Frequently Asked Questions
Teacher, you speak of heritage as being an important factor in picking a
teacher. But as a beginner, why should I care?
f all the people I have interviewed, I remember none ever asking me
about the heritage of our Kwoon. The reason for this is not difficult to
understand, beginners have no idea about heritage and what it means to
their Shao-lin training. They come for the health or defensive aspects
our art offers. Only after many years of training does a student begins
to realize their own heritage or lack there of. That is when it all will
mean something to you.
I speak of it often only to help make you aware
of heritage. To those who come and go in the arts, heritage means
little, but to those who make Shao-lin part of their life, heritage
means a great deal.
The Chinese are not the only ones who cherish their
heritage. Americans today eagerly search out their own family trees in
the hope of finding out something of the past ancestors. They care
because it is part of them, of the same blood line. Who are your
ancestors? Are they something to be proud of or something better left
If you fall in love with Shao-lin heritage will become an
intangible part of your life. You will want to know all you can of your
past ancestors. The more you find out positive information, the better
you will feel about your art. Surely if you were to discover your past
masters were not acknowledged by their own master it would indeed be bad news for
a Shao-lin lover. Good heritage solidifies your art; it is a finger
pointing to your teachers. Those who have a good heritage like to speak
of it and proudly display their heritage for all to see. Those who don't
have a good heritage hide it in
the shadows and discount its importance to save face.
To me, to be in
disfavor in your teacher's eye, is like being dishonored by your paternal
father. It not something to be happy about. So for now, the fact that you
are not concerned about your heritage is not a factor. In time it will
be. In your particular case I can assure you won't be disappointed. Our
heritage is pure and unbroken. All predecessors are of the highest
quality and are known by Shao-lin inner circle of noted masters.
If you are karmicly ordained to stay with our art for life, then what you
unknowingly have now will come one of your most proudest
accomplishments. For you will realize you are now part of that glorious
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