Posted On:8/19/2005 7:49pm
Style: Aunkai, Tokyo
Dude, some people just want to be tricked. In its in their nature. If it wasn't this guy, it would be someone else's armwaving class, maybe even with some snakes and chanting thrown in.
Posted On:8/19/2005 8:18pm
Style: boxing, gjj
It's just sad that guy has his students so blinded. When people are that deluded you wonder if calling out and disproving their sifu in front of them would even wake them up.
Posted On:8/19/2005 8:33pm
50/50 if you can manage the guy to actually face you.. Or get one of his senior students to do so.
Honest to god truth, had a new guy out at my field shortly after the movie Troy came out. We were doing a multiple person free spar.. The guy tried to do the flying sword stabby thing Brad Pitt does.. I took him aside afterwards and told him it was a stupid stupid thing to do and was like to get him hurt for real or humiliated out here. He told he me was an expert and knew exactly what he was doing.
I arranged him to face me, he tried it, I let him face plant the ground. Helped him (We were still both completely friendly at this point) and suggested he focus more on basic form, slipping. We sparred some more, I offered pointers, suggestions, etc. Then he tried his little trick again and I put him in the ground again. Offered him a hand up, started to open my mouth and he got mad at me, chewed me out for doubting his real skill and told me in no uncertain terms that in a real swordfight he'd kill me and he was only holding back for my protection. Haven't seen the guy since.
But the sad point is, some people won't believe even when you prove it... Who knows, maybe Michael there will decide to come if for no other reason but to show you you're wrong and that'll be another chance for a wake upcall. But sometimes people just don't want to be helped.
Posted On:8/19/2005 9:36pm
Style: In Transition
You need to just bust into the class and beat the **** out of everybody. It shouldn't be too hard if they fly 100 feet on their own after barely being touched.
EDIT: Hehe, it will look like Super Smash Bros. Melee
Posted On:9/14/2005 12:12pm
First off I would like to say that this is an awesome site! I can't believe that I haven't come across this before. I will be spending a lot of time here, especially since I have been ripped off by many so-called "masters" of kung-fu throughout my years of training. It's just wrong what these guys do and the more we can expose them the better.
And to that end here is a twist on Bunyips experience with Master Fung's class as experienced through the eyes of one of my good friends.
About 3-4 years ago a good friend of mine Joe and me came across this website with all the demo videos of Master Fung (MF)throwing around his students. And being that we are both interested in martial artists we thought it was interesting. However it wasn't until about a year ago that my friend Joe decided to go check out one of his classes because he was interested in learning more about Chi Gong and more internal stuff. Actually we both were.
Joe was the first to contact Master Fung and his experience was so weird that we spent a lot of time trying to make sense out the whole thing together (in fact we still are). Actually I was planning on going back to MF's class with the knowledge about it that Joe told me just to try to really get to the bottom of this, but have since lost some interest in it. So I will pass on this info to you guys to use to further check out MF's class to expose him.
First I want to say that Joe's experience was almost 1-for-1 the way Bunyip described his meeting with MF'. But there was a bit more to Joe's story that made us suspect something was not right.
It went something like this:
First Joe found the only way to contact Master Fung was to call his phone number for what seemed an 'initial screening' of sorts.
The main questions Master Fung asked on this initial phone conversation were,
1. "How did you hear about me?"
2. "How much martial arts experience do you have?"
3. "Do you post messages on martial arts forums?"
Now right off the bat these seemed like questions a real master wouldn't care to much about right?
So Joe, figured that it was better to tell the master as little as possible about himself so he will get an even playing field.
Joe answered that he found out about Master Fung from his web page while searching for local Chi Gung classes (which was true), that he trained in TKD a bit when he was younger (true), and that he has never posted a message about martial arts on the internet (also true).
After that MF allowed him to scheduled a day that he could come and 'observe' the class.
To my surprise the class went exactly like Bunyip described! Which is weird in itself.
Joe was told to come like an hour after the class started, which I suspect was to allow all of MF's students to arrive and give MF time to brief all his students about Joe's visit, telling them the format of the class that evening and reminded them not to talk to Joe during or after class.
