Beijing Seminar II - 2009
This was my second seminar that I did in Beijing, although it was my third seminar in China; my first being in Shanghai. Well, the second seminar was slightly different from the first seminar. The second one was easier to teach because the first seminar I had put the foundation in place and the guys had to follow what I had left them to do, which they did. I teach things in a layered system; putting one thing on top of the other we spent the first day in revision and then moving onto the next step, and then the one after that. JKD is not the easiest art to teach but it's not the easiest art to pick up either. I think it suits a very small percentage of folk because it doesn't appeal to everybody. JKD is so difficult and the volume of time required to be any good is massive; basic tools require a lot of hard work. Anyway, we moved from one to the other moving around 360 degrees punching kicking and combinations, attacking defending; all this we did with focus gloves. It took hours to get the whole thing covered and to make sure that folk got it and understood the meaning behind the moves and why you should do this rather than do that. You must keep this in mind; you're looking for the closest target to hit with the tool that fits the purpose or whole that appears in your opponents defences; alternatively, in his movement towards you giving you the opportunity to intercept his forward momentum.
The second day was putting this together into some kind of reality that the students can feel the situations and learn how to deal with them. We did this with head guards and gloves; again this took hours because we had to go back to the very start and move through all the numbers till we had completed 360 degrees. This is a lot more difficult that hitting the pads when you have to hit an opponent, but some folk really connected with it and some found it a bit harder purely because they were trying to think about how to do it rather than just letting it happen. This seems to be the thing that most folk find the hardest, it's the trying that stops progress. You must not try but do; just let go and it will all come to the surface as long as you have done enough to programme the system to flow without any hesitation or thought.
When the seminar was finished, looking and analyzing the progress of the students; I would say their progress was fair considering they only see me once a year; they did pretty good. While I was there, Neil the host told me that there was a Bruce Lee convention happening on one of the days to follow. I asked him if we were going and he said, "Sure". So, we went along to the convention which was in a park in Beijing. There was a lot of folk there. I wasn't really sure what was happening; if it was a show or expo or what. When we got there we were ushered into the VIP end where Neil pointed out to me that Robert was coming along; that's Robert Lee, Bruce's brother. I have met him a few times before so it was good to see him again. When the talking was done and the presenter had told the audience what was happening we preceded to move to the back. When we went into this covered area it was full of Bruce's stuff; from his clothes to autographs and some traing gear; gloves etc, training shoes, and even the bangle he wore in Game of Death. The stuff in the cabinets was great to see. A lot of it I hadn't seen before and was a first for me. While we walked through it some folk asked me for a photo or autograph which I gave them because its always a thrill to do. I met Robert again and we talked and had a laugh about things. Also, Master Jung was there who I know from previous visits. I was also introduced to one of Wong Sheung Leung's students; I must apologize because I do not remember his name, but you can see a photo of him in the section to follow. We had such a great day in the park and it was good to meet old friends and be introduced to new ones.
The next day I was to teach a group of folk who attend Neil's class on a weekly basis. That was another great day. What I covered here was not technique but what is the thing behind the technique. This is to get that raw aggression and bring it to the surface so that you can use it to the max. Sometimes, it takes a bit of time to get folk into the right frame of mind, but once you achieve that you can see the difference in there expression of how they use there tools; it's more channeled and sharp. Anyway, this seems a good place to stop; I could go on and on, but before I stop one thing I forgot was you can see in the photos I got to meet the guy who played Bruce Lee in the Hong Kong TV series. My God in the flesh he certainly looks like Bruce from the neck up, but below that I cannot see any resemblance. It was a thrill to meet him and he is a nice person to talk to. Again, his name I cannot remember but I am sure all those Bruce Lee fans would be able to tell us. So, to the next Chinese adventure in a few months, I cannot wait.