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Masters of the Way

 

 

Here I’d like to share stories about some of the old school masters I was so lucky to have as teachers.  Most of them are gone now, and you don’t see many of their kind any more in the modern world.  As Grand Master Tchoung Ta Tchen put it:  “Even the top masters of today are like hollow shells compared to masters of the recent past.”

 

 

Gao Fu

 

Madam Gao Fu was my Chen Tai Chi teacher. She was a student Feng Ziqiang, and an Official National Living Treasure of China.

 

When the great Maoist cleansing of the masters of China was underway, her husband, who was a Tai Chi master, was sent to prison and tortured to death. She was sent to prison just for being his wife and she was also tortured, due to which she had eternal back pain. She said when she was in prison she had nothing else to do, so she started practicing Tai Chi - a lot.

 

After some years she was let out of prison and provided with an apartment, but even up to modern times she was given no address and allowed no telephone, this was so that no one was able to contact her except for 'the Party'.

 

Some time after getting out of prison she was officially declared to be a National Living Treasure of China. However since she had no means for people to contact her the only students that she got were high level party officials, and they weren't actually interested in Tai Chi. They just wanted to be able to put her name on their resume. Faced with this, she was actually very happy to be able to come to Seattle and teach students who really wanted to learn.

 

I really loved Chen Tai Chi. I love the smooth circular flowing, the changes between large and small circles, slow and fast. The way the form itself evolves like a spiral. And Madam Gao Fu herself was just a treat. She was the sweetest little old grandma type you can imagine, just so nice and calm. I think she was in her upper eighties when I was her student, but despite her age, she had a wicked short range explosive punch that would cause most little old ladies to shatter themselves into little pieces.

 

Gao Fu told her last class, which I was in, that her master, the notorious Feng Zhiqiang, had written a book about their Tai Chi but she had never read it because she was with him in person. Upon moving to Seattle, she read the book. She told us she had been doing it all wrong, and this time she was going to teach it right! Can you imagine, she was a National Living Treasure of China and she was apologizing for having done it wrong. I don’t know how she changed her teaching, but it was fabulous, and you just can not beat that way of moving for the pure joy that it gives. If she did add much to her teaching, then her previous students missed that, but from what I’ve seen, some of her previous students do the form absolutely excellently.

 

Each week we would learn a new movement, then go home and practice it. The next week we would review the move a few times and she would go around the room to give feedback to each person. The whole class had to do the move and then stand in the strenuous low standing posture for ten or fifteen minutes as she went around to each person. She would stand three feet in front of them and have them do the movement while she stared at them like a predator. She would then correct even the tiniest mistake the person had made. She always had some correction or advice for each student, but I’m proud to say there were a couple of times when she watched me and just nodded her head before going on to the next person, and she didn’t do that to any of the others. We all had to stand in a typically low posture while she was going around the room. It was very painful in the beginning, but truly amazing how fast it made your legs stronger, just the thing for mountain climbing.

 

Gao Fu’s health became poor and she knew she was going to pass away. When she went back to China to die, I had only learned half of her Chen form from her. But I learned this part very well, mainly because she was such a good teacher but also because I had so much background in the way of moving … due to my previous Tai Chi and the Chi Kung. Andy told me the first part of the forms embodies all the principles of the way to move, so if you practice that enough you can “get it” just as well as doing the entire form. It’s such a long form that the first half is plenty, the main thing being that I learned the underlying principles of how to move well and am able to share them.

 

This is an excerpt from the book:  The Magus of Seattle  

Also published as  A Lineage of Dragons

 

 

 

Edited by Starjumper
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Tchoung Ta Tchen

 

I met Tchoung Ta Tchen through Andy Dale, who was my main tai chi teacher. Andy and some of his students went as a group to visit Tchoung up in Vacouver, Canada on some weekends. Tchoung was a grandmaster of Tai Chi, and his main claim to fame was how far he could push people through the air before they “touched down.” He was so advanced there was only one other Tai Chi person on the North American Continent that was good enough to play the game of “push hands” with him, and that was master Cheng Man Ching of New York, who was a Yang style master who was well known and loved on the East Coast.