When Joe showed up he was invited to sit down near MF in front of the class before the class officially started, or continued again. (They seemed to have short sessions of maybe 15-30 minutes each then a breakout time). There was already one chair setup for Joe and one for MF, no other chairs in the rest of the room. All of the dozen or so students stayed towards the back of the room away from Joe pretty much the whole time, which seemed a bit weird. Joe told me that he really wanted to talk to any student but they really stayed away from MF and him during his visit. Joe even thought about waiting around after class to get a chance to talk to a student, but said he really had a weird vibe, like MF was very protective of his students and made sure they didn't talk to anyone before and after class. Joe mentioned that he thinks MF meets all his students outside before class (next to the parking lot) and then they all go up together, the reverse happening after class. Something wierd someone would do if they didn't trust their students or wanted to watch over them so they don't talk to anyone.
That was the first red flag in Joe's mind, because as I'm sure you guys know, students usually love to meet 'new' guys to either pump up their school/master or just talk shop and test your skills. But there will be none of that at MF's class. None of the students even looked and Joe or really seem interested in meeting him. Not very friendly bunch if you ask me.
At first Joe said MF didn't seem to remember talking to Joe on the phone the week before to schedule that appointment and was skeptical if Joe was really invited that day! But Joe then mentioned something that sparked MF's memory about their phone conversation the week before and MF seemed a bit calmer.
So Joe sat down next to MF and was again asked about his Kung Fu experience, about how he found out about MF, and about if he posts on the Internet.
After being asked the same questions as he was on the phone, MF asked if Joe had any questions. Joe didn't bother asking the price of lessons because he assumed and read from a web site it was $80/month but as we shall see later maybe he should have asked!Joe asked something about how this compared to some chi gung he was doing at the time. But what ever question Joe had MF's seemed to answer in very vague terms with phrases like, "you could say that".
After this 5 minute introduction MF got up to teach a 15 minute session and told Joe to stay sitting to watch. This session was like Bunyip described. MF in front of the class doing some flowing walking movement back and forth while the students struggled to emulate towards the back of the room, away fromn Joe.
After that session MF sat down again, drank some more tea, and asked Joe "any questions?" Joe didn't really have any at this point but was thinking that something more better happen or he is going to walk out.
And then it did, MF got up again and walked over to the opposite side of the room from Joe (telling him again to stay seated) and told his students to gather round. The dog and pony show started with MF bouncing his students off him just like in the videos! Joe watched very intently now.
MF pretty much did just like the videos. Joe said the funniest was when MF bounced some guy back off his butt, when the guy was like 2 feet away from him. Everyone that was hit with this 'energy' seemed to do a weird jump back, while stomping on the floor just like the videos. MF seemed to spend most of the time demonstrating on a few guys. But choose a few apparently random ones from the group as well.
After a few minutes of this he came back over to Joe and sat down to drink his tea, and asked "so any questions?" At this point Joe didn't know what to say. He knew that now was the time to ask the question that most people would ask "can I feel that on me?", but, being the recipient of many a masters demonstrations in an initial class, he somehow already knew that if MF was going to show his power on Joe, he would have already done so. So in response to what he saw he said to MF, "how can what you did be possible?", to which MF seemed to get a bit peeved and said something like "what do you mean, you just saw it!"
Joe at this point decided to shut his mouth and see if he could somehow get the attention of a student for some help. But they were all still staying across the room practicing on each other. Some seemed to be doing a standard 'hold the balloon' Chi Gung posture that Joe recognized. Other seemed to do what looked like the Tai Chi version of 'sticky hands' with each other attempting to push one away like their master just did. A few tried to copy what MF did by having one student get in a stiff forward stance posture (most weight on front leg) with his arms crossed in front and above his head (double arm upper block type) while the other tried to drop what looked like his relaxed forearm right between the others crossed arm block. He attempted to get the other to break down from what seems to be an invisible 'pressure' or 'force' applied to them. There only seemed to be one guy that was able to do it a little bit to another (not as profound as when MF did it) and MF would said 'good, good ' when he was able to do it. A few others tried to do it as well but the other guy didn't budge, and MF would say something like 'too tense' or 'not yet'
Joe described the demonstrations as a 'receiver' usually being in some stiff fixed position and MF somehow creating an invisible 'pressure' that acted on the 'receiver' to the extent that it built up so much in the receiver he had to buckle, while making sounds like he was straining under a heavy weight, or MF would make the 'receiver' bounce backwards while having to stomp on the floor. There seemed to be two different means of applying this energy, one was like a quick 'burst' in the videos, and the other was a more slow 'building up' pressure on the receiver until he couldn't hold his stance or position against this pressure. Both seemed to be applied regardless of if MF was touching them.
