looking for a master close to my area

mejinx

White Belt
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Can anyone help? I am really interested in finding a master near where I live (north aurora, IL) It doesnt have to be from any specific school or style, what I am really looking for is a spiritual guide/master to help me in my quest to understanding the mind/body and energy through meditations and training. Does anyone know where/if I can find such a master? Thanks.
 
Last edited:

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,324
Reaction score
9,470
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
Well no

A Taiji teacher is just that a taiji teacher not a spiritual guide. But here is a site you can check and you might be able to find someone to teach you taiji.

You do better off looking to Yoga from the sound of your post. Taijiquan...real taijiquan it a martial art.
 
OP
M

mejinx

White Belt
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
thank you. I guess I am looking into the martial art as well, its just I dont want some Americanized version of Tai Chi that is more of an exercise for old people than the true martial art and philosophy that it really is.
 

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,324
Reaction score
9,470
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
thank you. I guess I am looking into the martial art as well, its just I dont want some Americanized version of Tai Chi that is more of an exercise for old people than the true martial art and philosophy that it really is.

The more Americanized version includes spirituality and Philosophy as well.

I China they do not compartmentalize like we do in the west and Taiji is just taiji it is not a philosophy class or mediation and spirituality it is Taijiquan which is a martial art or for health and there are more and more today that have the health view of things.

I have trained for many years with a Sifu from China who has been at this for over 50 years and we have never discussed anything spiritual and we have never got into any form of Chinese Philosophy. We have discussed and he has trained me Taiji and the qigong associated with Taiji and a bit of the thinking around that but nothing else. I have trained a bit (and when I say a bit I mean not much) with a member of the Chen family and I have read his books as well and he has never discussed anything that you would call spiritual and he has not discussed any philosophy other than that of the Chen family as it applies to Chen style taijiquan (same with Yang by the way).

If you are looking for real traditional Taijiquan you are looking to take time to learn it and it you are looking for spirituality or philosophy I suggest a Church/Temple/Ashram, a few college courses and a book or two. If you are looking for traditional Taiji you need to find someone that has been trained in Real Taijiquan and that is harder than one might think. And depending on style it gets harder yet.

I do not mean to be condescending or insulting but many people have the wrong view of Taiji and Chinese Martial Arts in General. It is not Kwai Chang Cane (David Carradine) and the Shaolin temple of master Po.
 

Quotheraving

Orange Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
67
Reaction score
2
Location
W.Sussex South England
Can anyone help? I am really interested in finding a master near where I live (north aurora, IL) It doesnt have to be from any specific school or style, what I am really looking for is a spiritual guide/master to help me in my quest to understanding the mind/body and energy through meditations and training. Does anyone know where/if I can find such a master? Thanks.


If you ever find someone who presents themselves as a spiritual guide/master, run a mile in the opposite direction.
People like that are broken deep deep down and will do their best to turn you into a crutch to support their fragile, but over inflated ego.
 

Quotheraving

Orange Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
67
Reaction score
2
Location
W.Sussex South England
I do not mean to be condescending or insulting but many people have the wrong view of Taiji and Chinese Martial Arts in General. It is not Kwai Chang Cane (David Carradine) and the Shaolin temple of master Po.

Noooooooooooo why do you shatter my illusions like that! Next you'll be telling us that Taoist masters can't cloud fly like they did on Monkey :(
 
OP
M

mejinx

White Belt
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
So you are telling me that great masters such as Bruce lee or Kensho Furuya
should be stayed clear of? These are the types of masters that I am talking about. Ones that incorporate deep wisdom and philosophy into their martial art.
 

Quotheraving

Orange Belt
Joined
Feb 28, 2008
Messages
67
Reaction score
2
Location
W.Sussex South England
So you are telling me that great masters such as Bruce lee or Kensho Furuya
should be stayed clear of? These are the types of masters that I am talking about. Ones that incorporate deep wisdom and philosophy into their martial art.

For every Furuyan or Oeshiba there are a thousand guru wannabees who will be more than happy to bask in their reflected glory and surround themselves with 'disciples' who they can regurgitate their delusions at.

If you really want to go swimming in all that pigsh*t for hope of finding a few pearls then goodluck to ya, but be prepared because you'll need all your powers of discrimination and most likely will wish you hadn't in the long run.
 