 

Here’s a little something you probably didn’t know about Cheng Man Ching. He felt none of his students ‘got it’ and that he had been a failure as a teacher, so he stopped teaching, went back to China, and drank himself to death within six months.

 

Tchoung was a real serious dude. He was a general in the Chinese army, and definitely one of the old school. What made him different is that he really wanted his students to 'get' it. He really did.

 

He first started teaching in Seattle, in Chinatown, and since he never did learn to speak English, he had a Chinese translator there to help out. The class had been active for a few months, at which point Tchoung had taken a minute or more to explain a particular move. The translator said, "He basically said to relax.” Another student there, a white guy, immediately said; "He didn't say that". Tchoung got a quizzical look on his face, then went over to talk to that guy. After that, the new guy became the translator, and that is when the teaching really started.

 

The lesson here is that even though the master wanted his Western students to learn well, the typical Chinese dude did not

.

When Tchoung Ta Tchen was a Lieutenant in the Chinese army he was stationed for a while on Mt. Omei.

 

One cold winter day he went out to a clearing on the mountainside to practice some Tai Chi. Since it was freezing out, he was heavily bundled up. After doing Tai Chi for a while he noticed a skinny little old man sitting there watching him. Despite the freezing cold, the old man was wearing nothing but a loincloth.

 

When he saw him, the old man taunted him, saying:  "You're Tai Chi stiiiinks, bet you can't catch me, neeneer neener!” So Tchoung chased him, but the old man was very nimble and was able to scoot over all the rocks and tree roots so fast that Tchoung couldn’t catch him. So he gave up, and went back to the clearing to continue his practice.

 

The old man soon returned. This time he came over to Tchoung and said, "Hit me."

 

Tchoung: "No, I don't want to.”

 

Old man: "Hit me."

 

Tchoung: “No."

 

So the old fellow started calling Tchoung and his ancestors all kinds of mean and nasty names. The outcome was predicatable.

 

Tchoung punched him in the stomach so hard the old man went flying back about eight feet and crashed on some big rocks. He immediately sprang up, came over, and said, 'Hit me again.” So, POW, the old man went crashing onto the rocks again.

 

Then he came over, unhurt, and introduced himself. He was the abbott of the local mountaintop monastery, and he invited Tchoung up to practice some Chi Kung.

 

This was a rather common way for Taoist masters to meet in the olden days … they would trade punches to the stomach in order to see how the other handled it.

 

In that way Tchoung learned Mt. Omei Chi Kung, which he taught to Andy. Andy then taught it to me.

 

Andy once learned a different Tai Chi form, which took him a couple of months. , I can't recall which form it was, something obscure. Anyway, he showed it to Tchoung Ta Tchen. He showed it to him only one time.

After a month or so Tchoung performed the new form for Andy. He did the whole form, but he did it better, employing more of the principles of Tai Chi. So he was able to learn and incorporate the whole form, after seeing it only one time.

 

Going to see Tchoung was my first experience with a real live grandmaster of the internal arts. One thing he would do sometimes is have some of his better students line up in a row with their backs six feet from the wall. There were thick pads on the wall. Then he would go down the row, and one by one, he would do a little push hands with the student. The student would try to push him and he would yield out of it, and then push them. Trying to push him was like trying to catch a cloud. Getting pushed by him was like meeting the irresistible force. One of the senior students told me you couldn’t really feel the push, it was like you got seduced into flying through the air, which indicates the addition of energy pushing. They would still be traveling upwards when they slammed against the pads on the wall.

 

Tchoung was a big old portly guy with a big belly. So I assumed it was soft pudge. Maybe he was reading my mind because one time he came over and told me to press with my thumb against his belly. Let me tell you, I can press real hard with my thumb when I brace it with my fingers. His belly was not soft at all, it was like pressing on a piece of wood. It wasn’t pudge. His whole waist was surrounded by about six inches of rock hard muscle. Can you say core strength? Good internal training develops great core strength and it’s what you need to be able to push people really far through the air before they touch down.

