View Full Version : Want to learn ...no sifu

07-21-2001, 02:44 AM
Hi all

I am interested in learning Kung Fu. (uncertain on what style,yet) The problem is that live in a small city...as far as I know there aren't any teachers here. What are my options? Is it possible to learn thru books and videos?

07-21-2001, 04:08 AM
On the city. Is there a Chinatown there? Alot of the better schools won't advertise. If you look hard enough you can find anything.

07-21-2001, 08:07 AM
No ...no Chinatown here. I live near Canada's West Coast. The closest Chinatown is in Vancouver which is a couple of hundred miles from where I live

07-21-2001, 09:55 PM
master tat-mau wong offers a distance learning program in the choy li fut style. he is a very popular and reputable sifu, but any kind of distance learning will be very difficult. however, if you possess the ambition and perserverence (and $$) it takes to walk this path, it will be most fruitful.

www.tatwong.com (http://www.tatwong.com)

good luck!

In a fight you should never stick to principles; they should stick to you!

07-22-2001, 02:24 AM
My opinion is that, while books and videos are good backup learning materials, learning a martial art requires the face-to-face approach, both with a Sifu and other students of varying levels. With no other choice, a correspondence course might be your only option. If so, I haven't seen what Sifu Tat Wong's course looks like, but that is a possibility. There might be the possibility that you could make your way to Sifu Wong's school in San Francisco from time to time.

You could surf the web for Sifu's in Vancouver, which appears to be the closest hub of Kung Fu for you. Then you could write to any of interest, asking if they had qualified students who live closer to you. It's possible that an advanced student could have moved outside of Vancouver, but still maintain ties with the school and with the arts taught there.

Another idea. I know I have commuted 3 hours each way to attend classes several times a week. This was done via public transport. Is it possible that by car (if you have one and can do distance driving well and safely) you could make it to class 2 hours away? Even if you could only attend Friday and/or Saturday classes, it might get you started at least.

wishing you success,

07-22-2001, 07:42 AM
I tried that... sorta. I contacted Sifu Jon Funk, of 7-Star Mantis fame, for a private lesson on a Saturday a week prior.I told him I was interested in learning his style, said that I was a beginner, and that I was coming in from out of town. So he said that he could give me a private lesson an hour before his regular Saturday class. So I drove 300 miles to be there for the lesson. And then I waited..and I waited...an hour passed and then the regular class showed up. He sees me ...the one he doesn't recognize...and said he forgot. We must have sent back and forth over half a dozen e-mails to arrange it..forgot! :mad: So he said,that I can join the regular class for the afternoon...and he won't charge me for the lesson.
Well..ok ...sure. I have never taken any kind of kung fu before so learning the first part of the form he is trying to teach me is hard. I guess I was a poor learner cuz I could see he was irritated that I was not doing it right. So he passed me off onto a student that helped me out.( a very nice guy ...and much better teacher if you ask me). Then the class ended.
That was my first and only kung fu lesson...and it wasn't a heart-warming one. I was very dissapointed in Sifu Funk's indifference to a potential student that travelled a LONG way to see him. I had read about him for years in magazines and stuff so he was sort of a "legend" to me. :(
After that experience, I was not inclined to go through all that again for one of his "private lessons".

Johnny Hot Shot
07-22-2001, 08:00 AM
Don't let one bad experience get you down.

Where in BC are you ?

"Life's a great adventure, mate."
Jacko Jackson

07-22-2001, 11:08 AM
Do you have an idea what it is to hit/slap/kick/punch something?

What types of situations would you like your Kung_Fu to be able to handle?

How do you would-like the other person(s) to be, after the fight?

What animals are around where you are?(what do you see them doing?

What jobs have you had? What professions do you regularly see or know~ about?

These are so that I could tell you some stuff you could do that was Kung_Fu like-ish until you got something real. Also, it would help guide you to that in which you are interested.

Very some such,perhaps might have been, likely say some, some not.

07-22-2001, 04:00 PM
If you really traveled all that way I have two things to say...

One is forget Jon Fuk, if someone traveled 300 miles to take a class with me, I'd train the guy patiently for the hour I promised. Don't be upset, at least you've learned that kung fu teachers aren't all benevelent, spiritual, invincible gurus.

Two...if you can't find kung fu in your area, what about karate, tae kwon do, aikido, etc....

Might not be exactly what you want, but it'll be a good start. And who knows, maybe you'll love it.

07-22-2001, 07:26 PM
Just because one guy is a jerk is no reason to quit on the style. Find someone else more willing to teach you the art and go have fun.

K. Mark Hoover

07-22-2001, 11:25 PM
Sorry about the lack of consideration you encountered. Another thing is that a student who travels distances should get more than one hour of time, not necessarily private lessons (which are pricy too). But, there was a class, as you mentioned. Heck, why not find some way to include you. You wouldn't necessarily have to do exactly what the others were. There are ways to manage such a thing for a beginner.

