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Thanks from Michael

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Quote Originally Posted by mpstaples View Post
Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
Mr. Staples,

Thanks for the heads-up on the new book.

I still have your books on White Crane, Hop Gar, and a third one, Tibetan Kung Fu: The Way of the Monk. Bought them back in the early '80s. Good books. Glad to know all is going well with you.
Thanks back, Jimbo. Back then there weren't many books about kung-fu. Most of what was out there was shaolin, in one form or another. Robert Smith had a book out on Hsing Yi and one on Pa Kua, but most of the books (and there were only a few) were from obscure publishers.

Actually, I didn't get into writing about kung-fu because I wanted to be a writer. I got into it because I was another fanatical student of kung-fu, and I stumbled onto a way of prying open the various Sifu around San Francisco by cutting a deal -- you can have your name in lights with a nice article about you in a National Magazine, but you have to open up your style to me so I know what to write. And it worked pretty well. I managed to open up styles that had never before been written about in English. That was my motivation, at least with the magazine articles (I wrote something like a hundred of them). The books were ways of my better understanding the styles I was learning -- so, White Crane, and Hop Gar. Back then, both of these styles were very (very) secretive, and white guys like me just didn't get through the front door. Both George Long (White Crane) and David Chin (Hop Gar) were breaking with tradition to teach us Ba Gwei. But it still wasn't all that I point out in my book #Focusing Emptiness. You can chug on over to my website: to see a little more. You probably don't have my book Wu Shu of China. That one is really rare, but the best quality book I wrote. That one introduced the Chang Chuan compulsory routine used in Wushu for the first time. My partner, Anthony Chan, and I were heavily involved with the Beijing Wushu Team back then. I took the first pictures of Jet Li, and Anthony was with him during the galla openings of one of his movies later on. But we self-published that book, and we didn't know about things like ISBNs. The first run of 5,000 sold out before it was even printed...mostly in Australia and the UK.

Anyway, there is a lot about my days in kung-fu in the book, but the book isn't really about kung-fu. Still I included some historical pictures that I think are quite valuable.

The Hop-Gar book and the Tibetan book were written as one book (just a little trivia), but Curtis Wong, the owner of Inside Kung-Fu magazine wanted to break them up into two books. I have no idea why. Didn't seem like the best idea to me. I never thought the Tibetan book was substantial enough to stand on its own. But I went along with it just the same.

Then there was the book we called "The Elegant Wushu of China," that both Anthony and I collaborated on, about the first and second Wushu Teams from China we were involved with. I told Curtis, who published it, that we had to have complete artistic control, and that the magazine had to be 100% devoted to wushu -- that I would write the whole thing, and we would use only our photographs -- and that all the advertisments had to be in the back of the magazine somwhere, out of sight (that didn't exactly happen, but it was close). The problem with magazine articles, though, was that after an issue comes out, it then gets lost in subsequent issues... and it's gone -- unlike a book.

Wow. I've just been rambling on here. Sorry. Probably more than you wanted to know.

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