 

Tchoung Ta Tchen was in his upper eighties when he had quadruple bypass surgery, and as is common with such things, he didn’t live so long after that.

 

This is an excerpt from the book:  The Magus of Seattle

Also published as;  A Lineage of Dragons

 
Edited by Starjumper
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Thanks for sharing. BTW, iinm, CMC was Cheng Man Ching (not Chen). :) 

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11 minutes ago, dwai said:

Thanks for sharing. BTW, iinm, CMC was Cheng Man Ching (not Chen). :) 

 

OOps, thanks, I remember that now = )   I'm going to correct that.  I'm editing the book now too, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to add some practice tips and a bunch of some philosophy that I found impressively deep.  That will make it a second edition.  I have now paid for the courier shipping of your book to Ecuador, it is supposed to get here within three weeks.

Edited by Starjumper
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1 hour ago, Starjumper said:

His belly was not soft at all, it was like pressing on a piece of wood. It wasn’t pudge. His whole waist was surrounded by about six inches of rock hard muscle.


It’s not muscle :)

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Just now, freeform said:

It’s not muscle :)

 

Yes, i was told that for it to push back so hard that it was energy, which makes sense.  I don't think muscle would be so unyielding.  I don't like to mention all those kinds of instances in my book because there already is more than enough woo woo stuff in it.

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14 minutes ago, Starjumper said:

Yes, i was told that for it to push back so hard that it was energy, which makes sense.  I don't think muscle would be so unyielding.


Yeah - technically it’s a layer of fascia under pressure from internal Qi :)

 

 

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Dave Harris

 

Dave Harris was one of Tchoung’s top students.  He didn’t just learn forms though, he also learned how to use it for fighting.  Real fighting.  Deadly fighting.  Dave was also the number one adopted son of Mr. Yueng.  His full name was David John Harris. You should know that in case you look him up on Youtube, because there is a different Dave Harris that comes up, who is a karate master, who likes to break concrete blocks set up in stacks with spaces in between, so that the force of the impact travels much further down the stack.  I’ll bet he is a nice guy, but his self defense methods are boorish compared to my Dave Harris, who himself was a professor at Central Seattle Community College, near Greenlake in Seattle.  He was an art professor, and the main art that he taught was clay sculpture.  His sculptures were a little strange in one way, and strangely capturing in another way.  They seemed to have an almost shamanic tone to them.  I would say Dave was more advanced than Bruce Lee simply because he had so many more decades to practice and perfect what Mr. Yueng gave him.  Bruce needed to focus more on flashy moves in long extended fights for the movies, whereas Dave got to focus on the effective and efficient ways of ending a fight in which he hardly moves and the fight is over in one second.  That kind of real life stuff obviously doesn’t play well in martial arts movies, in which the public generally expects to see lots of extended fight scenes.

 

I met Dave right at the start when I met Andy, when they were practicing in Woodland Park, and I saw him many times after that.  I saw his amazing demonstrations and went to observe a couple of classes at different times.  What he could do was just incredible.  Someone would attack him and he’d make them look like spastics, completely helpless spastics who’d then flop on the floor in some helpless position.  It was really funny to see him do this, sometimes hilarious, and in the beginning I burst out laughing a few times.  Once, it started with a couple of chuckles, and then Dave must have gotten into it because he made the attacker look extra silly, and I burst out laughing.  (Name whithheld), who was playing the part of Uke, or attacker, got up and gave me a stern look and said, “What so funny!”  No more laughing after that.

 

I was never interested in self defense nor in learning any martial arts, and I did not get into fights as a kid or adult.  The main reason for this was because physically I’m non confrontational. and I didn’t like the idea of getting hit.  It turns out that the martial art named after Mr. Yueng, Yueng Chuan, or Fook Yueng Chuan, is founded on that very same idea of not getting hit, plus ways of ending the fight in one second.  After seeing the amazing things Dave could do I became interested in it mainly from a scientific standpoint, to learn how to do such tricky things even to seasoned fighters.  Plus, it was obvious the guys were having a lot of fun practicing and were not getting hurt.  It did look like a lot of fun.

