the History Story of Da Shifu Al Moore "Shou shu"
The Secrets the Last Grand Master Almost Didn't Teach[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Verdana]
I need your help...
You see a terrible thing has happened in the martial arts world. It has happened right in front of our eyes and it may be too late to fix it. We hope that it is not.
Let’s start way back in the early 1900’s. A time when there were hundreds or maybe thousands of highly effective fighting arts in the world. A time when having highly developed fighting skills was necessary for your safety, the safety of your family, and the safety of your home.
A time when the most powerful and awe inspiring fighting arts were in the hands of the Chinese warlords and their descendents.
Martial Arts Comes to America
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/dashifu350.jpgAt this time there were a number of Chinese communities rapidly forming in the US. Many thousands of Chinese immigrants had come to America during the gold rush. In 1852 their numbers reached 27,000 in California alone. Many chinese men became laborers on the great transcontinental railroad. Eventually complete Chinese communities formed in and around US cities.
These communities had just about everything that a community needs. Shops and stores carried everything that could be had in mainland China. Churches, temples, and community halls carried on the culture. They were tight knit little communities in a free world and all would have been well except for one thing, the clash with white culture.
The Chinese Immigrants Are Not Safe!
You see back in those days the typical American didn’t think much of the Chinese immigrants. They were denied citizenship simply due to the color of their skin. Even US born Chinese who traveled to visit China, were not admitted back in due to lack of citizenship. To say they were looked down upon is an understatement. The California committee on mines and mining called them, “a great moral and social evil—a disgusting scab upon the fair face of society—a putrefying sore upon the body politic—in short, a nuisance.”
Racism was a huge issue. And in a dangerous way. The killing of a Chinaman was often overlooked and not necessarily considered a crime. Robbing a Chinese store did not attract the attention of the authorities. A criminal could rob the Chinese at will and typically be free from prosecution. It was a very dangerous time to be an Asian, even in an Asian community.
A Vigilante Army
The Chinese had no choice but to form their own protection. They did this through what they called Tong. The word Tong literally translates as hall or meeting place. In their beginnings these Tong organizations were created to serve and protect the Chinese immigrants.
Protection meant developing fighting skills.
In 1900 the Tongs imported martial arts masters from China. These masters formerly served the Chinese warlords in China but were now needed to protect the Chinese in America. Masters from various martial traditions came and began to teach the young Chinese men how to fight. These masters were called Dai Lo.
Each Tong would oversee a section of the community and the Dai Lo would be responsible for recruiting young men and training them in the fighting arts. A business that was protected by a Tong would pay a small fee to support the Tong’s efforts. Protected businesses displayed plaques at their registers. These plaques signified that the business was being watched and if there were trouble, the Tong fighters would swoop in and handle things. (You can still see these plaques today in various Chinatown businesses if you know what you are looking for.)
Vigilante Protection becomes Extortion
But, as often happens when greed sets in, this system of protection soon broke down to a protection racket.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/punish.jpgThe Tongs soon realized that the protection racket was profitable. And the larger the territory they protected, the more profitable. Out of the helping hands of the Tong, the criminal gangs called the Triads were born.
They soon grew in power.. Extorting more and more money from the businesses and fighting to gain more territory.
These Chinese mafia were known as the Triads, Hui or Hongmen. They were a secret criminal society and as a criminal organization they expanded into other forms of crime. Just like the stories of Italian Mafioso these criminals had their own honor among criminals. However the rules of the triads were much different than their Italian counterparts.
Disputes Are Settled with Honorable Combat
One of these codes of honor dictated that disputes were to be settled in a special way. It was called honorable combat. The rules of honorable combat were simple. When there was a dispute between two Triads, the Dai Lo from each triad would send his best fighter. These two fighters were escorted by two other men, one from each Triad, to a remote location. Usually this was a barn out in the country.
The two fighters knew the task at hand. Four men went in, but only three were to leave. At the conclusion of the fight, the victor was quickly led out. He was not to be told whether the opponent had died or not. He was ushered off. Back to his life where he was provided with whatever he desired by the Dai Lo.
The dispute between the two Triads had been settled.
Grandfather “Dai Lo”
In 1938 in Emeryville California, a young white boy accompanied one of his best friends home. At this time it was socially unacceptable for a white boy to be hanging out with a Chinese boy. But this was the middle of the great depression and little Albert’s parents weren’t really paying a lot of attention. They had their own problems.
