Kung Fu Master Tells His Inspiring Story

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Here I just want to share a story from a Swiss Kung Fu Master that I find inspiring. I leave it to the reader to make his own analysis and recommend those interested in Kung Fu to have a look at the video at the end of the article.


Original story at:




   Richard practicing his sword skills


Noble Wisdom has decided to create a series of portraits of non-Chinese Falun Dafa practitioners. This is done with several purposes, one of which is to inspire people familiar or not familiar with Falun Dafa, and show them different perspectives and life paths that are all inside the great cultivation way of Falun Dafa. Another purpose is to show non-practitioners some examples of the ideas and lifestyles of these practitioners.


In our first article we present a veteran practitioner from Sweden who lives in Switzerland since 27 years, the 47 year old Richard Kleinert. I had the pleasure to discuss matters of life and cultivation with the humble Kung Fu Master living in Zurich. Time flied during our talk and I can honestly say that I am honored to be a friend of Richard. In my opinion his humility and simplicity is the foundation of his wisdom and his deep seated powers.


Richard´s father is Swiss, and his mother is Swedish, and he grew up in a small Swedish city near the Norwegian border in a family of seven. In his family almost, everyone practiced martial arts from an early age, but Richard had a particularly strong interest and he practiced martial arts with great intensity and passion. Richard has practiced western boxing, Wing Chun, Kali Escrima, Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Quan among many other systems of the Buddhist and Daoist systems from both China and Japan.



                 Taky Kimura and Bruce Lee around 1962


After Richard had finished his studies in alternative medicine and natural sciences in 1990 he moved to Zurich, Switzerland, the homeland of his father. In 1994 he travelled to the US and practiced martial arts under the guidance of the great Master Taky Kimura, one of the very close friends, co-actors and the top student of legend Bruce Lee.

Richard explains: The time with Taky Kimura in Seattle was relatively short, but no less instructive. I felt that the principles of simplicity, spontaneity and naturalness of Jeet Kune Do had come to my heart.

Although the JKD principle was the guiding principle of my martial arts, I did not want to use the name of Bruce Lee’s “Jeet Kune Do” and his reputation for my new school.

Bruce Lee taught that one should believe in oneself and one’s uniqueness and not imitate others like a parrot. Some people have really learned Bruce Lee’s techniques and movements very well. Even so, no matter how good they are, they cannot be Bruce Lee. There will always be only one Bruce Lee. It really isn´t about becoming the same as Bruce Lee or anyone else. It’s about being yourself and appreciating yourself. This is our most important life task. Striving to be different from what we already are deprives us of our own self-worth and inner peace.

Our value can´t be measured by our abilities and actions. Every single life is absolutely unique and immeasurably valuable.

To fully express the uniqueness and value of each person, there was no more appropriate name than “Zī Rǎn” and thus the “Zī Rǎn Wu Yi Kung Fu School” was born.



Richard and his students on training camp in Sweden 2015

Inspired by the high philosophical values, the inner strength and the richness of Chinese martial arts, Richard founded the Zī Rǎn Wu Yi Kung Fu School in Zurich in 1998 to provide access to the ancient treasures and wisdom of this timeless tradition of martial arts. Richard teaches his deep insights about Kung Fu and at the same time introduces his students to the wondrous cultivation practice of Falun Dafa. The term Zī Rǎn is not directly to be understood as a fighting style, it is rather the guiding principle and key principle for this way of martial arts. In Chinese, Zì Rán literally means self or natural (Rán) self (Zì). It signifies the primordial nature of all things, equal to spiritual clarity – the foundation of everything we do. Wu yi comes from the northern Song dynasty term of martial arts.

Implemented in martial arts, Zì Rán means synchronization and harmony of learned techniques and natural, spontaneous instinct. Zì Rán Wǔ Yì Kūng Fū is the subtle art of uniting the essence of the mind with the technique in which it comes to fruition.

