techniques to make the system complete. It has been called the Fast Hand Art as well as much of the focus was on hand rather then fancy kicks. What kicks there are were focused to low area's of the body to prevent leg capture.

The thing I liked about Kenpo was that it is very practical for street fighting. It is marked by the fact the moves are fast and there was numerous hitting to vital area's holding back nothing that worked. As far as kenpo is concerned, anything goes. It was not a pretty art because form was secondary to effectiveness, and this made a lot of sense to me. Most styles look at the beauty of your stances and fancy postures, whereas Kenpo focused on fast devastating techniques that put your opponent out quickly and for good. Fighting is never pretty, what do you care about when it comes to defense, how pretty you look or how well it works for defense?

Since Kenpo's advent in this country it has been imitated more the any style I know with many different schools opening that were not part of Parker's IKKA (international Kenpo Karate Association). I think this is true because Kenpo was the first Martial Art in this country and was made very popular to the American people and even drew such people as Elvis Presley.

Some have asked my why it is called Karate rather the Kung Fu, I think it was simply because that term was better known, but Parker him self called it Chinese Kenpo, not Japanese Kenpo which is a a totally different style. Since Ed Parker's death many offshoot organisations have surfaced and the original Art has been added to a great deal in weapons and new forms and such which the original style did not have. The original style was nothing but Techniques and few weapons.

Again, I repeat when I say you have to find what you like, what makes sense to you, what you do best and is suited for you to decide which style to get into. I was naturally fast, which makes a Hand Style well suited for me. As another example, a weak person small in size might find an art like Judo not the best to choose to study, as compared to a bigger and stronger man in the same art. None of this is to say what is best, I am only giving you my view what was good for me and what was suited to my physical makeup. I will close saying all the Arts are just great, all you have to do is find what your match is. It is like a marriage, if you find the right one, you will be happy the rest of your life, if you don't it just don't work...!

A Master's Goal

So what is it that a Master wants from teaching people the arts? The answer is simple , namely to create successors to the arts so it may continue into the future. This is the primary goal of any Teacher or Master or Grand Master. The arts has survived for thousands of years and it has done so by passing the arts on to those who have that certain attributes a Master looks for in a student. So what are those attributes?

It is not just ones ability to perform techniques or demonstrate forms that make good teachers, it is the heart. Most who study long enough can show their skills in techniques or forms, but the thing that is hidden is the heart and dedication to the Art and its ethics that allow the arts to continue for generations to come. Without a love for all the traditions and loyalty to the arts it would have been lost centuries ago.

This is why I have often said, "Many are called but few are chosen". Any True Master is looking for the dedication and love which is what the Arts calls for continued existence. Great Grand Master Chang did not pick his students by their skills ability, it was their character that he looked at. Many would come to him literally begging to become one of his student, but if he thought that their character was lacking in some way he would not even consider taking them under his roof.

Of course every Teacher knows well not all will make it, for many come to the Arts for different reasons and more then likely they would leave for various reasons well before they could even be considered as a top student. This is ok, and it is also expected, so it is not shocking to any Teacher then people will come and go. But there are always a few that seem to have the love for what they do and are looking for a future in teaching others. These are the one's the Teachers eye watches closely. More often then not if he is wrong in his judgement their flaws in character will show up.

I must say some have even made it to Teacher levels and after some time their flaws then appear. This is always a heartbreak to any Teacher, but it does happen. Master's or Teacher Levels (Shifu) are but mere humans can be deceived at times, when this happens the Master or Teacher (Shifu) usually disowns them and moves on. However this is not common and for this reason our art lives on.

No matter how great the Master may be their will always be those who can not live up to the ethics and dedication our Art calls for. Even a Great Master such as Jesus, had one who betrayed him, namely Judas. But it was the remaining eleven who spread his teachings and created one of the worlds greatest religions.

For those looking to become a Teacher, all that is needed is the Love of what they do, follow your Masters teachings with sincerity, if you do, your Teacher will see this in time and your dream of becoming Teacher (Shifu) will become reality. Believe me when I tell you any good Shifu, Master, Grand Master or even Great Grand Master wants this to happen more then you will even know in order to safeguard his Art for future generations. This is the goal of any Teacher no matter what their level may be.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Old Way

When I started in the Martial arts is was far different then the schools you see today. So much has changed. Now it is a business, when I was training it was not, it was a fighting art form and nothing else. There were no schools like you see today. Most training was done in rather old worn out rooms, with wood floor and a few mirrors, if you were lucky.

The arts was rough and only those that had the guts to hit and be hit would dare join. Injuries were almost constant, most uniforms had some blood stains on them from split lips broken noses and missing teeth. Learning to take punishment was part of the training, if you could not take it how them could you dish it out?

There were no tournaments in those days, it was a street art for self protection and nothing else. The Teachers were hard to find, but when you did they were rough street fighters that had little mercy about hitting you often and hard, in fact being hit was part of the class training to learn how to take a blow and come back again for more.

More of the classes was about fighting, and little else, forms training was not the focus although you had to learn them, it was about basics blocks, kicks, punches and taking out an opponent quick as possible. You either learned how to fight or you would get beat up on a daily basis. In those days the people that joined the schools were tough street kids that were learning how to stay alive in the rough city streets.

It all changed now now, It all about money, fancy schools and useless moves, competition for trophies, and the worst part is the lose of the reality of the street condition, which can and is brutal. There are no rules in the streets, therefore there should be no rules in the training school either, but now schools use tons of padding to try avoid injury, this approach is the opposite in the streets. Your not padded in the streets and there are no rules other then to take out your attacker as fast and sure as possible..

It was much later when people saw money in teaching and running tournaments that the arts changed. Now schools have everything under the sun, from yoga, to dance and weight loss programs, parties and the list goes on. Well the only thing I can think of is the next time someone comes at you with a knife or club to beat your brains in you can dance for them, maybe you will discover a partner for dancing with the stars?

Sorry, but this is the reality of the Arts as I was trained. I never in my whole training career ever deviated from the old ways, but the arts also never failed me either, because it was real training for the real thing! Just ask a Master like Chang Tung Sheng and he would show you what was real. When he fought only one person walked away, and it was Chang !!!!...