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,324
Reaction score
9,470
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
So you are telling me that great masters such as Bruce lee or Kensho Furuya
should be stayed clear of? These are the types of masters that I am talking about. Ones that incorporate deep wisdom and philosophy into their martial art.

Weren’t we talking Chinese martial arts not Japanese martial arts and Taijiquan and not Wing Chun/Junfan/JKD and Aikido :confused:

By all means if you can train with Bruce Lee of Kensho Furuya go for it, sadly they are both dead so that will be rather difficult.

As already stated by Quotheraving there are an awful lot of philosophy babbling Guru types out there masquerading as masters and very few actual masters, particularly if you are talking Taiji.

But what I posted was based only on my experience with the taiji sifus that I have trained with and some of the other CMA sifus (not taiji) that I have trained with. Like I said in another post...your mileage may vary

The other side of this by the way is that since you are looking for a Spiritual guide as well as a CMA teacher then you would not train with people like Chen Zhenglei, Chen Xiaowang, Chen Bing, Li deyin, Di Guoyong, Zhu Baozhen, Tung Kai Ying, He Jinbao, Ip Ching, Ip Chung, Yao Chengguang, Adam Hsu, Kay-Chi Leung or Eddie Wu just to name a few and they are all still alive and rather good at what they teach. Some might discuss some philosophy but they certainly would not get into much spirituality so you can miss a lot in CMA if you look at this form a Western Point of view.

A CMA Sifu is not a spiritual guide he/she is a CMA Sifu. You want spirituality it is not up to them to teach you that is up to you. And I have said this many many times here on MT and I will likely have to say it many many more but the Chinese do not compartmentalize things like we do here in the west. Spirituality, philosophy, martial arts, eating lunch… it is all part of the same thing and the spirituality you are talking about is intrinsic to all CMA styles, it is not overt, looked at as a separate, or something for a CMA sifu to teach you. Looking at them as seperate would be a western view and mostly in the US it is all part of the "marketing" since we here are so hungry for this type of thing

As for Kensho Furuya all I know about him is that he was considered rather good at Aikido but Aikido is Japanese, not Chinese and most certainly not Taijiquan

If you want a legitimate spiritual guide and a legitimate CMA teacher that legitimately knows a form of taiji the closest I can probably get you is Baiyun Guan. However it is in Beijing and you would need to get accepted into Baiyun Guan and become a Taoist and hope they decide to train you in taijiquan.

 
OP
M

mejinx

White Belt
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Thank you guys for the comments and the information. This is the exact reason I joined this board to try and find the pearl as you call it among masters. I know that Aikido and Jeet Kun Do are all Japanese arts and taiji is a Chinese martial art, but that wasn't the point I was making. The point I was trying to make was that masters such as these two (as examples) are what I was wondering if still existed today. Masters that dont just train to train and make money, rather masters that actually really truly stand behind their art in its philosophy as well as its style and actually live by it.

Maybe I used the wrong words earlier by calling it spirituality and didnt really get my question across correctly, but I really meant I was looking for the combination of internal/external mind/body type art and master.

Thanks again.
 

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
34,324
Reaction score
9,470
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
Thank you guys for the comments and the information. This is the exact reason I joined this board to try and find the pearl as you call it among masters. I know that Aikido and Jeet Kun Do are all Japanese arts and taiji is a Chinese martial art, but that wasn't the point I was making. The point I was trying to make was that masters such as these two (as examples) are what I was wondering if still existed today. Masters that dont just train to train and make money, rather masters that actually really truly stand behind their art in its philosophy as well as its style and actually live by it.

Maybe I used the wrong words earlier by calling it spirituality and didnt really get my question across correctly, but I really meant I was looking for the combination of internal/external mind/body type art and master.

Thanks again.

No worries

Note Jeet Kun Do is not Japanese...and it can be argued that it is not Chinese either. Bruce Lee was Chinese and he started in Wing Chun and JKD it is his art but it is a conglomerate of a lot of styles.
 

grydth

Senior Master
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
2,464
Reaction score
150
Location
Upstate New York.
So you are telling me that great masters such as Bruce lee or Kensho Furuya
should be stayed clear of? These are the types of masters that I am talking about. Ones that incorporate deep wisdom and philosophy into their martial art.

You may find a local teacher perfectly adequate, while so called "great masters" may be the product of their own publicity machines.... or their "greatness" may have gotten to them and made them something less instead of more

The best teachers do infuse philosophy and meaning into their martial arts teaching.... but it may be very subtle. It may be very simple.