Emeryville was one of the harder hit areas of the country. It was an industrial city and industry was hit hard. Being a port town made it a highly racially mixed area. This combination of destitute people and a diverse set of cultures all struggling for survival meant violence and lots of it.
Emeryville, in the 30’s earned the reputation as the toughest town in America. Outbreaks of violence were the norm. Everyone fought. Being the meanest and the baddest was necessary for survival.
Little Albert regularly hung out with his Chinese friend Jimmy Chin. The boys would frequent the house of Jimmy’s grandfather, Lu Chin, in the Oakland Chinatown. An easy walk from Emeryville.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/old-chinese.jpgAt the house of Lu Chin, there was a group of men regularly being trained by Lu Chin. Young Albert did not know what it was they were doing but it interested him. He didn’t understand these strange motions they did with their bodies. Beautiful fluid, but powerful looking motions. As the best friend of Jimmy he was allowed to watch.
Eventually watching became doing. He really didn’t understand what it was that he was learning. They were just body motions with no apparent practical application. But Lu Chin was adamant that they were practiced perfectly and for hours.
Learning the Fighting Arts From The Dai' Lo
As Albert was slowly accepted into the group he was also held to the same standards as the men. Each day he learned a new motion. Only one, but it had to be perfected before moving on. If he returned the next day and what he had learned the previous day was not to Lu Chin’s satisfaction he was punished. Lu Chin would use his thumb and forefinger to grab a large fold of flesh on his neck and squeeze while yelling something in Chinese. Albert assumed correctly that this meant he was to practice harder.
Over time Albert was shown how these strange moves were actually used. They were fighting skills. Devastating fighting skills. Lu Chin was a Dai Lo.
Living in Emeryville gave Albert plenty of practice for his new found skills. And he didn’t mind trying them out.
In Emeryville just walking towards someone on the sidewalk was grounds for a fight. Albert had daily opportunities to test out his new skills. Street fighting became another form of practice.
Street Testing The Art
Each day Albert would train with the men and then practice on his own. After mastering each skill he would then go out into the street and test it out. Every single thing he learned was immediately tested on the street. He would evaluate the effectiveness and adjust accordingly. His skills developed quickly.
Lu Chin noticed how good this young man was getting and increased his training. He gave him special attention and soon indoctrinated him into the ways of the Triads.
For a young man this meant a lot of special privilege. If he needed something he simply walked into a shop and uttered the sentence “Uncle can you loan me a dime”. These were the Triads code words for extorting money and everyone knew what they meant. Everyone feared the young men who were allowed to use these words.
Albert had privileges and skills that other young men did not and he learned to use them. His mother feared him and called him a little devil. Despite his tiny stature most who knew of him feared him.
Albert's small size but big attitude brought the attention of bigger stronger boys who thought they could push him around. They poked fun at his big ears. Combined with his hot temper this always ended the same.
He even beat up the top players on the high school football team. Several at a time. And when the coach came after him for injuring his star players Albert beat him up too. Albert backed down to no one.
Going to War at 16
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/battleship.jpgIn 1943 Albert could see that Emeryville held nothing good for him. He had two very young brothers and his mother didn’t want him around them. She feared they would turn out like him. So at the age of 16 he lied about his age, enlisted in the Navy, and went to war. This was a not uncommon practice in those days. The military didn’t check the records to hard. They needed bodies.
Albert did well in the Navy. He became a gunners mate. His job was to keep the big naval warship guns operational and loaded. To him this was justmore fighting, something that he took to well.
Learning From the Beast Masters
The war ended in 1945. After a short trip back to Emeryville he travelled to TinTsin (TianJian) China at the insistence of the Chin family. They sponsored him and he attended a sort of college. It was much like a regular college. Except he didn’t have regular studies. The only thing he studied was more fighting. This was the curriculum he was sent to learn.
At first he was an outcast. A white male in a Chinese college was not well received. But Lu Chin had a lot of pull and Albert was allowed to train.
The training was intense. Sixteen to eighteen hours a day, six days a week. A half day of training on the seventh day. There were seven headmasters. One for each of the Shou’ Shu beasts. Each master specialized in one of the animals. He was to train and learn the skills of each.
