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Teacher Laments

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Teachers' Life : Students' Desire

>Khan Foxx           西狐格漢
>Sun Lu-Tang       孫祿堂
>Ho Xing-Zhe        何星子
>Han Xing-Yuan    韩星元
>Li Chung 'John'   李忠
>Kuo LienYing      國鏈鄞
>Jiu 'Moon' Chao   吴周

Real Teachers', Real Stories, Real Problems, ...Real Indifference
Khan Foxx : Conor    西狐格漢
Teachers, irregardless of their abilities, reputations, and benevolence,
more than is told or realized by their 'students' or 'proteges'...Teachers...
are indeed damagable and exploitable.  A lifetime of teaching can be completely lost due to death of a protege' student or due to a covetous, exploitive student or martial organization who says nothing or thinks little good about their teacher and/ or else denies the teacher who taught him. [Note: consider, the origins of Ba Gua Chang or the story 'it came to me in a dream']
A student, wishing to elevate himself 'above' his teacher may deny who taught him or may 'cloister' his teachings as a protectionism to claim that he is the only teacher capable of teaching the 'real and complete' system of exercises
or that students of his former teacher 'where only taught halfway' or that 'others learned incorrectly and filled in the parts they were not taught.' A student may also challenge the teacher or else via 'an innocent game of pushing hands' intentionally injure the teacher. I often consider the sanity of such students.
A reputable teacher will never accept such a student no matter how much money the student may have is they show signs of exclusive, self-importance or enjoy hurting others to prop-up his self-esteem.
I have had 'students' who come for three lessons and then claim that they are now teachers, or after three lessons ask if I will give them a certificate as a qualified teacher before they return home to their country.
I have had 'students' who learned yiquan from reputable teachers and although they gained insights into yiquan and how water-boxing helps in this, they return
to their countries enriched by a discovery, but will never divulge the teacher source.  Unfortunate for them, there does exist, teacher to teacher communiques.
I have demonstrated innate weaknesses to 'martial' students only to have them
deny that this would apply to them.
I have met 'teachers' who proclaim their ability in nearly every popular Chinese martial art: yiquan, jit-kun-do, aikido, xingyi-, taichi-, white-eyebrow...and have become popular locally; the one I have in mind is in Thailand and 'borrows' Adam Hsu's books and reissues them as Japanese cartoon manga with no credits give to Adam.
I have had visiting students where nearly everything they have learned is incorrect in form, application, and principle...and irregardless of their 'teachers' or 'years' of
study, it does not meet basic standards..and the student is not willing to adjust nor to relearn..nor accept the fact that their 'teacher' also needs relearning. Some of these students, being ethnic Asians, Thai, or Buddhist believe that by birthright
they have 'inborn knowledge' already regarding meditation; a self-delusion.
The worst type of student is the one who purchases a copy of my book..and later
claims they wrote it and I plagerized it from them; a near worst type, is a 'reknowned' teacher who never purchased my book, claims he just happened to
be given a copy, and then proceeds paraphrase it as his own.
The next worst type of student is the one who has exchanged emails with me and either claims 'I was his teacher' or else mimes everything I have said via email as being his 'own wisdom and insights'...and to do this to another teacher that I know; thus a web of theft and misrepresentation. 
Multiple worst types are whole organizations or affluent individuals who promise to either import me for a seminar or to 'use' me as the pillar of a new school reality they are only shining the teacher on with mind games to mislead the master.
There is also those who exploit incidences in past history such as when the teacher was a student ...requested to demonstrate and test styles and systems against each other...something that should proceed as friendly academics.  Years later, the other student who is now a 'famous' teacher remixes the story to impress his student, the student then will circulate the story as 'my teacher know who..who didn't fight very good at all.' Leaving out the causes,
the circumstances, and the outcome.
I can also relate the story about a teacher in San Francisco New Chinatown, noted for his mixture of taichi-, boxing, and aikido...whose school I visited with the intention of observing his class and introducing myself.  When this teacher realized that I was also a teacher, he said he was never afraid of someone coming to his classes and challenging him...he then produced a .45 automatic pistol he was concealing under his jacket uniform.
I can also relate the story of another teacher in San Francisco, noted for his quite
soft and adaptive style of Cheng Man-chingTai-Chi-, whom I was polite enough to allow to best me at pushing hands...his way, only to have him scream 'unfair, that's not Tai-Chi-' when I did apply waterstyle with nerve pressure points.
I can also relate the story of Thai Police 'ordering' me and my Thai student,
in the Queens' Park, to 'stop doing Fa Ling Gong' ..he had no idea and no education to discern the differences to Tai-Chi-; one tap from me, and he changed his mind. Perhaps the Jedi mind-trick does work. [my Thai student also warned him that I was quite capable of killing him.]  My advice, when faced with authority, do not give over your power, keep it for yourself.
I can also relate to the story of a Thai student who took offense when I suggested that the King of Thailand be given back the powers previously removed; the student severed all contacts with me; his lose.

