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I thought I had more time...

There's been so many wonderful eulogies written by friends and family about the passing of my Sifu Lam Kwong Wing. Like so many others, he had a great influence on my life. This is about the man I knew...

His passing was too soon and he was too young. Sifu Lam was truly a scholarly martial artist. He didn't just sit on his skill, he always strived to learn more and improve. He told me to never stop learning, to keep improving and always lead by example. I'd describe him as humble, generous, focused and inspiring. When you received a lesson from him, it always felt least to me it did. Working at WLE everyday and teaching was a full time affair. My thoughts and feelings about him come from two distinct directions:

1) Sifu Wing Lam my boss: The man I saw every day at work. I'd come into the school in the morning and he would be standing on his head (on Concrete), feet against the wall and arms out to the sides. I'd say "good morning Sifu" and he'd sometimes just give me a quick smile. Then he'd have some tea and read some deep reading martial arts books. Then he would be doing some Tai Chi. Then he would have a little lunch and do something else. If work or business didn't get in the way...he was always improving himself. Hey, believe it or not he was human! Sometimes he would come in happy or refreshed or other times like he had a hard weekend. I saw him as a family man with wife and daughters too.

It may sound like I stopped seeing him as a super hero and just a man. But that's not a bad thing per say. When you see a person not just as your boss but in some of their most intimate moments of real life, you get a window into what they're truly like. From those daily (very human) lessons I learned that he was a man to follow and I would eventually become fiercely loyal to him. I say this because some people may not know that I risked allot just to move and be near him. You can infer as to how much I admired him for me to have done such a thing.

2) Lam Sifu the teacher: The man that inspired me to follow this path. He lead by example and his lessons always moved you forward.

As a teacher he had a way of explaining things that I later understood to be more deep than I originally realized. Little things he would fix or correct could have a huge impact on a persons learning. But he did stress that you'd have to work at it and also be intelligent. He'd often say, "That's the basic" and it would make me laugh because we could be going over a topic that in my mind was advanced... but to him, it was "Just the basic". I miss those fun times dearly with my brothers.

I have told many people the story of how he gave me advice about kung fu that would eventually be my epiphany. This was a huge turning point for me.

Yes, we learned the art and how to apply it but we also learned culture and even some other lessons like healing massage. I was fighter at heart before I came to Lam Kwoon and Sifu turned me into a martial artist. As I write this I’m overcome with grief that I can't tell him personally how much that means to me.

I heard him say many times, if I see you in 10 yrs and your kung fu looks the same with no improvement…then that’s not good. It's the ten year anniversary of our baishi. My wife Vanessa and I had planned on doing something special like bringing him out to stay with us. I could show him how hard I've been working. I wanted to take him fishing. I wanted to really show him the progress of my dedication.

I thought I had more time...

“O” 4-27-2018
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