 

Dave had a bit of a reputation, so sometimes big bad seasoned fighters would come, sometimes from across the country, to try Dave out.  These guys were big tough brutes, seasoned MMA fighters, and they didn’t believe any of the old fashioned internal stuff would have any effect on them.

 

It was the same every time.  Dave would stand there with his hands crossed lightly over his belly and invite the visitor to punch him, or better said, try to punch him.  The primary thing Dave would do is yield a little bit to suck them in, then he would manipulate the person very lightly, in order to steal their balance.  I’ve felt this myself.   When you try to punch him and he steals your balance, it’s like the world suddenly gets pulled out from under your feet and you don’t know which way is up.  It is a completely helpless feeling, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  You can’t regain your balance, so there’s no way you can fight.  Invariably the big bad martial artists would end up in a heap on the floor, and almost always,  they simply could not believe it.  Since Dave had such a light touch the attacker could feel nothing he did.  And since self defense is based on feeling, they were unable to discern what he had done to them.  They would get up, dust themselves off, announce that it was some kind of trick or accident, and walk out the door with their noses in the air and their dignity intact.  Well, it was a trick.  It’s all “tricks” designed to take advantage of the natural instincts of fighters, and those tricks work very well.

 

One time this guy came to attack Dave at the beginning of a class.  He tried to punch him and on the floor he went.  Dave was good enough to put anyone down without hurting them.  I myself am not that good.  The faster someone attacks you, the more difficult it is to avoid hurting them.  Then the guy got up, exclaimed: “Far out!”, and tried to kick him.  So down he went again.  The guy loved the experience and kept attacking Dave, to the point he was interfering with class time and Dave couldn’t get him to stop.  Dave eventually got tired of it so when the guy tried to punch him again Dave broke his arm, and then had to take him to the hospital.

 

Dave was amazing and everything he did was impressive, but one thing that stood out to me was how easy it could be to be deadly and damaging.  If one does not want to kill another but rather give them the gift of living with their karma, there are hundreds of ways to easily and permanently ruin an attacker’s body, giving them something to think about.  After one class a student chimed in with:  “All the most diabolical things I ever learned, I learned from Dave.”

 

I didn’t start with Dave until rather late in his teaching career.  When I was going to Mr. Yueng’s house for Chi Kung practice, once I asked him if I could take self defense lessons from Dave.  He said “No” in a very definitive manner, then he said, “He cwazy.”  Well, Dave didn’t seem too cwazy to me.  He did get a bit emotional at times, usually in a happy way.

 

The main reason Mr. Yueng said no, is because he wanted me to focus on the energy and spiritual side of things and not get lost on a detour into the self defense side.

 

Dave’s wife came to class often, and took hundreds of videos of Dave demonstrating different aspects of the art.  By the time I became his student his wife had a rather serious case of Alzheimers and he had to bring her to class in order to keep an eye on her.  Sometimes she would wander out the door and he would go bring her back.  Sometimes she forgot why she was there and got a little upset.  This was an added difficulty, and you could see it was stressful for him.  When I came he also had less students.  Maybe some of them faded away because they could see he was getting upset, but the guys who were there when I joined were all amazingly capable and advanced.  I was a beginner surrounded by masters.  Amazing luck really, and I really enjoyed learning and practicing the methods.  I brought Larry to class, but he dropped out after a couple of months.  I was with Dave for a little over half a year, then I dropped out for six months to go live in the mountains around the Leavenworth area of the Washington Cascades, a few miles up from the quaint little village of Cashmere.  I had a little house trailer there.  I felt guilty about not telling him that I was going to take a break, I didn’t think he would care, but it was a mistake.  I should have told him I was building a house there on some acreage in a beautiful rocky canyon populated with Ponderosa Pine trees.  It was a beautiful area but it did get very cold in the winter.