Sun Lu-Tang besides his well-documented martial abilities and benevolence towards those of lesser means or with life difficulties, Sun only graduated three students as teachers: one was killed, one later starved to death, and one survived.  The legacy of reality is not always a happy ending.  Sun also was famous for his inter-knowledge of many martial styles and had accumulated an extensive library with those he had personally written.  At a birthday party for
Msr. Sun, one of his guests stole his personal manuscripts.
My second teacher Msr. Ho, was a student of Sun LuTang and also, I believe with
Msr. Wu YiHui; these two great teachers would share afternoon tea as both were teachers at Nanjing Martial Academy.  Sun's advice to Mr. Ho was, 'if you are challenged, accept it as serious;  inform the challenger that if he wishes to proceed, 'you will not be able to have him as a friend tomorrow.'  Meaning, that the match will be to the death, no restraint, no quarter, all-the-way.
It is the only way to accept and defeat a challenge; only a damned fool would accept those conditions and only an naive teacher would accept a challenge as 'play'.  I was challenged by a capable Yang Tai-Chi- teacher in Bangkok and a room full of his students (some who had been Sanda competitors);  meeting at a restaurant for a 'friendly' dinner was an intended deception accepted by my then simpleton wife.  After realizing that I would take a challenge as deadly serious, the group appoligized as it was 'impolite'  to challenge me or to test me at a first meeting. They never came back.
Ho Xing-Zhe was never vain; the first day I met him he made things clear: 'do not call me sifu, I am not your father, I am not your Master; I am the teacher who will teach you to find the Master in you.'  Msr.Ho taught many students for years..for the St.Marys' Park in San Francisco. He had come to America to San Francisco hoping for a better life only to become financially trapped in poverty and unable to return to China.  He would talk of Nanjing and what the Japanese did and of the '100's' of decapitated Chinese floating in the river; each time he told the story, his face would vary from deep hurt to deep anger. He would also explain that, 'there is no dragon in chinese, it a mutli-being, all things, a collection.' His discription and facial expressions remined me of Charlie Brown happily explaining  the 'great Halloween pumpkin' as it flew through the sky bringing good things to good children.
   Msr. Ho was usually called 'Lao Fook' . His daily and best friend visitor was Msr. Kuo LienYing,  國鏈鄞 who taught his  [Guang Ping TaiChi] classes, earlier at 6am in the nearby Portmouth Square Park. Their relation led to many exchanges of history and knowledge but never resulted in a vanity or a covetous slandering. Msr. Kuo said he never saw anything like 'water' style while in China. This was surprising considering the teachers that he had.
Lao Fook had a core of about 4-6 students, many having trained with him for years, one being my third teacher 'Moon'.  

An critical event led to his cancelling all of his classes. 
A pushing hands session with student, James Wu led, to an intentional pulsing of Lao Fook to the ground and an eye injury. The student,  Wu was completely indifferent to the lifelong damage he caused. The incident led to Lao Fook retiring and he refused to teach again. My last words to him were, 'you are the glue that binds your students to you and to this park.  This is the case of the vain student wanting to best his himself, nothing.
I am told, that Lao Fook began writing and it is alleged that this had some influence on the Star Wars stories or the 'Wandering Taoist' series.
Han Xing-Yuan is likely the second teacher I met with indepth knowledge of Yiquan and its chan chuang [zhan zhuang] standing post; Li Chung was the first [and 'brother' of Msr.Han] a variant of standing was taught by Msr. Kuo LienYing also.  Many USA teacher claim to have been taught by Msr. Han, this is stretching the truth as almost all were only weekend, seminar guests; in turn these minimally trained students have distributed what they know.
Few realize that Han did not lead a perfect life: his first wife was killed in Nanjing by the Japanese. Later, in Hong Kong, at his school, a Japanese karate teacher challenged him, normally he would never accept but would offer a test with his senior student. Yet this time, Msr. Han had been drinking and thinking of his late wife ...putting him in a dark mood. Han accepted the challenge himself. The Japanese attacked first, but Han repelled him with a quick power pulse which projected the karate teacher to and through the wall, leaving a hole-pattern of a body in the wall. I was introduced and accepted by Msr. Han due to prior training with 'brother' Li Chung 李忠 and 'brother' Moon. 吴周
Li Chung 'John' aka John Chung Li, derisively called by a noted California 'teacher' as 'Father John', was a typical example of a refugee teacher to the USA.  Others had already come, by Li Chung was always careful to avoid confrontation with fellow school teachers. Sometimes his imaginary concerns resulted in him going to and shifting locations; thus Chicago, to New York, to Boston. Most of his core, early students wanted to learn 'Tai-chi-, but virtually none realized that this was a rare and bigger kind with more princples and hand 'toys' to learn.  When I first met him, I lived on Beacon Hill and it was a short walk to the Boston Gardens...where Li Chung usually brought his class. As I had just finished my physics curriculum at Boston University I was a penniless, unemployed, x-student. I watched his classes long enough that I memorized the first half series. One day, Li Chung came a little earlier and caught me practicing. He waited until I finished then approached and said he was amazed to see that I could do it from memory. We went back to his little, top-floor studio and over chinese lemon-tarts he listened to my story and offered me to be his protege. Being young, I was not open to moving in and staying with Msr.Li. I still muse about if I did.But, I still do have the fond memories of late afternoons sharing lemon tarts with Li Chungs' cat.

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