At first each headmaster shunned him. They wouldn’t teach a white boy. But soon his skills became apparent. When they did, each master claimed him as their student. For two and a half years he trained under them. Learning each beast individually and then combined. Eventually he was to test for master himself. A seven day. They started by displaying their forms and the power in their strikes. Fighting in pits dug into the ground, the participants were required to fight using each of the beast styles and then the combination of all seven.
Communism Nearly Destroys The Martial Arts
In 1949, towards the end of his training, communism was gaining strength in China. His friends kept communist activities far away from him but as Communism took over it was no place for an American. He had to leave China just prior to the formation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in October of 1949.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/cultural.jpgThe PRC was no friend to the martial arts and quickly dealt them a heavy blow. Mao Zedong was determined to wipe out all remnants of former Chinese culture. Martial artists were not only a part of this culture but also a threat to communism. Martial arts masters were powerful and capable of raising their own small armies. They were a threat to the government. The whole philosophy of martial arts was contrary to the new communist philosophy. Martial arts promoted the strength of the individual. Communism devalued the individual.
Martial artists Are Exiled From China
The Cultural Revolution purged most of the great master from the country. Martial artists were prosecuted in any way imaginable. Even the famous Shaolin monks were taken from their temples, splashed with red paint, and paraded through the streets. Mao Zedong was determined to rid China of it’s martial artists and he did.
Some of them went into hiding and stopped training students. Some hid their arts in dance forms. Others fled to freer countries. Some were murdered.
Martial arts, once a huge part of China’s traditions, were now effectively gone from China.
In later years China was to realize it’s mistake. Martial arts meant tourism. The government brought martial artists back into the country but they were not from the original traditions or were not complete in their knowledge. A mere specter of their former knowledge. The damage, once done, could not be corrected. The great masters were gone. But this didn’t much matter to the Chinese government. All they really needed was the appearance of having great masters. Not many people would know any different.
Winning In The Fight Clubs
After leaving China, Albert Moore, now a young Da’ Shifu (Grand Master), decided to travel. Traveling through Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore he found that these countries had fighting tournaments. There was big money being bet on these tournaments and large crowds. Da’ Shifu Moore began to study the fights and the fighters.
He quickly decided he'd have no trouble besting these fighters. So he put some money up on himself and challenged one of the fighters.
Wham Bam Bam! And it was done. A second or so into the fight the other fighter was down. Da’ Shifu stepped out of the ring and happily collected his money. The crowd stared in shock. There were no cheers.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/fight.jpg“Easy money” He thought. “I’m going to make my fortune here”.
The next day he did it again. Several times. Each time he would take his entire bankroll and bet it on himself. Each time he ended the fight quickly and efficiently. They couldn’t touch him.
His bankroll was growing quickly. He was certain that fighting would once again bring him his life of luxury.
The third day he came back to do it again. But this day it was different. When he went to bet, no one would take his bet. All the hands that had been shaking money in the air, dropped out of sight. What was wrong? Surely they wanted to see him fight again.
But They Wouldn’t Bet.
There was no entertainment in his fights. Only a quickly dished out and brutal beating. The promoters asked him to leave. He was disrupting their money making. No bets, no money making, no fights.
The reality was that nobody was interested in seeing these predictable two second fights. They wanted drama. They wanted a knock down drag out fight with a surprise ending. They wanted two bloodied fighters. They wanted to be entertained.
If you think about this it’s not surprising at all. Think about todays fighting contests. They are designed for entertainment. If you can remember the Mike Tyson Vs. Michael Spinx fight in 1988 this is the perfect example of how to disappoint the crowd. Both were legendary fighters and this was a much anticipated fight. The biggest purse of any fight up until that time.
Real Fights Don't Sell Tickets
I remember I had bought it on pay per view and had a bunch of friends over. The fight lasted 91 seconds. We hadn’t even finished loading up our appetizers and refreshments. It was a total disappointment. It was wasted money as far as we were concerned. It was then that I realized that these shows really don’t have a lot to do with who the best and most skilled fighter is. It’s more about the show. With that much money involved the crowd must be entertained.
I’ve also seen this in the MMA world. Shou’ Shu’ fighter friends have entered the MMA tournaments and quickly won. But then couldn’t get more fights or had to adapt to the MMA ways. If they stayed they learned to put on a show. Toughen the body and take some shots. Make it look good.
