I came to Taiwan several years ago, full of knowledge and I have to admit , little bit full of my self . I’d had all possible kung fu knowledge that could be found in my country , before I came here .For almost two years I’ve lived in Taipei. I had a lot of practice there, visited many schools , met and worked with some famous ”names”. To my disappointment, although level and quality of information in most of these schools are on the high level, and I had learned a lot , I hadn’t learned anything new , just a different variation and interpretations, some better , some worse, of the same principles in my primary art , nothing more advanced or higher level. After more than a year I’ve decided to give a chance to some other style of kung fu , although I have continued my research and practice of Wing Chun. I have tried several other arts but those schools were the same as Wing Chun schools I have visited before. The spirit of “money” was what I have felt there, inpatient instructors who cannot wait to finish the training and unwilling to give a deeper inside into their arts. Superficial smiles and politeness disappear as soon as you pay training fee and appear again just before the time for the next payment. After couple of tries I gave up , in the eyes of these people I was just a stupid white guy who wants to be Chinese and who has to be ripped off . In Taipei is common practice to have double standards in teaching and different class prices, one for domestic students and other for foreigners . At that point, totally disappointed, I had stopped any practice with one exception , I have continued to learn one rare Wing Chun style form mainland China.
After almost two years in Taipei, my wife and I decided to move to her home town , Tainan. After we settled down I ‘ve started to feel that I need practice . Previous experience killed all my hope that I will find what I was searching fo , instead of finding good kung fu school I just wanted to find a place where I can blow off some steam. To my surprise, finding a kung fu school in Tainan was not an easy task. Kung fu teachers in Tainan notoriously avoid the internet and English language. With a great help of my wife, I have found Baji quan school .To be honest I have never heard about Baji before, my focus was ,and still is on southern kung fu styles, and I hadn’t slightest idea what does Baji even look like .Having experience from Taipei I was expecting same thing here but I didn’t care , I just wanted to be physically engaged , nothing more than that .
Good things happen when you least expect them. That Baji school was what I was searching for. This story is not about me, it is about a man whose name I still cannot pronounce , a real kung fu teacher and person who has my utmost respect .
Like I said , I was expecting same thing as in Taipei . To my surprise this school is total opposite to those schools in Taipei. First, prices are the same for everyone . Teaching quality was the same for everyone, maybe even slightly better for me , at last that was my impression .People there respect their art and respect each other . They practice because they love the art, traditional kung fu , because it is part of their culture, part of who they are. All that positive atmosphere , spirit of the real, old ,traditional kung fu , respect and high personal and common values , all of that was work of one man , 官鋒忠.
He is not just a martial artist , he is a man of many talents . He is an artist , a musician who is trying to preserve an art of playing on traditional Taiwanese clay instrument . Only a few people today know how to play that instrument . He has enormous amount of patience .When I started to practice I knew almost nothing about traditional Chinese culture although I have lived in Taipei for almost two years . Taipei and Tainan are two different universes. Not knowing the rules I imagine I was pretty annoying and sometimes even offensive , but all I have met was understanding and patience . In time I have learned a lot, not only the martial part , that was not the most important part of the training , I have learned a lot about people , their way of life and thinking , I was accepted completely (well , not completely , there was some people who were not happy I was there , but that was never shown openly because of respect of the teacher and his decision) .
Best way to judge someone’s personality is to see him with kids and官鋒忠 love kids with all his heart .
官鋒忠 founded “Maita” association which goal is preservation and spreading original spirit of Chinese martial arts . On the other hand he is an innovator , he possess a great knowledge and understanding of his art and he is putting a great effort trying to make one traditional martial style more understandable and acceptable for younger generation on one side and to explain it through scientific method on the other . He is also aware how important is for kung fu to pass borders of Asia and spread among all people . Like he said , kung fu belongs to everyone .
I could go on forever to talk about this great man who is ahead of his time , great martial teacher , a person who possess all the features of the legendary heroes from old folk stories. If you come to Tainan and you want to learn real kung fu this is a right place for that .http://www.maita.tw/