 

When I came back from the mountains to Seattle, with the intention of resuming classes with Dave, one of his students told me that he was dead.  It appears the problem with his wife’s health plus his dwindling student numbers was very upsetting to him and he could no longer manage.  So he went into his front yard, put a shotgun to the side of his head, and pulled the trigger.

 

Tom, who was the senior student, took over teaching, and to me he seemed every bit as good as Dave.  But he tended to work on things that Dave hadn’t focused on much.  There is no way anyone could hit him, and he could manipulate them like rag dolls.  Later, Tom moved out of the Green Lake Neighborhood Center and started teaching in his dentist’s office, which was far away for me to drive. Accordingly, I didn’t go to many of his classes there before leaving for Ecuador.

 

From the books, Magus of Seattle, and A Lineage of Dragons

Edited by Starjumper
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Sid Woodcock

 

Master Sid Woodcock was high-level CIA. He was an expert in the rapid penetration of hardened high security facilities, and he organized, trained, and led covert teams behind enemy lines. He invented a hypersonic canon 'shell within a shell' that was developed for the army. He was an explosives expert and expert witness having testified in the senate. He was a world-class business facility and personnel security expert, he invented and manufactured the world's best and most efficient stainless steel 45 cal automatic, and was a photographer for playboy ... and a whole lot more! A truly remarkable individual with the most amazing life story. He was also a Shaolin grandmaster (one of the hidden ones), both a mysterious, slightly scary ninja type, and a friendly quiet helpful grandpa type. He was not Asian, he was a completely Western Irish guy. He also had the strongest Jedi abilities I've witnessed, which he learned from Mr. Yueng.

 

He had a giant selection of Scotch whisky, and liked to invite us to Scotch tasting parties, to which people like the head of the TSA and one of the Nixon brothers would go sometimes.

 

A security expert, Sid helped design and put together high tech security systems for big buildings and companies. He also provided high security for transportation of people or goods to wherever in the world, personally. What he did for fun was walk into some of the most amazing high security places, just to show the owners it could be done, in order to sell them better security systems.

 

He walked right in to the heart of the Boeing central computer (mainframe) room and took pictures, which he then sent to the president of Boeing. That must have been a shock, because that room is one of the most high security places on Earth. He had all the tricks, from walking through a security door behind someone with a card, to the art of invisibility and affecting peoples thinking and attention. But how he got to that room, with its security requirements, is way beyond me.

 

Sid did this thing where he would put my Kung Fu brother, Steve, in the doorway to a big practice room where some students were practicing. Then Sid would go down the hall and into another room so Steve could hear him, but the guys in the big room couldn't hear or see him. Then he would tell Steve a name, like Fred, and Fred would fall on his face (there were mats), then say the name Pete, and Pete would flop over, and so on.

 

The believing of this kind of thing is difficult at first, but if you see enough evidence, eventually it's like “oh yeah, time to get to work”.

 

Sid had a class where he taught only CIA and 'men in black' (protectors of the elite). Once, a brother and I went to a demo Sid put on and after the show we talked with him. Part of the demo consisted of one of his students, with a real katana, trying to split his head in half while Sid kneeled in front of him. Sid deflected the sword to the side with a small hand signal and a small sound. My buddy asked where he taught the CIA guys and Sid said, "You don't really need to know that do you?" But sometimes, the CIA guys would come to his other class.

 

Once, after a class, one of my other fellow students went walking home on the sidewalk, and one of the CIA guys was walking about ten feet ahead of him, pushing a bicycle. The agent went around the corner, and a couple of seconds later, when my friend rounded the corner the guy pushing the bicycle was GONE. There was nowhere to hide, no doorways or openings, so my buddy backtracked to look in a doorway he had passed before the corner and there was no agent or bicycle there either. This is just one example of the art of invisibility. By the way, with the art of invisibility, the person actually does not become invisible. It is, however, a form of mind control.

