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Thread: Who are kung fu masters who don't hold back in teaching?

  1. #16
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    "You seem pretty bitter, man. Did someone kick you out for being impatient? Again, maybe you just kind of sucked at your basic material and said teacher didn't feel you were ready for more"

    Nope!!! (on both counts). Rather, I am trying to ferret out those who are masters who are "worth their salt" vs. those who are uh...questionable!

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by LaterthanNever View Post
    Rather, I am trying to ferret out those who are masters who are "worth their salt" vs. those who are uh...questionable!
    I'm enjoying this thread as it is, but would just like to add something. A teacher who "holds back" or is perceived as holding back can still be "worth his/her salt" IMO. Whether a teacher is good or questionable does not correlate with being perceived as "holding back" or not. 2
    Last edited by rett2; 11-08-2017 at 05:45 AM.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by LaterthanNever View Post
    Nope!!! (on both counts). Rather, I am trying to ferret out those who are masters who are "worth their salt" vs. those who are uh...questionable!
    Well, it's considered to be in bad taste to name people, good or bad, online. So instead, if you want to know if someone's worth their salt, watch them move. There are enough examples of people who were or are at the top of their game on the youtubes nowadays which should give you good idea of what balance, power, grace, and fajing should look like. There are also a **** ton of examples of bad kung fu on the tubes.

    Go in person to a class and watch the person in question move.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyB View Post
    Well, it's considered to be in bad taste to name people, good or bad, online. So instead, if you want to know if someone's worth their salt, watch them move. There are enough examples of people who were or are at the top of their game on the youtubes nowadays which should give you good idea of what balance, power, grace, and fajing should look like. There are also a **** ton of examples of bad kung fu on the tubes.

    Go in person to a class and watch the person in question move.
    Good advice.

    However, I'd like to add that sometimes how good a teacher's skills are and how well he moves isn't always a good indicator of how good a teacher he is.

    I knew a certain teacher in Taiwan (not my teacher) whose kung fu was at a very high level; in addition, he was always willing to spar anyone, at any time, something I'd never seen any other established teacher there do. I sparred him several times, and can attest to the fact that he was very good. At that time, he was about in his early 50s, and even then, he had the fastest kick I'd ever seen. He taught a rare lineage of Hung Gar. My second Northern Mantis teacher in Taiwan was a student of his. This HG teacher's kung/gong, his speed, power, technique, and his form were impeccable.

    AFAIK, there were only 3 students of this HG teacher who received 'the real stuff', my own Mantis teacher being the last and youngest. These three students also had a high level of natural talent for MA. All his other students that I saw or knew of (and he had taught a LOT of students over the years) were literally awful. Simply put, he didn't care about these other students; he took their money and gave them a bunch of forms that he taught them half-@ssed and wrong. This HG teacher also had character issues, but I won't go into that here.

    So if I could add any advice, I would say that, if possible, observe the overall quality level of a teacher's students. Of course, virtually every school will have their better and lesser-skilled students. But try to determine the overall levels of the school. Do the students seem good for the levels they're at? How are the advanced and intermediate-level students? Are the beginners developing good fundamentals, and do the intermediate and advanced students seem to know what they're doing beyond just doing good forms? Because the teacher himself may be good, but that in itself may not be an indicator that he is able or willing to pass it down to others. If a teacher has only a very small group, then this should be even easier to determine.

    Oddly enough, a friend of mine (who had already been a CMA teacher himself for many years) once told me he left a certain large BJJ school because the teacher held back and only shared the fine points with students who were also from Brazil. He compared it to the way some older Chinese sifu only taught the 'real' stuff to Chinese students. This friend ended up switching to another BJJ school where that wasn't an issue.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 11-08-2017 at 08:56 AM.