Dispatching an opponent quickly didn’t please the crowd or the promoters. The Shou’ Shu’ fighters who wanted to develop an MMA fanbase had to detune their skills in order to put on a show.
The Soldiers Arts
During the Cold War US soldiers stationed overseas learned many of the Japanese and Okinawan martial arts. These arts were very different from the soft fluid Chinese fighting arts.
As these soldiers returned to the US they began teaching what they had learned. These men were tough soldiers and had spent a great deal of time sparring. They brought the traditions over but as Americans they were very much into American traditions.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/soldiers.gifThe Disciplines Are Turned to Sports
These Asian disciplines were soon mutated to satisfy the American taste for sports. Americans like sports and generally don’t understand disciplines. So these age old disciplines over time became just another sport. Another big blow to the ancient traditions of the martial arts.
Martial Arts Goes To The Kids
Then came the Karate Kid movie. Soon martial arts schools were flooded with children. Children had formerly not been allowed in martial arts schools but this new influx was profitable. The rules were bent a little. And again a little more of the martial arts were lost. Kids and parents wanted trophies and belts. Tokens to satisfy the ego rather than the traditions which taught humility.
So from 1949 until now much of the rich knowledge of the fighting arts has been all but destroyed. The Okinawan and Japanese arts became sports. Many of the Chinese forms of Kung Fu were transformed into performance arts. They set them to music and performed in competitions much like dance. The martial aspects were lost. Other forms of Kung Fu were practiced only in slow forms for the health benefits only. The fighting aspects were no longer taught.
In just one generation, these hundreds, if not thousands of ancient arts were all but lost. Destroyed decree or diluted by transformation. Even many of the “fighting styles” lost their essence as they grew too fast and were not properly policed.
Underground Martial Arts
As mainstream martial arts became more and more diluted there remained a few teachers who kept their arts alive. They taught privately or in very small back alley schools.
Generally they taught only a select few and very privately. For most it was dangerous to reveal their arts. Even in a free country.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/jara.jpgThe PRC had rewritten the history books and now claimed to be the authority on Chinese martial arts. Martial tourism in China flourished and the Chinese government had to control the image to keep the money flowing in.
The few private teachers knew better to speak out against the PRC and reveal the truth. Many still had family in China. Coming out publicly with their arts would put their families who remained in China at risk. Teaching publicly could mean death for their family members.
A few arts were preserved. Most were quietly lost. And very few people even realized it.
Returning to the US
When Da’ Shifu returned to the US he needed to find work. He went to college and became a mechanical engineer. He began a lucrative career in food processing plants in the central Valley of California. He worked as a consultant and traveled from plant to plant. Other than his own practicing he had no contact with the fighting arts.
But the arts were in his blood. Once you get into Shou’ Shu’ it becomes a part of you. It satisfies the body and calms the mind. It becomes a need.
No One Had Yet Heard Of Kung Fu
No one in California had even heard of Chinese Kung Fu, let alone Shou’ Shu’. But Da’ Shifu convinced a few friends to come try it out.
He began training a few guys here and there using the same methodology he had been trained with. But his students quickly quit. They were not accustomed to the body conditioning and the high level of discipline required. He soon found out this method of training didn’t work with these guys. None of his students would stick around. It was too difficult. It was too brutal. They didn’t understand what they were learning.
He became very frustrated and stopped trying to teach.
A Martial Arts Revival
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/dashifu4.jpgThe late 60’s and early 70’s saw a rise in the popularity of the martial arts. Judo, Jujitsu, and Karate styles rose in popularity and in the early 70’s Bruce Lee became popular and introduced Kung Fu to the American public. Popularity surged and martial arts schools filled with new participants eager to learn.
Da’ Shifu saw this going on and tried again to teach his style. But just as before the students didn’t last. Seeing this and also seeing the popularity of some of the commercial schools he went to find out why.
He tried out Kempo. One of the very popular styles of the time. The kempo schools were packed with students and he wanted to figure out what the attraction was. At the time Ed Parker had recently brought his version of Kempo to the US and the Tracy brothers, students of Parker, were building a large chain of schools.
A Modern Teaching Style
The teaching style was very different than the way he had learned. Kempo used a system of techniques to teach with rather than concentrating only on individual motions. The techniques were very easy to grasp and students could learn them quickly. They didn’t have the power and principle of Shou’ Shu’ but nobody knew any better. To the students these techniques were true martial arts.
