Kung Fu Life

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I’ve been involved in one form of martial art or another for a long time now.

36 years to be exact. Not very long. I feel like I’m still just a beginner in a lot of ways.

For the last 26 of those years, I’ve devoted all my time and study to the art of Ving Tsun. Looking back now, I realize that what started out merely as a means to stop bullies from picking on me, became along the way, something much bigger and more important. As a kid I was skinny, not strong or tough at all; exactly the kind of kid bullies look for. One day, I said to myself, that’s enough!

So, in the beginning it was just the fighting that attracted me, learning to stack ass and take names. And I did pretty well at it. Over time, I’ve stacked a lot of ass and taken plenty of names. But one day I realized the silliness of it all. I also saw a deeper truth: I was at risk of turning into a bully myself with my new found powers. I thought there had to be more than just learning how to throw a punch and hurt someone. Hell, you don’t even need kung fu to punch someone in the face. So what’s it really all about then?

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In my quest to find that out, I’ve talked with many kung fu teachers in the USA as well as Hong Kong and China. Especially I’ve had long talks with my own guide of the last 14 years, Master Ip Ching in Hong Kong. ONE thing keeps coming up with EVERY master I’ve talked with. ONE thing that keeps coming up over and over again. And that is, that kung fu is not about fighting. In fact, Sifu Ip Ching said just last April, to one of my students during one of our annual visits to see him, “when a person learns kung fu and practices for a while, you don’t ever want to have to use it, and will do whatever it takes to not have to use it.”

So, what’s it all really about then?

Well, I’ve decided to share with you all what I’ve discovered so far and what I continue to investigate regarding that question through weekly blog posts. You can come along on this kung fu journey, and learn with me each and every day I teach and train. The journey is ongoing. Day by day. Moment by moment. One training session at a time. I’ll share what I’ve learned: from my Sifu in Hong Kong, from teaching my students to walk the path, from watching as they make their own discoveries, and from what I’ve discovered through the hard work of daily training.

Some posts will be short. Some longer. Not all will be about the system of Ving Tsun directly, but many will. Some posts will be about the nuts and bolts of the Ving Tsun system and how to train and understand it correctly, and some will be more about the journey of a man doing his best to live what Sifu Ip Ching calls the, “Kung Fu Way of Life.”

So, I invite you to come back each week to read the blog. Perhaps I can help you understand what this journey is all about, and help you to live the “Kung fu life”.

Sifu Matt

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