Martial arts is a special art because its nature is such that it directly faces joy, suffering, life and death as Richard explains. If a Kung Fu practitioner can renounce his selfishness and let go of the idea of life and death, then he can enter the present where the true reality is. It is a glorious and liberated state of being. The martial arts concerns the self-education and self-exploration. This concerns a very profound topic – your own self-realization. This makes martial arts a science and an art of living. Also, each person is unique and therefore each student must find his natural style of Kung Fu in order to reach his full potential and therefore the teachings must leave enough room for each person´s unique characteristics to be expressed.

There are three levels in Richard´s Kung Fu. The first one is to learn how to protect yourself. The intermediate level includes both protecting yourself and others. The high level requires how to protect yourself and others while protecting the wellbeing of your opponent. Richard has enlightened that if we can let go of the resistance in ourselves (which is mostly caused by fear) we can pacify others and we will automatically move our body in the most natural and effective way to avoid injury both in ourselves and in our opponent.



The Falun symbol includes the spinning swastika from the

Buddha school and the spinning tai chi from the Dao school.


A life changing event for Richard occurred in 1997 when he learned about a new spiritual cultivation way called Falun Dafa. Falun Dafa is based on improving one´s  own character while trying to always follow the characteristics of “Truth-Compassion-Tolerance” in daily life. Richard had always been looking for “the way” and he had met with different masters around the world, i.e. in India. Those masters had always seen great spiritual potential in Richard. After Richard found Falun Dafa, which comes from China, he started to cultivate Falun Dafa right away and today he has practiced it for 20 years and he has greatly improved his own character and compassion for others. In his family of seven people, five people are practicing Falun Dafa today. Richard also has a practicing wife and a son who is practicing Kung Fu with Richard.


After Richard started to practice Falun Gong he decided to stop practicing Kung Fu for a time.Another event made him realize that Kung Fu people have great predestination for cultivation. Once the Chinese Shaolin monks came to visit Switzerland to present a martial art Kung Fu show and Richard was there to pass out flyers to the audience about Falun Dafa. He discovered that 95% of the people coming to see the Shaolin monks, wanted to learn more about Falun Dafa. Richard had a sudden enlightenment that he could use his Kung Fu knowledge to meet other martial arts practitioners with great interest in practicing cultivation.

Another great event for Richard was when Master Li Hongzhi visited Switzerland in 1998 where he held an experience sharing conference for local practitioners. Richard was chosen to be Master Li´s bodyguard and he felt that it was a great honor for him.



Richard is to the top right in the painting. Ⓒ “Art of Zhen Shan Ren.”


After the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999 Richard travelled to China in 2001 to protest against the Chinese Communist Party´s(CCP) evil persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners in China. There was a group of around 30 western practitioners who went to Tiananmen Square with a big banner to show their support for Falun Dafa. After the police came Richard used his supernormal power to make himself heavy as a mountain and unmovable. Six police officers couldn´t move him from the square and only after they started talking to him in a friendly way did he let go of his concentration so that they could lift him to the police van.


In the police station Richard had a vision where he saw the great red dragon symbolizing the CCP disintegrate. He could see that the dragon was majestic and beautiful at a distance but at a closer look it was both seductive and evil. At the police station the practitioners were denied going to the bathroom and after a long time Richard felt his inner anger coming to the surface. At the same moment that he decided to deal with the guards physically they let him go to the bathroom and became very nice.




Shen Yun is a treat for both mind and body. Ⓒ Shen Yun Performing Arts.



Richard has had many enlightenments about cultivation and one thing is that he sees music as a great way to touch people´s hearts and he sees song or speech as a way to reach people´s thoughts and notions. With the international success of Shen Yun Performing Arts there is a way to touch people´s hearts and minds.


´The cultivation of the mind is a kind of food supplied for the soul of man´ – Cicero


Poems is another great way to broaden one´s mind and heart and Richard has written many poems that have been published on his Kung Fu School´s homepage. One of them goes as follows:


The Soul

´Life is consciousness, be fully conscious of life

Be aware of your inner self, as a silent witness of your mind and body.

Only in tranquil water can we clearly see our own reflection.

Only a tranquil mind can see the soul.