With his prior knowledge Da’ Shifu picked up the Kempo very quickly. He soon became an instructor and eventually partnered with the Tracy brothers to run a Tracy’s Kempo school. The teaching style created a fun atmosphere. There was a great deal of camaraderie in the schools. And it was lucrative. But it was not Shou’ Shu’.
Da' Shifu had a falling out with his Kempo instructors and opened his own school. The kempo teaching system worked well. It retained students and kept the bills paid so he kept it up. But it didn’t satisfy his need to teach Shou’ Shu’. He knew how effective Shou’ Shu’ was and wanted his students to have it. But how?
Da' Shifu Develops A Better Teaching System
At first he would teach a student Kempo for the first four belts. Then once he knew they were loyal and had developed discipline he began teaching them Shou’ Shu’. This worked well but he kept experimenting.
He soon started adding Shou’ Shu’ principle to the Kempo techniques. The Shou’ Shu’ Xioung (Bear) principles were the easiest to do and also the easiest to blend into the Kempo so he added basic bear principle to the moves. He ended up with a more fluid Kempo with a lot more power.
His first set of students were nearly pure bear. Very strong and powerful. They were exceptional martial artists. They possessed highly explosive external power and were quite impressive. It was a success and he continued to train his students this way for many years to come.
A Modern Teaching System Is Born
Over the years he slowly added more of the more of the other six beasts into the way he taught the art. He used different Kempo techniques as the teaching medium but added beast principle to them. Over time he began removing some of the Kempo techniques and replacing them with pure Shou’ Shu’ techniques. Other techniques he left but altered. All the while he watched and monitored what methodologies worked to get the knowledge into the students and which ones didn’t.
The teaching system was being perfected. Over time he figured out how to get the students to learn the flowing focussed chi of Shou’ Shu’. He learned ways of introducing the higher beast material in ways that made sense to the students. Over time he was able to integrate all seven beasts. Over decades he had developed a teaching system that could effectively convey the intricacies of Shou’ Shu’ without the extreme training methods that were used on him. A method that could fit into the modern lifestyle.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/me.jpgBecoming Da’ Shifu’s Student
In 1988 through some very unusual circumstances I began to train under Da’ Shifu. I was extremely introverted and not very athletic. But in a short amount of time I found I could learn Shou’ Shu’. I soon found out that I actually became more coordinated as I learned. For the first time in my life I began to feel athletic and it felt great. With Shou’ Shu’ my body moved gracefully and powerfully.
I gained confidence in other aspects of my life too. This Shou’ Shu’ seemed to be the magic elixir that made everything else easier. This new found confidence opened up doors for me. It was fantastic.
First Shou’ Shu’ Fight
One day I was driving down I-5 just north of Bakersfield. I pulled into a rest area to use the restroom.
I thought I was the only person in the restroom but from behind me I heard the stall door open. A man had stepped out and was now making very suggestive and lude comments. I’ll refrain from posting exactly what he said as it is too offensive to post publicly.
I quickly zipped up and turned around. I was headed for the door but he had positioned himself in front of it. I backed away looking for an opening to get around him. As I did I noticed how foul and dirty he was. He actually had pus filled sores on his face. I badly wanted to escape.
I kept backing up but soon ran out of room.
He lunged and tried to grab me. My right hand shot up inside his and deflected it outward while at the same time I snap kicked him in the groin. As he bent over from the kick my hand came down crushing his nose and dropping him to the floor.
Before I knew it I was back in my car and on the highway. My heart was pounding and I was disgusted that I had even touched him but very relieved that whatever he intended to happen didn’t. I stopped at a gas station and washed my hands several times.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/me-lund.jpgAs I began to calm down I realized that the move I had done was not a move I had learned. I was a purple belt at the time and this move was not yet in my arsenal. Where did it come from? I was confused.
Then I remembered back to the previous week in the quan. I had been stretching. While I stretched I had been watching some brown belt students practice on each other. They had been going pretty hard at it and the “bad guy” was really acting it up. He was reacting to each strike as if he had been hit with full power. I wasn’t supposed to be watching. It was against the rules. But I acted as if I wasn’t and pretended to stretch. I was visualizing the move in my head. I was visualizing doing the move on someone.
Visualization Builds Skills
This was the move that came out when I needed it. Now I know the move as Two Man Cobra Attack but back then it was not something I had ever practiced.