At this point, MF still sitting next to Joe while the rest of the students tried thier skills across the room, said, "this is your last chance to ask any more questions so if you have them ask them". Joe didn't want to push it and figured he was just shown the main course.
MF then told Joe that he would now have to leave because they were now going to do their 'meditation' part of the class and it's closed-door, not for visitors to watch. So Joe thanked him and left the class wondering what is so secret about the meditation part?
Joe came back and conveyed the whole experience to me. We both couldn't really put our fingers on it. We knew something was weird.
I was at Joe's place a few days later and he decided to call MF and basically tell him he is still interested in taking the class. MF said, 'ok, then we can setup a phone interview to see if I will take you as a student'. Another interview!?, Joe thought. Take me as a student!? This was a first. I mean what are the things that would make MF tell someone they couldn't be accepted as a student? So they setup a time for the phone interview that next morning.
I wasn't present at this interview, but Joe described it like this.
MF called him back and asked a few questions again and their
conversation went something like this,
MF: 'What do you do for a living?'
JOE: I'm a student, not working.
MF: 'Do you have any health problems?'
MF: 'Why do you want to learn this style?'
JOE: So I can throw around random people on the bus and amuse my friends by knocking over old ladies on the street without touching them. J/K :) He basically said for 'health' reasons.
MF: 'So tell me more about your MA experience, what level did you get to, were you a teacher?'
Joe: (Forgetting to use the minimal answer possible here) Well I trained in TKD 15 years ago when I was young (but have since stopped). I got to junior black belt level, which I guess could mean I 'taught' the less experienced students (which is always required of the senior students anyway) if that's what you mean by 'teaching'.(It was not, MF was trying to see if Joe was a Kung Fu instructor) Over the years played around with friends in other styles here and there but no real formal training ini anything other than TKD. I have mostly been just doing Chi Gung moves from what I learned from a Tai Chi friend. (all true)
Now this is when it got interesting!!
MF: Ok I will ACCEPT you as a student.
Joe: Thank you. So when do I start and how much is it going to cost?
MF: Well first you need to have a 'consultation' with me before you can come to regular class.
Joe: A consultation? I don't understand. (I thought we just did that)
MF: Yes you need to come meet me at XXX location (a place in the east bay 40 miles away from Joe) for a 2-hour introductionary consultation. And the consultation fee will cost $550, payable the day of the consultation.
Joe:(falling out of his chair at the mention of $550 for a 2 hour 'introductionary consultation') Ummm, I don't understand, I thought your lessons were $80 per month? What is this consultation exactly for and why do I need it?
MF: The consultation is for someone with all the Kung Fu experience you have.
Joe: All the Kung Fu experience I have?!? You mean me taking TKD when I was younger and playing around with some friends that take other martial arts means I have 'Kung Fu' experience that requires me to take a $550 'consultation'? (If you knew Joe you would really be laughing and as shocked as he was at this point, because his TKD days were far over and he couldn't even get up a roundhouse kick without pulling about 5 muscles!! Joe thought he made it clear to MF that he didn't have that much experience, that he was only experimenting with Chi Kung on his own, and that he is interested in the health benefits of it, mostly because he was pretty much 'falling apart' himself. Believe me Joe is FAR from a master of Kung Fu that MF somehow was trying to peg him as)
Joe: 'So MF, are you saying you ONLY charge this EXTRA consultation fee to those that have 'Kung Fu' experience? And if so, what do I get that others don't get with this?'