 

So Sid taught more of the agent types, while his buddy Dave taught more to Special Forces, Navy Seals and others of that type. There were almost never any women in class. Once however, a woman came to one of their joint classes, and there was trouble. Sid was willing to teach a woman but Dave was not. Evidently he had some agreement with his wife, who was very jealous. This art involves a lot of close contact, where when someone tries to hit you, about the time they expect their fist to hit your face they find your face a couple of inches from their face, to the side, with your hands around their neck. Many attackers have a problem with this.

 

Dave and Sid had a big fight over this, which for people of this caliber consisted of a couple of dirty looks, and a couple of soft spoken words. Then Sid walked out the door, never to return.

 

Best to not imagine this big fight consisting of dirty looks between Sid and Dave was a mild experience. Getting a dirty look from someone like that can be a harrowing experience, and to have two of the deadliest guys on the planet facing each other in that way caused the stress level among the spectators to go through the roof. Once Mr. Yueng showed me this method. It isn’t easy to piss off such an advanced being, but it can be done. He gave me a look, with neutral face, expressionless, but his eyes conveyed the certain message, "I am going to kill you.” It was a certainty. There was not a bit of doubt as to his intentions and of course his ability. Getting this look from a little old Chinese man like him gave me a serious case of the willies.

 

Master Sidney Woodcock was a real live, 100%, honest to god, excellent example of a true blue Chinese Wizard. So you see, it isn't always like in the fairytales. In reality they design hypersonic two stage artillery shells, like to have scotch tasting parties, and could be carrying a gun in their back and sometimes also in their front pocket too. Before class, everyone with guns would take them out of their pockets and put them on one of the benches. There were usually around si or eight people in class.

 

Sid always wore baggy old faded bluejeans, and usually a Levi long sleeve shirt to match.

 

Once, Sid was talking to two guys who were standing in front of him, there was one guy to his side, and there was another, standing behind him, taking a picture. The guy standing to the side decided to sucker punch Sid in the ribs with no warning. At this same moment, the guy standing in back took the picture. In the picture you could see Sid was still turned towards and looking at the two in front of him but his arms were off to the side with the attacker's arm between his. You could see the bones sticking out of the other's arm where it was broken, and the two guys standing in front hadn't even noticed it at the moment the picture was snapped.

 

When Sid was a teenager living in Small Town, Idaho (not far from Road Narrows, Montana) he heard of a martial arts master who lived a few houses down his street. So he went and knocked on the door and was let in. They roughed him up a bit and then threw him out the door. He came back a couple of weeks later, so this time they broke his arm and threw him out the door. The third time he jumped into the house through one of the windows, which was closed. That time they let him stay. The master was the head of one of the Japanese Jutsus. Sid stayed with him for some years and one day the master wrote something in ink on the lapel of his white top (I forgot the name of those Japanese tops). This master had two sons who had stayed in Japan, and he was separated from them during the Second World War. Later, when the war ended, he died. The two brothers in Japan were always fighting and squabbling about who was the head master of the lineage, when all of a sudden, once upon a time, Sid went to visit them … and the rest is history. It turned out that the writing on the lapel of his jacket said that Sid was the master of the lineage. Well the brothers didn’t like that one bit, so they challenged him to fights. Sid mopped the floor with the two brothers and put them in their place.

 

There was a guy in Seattle who built a big new shiny high rise office building, complete with nice security system. Sid wrote to the guy and said if he got him a coffee and a newspaper on Sunday morning he’d show him how to break into his building. So Sunday, after their coffee they went to the building, Sid folded a sheet of newspaper and slid it under the front door and the door unlocked. That's because there was a laser switch buried in the floor on the other side which was meant to keep people from getting trapped inside the building when the doors were locked.