This is how I discovered the importance of really seeing how a body reacts to the moves and I discovered the power of visualization. I had never even practiced this move and somehow it came out of the recesses of my subconscious to save me.
We Developed A System To Teach You
This is why we were so careful when we added the fighting techniques full speed on an opponent into our enhanced online training program. We used really tough students and black belts that could take a shot. We knew it would be very important for your training to really see how each move works on an opponent. Understanding how the opponent reacts is one of the most critical parts of learning a fighting art. I’ve seen entire arts lost because not enough attention was paid to this. Without the reality of how an opponent reacts to a strike bad habits are built in. Its so vitally critical to proper training and that is why we paid extra special attention to making sure you get that right.
Once You Get Into Shou' Shu' It Becomes a Part of You
The mind is an amazing thing. Once you build in the fighting principles it treats them like seeds. Each seed can bear numerous fruit. I’ve had numerous experiences of reacting to an attack or even a near accident in a way I would have never expected. Once it has the rules, the mind just figures it out. And it’s all done subconsciously. Behind the veil.
Your Reactions Are Already Incredibly Fast. You Just Need To Use Them
Have you ever knocked something off a table and before you even realized it your hand shot out and caught it? That’s an example of the reactive mind taking over. Once you train your reactive mind it will be there to serve you with that kind of speed. It just takes over and does things when it is needed. It’s much faster than the thinking mind so you don’t realize what or how you’ve done something until afterwards. Sometimes you never can figure it out and neither can those who saw it. It’s like magic.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/lund-miller.jpgOne of the principles of training the reactive mind we use we actually call “magic hands”. (Shou’ Shu’ black belts often wear a gold medallion with the chinese symbol for magic hands. It’s a way to easily identify each other)
Develop Magic Hands
Magic hands is really quite simple in theory but magical in practice. We train the hands (or any other weapon. Knees, elbows, feet, etc) to be at the right spot and ready for the next strike before the opening becomes available. The hands actually predict the next logical strike. It’s a pretty simple idea. We know that when you hit a body it reacts. Hit in the groin and the face comes forward. Hit in the neck and the solar plexus is exposed. But when you train your hands to know what will become open next they get extremely fast. Their speed seems magical because they are always in the right spot at the right time. You can train them to hit a half dozen times or more per second using magic hands methodology.
Efficiency of motion. Flowing focused chi. Magic Hands. It’s amazing how fast you can get when using these principles.
Flowing focused chi is another important principle that is unique to Shou’ Shu’. Chi = energy. It can mean any type of energy but generally we are talking about kinetic energy.
Think of focused chi like using a magnifying glass to focus light. The sun which normally feels nice on the skin can be easily focused with a magnifying glass to be hot enough to burn holes.
In Shou’ Shu’ we use the motion of the body to focus it’s energy. Each weapon is backed up by the full force of the body in motion.
In Shou’ Shu’ chi is not only focused but also flowing. Because it is flowing it never has to be regenerated. The power and speed just builds from one strike to the next. This is achieved in various ways such as continuous circular motion or rebounding the strikes off the opponent like a super ball off of concrete.
Students often don’t realize how deeply reactions are trained in until they come out. When it happens you will be just as surprised as everyone is the first time.
I remember one of my early students, Ted. He was a really geeky kid (I can say that being a bit of a geek myself). Tall and lanky and uncoordinated. I hadn’t been teaching him long and I really didn’t think this kid had it in him. ( I’ve since learned not to judge. I’ve been surprised so many times.)
One day Ted comes to his regular lesson and he’s so excited he can’t settle down. He has a story to tell. Evidently a group of guys that used to torment him in high school showed up at a party he was at. They had just got out of boot camp and were feeling pretty tough. The leader got in his face and started pushing him around. When the bully fired a punch Ted blocked it while at the same time heel palming him under the chin (A move called Defensive Warrior). He snap kicked the second guy and the third guy ran off.
When Ted relayed the story to me he was so excited. He’d never been in a fight in his life. Been beat up many times but never actually fought back. This time he not only fought back but quickly dispatched the first two and scared the third. Three guys the first time out. His friends witnessed it. Instant hero.
