1. What is the difference between “Modern Kung Fu” and regular Kung Fu the average person thinks of?
Modern because I am still living and breathing, this art is not based on tradition, it is a living moving work of Art. Kung Fu is an ancient term from the East; “Modern” merges the ancient wisdom of the East with the modern technology of the West. Modern Kung Fu is representing the balance of Yin/Yang. The ancient wisdom of the East “Kung Fu” is representing “yin,” the modern technology of the West is representing “yang.” Both words come together to represent a balance of yin/yang, East/West.
“Kung Fu” as we know of it, as in many words that we use to convey meaning has been corrupted through the ages. It has been stereotyped to represent “Chinese Martial Arts.” Or a system of animal styles grounded on tradition. Such as Eagle Claw, Praying Mantis, etc. Hollywood and the media have corrupted the true meaning of Kung Fu. Songs developed such as “Kung Fu Fighting” which humiliates the meaning of Kung Fu. Jackie Chan promoting the humiliation of Kung Fu through producing movies such as “Drunken Master.” Movies such as “Kung Fu Panda” also poke fun at Kung Fu.
Shaolin Kung Fu portrays to the public a Martial Art style grounded in tradition and restricted to be limited to methods of fighting and expression based on the past. There is nothing modern about Shaolin Kung Fu. Most of all well-known styles are dead and based upon past tradition. The techniques and ways are set in stone, it cannot change, and because it cannot change, that serves to be its limitation that prevents it from growth and the representation of an expression of truth.
There is beauty in tradition, “Kung Fu” represents tradition, culture, and wisdom, but it cannot be complete without innovation and creation. Modern technology, which is represented by Western culture, harmonizes Kung Fu. Not all technology leads towards the positive, but certainly, not all technology leads towards the negative. Tradition bridged together with modern technology and creation creates balance and harmony.
When you think about Kung Fu, you typically do not envision the use of firearms, batons, and various swords and knives. Our vision of what Kung Fu represents is limited to what is portrayed in media. Bruce Lee had worked hard towards bringing a positive reputation to Kung Fu that was respected but his hard work was undermined by other types of film and media that destroyed the reputation of Kung Fu by poking fun at it and encouraging the public to disrespect Kung Fu, such as movies like “Rush Hour”. The creation of a new label such as “Modern Kung Fu” was necessary to restore the true meaning of Kung Fu that is free from the corruption of the past.
Because I am living, breathing, and expressing my creativity, my expression of Kung Fu is truly modern, it is of today, it is not a repeat of the past, it is not based on tradition. It is something new that has never been seen before. It is like a new business with a new name that has never been heard of. With this new name, we are enabled to create new meanings and steer away from past stereotypes that have damaged the reputation of Kung Fu and Martial Arts in general.
You will see in this Modern Kung Fu that even our uniforms are quite unique and different compared to any traditional Martial Arts school. Our uniforms are far from what is worn in the Shaolin Temples. We utilize modern technology and wear high quality athletic apparel and shoes designed for maximum performance. Modern Kung Fu is able to adapt and change with technology when we deem necessary, we are not bound by tradition.
We utilize modern technology and equipment for training; we are not just restricted with only training with nature. We train with nature and we train in modernized facilities. We utilize modern technologies such as the Internet to market and promote. We utilize camcorders to track our progression and as a medium to share our Art. We are not locked away in temples in secret; we are available to the public to teach to those truly interested in learning the Martial Arts in its entirety.
2. The style of Kung Fu I study has a great deal of Eagle Claw influence in it. Where did you study Eagle Claw? What aspect of it do you feel is most effective in self-defense?
I have never specifically studied Eagle Claw. Though the most effective aspect of it in self-defense in my opinion is the training of the strong claw like fingers that can be effectively used to apply force to pressure points and other areas of the body that would incapacitate or disable.
3. What are easiest and most effective pressure points to use in a fight? Please describe them.
This information I do not divulge to the general public. It goes against the philosophy of my teachings. I see that to be a responsible Sifu, I must know whom I am teaching before I teach when it comes to sharing techniques of combat that can potentially become lethal.
4. Which event as a police officer called demand the most extensive use of your martial arts skill? Tell us about it.
General fitness is a must; you cannot even be hired to become a Police Officer without passing the Power Test. Having great body control from training in the Martial Arts allows you to easily become proficient in the use of a firearm. You cannot even pass the Police Academy without being proficient in the use of firearms. Awareness in the line of duty is of absolute importance as your life is in danger day after day fulfilling the duties as an Officer. Intelligence many times is more important than brute strength in the line of duty. A lot of report writing is required & the ability to effectively put into writing experiences that you encounter while on duty. Without that skill, it will be extremely difficult to be a competent Police Officer. There was no instance when my life was in great danger while on active duty.
5. You stress the importance of not using gear when sparring. How do you keep beginners from hurting each other if they are not adept at controlling their strikes?
If beginners are not adept at controlling their strikes or emotions then they are not ready for what I call Safe Sparring. They will have to focus their attention on training in combat drills that will prep them to be ready and they will have to focus on hitting inanimate objects until they develop body and emotional control. Without body or emotional control, they are not fit for Safe Sparring. And for the safety of them and their fellow brothers and sisters, it is best that they train harder to become physically and mentally prepared before engaging in Safe Sparring.
6. It seems in recent years Tai Chi has really gained in popularity. Why do you think this is? How does Tai Chi help someone develop their fighting skills?
True Tai Chi is the balance of yin/yang. True Tai Chi is meant to represent True Martial Arts. True Tai Chi follows the way and teaching to “Tao Te Ching.” People are drawn towards Tai Chi because naturally people will be drawn towards truth. Tai Chi is truth, it is harmony and balance, people naturally will eventually desire to head towards harmony and balance. They see and know that there is something missing in Combat Sport, there is something missing in Boxing, there is something missing in competitive sports, there is something missing in Yoga, etc. True Tai Chi has nothing missing, it is complete, it is whole, people naturally wish to be whole and complete, true Tai Chi can help people towards the way of balance and harmony.
True Tai Chi is a way of life. When you better yourself in Tai Chi, you better yourself in life. When you better yourself in life, it will better you in all aspects in life including your fighting ability. True Tai Chi will help you destroy your inner ego and find inner peace, when you find inner peace and no longer have that inner desire to compete, it will decrease your chances of engaging in violent activities that can result in great bodily injury. When you have inner peace, you will emit positive energy around you. When you emit positive energy around you, it decreases the chance of violence coming towards your way.
7. What are your future goals for your system?
This is not a system that I have created. I don’t like to call it a system but rather it is a path for others to take to help them gain a greater understanding of what True Martial Arts really is. What I teach is Martial Arts as a whole. I can teach for as long as I live, but my true goal is for people to gain an understanding, not just for now but for eternity. Even when I pass away, I want people who encounter my teachings to achieve an understanding. With this understanding, they will know that the true way in the Martial Arts is the totality; it is the whole, not the part, or the sum of the parts. I have established this kwoon as a home for true Martial Artists to gather and train with one another in joy and peace, not in anger and competition. I hope that this kwoon will inspire those who have interest in the Martial Arts to head towards a more peaceful and artistic development away from Combat Sport.
8. Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
All forms of Combat Sport are NOT Real Martial Arts. Real Martial Arts is beyond all competition. Real Martial Arts is the balance of the Body, Mind, & Spirit.