 

Sid would do this thing in class where he’d have one of the students stand still in the middle of the room. Sid would then stand around fifteen feet away and try to move the student with mind control, while the other students watched. Usually you could see the person move but it was very little. He did it to me too. I couldn’t feel myself move but the others saw it. Later I had some insight that this ability to move people with mind instead of hands is embedded in our system, and it derives from one of the meditation exercises Mr. Yueng had given us. I had practiced it but I didn’t take it very far, and certainly not in the direction a couple of my Kung Fu brothers did. They used it to develop some powerful Jedi abilities, but I missed that boat. I practiced my newly discovered technique a little and then tried it out on Sid. I was designing a home built airplane at the time and Sid was a pilot, so once while the other guys were practicing I was watching with him and telling him about my design. He was standing about a foot and a half away and we were facing at a forty five degree angle to each other. I used my technique to try to move his head off in the direction away from me, and the next thing I knew, my head moved two feet off to the side away from him, followed by my body of course. So he had felt what I was trying to do, and turned it around and did it to me instead. The thing is that before he previously used to just move us a teeny amount, but this time he moved me two feet, which demonstrates that principle of the internal arts, which is that the master decides to show you more once you show him that you’ve been a good student.

 

Once, before class started, and after the greeting, I was standing in front of Sid. I saw he was staring into my eyes and I felt some energy moving in my head. I asked what he was doing and he explained I had more energy on one side of my head than the other and so he was balancing it out.

 

This shows some of the abilities of a real wizard. He can see your energy and know what is going on, without needing to feel it with his hands. He can then correct energy imbalances and do other healing work … all with his mind, no hands involved. He would sometimes use his hands to send energy when you weren’t looking, to see if you noticed. And it was his hands he used to push some guy through a concrete block wall.

 

He used a technique which would trigger primal fear in an attacker … it would trigger, in an extreme way, whatever phobia a person had about animals. As the person was about to hit him he would make a subtle face of some kind and an odd sound, triggers of the subconscious. Possibly it included some form of mind control as well. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he could see what a person's phobia was and actually tailor the technique for that individual. Once he demonstrated this onDave Harris, who is quite a fearless person. When Dave tried to punch him, he made the small sound, and Dave went running out the door, convinced a pack of dogs was about to leap on him (he had a problem with dogs). When Andy tried to punch him, he saw a big grizzly bear about to swat him, went running under a table, and wet his pants. Scared the piss out of him.

 

These are things I was told by Andy before I started with Sid. Sid gave us the opportunity to learn this technique a couple of times in class, and when it was my turn to punch him he just made a bit of a mousy face and a small sound like “oooo," nothing. I didn't see or feel anything. Next week same thing. The other beginners said they didn't feel much either. So I figured he was screwing with me, and quit going to class. Later, I realized the reason he didn't do anything is because even though I went running up to him, I didn't follow through with the punch as I reached him. There’s no doubt he knew this a mile away. Typically when you attack a fellow student or teacher they have their hands up and are ready to do their technique, but Sid was just standing there with his arms down, and I didn't really want to hit the nice old man, you know? After I realized this, I got pissed off, more at myself, and told myself I was going to go back and knock the sucker on his ass. But I never got the opportunity. I figured this technique out anyway, but never have had a chance to practice it on someone. Sid was eighty-eight and he stopped teaching for a time. Earlier he’d had knee surgery, and he went back to get another operation on his knee to remove scar tissue. After the operation he was bed-ridden for awhile. He had two of my students go to his house to begin training in the way of secret agents, and then he died. He died of a gun shot to the head. It was suicide, or apparent suicide. He simply left a note on the bed, which said he wanted to see what it was like on the other side.

 

This is an excerpt from the book: "The Magus of Seattle"

Also published as; "A Lineage of Dragons"

Edited by Starjumper
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On 2/10/2020 at 12:16 PM, Starjumper said:
Here’s a little something you probably didn’t know about Cheng Man Ching. He felt none of his students ‘got it’ and that he had been a failure as a teacher, so he stopped teaching, went back to China, and drank himself to death within six months.
On 2/10/2020 at 5:45 PM, Starjumper said:

When I came back from the mountains to Seattle, with the intention of resuming classes with Dave, one of his students told me that he was dead.  It appears the problem with his wife’s health plus his dwindling student numbers was very upsetting to him and he could no longer manage.  So he went into his front yard, put a shotgun to the side of his head, and pulled the trigger.