MF: Yes. Well I need to sit you down and explain to you the whole philosophy and theory behind this style.(something about 'conditioning' you to think differently about life,chi, and such,hmm can someone say brain-washing here? There was also a mention of some signing of a confidentiality or legal contract that Joe would have to sign at this meeting that says he won't talk about anything that MF teaches and such!)
Joe: Ok, and do I have to get this consultation, I mean you must be mistaken, I'm far from your experienced Kung Fu guy and the TKD that I once practiced seems far from the internal style that you teach?
MF: Yes this is how its going to be. You don't have to accept my offer.
Joe: So what do you charge for those that don't have 'experience'?
MF: For them it cost $270 for the first 3 months and then $80 per month after that.
Joe: Ok so does my $550 cover the first 3 months or something then as well?
MF: No thats just for the consultation.
Joe. You mean I have to pay $550 for the consultation, and then pay $270 for the first 3 months before I can even come to class at all? (thats $820 total up front! You have to remember that MF knew Joe was a student and not working at the time!!)
MF: Yes. You don't have to take it. But for what you will get its a good deal.
Joe: Well can I at least pay the $550 in payments or does it have to be all upfront.
MF: The day of the consultation. (And I think he wanted a cashiers check, basically Non-refundable. )
Joe: (right about this time Joe was really wishing he didn't mention anything about his martial arts background so that he would have to pay $270 for 3 months upfront instead, which still was a lot for Joe at that time) 'Ok, well I'll have to think about this and see if I can get the money and I'll get back with you. Thanks... Bye.'
I donít know if Joe ever called MF back, but Joe conveyed this last conversation to me, and us thinking about it more made us believe MF may be trying to sell him snake oil or something. Joe basically couldn't understand why he would have to pay $550 more than other people if he wasn't going to get anything different from them out of it? And why should it matter if someone did have experience or not in MA!?! A real teacher shouldn't care about that. He shouldn't discriminate against students and should treat and teach them equally if he was a TRUE instructor.
Joe saw this unequal treating of himself upfront, as demonstrated by the sudden increase in his fee compared to others, as proof that MF may not only be treating his students unequally, but worse, deceiving them and possibly taking advantage of them. All marks that a true master would not have. Or at least not one any of us would want to learn from.
In the end, Joe basically had a hard time trusting MF because of this discrepancy, and if you don't have trust in your master, then well, you probably don't have a real master to trust.
Not to mention what master these days asks for a fee of $820 up front before you get even one lesson!? Non-refundable!? I mean this is America, can he even get away with that legally?
Joe really got the impression that MF was worried about his 'secrets' being exposed or people finding stuff out about him (thus all the questions about do you post on the internet,etc...) and that MF somehow thinks that others with Kung Fu experience are somehow more of the threat (maybe because they can detect a phony when they see them?) so they need a special treatment in the form of a non-refundable $550 consultation fee (so he gets paid up front before they find out on the first day of their instruction that his chi power is really smoke and mirrors?) and legal papers to sign (so they can't go off and expose him without getting sued do to some legal document they signed?). This right there made Joe think that hey, if MF has a problem trusting me (or anyone else) from the start, then he will probably always have a problem trusting me, in which I have a problem trusting him as a teacher.
Joe still doesn't know what to really think about MF. Joe's first impression was that MF did seem nicer than other 'masters' he has talked to over the years. And I think that if he was charged the 'normal' $270 fee upfront instead of the additional $550, Joe could be a student of MF this day. But Joe just didn't have that much money in the first place as it was going to be hard enough for him to come up with the $80/month then.
After reading Bunyip's post about how MF's student Michael acted and from Joe's impression of the students of MF. It is of my opinion that the students of MF may in fact either be hypnotized or brainwashed somehow so that they don't talk to others about MF. Maybe that is what they get in the 'initial consultation'? Or possibly MF gets them to sign legal documents that says they can be sued or something if they talk or teach anything they learn to others (MF did say there would be some signing of legal documents at the consultation to Joe. Do all students have to sign this or only the ones that aren't trusted)
Anyway to sum up. If you are planning on getting to the bottom of this more here are my 3 suggestions when meeting with MF.