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    So if I could add any advice, I would say that, if possible, observe the overall quality level of a teacher's students. Of course, virtually every school will have their better and lesser-skilled students. But try to determine the overall levels of the school. Do the students seem good for the levels they're at? How are the advanced and intermediate-level students? Are the beginners developing good fundamentals, and do the intermediate and advanced students seem to know what they're doing beyond just doing good forms? Because the teacher himself may be good, but that in itself may not be an indicator that he is able or willing to pass it down to others. If a teacher has only a very small group, then this should be even easier to determine.
    This is gold. You're right - but also, you have to keep in mind that there are a lot of sh**y students (no athletic ability, lack of attention span, no tolerance for pain, etc.), so it's hard to tell.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyB View Post
    how can any master keep anything secret? Especially if a student is earnest and puts in the time because they should discover their own secrets.
    The secret is like a thin paper, it blocks your view. after you make a hole through it, you can see everything. The question is how long will it take you to make a hole through that thin paper?

    A: Dear master! Last night I sparred with a MMA guy in local MMA gym. When I did ..., he countered with ... I didn't know how to deal with his counter.
    B: You can try .... and ...

    I had used this trick to squeeze out every single bit of "secret" from my teacher. Sometime I even "faked" the sparring experience. I just wanted to hear his solution if he was in that situation. How can any teacher hide any secret if his students try to solve problem by using his teaching material? If a teacher didn't want his student to lose in sparring so he might lose face, he had to share his personal secret.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 11-08-2017 at 12:32 PM.
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  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    The secret is like a thin paper, it blocks your view. after you make a hole through it, you can see everything. The question is how long will it take you to make a hole through that thin paper?
    This is the truth. And sometimes the student is the one holding the paper, unsure of why his view is blocked. Don't get in your own way. Listen, learn, and practice.

  8. #23

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by YouKnowWho View Post
    The secret is like a thin paper, it blocks your view. after you make a hole through it, you can see everything. The question is how long will it take you to make a hole through that thin paper?

    A: Dear master! Last night I sparred with a MMA guy in local MMA gym. When I did ..., he countered with ... I didn't know how to deal with his counter.
    B: You can try .... and ...

    I had used this trick to squeeze out every single bit of "secret" from my teacher. Sometime I even "faked" the sparring experience. I just wanted to hear his solution if he was in that situation. How can any teacher hide any secret if his students try to solve problem by using his teaching material? If a teacher didn't want his student to lose in sparring so he might lose face, he had to share his personal secret.
    I absolutely love this!!!

  9. #24
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    Gentlemen/Ladies,

    "I'm enjoying this thread as it is, but would just like to add something. A teacher who "holds back" or is perceived as holding back can still be "worth his/her salt" IMO. Whether a teacher is good or questionable does not correlate with being perceived as "holding back" or not. 2"

    Absolutely! For the record..I'm not talking about a sifu/master/grandmaster who has promoted many dedicated students to sifu level over the years and decides to save the "remaining 10%" for a couple of specific and worthy students who have gone over and beyond the call of duty and is given the "inner chamber" secrets. For instance, if one examines the syllabus for for 7* mantis..there are, I believe 114 forms ( ) and the syllabus states something to the effect that "the remaining 8 forms are reserved for the inheritor of the system". That is fundamentally different to what I am asking.

    MightyB,

    "Well, it's considered to be in bad taste to name people, good or bad, online."

    According to whom? The kung fu community is so split, that every time a certain WC master so much as passes wind, it's all over the internet 10 minutes later. And yet? I ask for THE OPPOSITE constructive discussion (ie: who are high level masters who are willing to teach what they know in it's entirely provided one is dedicated" and all of a sudden it's a taboo topic?

    "There are also a **** ton of examples of bad kung fu on the tubes. "

    Again..that wasn't the purpose of the thread. It's generally a lot easier to look at the negative about a topic before one chooses to look at the positive.

    Jimbo,

    "I knew a certain teacher in Taiwan (not my teacher) whose kung fu was at a very high level; in addition, he was always willing to spar anyone, at any time, something I'd never seen any other established teacher there do. I sparred him several times, and can attest to the fact that he was very good. At that time, he was about in his early 50s, and even then, he had the fastest kick I'd ever seen. He taught a rare lineage of Hung Gar. My second Northern Mantis teacher in Taiwan was a student of his. This HG teacher's kung/gong, his speed, power, technique, and his form were impeccable."