I would have never expected it from him. Especially since he had only trained a month or two. Evidently Ted visualized well when he trained and that trained his subconscious well
The Principles Of Self Defense
Over the years I’ve taught thousands of students. Most were absolute beginners but many were experienced martial artists. Among all of these I have never found anyone outside of Shou’ Shu’ that had any of the fundamental principles of Shou’ Shu’.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some cool arts out there. There are. But in all my experience none have had what we would consider basics. This would include things like.
- Flowing Focused Chi
- Bone alignment
- Floating foot
- Magic Hands
- Shift of centerline
- Weapon before body
- Dominating centerline
- Blocking possibilities (not punches)
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/ss.jpgI’m not talking about the higher level principles such as the motions of the beasts but just the basics. In Shou’ Shu’ we consider these the basic understandings. The basics that are needed to begin to understand the more sophisticated beast principles.
These basic principles may be all you’ll need. They’ll multiply your power and speed dramatically. Regardless of whether you are a beginner or have practiced many styles.
The Basics Are Enough To Defend Yourself Well
If being twice as fast and twice as powerful is enough for you then great. If you want to learn the secrets of the beast styles then understanding and mastering these basics is where we start. They’ll give you an amazing foundation to work from. The better you have them the easier the rest will come.
I don’t know why these principles are not widespread throughout the arts. My theory is that they used to be. They just got lost. With your help we can preserve them for future generations.
When watching various styles I see traces of these principles. But they are generally incomplete. For example many of the forms of Kung Fu have flowing chi but not flowing focussed chi. Some hard styles have focussed chi but again not flowing focused chi. It seems to me that at one time they must have had these principles. There are glimmers of them. Just not the complete principle.
These Principles Have Nearly Been Lost
When I look at this it makes me think that at one time all martial arts had these principles. Different martial arts have some really cool things in them. But I’ve never seen them have the principles that we consider fundamentals. The fundamentals that make Shou’ Shu’ so incredibly powerful.
On one occasion I did see a very old man on the beach practicing Tai Chi. His motion was fantastic. He displayed many of the principles. He was teaching a very young girl. Probably his granddaughter. I didn’t get the chance to talk to him. I wish I had. I’d never seen motion like that outside of Shou’ Shu’ and haven’t since.
Most Arts Have Been Lost
I think the reason for that is that when the PRC took over in China many of the martial arts were changed to dance like forms to try to preserve them. But they hid the application. They had too or they would face punishment. Without the knowledge of the practical application of the art principles are lost quickly. It only takes one generation. If you don’t practice with full knowledge and visualization of the opponent the fighting aspect is lost. Once the fighting aspect is lost, so is everything else.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/liz-dashifu.jpgThat is what is wrong with teaching an art as only a healing art. The fighting aspect is lost. Unfortunately as the fighting aspect is lost so is much of the healing aspect. I’ve so often heard people say they only wanted the mental benefits or the health benefits. But the way to get these is to practice the fighting aspects. It’s a complete package. You get the side benefits from practicing the core. We are not teaching people to go out and fight. But we are giving the tools that can be used if needed.
It’s a strange thing. Learning a fighting art tends to cause people to be less aggressive. Understanding violence causes a person to be less violent.
Said another way:
“Only those who truly understand violence truly understand peace”
Some people come into it just wanting to learn to fight better. But they eventually find that there is much more. For example the feeling of Chi. When you start to feel chi you can tell that it is therapeutic. Some people feel it early on in their training others much later. But everyone gets it at some point. Once you feel your chi you will do Shou’ Shu’ just for the sake of feeling it. It’s calming and energizing at the same time. It takes away your stress. It feels good and keeps you feeling good for the rest of the day. It’s just one more of those side benefits of learning Shou’ Shu’
Who is this for?
- The person who's always wanted to study Kung Fu but never had the opportunity
- An adult or young adult who doesn't want to be in a class full of children
- The person who is interested in the art, not a belt factory
- The person who wants to learn a pure form of Kung fu which has not been diluted
- The person short on time and needs to fit the lessons in when they can. Doesn't have time to drive to a qualified school
- Someone who lives in an area that does not have a qualified school
An Older Wiser Da’ Shifu
Early in life Da’ Shifu was a devil of a man. A fighting legend. There are endless stories. Where he came from it was essential for survival. Never show weakness.
Even in his fifties he was still fighting in the taverns and testing his skills in the tournaments.
Everything he had learned was tested on the street. His fighting days spanned over 45 years. 45 years of testing and perfecting where it counts. On the street.