16 hours ago, Starjumper said:

Sid was eighty-eight and he stopped teaching for a time. Earlier he’d had knee surgery, and he went back to get another operation on his knee to remove scar tissue. After the operation he was bed-ridden for awhile. He had two of my students go to his house to begin training in the way of secret agents, and then he died. He died of a gun shot to the head. It was suicide, or apparent suicide. He simply left a note on the bed, which said he wanted to see what it was like on the other side.

Hmm, I'm noticing a "disturbing," or at least curious, pattern here... :huh:

 

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6 hours ago, gendao said:

 

Hmm, I'm noticing a "disturbing," or at least curious, pattern here... :huh:

 

 

I've noticed that too, and it's probably a bit more disturbing for me than you.  I don't know about Cheng Man Chin (drinking yourself to death is non violent), but Dave and Sid were advanced to the point of not fearing death.  Mr. Yueng worked as an anti-government assassin while in the Red Boat Opera, Bruce was assassinated, Brandon died under mysterious circumstances, Sid was a CIA assassin, and Dave taught quick'n'easy killing to a lot of killers (special forces, navy seals, etc) plus civilians like me. .  I killed a lot of people in past life, and don't fear death either.  HellifIknow ... we were Mr. Yueng's students... some are dragons ...

 

Edited by Starjumper
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Trolling for Muggers

 

Dave and Sid were both known to engage in this game called ‘Trolling for Muggers.’ You play this game by walking down some dark alleys in the dingy part of the city late at night, and see what shows up. Once you meet the member of the other team, that’s when the sporting event starts. The winner sees to it that the mugger is never able to rob anyone else again. I mean, the mugger asked for it, didn’t they? If someone points a gun at you then they are saying, in plain language, that they are willing to die. So why disappoint them? In class we practiced “gun disarm” methods a fair bit, and this included all kinds of neat tricks to distract the gunman at just the right moment. I’ll share a couple of the methods. The mugger aims a gun at you and says, “give me your wallet,” so you reach in your back pocket as if you’re getting your wallet, but lo and behold, there happens to be a gun in your back pocket. So you take it out and shoot immediately, from the hip. Sid said to always shoot from the hip.

 

Another way is when the mugger says to give him your wallet, you grab your wallet but then toss it up in the air and a few feet off to the side. While the mugger is engaged in watching the wallet fly through the air, you can easily take his gun, and turn it on him. There are even neat ways to grab the gun and turn it around while the aggressor is still holding it, then you can shoot him in the face with his own finger on the trigger. That way, no fingerprints. Of course these things need to be done rather quickly, before the attacker can regain his balance or resist. I was advised to close eyes and mouth tightly, because when the mugger’s head explodes, you’re going to get drenched in blood and brains. Closing mouth and eyes beforehand prevents getting any virus or infection they might have. Steve Smith was also a student of Sid’s, and he taught me some disarm methods too. One of our goals was to see how far away a gunman can be from you whereby you can still take his gun away from him. The best that can be done in this scenario is about seven feet. It is not so difficult to take a gun away from someone when they are up to two meters away. I kind of like the techniques where the gunman is behind you with a gun at your back, and you can turn around in such a way that he ends up leaning back, out of balance, and pointing his own gun at his own face. Surprised to say the least! At this point it doesn’t take any real force to remove the gun from their hand.

 

This is an excerpt from the book:  "The Magus of Seattle"

Also published as:  "A Lineage of Dragons"

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One of my kung fu brothers just shared this anecdote about Dave:

 

Steve Gray, An Experience I had with Dave Harris involved River Dan DeBolt. Dave was demonstrating some principal and Dan was the attacker. Every time Dan attacked he would end up on the floor. Many times without being touched by Dave. Every time he got up Dan would be madder and attack faster and harder. Sometimes he did this immediately on getting up in order to give Dave minimal time to respond. Dan was never able to even touch Dave. Later a group of us asked Dan about his actions. He said he had get up and attack again otherwise he would have just curled up into a ball and quit. It was an interesting lesson to me about using anger to stay alive in an overwhelming situation.

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