Something that I believe in is that you don’t write or talk about something in public unless you are prepared to be called upon to explain or defend what you have put out.
In this FB group someone posted some information on a WC style and passed himself off as an authority if not the sole authority of this style. Of course, I was very happy to read things posted by a person of such standing i.e. until he was questioned and contrary facts put up to him. That was when he lost it and brought out threats to attempt to shut the other person up.
This was when I had a closer look at some of the things he mentioned and could not help but wonder. What are some of these things and why did I wonder about them? This is because learning could yield shared and similar experiences, not necessarily exactly the same but not always that much different either.
1) This person claimed that his master was already practicing a refined art back then. I certainly had no doubts about it since he was there and I was not. But here is something I have to wonder about – unless he was already at a certain level then how did he recognized that what he was looking at was reallly that high a level?
I mean I can say the same for all my teachers when I first met them. But it is only when I had attained a certain understanding myself after many long years that I could really say with better authority which teacher was at what kind of level.
So here we have a teenager who supposedly could tell the difference. I guess he must be gifted and more intelligent than me.
2) Like another certain style of WC, this person is also very sure that his lineage has it and the others of this style didn’t. I would have believed him too until I read that the extent of his belief was only confined to his learning experience in this certain state in Malaysia.
This means that what he has stated is true but only if he qualified it with a suitable disclaimer. He did not and hence gave the impression that his statement applies worldwide. In fact, what he said could not even be authoritatively be said to apply to China – see point (3) below.
3) The next thing that made me sit up, amazed, astonished, was when this person said he had never been to the village in China where his style originated when challenged. So how does he know that his findings are truly valid if he did not even research it in the place of origin. This kind of reminds me of what Taleb said about people insisting that all swans are white until one day someone saw a black swan in Australia.
From my own experience in learning Wing Chun I found that for a time I assumed that the way WC was taught and looked at was the same all over the world. Until I ventured to Hong Kong I did not realize how wrong I was to make this assumption. So I have to say that any research this person made now comes across as shoddy.
4) This person argued with another person who has been to the place of origin, researched and learned stuff there. Yet, without knowing what this other person really knows he put down this other person.
This kind of petty behaviour is frankly amazing coming from an elderly person with his academic learning, employment position in his company as management staff and as he is trying to put across, the inheritor of this unique approach. Oh, that he is a practitioner of an eastern religion makes this even more appalling.
5) One point I would concede is that he does not seem to have anything to gain, at least financially, for now. Will that change? Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn’t know. Or maybe the gain is not monetary but for the ego. Power can be a powerful stimulant for some, especially that exerted over another person.
Martial arts squabbles can be really funny. Today is kind of a slow day so its been entertaining for me.