Author: Rick Wong
Bruce Lee said that “All knowledge is self knowledge.” Studying Kungfu and Taichi for over 30 years has been my personal pathway to many things. For me, it has been a window into the complex heart of traditional Chinese culture that can only be understood if the physical is engaged, not just witnessed cerebrally. When I take my horse stance, I become aware, not only of my connection with the earth and the forces within it, but also my foundation here on earth to act & move with strength & purpose. I become aware of my breath and its connection with spirit and the flow of universal energy. I become aware of the ancient idea that my humanity is poised between earth below and the morality of heaven above. I connect with nature, the movements of animals and what they show us. I also become aware of the technical martial possibilities of fixing firmly to a position from which other actions become rooted and strong while other actions become too heavy and slow. Every posture, every kick, every joint lock, within the canon of martial art movement for me contains this multiplicity in layers of understanding spanning from the cosmological, the historical right down to the functional efficiency of maximizing physical energy, speed and martial force.
A teacher once taught me that Kungfu teaches you to push through adversity. Indeed, mastery of some techniques have taken me years of dedication and required physical changes in my body. I was also taught that ultimately, the biggest adversaries we learn to fight are sickness and old age. Those adversaries eventually win over every practitioner no matter how masterful. My knowledge is always tempered by humility.
Choi Lei Fut, Do Pi, Wu Taichi and Chi Kung are ancient unfathomable practices. I see myself not as a teacher imposing an imitation of himself on his students but rather a student farther along the path who shares a little of what he has found and hopes that with practice, one day you too will find treasures you can call your own.
Interested in learning Kungfu? Rick teaches at Six Degrees every Saturday 9:30am-11am. Click for details.