Am I Still Teaching?

Column by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong
March 2005 Issue

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There are rumors about me not teaching martial arts anymore. Of course, most of these rumors come from my competitors in the martial arts business, especially those from the San Francisco Bay area. How did I find out about these rumors?

I recently ran into many martial artists and kung-fu instructors all asking me the same questions. I'm writing on this subject to share my experiences with readers. I would like to explain to my fans and readers about my lifestyle and the activities I am involved in these days. It might be inspiring for some instructors in the martial arts teaching business.

I am still actively teaching in my school when I am not out of town. I teach all the classes for my senior instructors each week by myself. I don't have time to work with all the beginner students in my school, but I do all the monthly testing myself to make sure the students have learned their lessons correctly and to make sure my staff instructors are teaching the students in the quality way. I am also voluntarily teaching the senior citizen tai chi classes in the morning at the Tel-Hi Center of San Francisco when I am in town.

I am invited to go overseas to teach seminars almost every month. I love traveling; sometimes I bring my wife along with me as well. In 2004 I taught in foreign countries such as, Hong Kong, Egypt, Dubai, Mexico City, Poland, Canada, Tahiti, the Philippines and China. In September I taught in the U.S. Last October, I took 40 students to compete in the First World traditional Wushu Forms Competition in Zhenzhou, China, near the Shaolin Temple area. Besides students from the U.S., I had students who joined me from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the Philippines.

Two days after coming home from China I was invited to go to Italy. This journey will continue into Spain. Besides international instruction, I also teach across the United States. The inviters pay for all this traveling. What other profession enjoys this kind of freedom and traveling benefits? I am happy to see my students growing in other countries. I have fun training with them and usually go sightseeing as well. Today, my Plum Blossom International Federation contains over 100 schools worldwide. My students and their students - from first to fifth generation, operate those schools.

So many schools overseas want me to do seminars for them, but I only have so much time to spend in each location. Therefore, sometimes I send my son, sifu Jason J. Wong, head instructor of the Doc-Fai Wong Martial Arts Center, to represent me. My son has taught in the United Kingdom, Holland, France, Spain and Tahiti, as well as throughout America. His seminars were well received by the sponsoring schools.

My schedule for 2005 is filling up quickly. Possible destinations include Germany, France, England, Holland, India, Iran, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea and Australia, plus several schools in different cities where I taught in 2004. Who said I am not involved in teaching anymore? It seems I'm working harder than ever!

Doc-Fai Wong writes a bi-monthly column for Inside Kung-Fu.

March 2005 ? Inside Kung-Fu