“It is said, upon the birth of the Buddha, he stood up, pointed one finger to the sky, pointed the finger of the other hand to the earth, and roared like a lion to announce he had arrived”.
– The Lantern Passing Record
The lion is considered a divine animal of nobleness and dignity, which can protect the Truth and keep off evils. So, perhaps people can understand why in the Ming Dynasty, a martial art associated with Buddhism was called “Lion’s Roar”. But for my personal method? Is there more to it?
“I maintain that Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti
I have developed in my approach to martial arts the idea that one must always train with Truth. Yet Truth is subtle and elusive, and as Krishnamurti stated in so many variations, it is impossible to organize in a static form. Thus, my method is always adapting and changing. If it were not so, it would not be a living thing, and it would cease to be practical and relevant.
In retrospect, my interest in practical application of the martial arts and in training fighters inspired the process by which I came to this conclusion. In combat, you become interested in what works. If something is ineffective, regardless of its origins, you rationally discard it. A major theme of my method is that it is not what you practice; your style, system, tradition, lineage, teacher or school. It is HOW you practice. You must practice with Truth.
For more than twenty years, I have been known for producing fighters. To many it appears I run a school and have a curriculum that is far removed from traditional Chinese martial arts. I certainly have never been anything less than completely forthright about my cross training and my incorporation of different material, especially non-Chinese martial arts, into my teachings.
Yet, I still consider the core of my teachings the material that Chan Tai-San taught me. I have compared it to a human body; Chan Tai-San’s methods are the skeleton, the connective tissues, and the heart. My cross training has certainly filled in certain areas, but in other cases all that it did was give me a deeper appreciation for material I already had learned from Chan Tai-San. I had never abandoned my teacher or his methods; I had simply expanded and evolved them.
There are those who learned the same system, even those who studied with the same teacher; but who do not teach how I do and have not produced the same results. It is clearly not WHAT they practice. It is HOW they practice. In this book, I examine traditional Chinese martial arts and ask if there is anything inherent in them to account for those who cannot practically apply them? The answer is NO. It is not the material, it is the PROCESS.
I am completely comfortable with my method and my approach. I have already tested and proven it in many different venues. I strongly believe that I have never abandoned my teacher or his methods; I have simply expanded and evolved them. My current method combines old (traditional) and new (modern) methods. It combines both Chinese and non-Chinese methods. This is because I am dedicated to Truth, and Truth transcends any tradition, any school, any lineage, or any teacher.