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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?

O 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 alone?

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 heritage.

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