“Absorb What is Useful, Reject What is Useless.”

1) Why did you decide on Kung fu?

I would like to say that I made the choice for kungfu or Chinese MA, but it's more that it choose me because my fascination with it.

2)Do you plan on using it for self defense?

Of course. I also enjoy fighting in some strange way because of the almost primitive feeling it gives me and I tend to feel more whole and complete because of that.

3)What training apparatuses(if any) do you use?

Any where from the school I go to, a JKD mok jong, and other gym equipment for weight lifting and such.

4)Do you feel that less is more in training forms? Why?

I would say so because it's important to focus on a specific amount of things and really develop them. It always come back to the old adage, "I am not afraid of the thousand techniques you know, but the one technique you have done a thousand times."

5)Do you feel that forms are useless in today's world? Why?

In terms of straight fighting techniques? Yes. However, in terms of physical, and even spiritual, conditioning? No. I think they have their place but it goes back to the question before this in that if you think becoming a form collector is going to increase your fighting prowess than you have another thing coming.

We get better in fighting by not only just sparring or fighting but doing so in a smart and learning to become more efficient in movement, and learning to look at we fight without the ego.

6)How do you see Qi? Spiritual? Mental? Real? Fake?

I have had many different opinions on qi. Some for it, some against it, and anywhere in between. However, to be completely honest, I don't think about it too much even though I practice qigong every morning. Why don't I think about it? Well, what good is it going to do worrying about whether it's there or not?

I honestly think that the meditative aspect of it just seems to offer the most benefit. Having been a Buddhist for ten years now, I see as just another part of my practice, including martial arts.

7) External vs Internal. Which do you think is better and why?
7a) Do you think that training internally has an advantage over external training? Why?

I will answer both of these questions together. I don't believe in external/internal martial arts. I do believe that there are two kinds of MA practitioners all across the board; those who are willing to "eat bitter" and those that aren't. Learning to fight is hard work, and you have to train every little bit and part of yourself. Most athletes who start doing martial arts after competing in other things have told me that training for fighting is one of the most difficult things all around physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

However, there are people out there who are just there to try it or say they do it. It doesn't matter what you do or where you go, you will find people like this. My first Chan teacher used to call this type of Buddhism, "Club Med Chan" because they do it for awhile to say they do it or have done it and then they find something else where they can socialize and fit into some niche that will accept them.

I have done all kinds of martial arts from Boxing to Taiji, and they all have their benefits, just don't get stuck in one set pattern because it will ruin you as a martial artist.

8) How you do heal? Jow? Hot Water? Massage?

I always make sure to have one day a week in which I actively rest. I may do a little bit of my forms, or qigong, or just do some yoga, and relax. I think the key is pre-habilitation so that I don't have to risk taking too much time off from training.

9) Warm ups and cool downs? What are your thoughts and how do you warm up/cool down?

In the morning it's qigong, and in the afternoon I usually do 3x3 minute rounds of skipping rope. I usually cool down with stretching and foam rolling after my workout, with maybe a little deep breathing.

The reason I don't stretch in the beginning is because researchers have found that stretching before workout weakens the muscles and can actually limit your range of motion in a specific activity. I may, however, do some light dynamic stretches during the warmup, but full static stretching is not recommended.

10)The usefulness of traditional weapons in today's world. Your thoughts?

This is a tough subject. I think anyone should learn some form of stick fighting because you could pickup anything around you and use it. Just be aware of the legal consequences of your actions, this is not Ancient China, and you do not live in a kungfu movie. Most countries have laws against weapons, and lawyers who will prosecute regardless of whether you are the victim or not.

Overall, as a practitioner of the martial arts, as a fighter, and a Buddhist, there is so much that martial arts/gongfu has to offer that I feel everyone can benefit from it. Just be smart about your training, and know for yourself what your goals are. With my clients I tell them what they need to do to achieve the goals they want, and if they want to reach those goals then they will do it. If they want to come in and just do it and not really care, that's fine too but they have to know and be clear that it is their responsibility to make the effort. I feel that's what Bruce Lee meant when he said "Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless." If you don't have the right attitude for what you want, you will never get anywhere.