This experience was passed down to his students. His decades of experience was a gift to us. We teach the proper principles of avoiding violence. But his being in it constantly is one of the things that has made our art so true.
Da' Shifu's Later Years
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/da1.jpgIn his later years Da’ Shifu mellowed considerably. After his heart attack in 1994 he became a far more compassionate man. He also became aware of his mortality and the importance of passing down his art. These were the years of my best training.
Between 1994 and 2002 I trained under him nearly every day. My school was only minutes from his house so he visited daily. Some days for most of the day. During this time he really evolved the art and the way it was taught. This is when the art transformed from being mainly bear into a full mixture of all of the animal systems.
He not only increased the level of sophistication but came up with easier and better ways of teaching. He made the difficult easy.
It was during this time that the systems we use today were developed. The development of the yellow belt material which builds an incredibly strong foundation. This material trains the beginning student so well that it can be a complete self defense system or the foundation to learn the rest of the art. Whatever is desired by the student.
These were the years Da’ Shifu planted seeds of knowledge in me that were to grow for years to come. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to be the one to recieve this knowledge. Now my job is to pass it on to you.
Da’ Shifu Passes
On January 2, 2002 Da’ Shifu passed from this world. It was one of the most horrible days of my life. My teacher was gone.
Little did I know that this tragic event was to be the start of a great battle for me.
I had made a promise to Da’ Shifu to carry on and teach what he had taught me. I just didn’t realize the epic battle that was necessary to carry out that promise.
They Want To Destroy Shou' Shu'
Da’ Shifu’s son quickly came in and took over the system and he hated the way Da’ Shifu had taught it. He wanted to dilute it and make it more like the mainstream arts. He didn’t like giving out the secrets. He wanted to keep them to himself and sell the students a bill of goods. He came up with various schemes all of which sacrificed the true art.
I was a road block for him. I refused to do it his way and as long as I taught the real Shou’ Shu’ people would know that what he taught was not the true art.
We soon parted. And I was the only thing standing in the way of him destroying the art for his sole benefit.
I continued to teach the true art. He did everything he could to stop me. He sent his thugs. he tried to ruin my reputation in many ways. He tried to stop us from completing construction of our new school. He harassed our students and even the children that studied with us were threatened. But our students hung in there. No one allowed him or his thugs to push us around.
We carried on but realized how close again that Shou’ Shu’ had come to extinction. Had we not kept it alive no else would have. No one else did.
The Last Great Art On The Edge Of Extinction
We did everything we could to teach as many people as we could. But we could only reach so many. Only the people within driving distance of our small town.
We knew that passing this art on and making sure it never came close to extinction again meant finding those who had the desire and the discipline to learn. We needed students with a strong desire to learn.
http://files.shoushuonline.com/images/source.jpgWe turned to the internet.
We created extensive online tutorials. These tutorials covered the fundamentals. We covered everything in great detail. We knew that with the right person these online lessons could create great martial artists.
We filmed hundreds of videos. They covered each and every technique a person would need to understand and perfect the fundamentals. The videos covered each technique from all angles, at different speeds.
We filmed the techniques at full speed on an opponent so you could really get how to do it. We knew this was essential so that our online students could really understand how the moves really worked.
We then tested the system out as a supplemental program for our in school students. It worked. These test students became the top students in the school.
Then we opened it up and took on a few students from very far away. Students that were across the country. If you haven’t already met them I’m sure you soon will. Jeremiah, Sam, and Alex learned from afar. Sam and Alex are in Kentucky and Jeremiah is in Minnesota. I have never actually met them in person but they are some of my top beginning level students.
When we recently tested Jeremiah, Alex, and Sam all three were in the top 10% of what I would expect from a beginning student. They excelled. After watching them test for their first belt I knew then that we had an online teaching system that worked. It worked amazingly well and I fully expect Jeremiah, Sam, and Alex to go very far and become outstanding advanced martial artists. They actually did better than 90% of the students that were here in the building.
To Jeremiah, Alex, and Sam. Thank you for proving it can be done and done well. You have opened the doors for so many more to come. In only a couple months you learned the fundamentals that open the door to learn the rest.
They have formed a camaraderie between them and actually get together virtually to work out together. And they are always in the live classes. It’s just like they are right here in the quan.
Jeremiah, Alex, and Sam have done it. How about you? Will we be able to add you to the list?