    Would you mind listing his/her name? TY Sir.


    YouknowWho

    "This is the truth. And sometimes the student is the one holding the paper, unsure of why his view is blocked. Don't get in your own way. Listen, learn, and practice."

    Absolutely! And sometimes it's *not*. I would obviously consider you Master Wang among the penulimate instructors who are the opposite of the "hold back" ideology. That's some syllabus you've got there! Thank you for your dedication and comittment to CMA.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaterthanNever View Post

    Jimbo,

    "I knew a certain teacher in Taiwan (not my teacher) whose kung fu was at a very high level; in addition, he was always willing to spar anyone, at any time, something I'd never seen any other established teacher there do. I sparred him several times, and can attest to the fact that he was very good. At that time, he was about in his early 50s, and even then, he had the fastest kick I'd ever seen. He taught a rare lineage of Hung Gar. My second Northern Mantis teacher in Taiwan was a student of his. This HG teacher's kung/gong, his speed, power, technique, and his form were impeccable."

    Would you mind listing his/her name? TY Sir.
    This footage of him was from the early 1980s or so. I believe he's well into his 70s now. The last time I saw him in person was 25 years ago, when I left Taiwan. In more recent vids I've seen of him, he's gained a lot of weight and obviously due to his age has slowed down a lot. Apparently an American student of his posted this old video; AFAIK, Chang/Zhang still lives in Taiwan. This student must have met him in Taiwan well after I left, because when I knew Chang/Zhang, his students were almost all Taiwanese/Chinese, and no Westerners that I knew of.

    Last edited by Jimbo; 11-10-2017 at 07:35 AM.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    This footage of him was from the early 1980s or so. I believe he's well into his 70s now. The last time I saw him in person was 25 years ago, when I left Taiwan. In more recent vids I've seen of him, he's gained a lot of weight and obviously due to his age has slowed down a lot. Apparently an American student of his posted this old video; AFAIK, Chang/Zhang still lives in Taiwan. This student must have met him in Taiwan well after I left, because when I knew Chang/Zhang, his students were almost all Taiwanese/Chinese, and no Westerners that I knew of.


    Greetings Gentlemen,

    What is most interesting about the form that master is doing is that one can see the influence of Hua To's Five Animal Frolics.

    mickey

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickey View Post
    Greetings Gentlemen,

    What is most interesting about the form that master is doing is that one can see the influence of Hua To's Five Animal Frolics.

    mickey
    Interesting observation, mickey, and I wouldn't disagree.

    Sorry to take this thread OT, but Master Zhang/Chang can also be seen very briefly in this Taiwanese kung fu movie, Shaolin vs. Ninja, in a few sequences from 3:02 to 3:48. He's in the red uniform leading some of his students in a demo. Here he performed part of his Zui Ba Xian (Drunken 8 Immortals) set, which he was also famous for. The leading star of the film, TKD champion Alexander Lo Rei (also the lead star of movies such as Shaolin vs. Lama, etc., etc.), had studied Hung Gar under Zhang.

    Last edited by Jimbo; 12-01-2017 at 08:21 AM.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Interesting observation, mickey, and I wouldn't disagree.

    Sorry to take this thread OT, but Master Zhang/Chang can also be seen very briefly in this Taiwanese kung fu movie, Shaolin vs. Ninja, in a few sequences from 3:02 to 3:48. He's in the red uniform leading some of his students in a demo. Here he performed part of his Zui Ba Xian (Drunken 8 Immortals) set, which he was also famous for. The leading star of the film, TKD champion Alexander Lo Rei (also the lead star of movies such as Shaolin vs. Lama, etc., etc.), had studied Hung Gar under Zhang.


    That was nice, Jimbo.

    Thank you for sharing that.

    mickey

  14. #29
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    I have no idea how any student would have any idea that any teacher is holding anything back.


    We know nothing of the style when we come into it.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

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