Always keep the humility - we all need it in order to keep learning and living.
 

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,249
Reaction score
4,956
Location
San Francisco
The point I was trying to make was that masters such as these two (as examples) are what I was wondering if still existed today. Masters that dont just train to train and make money, rather masters that actually really truly stand behind their art in its philosophy as well as its style and actually live by it.

I'll go out on a limb here and risk being named a blasphemer, but I'm personally not convinced that Bruce Lee was all that you believe him to have been.

He certainly has his following and his fan base and students of his method that continue to pass on what he taught. But I'm not all that convinced he was any kind of "spiritual" or "philosophical" master, nor that he had any real way of incorporating such things into his training, or what he taught his students. He sure did have a way of giving that impression, however, in his movies ("if you look at the pointing finger, then you miss the moon in all its heavenly glory", nonsense).

I dunno, I could be wrong. But I remain unconvinced.

But Xue has given some dead-on advice about this.

I'll just add that if you are looking for a philosophical or spiritual guide, then you might look to any of the major religions of the world, or take some college level courses in philosophy or something, become an expert on the prominent philosophers and whatnot.

Personally, I steer clear of organized religion. But that might work for you. It could be Christianity, Buddhism in any of its various forms including Tibetan, Islam, Judaism, or even some of the less well-known ones like Wiccan and stuff.

But I wouldn't hold out on the idea of finding a martial arts teacher who is going to also fill that role. I tend to avoid such people like the plague that they are.

Several years ago I used to live near a park here in San Francisco, where various martial arts teachers would meet with their students on the weekends and conduct class in the outdoors. I would also go and take a corner of space and just conduct my own practice in private. I would often be near enough to some of these groups to be able to hear what they were discussing. There was this one sifu, of non-Asian descent, who seemed to me to pass himself off as more than just a sifu, but also such a spiritual/philosophical guide as you seem to be looking for. So after his students would spend a while practicing their Shaolin Longfist forms, they would gather around him and he would give them his opinions on current politics and how it fit into his philosophy and stuff. I got the impression that most of the students were just politely waiting for it to end. Looked painful as hell, to me. No bloody thanks. I don't need that in my life, especially as an add-on to my martial arts training. If I want that, I'll look for it specifically in an appropriate place. But I don't feel it belongs in martial arts.

Anyway, I was just trying to give you another perspective on it. Good luck in your search, I hope you find what you are looking for, tho it may come in a form that you don't expect. Be open minded about that, or you may miss it even if it bites you on your butt.
 

Tensei85

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
31
Location
Michigan
Flying Crane,
I have to agree with your concept of Bruce Lee though obviously I've never met him I was not born by the time he died. However I have had interactions with some of his students and grand students if you will. Including James Demile, Dan Inosanto, and some grand students probably no one knows of. (Not that there not worth mentioning) but from these interactions I could tell they have skills and are awesome at what they do but if Bruce Lee past on any philosophy or spiritual cultivation then based on my background in Buddhism, Christianity etc... I would say he didn't do a great job transmitting this knowledge, all the gramd students had no clue of philosophy other than some of Bruce Lee's books. I think (don't quote me) but Bruce Lee was more about self discovery and his training methods were just that "training methods" to lead a student to a destination, not to encompass the entire life of the student. But to give the student a taste of reality, clear illusions, etc...
At least that's my take from what I heard (2nd hand of course!) Of the interactions people had with Bruce Lee.
I hope you find what your looking for, if not keep looking. The path to self discover is never ending : ) too much philosophy, I'm going to be sick! (Just kidding)
 

Tensei85

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
31
Location
Michigan
One last point I would like to make is: don't take it the wrong way but it seems like your asking for "chop suey" from people that are used to selling "steaks". (Need better analogy lol) I was the same way as you at one time and still am on some occasions. But in Buddhism were concerned with clearing away all illusions and losing personal attachments this also encompasses "being in the moment" which in this context is take things for what they are not what you want them to be. (That is clearing illusions) to be in the moment is the realization or "kensho" (in Zen) so take the steak, that's what it is a "steak" after its served and cooked you can put whatever you want on it but the base is still a steak. Now chop suey, what is chop suey? (Who knows) what's the base? (Again who knows)
Take the opinion of a newb on this forum for what its worth, not much! Lol.
Again I'm not inferring anything bad about you, so don't take it that way. Just my perspectives...
 
Top