I think you have gotten good advice here, and real encouragement.
Anyhow, from what you said, if I remember correctly, you're closer to Vancouver than to your latest venture. Sounds to me like you need to go shopping, looking into other martial arts too, as someone else suggested.

I think a bitter pill to swallow is that fame is not necessarily a guarantee that a person will be a good teacher, or a good teacher for you.
You need to ask around. Okay, for instance, you might get in touch with the local police department. No kidding. One of them might have good training in a traditional art. Maybe someone there could get you started, and then you could connect beyond that. It could be a beginning.



07-23-2001, 07:11 PM
I am grateful for all the advice that I have received. I used to do karate when I was in high school but gave it up because I didn't like the rigidity of the style. I am 34 now, in decent shape,looking for something fluid,graceful, yet very martial. I am not concerned about self-defence because I can take care of myself,if needed. I am certainly not looking to ever put myself in a situation where I would need to test my skills. I like the look of the Internal arts, but tai chi looks too "granola and crystals" ...as it is taught in this area. I prefer an art that is still combat-ready ;)

07-29-2001, 06:25 AM
I live in Vancouver and know some good teachers of different styles in the area.Feel free to contact me through my profile if you want. Also, I believe that there is a teacher of ziranmen in Kelowna that can be reached at the following email addres: xsilent@lycos.com I don't know much about the teacher but it looks like a really cool style.


Go forward, my son, and
be like unto a torch
upon the darkness. Thou
are stripped now, of all
that was before. Look
not to thy fellow men
for guidance or
countenance- they canst
advise you no longer.
Thou shalt be as dust
now, and dust shall be
upon the tongues of thy
enemy. Verily, thou
shalt herald the coming
of the new age upon

08-17-2001, 03:35 AM
Little Dragon -

If I may offer you a suggestion. Master Brian Gray has a home study course in Shaolin Kung Fu. He starts from the basics and works up. He gives the physical and mental aspects of Shaolin Kung Fu. I viewed some of the videos and I think it is okay. But check it out for yourself and please don't take my word for it. Hope this may lighten your path Little Dragon.


08-17-2001, 03:51 AM
the 7 Star guy sounds like an a.r.se.

What about Wing Lam's videos at www.wle.com (http://www.wle.com)

I haven't used but hear they are good.

Anyway mate - keep searching. There must be someone at least half good in the near vicinity. Learn what you can from them and supplement it with videos and books. That's the best i can offer.

Canada must be like Scotland for Kung Fu styles. However, I have found a great Sifu although its not the style I wanted to study. i think the sifu is more important than the style so get good references for ewhhowver you eventually go to.

Good luck

"We had a thing to settle so I did him"
Tamai, 43, was quoted by Police as saying.

08-26-2001, 05:19 PM
Cheng Man Ching has several awesome books on 37-posture Cheng Style Taijiquan.

08-26-2001, 05:53 PM
The Wing Lam videos are good, indeed. But I am biased. :p

Come to think of it, isn't Pan Qing Fu located in Vancouver? I don't have his card with me so can't remember right away, but I think he is.


We are trained in wushu; we must protect the Temple!

08-26-2001, 11:31 PM
I think he's in Toronto.

One of his disciples wants to take me there to meet him.

08-27-2001, 12:25 AM
I find myself in a similar situation. I've been looking for a good school or teacher in my area for about 9 months. The best thing I can tell you is to keep looking. Here (Dayton/Cincinnati area) there are probably 20 schools advertising "Kung Fu" in the phone book. I've visited most of them, and some aren't even teaching Kung Fu at all, the others are poor excuses, or blends of other styles.

On the other hand though, it seems the more I look, the more I find. I recently came across a Sifu teaching Southern Tiger privately out of his home. He doesn't advertise, and has a limited number of students.

For me, distance learning, or learning from videos is out of the question. I seek traditional discipline with a Sifu face-to-face.

I wish you well in your quest. :D

Steve "Phrenzy"
Kali/Pentjak Silat

08-30-2001, 03:46 AM
-bulletin boards, in chinese restaurants.
-gyms and YMCA's
-bulletin boards in sporting goods, and martial art stores
-police station
-community newspaper and bulletin boards

i hope you find something

08-30-2001, 05:03 AM
I did find a school! I am currently taking Wing Chun! It wasn't exactly the style I was looking for but beggars can't be choosers! At least I am in a Kwoon doing it ...instead of dreaming about it. Thanks to all that replied!

Little Dragon

08-30-2001, 05:34 AM
wing chun isnt my fav either, but its WAY better than nothing :D

08-31-2001, 01:50 AM
Good for you.

Best of luck with the Wing Chun.

"We had a thing to settle so I did him"
Tamai, 43, was quoted by Police as saying.