1. Don't mention any martial arts background that you have under any circumstances. Never period. This should at least avoid any $550 consultation that you will then get charged. Say some vague friend you know suggested that you try out tai chi or chi gung and that you just happened to live or work close to where MF teaches and a search of local chi gung places on the web pulled up his. Or something like that.
2. I would say you are interested in it his style for the healing aspect, to improve your health or energy or something. i.e., nothing that MF thinks would be a threat to him.
3. If asked, make sure you say you don't post any messages on internet message boards. He is REALLY afraid of people posting about him for some reason.
4. Ask him up front, right away how much he costs, and see how he reacts. Hold him to what he says. My guess his answer may be a 'well it depends' or more likely he will try to delay the answer until he gets more info out of you, like how much experience (interest) you have in Kung Fu so he can rip you off with a larger fee!
Anyway use this info as you will. To my knowledge this story is accurate how Joe explained it to me, maybe not in every single word that was exchanged between him and MF, but definitely the subject matter is correct since I was also interested in finding our more about MF myself. I personally have no experience with MF, but from all this it really seems he is trying to hid something. Hmmm, what could that be?
Personally Joe's experience with MF turned me off into checking out MF for myself. But I have posted this for those that may want to try to dig deeper to expose this guy for a real master or a fake.
Only together we can expose the fakes and lift up the real masters out there. I'm a more serious martial artist than Joe is and have had the wool pulled over my eyes one to many times by so called 'masters', so I'm more than happy to share my experiences here. This will probably not be the last you hear from me as I have many tales to tell. But I'm glad I could at least give my 10 cents on this subject matter, even though it was second hand in nature.
Hope I helped shine a bit on this subject. I actually think it would be awesome if a few guys were to just show up at the beginning of MF's class and try to provoke some of his students into demonstrating their skills on them. I know they know the Tai Chi 'sticky hands', so why not test out their skills with other Tai Chi guys at least? Only then will the truth be found.
Posted On:9/14/2005 1:34pm
Style: Sanda, BJJ
Very nice info. Reveals a lot doesn't it? After the students lost $550+ dollars they probably dont WANT to admit they were duped. It'd make them sad. :)
Posted On:9/14/2005 3:27pm
This kind of guy seriously needs an ass kicking...
Posted On:1/26/2011 2:54pm
I also had a weird experience trying to figure out exactly what is going on in the wacky world (dare I say "cult") of MF. I called him last week in order to see if I could observe a class and discuss his experiences training in Yiquan. I wanted to give the guy the benefit of the doubt and not mislead him in the case he actually turned out to be the real deal and could teach me something.
My hopes were quickly destroyed after I told him I had been training Yiquan for 5 years and was now leading my own small class. He basically said "I don't have time to waste meeting people. I won't teach you, it is too late."
Another (karate) guy I practice with was able to get past the first phone interview and observe a class. He saw the same things people above described. During the tea drinking phase of the class he asked my friend more about his experiences and then MF decided he wouldn't accept him as a student.
Anyway, I have mixed feelings about posting on this site because I know how easy it is to become labeled "bullshido" and have my reputation (and perhaps Yiquan's as well) tarnished. But I want to share a bit about my experience practicing Yiquan and my philosophy on training internal martial arts vs. pure throwdown/MMA/fighting.
First, if your primary goal is to fight and kick people in face, break their joints or choke them out, then Yiquan is not the place to go. There are thousands of schools that will teach those techniques, obviously some more efficiently or realistically than others. I think if any form of Chinese martial art was really great for that kind objective, we'd see more of it tested out in the MMA scene and taught to fighters.
But I find value in Yiquan, some related to MMA some not. What Yiquan helped me with is in my conscious control over my body. Call it "internal" energy, "qi", bullshido, or whatever. But I know something happens in my body when I practice zhan zhuang and certain breathing and moving exercises. I'm not talking about "qi" or anything energetic or magical here. Take for example when you break your leg and it is in a cast for a while. It takes some time to regain the same control one had over the leg as one did before the accident. So hopefully your insurance pays for physical therapy and you learn to use the leg again. You put energy into regaining control and connection to the area that was cut off.
