At the Wu Mei Kung Fu Association, we believe in the traditional apprenticeship method to train students to become the next generation of Masters. Classes are ongoing; there are no sections or semesters. The learning is never ending. There are no “mass production” methods applied to the training. Teaching is individual even in a group setting. Each student is treated with respect as an individual who is unique. That uniqueness is never lost. There is no attempt to make all the students the same. Movements are adjusted to each student’s’ body type and character. This creates the “naturalness” that is essential to all Chinese art forms.
There is only one “sifu” or master that acts as a mentor for each and every student. The sifu alone is responsible for each students’ development within the school. Grandmaster Sifu Ken Lo oversees every student’s’ training and provides an environment of highly trained senior instructors to act as “big brothers and sisters” to less experienced students, thereby providing different examples of high skill for beginning students to follow.
The traditional mentor training touches and improves all aspects of the apprentices’ lives. During China’s modernization program, the traditional mentor training method has been replaced with the modern Western university-style system, in which professors, not masters teach students semester by semester instead of years. Subjects are isolated from one another and are not fully integrated. The mentor training is all but lost in China and the rest of the modern world. The Wu Mei Kung Fu Association is one of the few remaining sources of this kind of life training. A typical class includes and integrates the laws of physics, biomechanics, martial arts, visual arts, poetry, traditional Chinese medical theory, Chinese philosophy, Buddhism, Taoism, mathematics, Feng Shui, oracle, tea appreciation and fitness science. Where else can you be immersed in such an environment?
Well Suited to Women
Founded by a woman, the daughter of a Ming Imperial General, Wu Mei Kung Fu develops a woman’s ability fully. Leverage, internal development, and skill enable smaller and lighter players to best players of much higher weight classes. Ultimately, it is mental toughness and discipline, not size or strength alone that will produce a champion.
Get a Black Belt – to Hold Up Your Pants
No belt ranking is worn or offered. There are no tests. Learning is never ending. A student’s’ level is expressed in his or her work. Their current performance determines their level which changes with commitment, conditioning, training and time. If your performance is at beginner level, you are a beginner, ; if your performance is at intermediate level, you are intermediate.
At the Wu Mei Kung Fu Association, beginner level students are players who primarily work with the mechanical aspects of their form; – placement, alignment, and shape. Intermediate level players deal with the energetics of the movements – force lines, direction, intensity, duration. Advanced players concentrate on the spirit of their form – intent, command, automatic and compelled action.
Compete With Yourself, Not Your Classmates
Students never really compete with one another. Another student will not try to be better than you, instead they will tell you their weaknesses and teach you how to defeat them, so that you become a better opponent for them to train with. In this way each student helps the other.
Learn to Fight Without Injury
Students learn to “fight without fighting”. Our tradition has developed a way to become formidable fighters without the free-sparring practice prevalent in most schools of martial art. Grandmaster Hsieh Peng was an undefeated all-China tournament champion in the 1930’s. Many of our current students are international tournament champions. All without sparring practice. Eliminating sparring eliminates the main source of student injury. The body must be protected from injury because once injured, the body is never the same. Many students receive more injuries in their martial art training than they would ever receive in a street incident. A safe training environment is always maintained in our school.
We believe that the level of the player’s ability is what determines their fighting ability. That is why students rarely defeat their instructors or senior classmates in sparring. Sparring is only a test of skill, not the training to acquire fighting skill. Once you face your opponent, it is the training you did prior to entering the ring that will help you win. We of course have many opportunities for you to face an opponent and experience fighting, but they are in the form of controlled exercises that force you to face your weaknesses and eliminate them.
Embrace Change to Create Your Destiny
In Buddhism, there is a realization that “There is no fixed self”, this means that “who we are” is always changing. In Taoism, we learn that “the physical world is ruled by change” in the duality of Yin and Yang becoming one another; in the interaction of the “Five Elements” through their creation and destruction cycle, and in the changing organization of the “Eight Trigrams” revealing the inner order and movement of the universe.
Each person has a destiny that they are born with. It can be seen in the alignment of the heavenly bodies at their time of birth. It can be read in the lines of their palms or the features and lines of their face. This destiny can be followed or altered by self-will and determination. If nothing is done, your destiny will play out, , but if it is not what you want, you can steer your destiny with disciplined action. All prophecies are self-fulfilling. Learn your destiny and actively direct it. Take responsibility and know thyself.