 Simplicity ends all the artificial and is the beginning of naturalness.´

 – Richard Kleinert, 1998


New Inspiration From Russia - Systema Martial Arts



Systema instructor Sergei Borschev


In 2003 Richard learned about the Russian martial art “Systema”, which aroused his enthusiasm. He started learning Systema in addition to training in his own school under the direction of Priska and Reto (Systema Switzerland) and participated in as many intensive weeks and weekend seminars as he could. Between 2004 – 2011 with Sergei Borschov and in 2006 with Mikhail Ryabko and his son Daniil Ryabko. Sergei Borschov left a very strong impression on Richard. He has a wonderful character of humility and kindness, and he has an excellent martial arts level of incredible precision, flow and power.

Sergei Borschev has not come to Switzerland since 2011 and Richard has not practiced Systema since. However, the knowledge of Systema has influenced him so much that it naturally flows into his martial art teaching in the classroom.


In 2012 Richard married Jana and family life began. A time of joy, love, wonderful friendship, cooperation and responsibility.

From the poem “From the Marriage” by Khalil Gibran

´Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.´
– Khalil Gibran

My understanding of Richard´s enlightenment about marriage is that it´s a continuous struggle to reach a harmonious state where both spouses respect each other and care for each other with true compassion.


Richard has always had an interest in alternative health therapies and he promotes a kind of bio resonance generator in Switzerland. In this way he has a chance to meet with many people and he can also teach them how to improve their health by their own efforts. 




Richard Kleinert


As a martial artist and a peaceful warrior from the north Richard wants to appeal to those who feel the resonance with himself, his knowledge as well as his teaching style and who also fulfill his requirements for his Kung Fu school. In fact Richard not only appeals to Kung Fu people but all people who strive to do good things and improve their character and compassion in real life.

With this article he wants to inspire people with knowledge, regardless of his Kung Fu school, while reading the lyrics here. Richard gives something to the reader to think about and explains his ideas:

The more fear we have and the more resistance we provide, the more painful our experiences become. But as soon as we let go, we are immediately back in the flow of life. The nature of life is joy.


Everyone has their own way to go. Never direct your willpower to the others, otherwise you will lose it. Free will is everyone’s right. The wonderful willpower is here for us to focus on ourselves to focus our thoughts. If we direct our will on the others, we start conflicts. Every conflict, fight and war has this origin.


It is my full conviction that all seek, directly or indirectly, for inner peace. No matter what we wish for, we only wish that in the belief that it makes us happier when we get what we want. Only when we are truly at peace can we allow the fullness and joy of life.

´When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.´

– Lao Tzu

Nobody can give or take the inner peace to us. Only we ourselves can do that – no one else. It is our decision whether we want peace or not. Out of inner peace all other virtues come naturally.


After speaking with Richard for about three hours I can´t share more than a few parts of our conversation here. To summarize Richard´s whole life path in a few sentences is impossible and that´s not the goal of this article. What one can feel is Richard´s deep wish in his heart to find the way to enlightenment and to help others find their own path to their enlightenment, be it with or without Kung Fu. I wish him good luck and I am very grateful that he agreed to be interviewed and hopefully this article can inspire many people to do better in life, both those who practice cultivation and those who don´t.


Video link shows Richard and his students Kung Fu practice(Youtube):



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Thanks, I am not that familiar with the different grips on the katana but each person has to choose his own style.:)

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Sometimes TDB can be a critical place, mainly because of the huge amount of experience ammensed here. And that experience that makes a teacher seem really special within a school is rather common here, where there are teachers galore. 


Now it has been 20 years since I messed around with a katana, and I never progressed beyond the basic level, but that grip has not been on the "do"-list in any book I ever had on the subject nor been advocated by any teacher I ever had the opportunity to practice under. 


But there are many ryu in Japan 🏯  and many levels of skill,  so...... 

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Thanks for the good read. Very interesting style and approach to martial arts.


The way of him using the sword may come from a slightly modified single-handed Chinese saber methodology, or at least that is how I perceived it. A lot of Yang taiji saber methods and Korean swordsmanship materials can also look very similar. 



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