On a similar note, watch how this guy has learned to live with no arms. YouTube - Armless Chinese Man Wows Audiences By Playing Piano With Toes. He had no option but to focus his intention on how to function in the world without arms.
Put another way Yiquan is a method to develop a more conscious nervous control over the muscles and their ability to act in unison. (not how to learn to play the piano with your feet :)
Here is where I part ways with MF. First, I don't claim to (and can't) throw people across the room with my gaze or with a slight movement. But, if you come to my class I will ask that we push hands. The people I train with say that pound for pound, I feel like a much bigger or stronger person than I am (5'9-160, no need to bring a whole posse to challenge me). But I'm not endowed with special magical powers, I'm learning how to exert power from my whole body in unison rather than being segmented. I teach this method, for free. I believe I have some of that power going on in my body, albeit much less than my teacher in Beijing who is in his 90s and can pretty much manhandle me. But even he doesn't have an ounce of the theatrics that I saw going on on MF's videos.
Last analogy before I bore you to death. Let's analgogize a fight to a car race. There are two components to winning: 1>being a kickass driver (BJJ, Muay Thai, boxing and all the karate/TKD/"external" kungfus in my analogy would be equated to methods to learn how to handle driving a car. And 2> having a powerful and responsive vehicle.
Bottom line, for me Yiquan is a method to "soup-up" your body by a long, slow and painful training process that takes a lot of mental willpower and faith. If you want to learn how to punch people in the face or avoid having that done to you, I suggest boxing. But if you want to develop an edge for your main form, come stand with us. I have yet to see anyone lose something by trying it out.
Check out my meetup website and come to a class if you are in the SF Bay area, don't waste time with Master Fong. He probably won't have any time to "waste" on you if you have any significant martial arts experience anyway. http://www.meetup.com/Yi-Quan-Standing-Qi-Gong/
Also, my own site will soon be up and operational: www.cypressyiquan.com
Thanks for hearing me out,
Posted On:5/20/2011 10:37pm
I have spent time to read all of the comments and responses about the yi chuan master. Just like everyone here, I am a martial artist enthusiastic. And I am also an engineer not that it's matter but it is relating to what I am about to say. As a martial artist I want to learn martial skills and hopefully be able to apply the skills. As an engineer, relating to science and physics, I would like to think that I am a knowledgeable and logical person. However as a human being I feel that I know nothing comparing to the existing of this universe. I was 16 yrs old, 18 yrs old, 21 yrs old, 25 yrs old and 30 yrs old at one point of my life. And every time I feel like I learned something new and that I am smarter than I was before. Now, I am just an average person with an average intelligent. When I was younger, I like to question everything. I like to challenge friends and family members just about everything. Why? because I know better. Everyone needs to prove to me! Sometimes what we see is not the whole picture. If one thinks he/she is so smart that only he/she can see something and that others can not see. Unless everyone is retarded, otherwise what makes he/she thinks he/she is so smart and everyone's else is not and they are all blind and they are fooled. As both a martial artist and an engineer, and as a spiritual person for the past ten year I have learned that if you want to know or to find out something, you go do it yourself and that means you need to research and to learn and to spend time. Then you can do justice for yourself and you can do justice for others. You shouldn't need anyone to prove anything to you. But even if they do try to prove what they know to you, you will find other ways to question them. The bottom line is that you need to ask yourself questions and you need to prove to yourself. As human beings we have this thing called EGO. Anyways I don't want to bore everyone to death with this. My point is this. Everyone seems to bring up physics and science into martial arts now a day. So that means you need to try it out. Practice it and see if you can get the results. If you did spend time to get the results or you did not get the results then you can make a conclusion. When you do that, you will be happy with yourself. And you will grow as a martial artist, as a human being and you have done justice for everyone. Peace!
Posted On:5/20/2011 11:04pm
Style: Kung fu
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