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Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher, you always speak of the two types of martial arts schools: Traditional and Non-Traditional. What are the differences between the two and why should I care?

This is a good question and many tend to be confused about this issue. There are a number of differences some are apparent and other may not be, but they are there nonetheless.

Traditional schools follow a form of etiquette known as Wu-De. This is a code of proper etiquette that is closely followed; a non-traditional may not have such code, or may not follow all the demands set forth in the code. A traditional school honors its predecessors in the lineage of the style; a non-traditional school may not, due to a break in the lineage.

A traditional school teaches all aspects of mind body and spirit training; a non-traditional school may choose not to follow all three of these principles in teaching. A traditional school will follow all the customary Chinese traditions associated with Kung Fu training, whereas a non-traditional school may chose not to follow all of these. Traditional schools tend to adhere to the old methods of teaching passed on from generation to generation; non-traditional schoosl usually develop their own teaching styles.

Finally the traditional schools tend not to deviate from the what was passed down by their predecessors. They may add to their style but not change what was passed down. The non-traditional schools often have newly created styles or mixed systems from various styles combined, or even newly created forms.

I am not making any judgments on which is better, I am simply stating the differences in approach to teaching and learning. As always it is up to you as to what you want from your martial art training. For some people, the old traditional way is not their cup of tea, to say it nicely. To others, the traditional is the best way. You must establish your own standards of what you think is right and wrong for you.

I have made my choices in life and they suit me well. You too have to at some point make up your mind what you think is best for you as a individual and then follow it wholeheartedly. What the martial arts mean to me is a very personal thing. It may be very different from how you perceive the martial arts.

But one thing is for sure - we all must draw the line somewhere in life and pick our way. To me, I choose the old ways. I feel they have lead me to find my own answers and allowed me to grow to my fullest capacity.

No matter what you decide, traditional or non-traditional, just follow that way, believe in it, nurture it. Then you can honestly say you have done your best, for you are the only one that really counts. Pick a way and follow with steadfastness. You should care because unless you find something in life you believe in and follow, your life will be wasted. You will be in life's sea, with no charts and no navigation. You will be lost.

We all need something to follow and believe in so we can develop as human beings. Make your choices, then go for it. No matter what your choice may be remember this: what others perceive you to be in life is inconsequential, but what you think of yourself is paramount. You be the judge.

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