Even with His Eyes Closed

by Sebastian González
Barcelona, Spain

Sebastian Gonzalez

To write on Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong, is not easy for me, because in my mind and heart is a special consideration that goes beyond that of the purely personal relationship and that mixes with the emotional part.

This relationship started long time ago, because there was a good feeling between two people, one of which was considered a great master.

I would like to write about how I met Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong and how that relationship started.

Everything began in 1992, when I arrived in the USA to deepen and perfect my Choy Li Fut and Tai Chi Chuan with Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong. I already had knowledge in these systems through one of his pupils.

The first time that I arrived at his school, I had a certain fear and respect for Grandmaster, because I had heard much about him and I had seen many videotapes of him. I went to his studio and when I got there, he told me to begin to practice all that I knew that he would come to assist me shortly and I did so, the waiting lasted near two hours so I figured out that the time of waiting was like a test of patience and interest, after that he appeared to see how I was doing and then he began to train me seriously.

During that period I trained all day, in the morning and in the afternoon, between 8 and 9 hours sometimes more, it was a very rigorous training schedule but I made a big effort and I followed it. On Saturdays and Sundays I also trained, it was exhausting, but I have to thank him because that rhythm helped me a lot to improve my technical level and to know that physical barriers can be overcome; as he told me once, limitations are only in the mind.

Through him I discovered the importance of the many technical shades that there are in each technique of Choy Li Fut and Tai Chi Chuan, it was as if I were starting over from the beginning, because those small details are the ones that make the techniques really deep and valuable. Only a master can teach them to you and one could never discover these things from reading books or watching videotapes.

As the years went on, the relationship became richer. During all this time I began to see and respect the human side Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong.

There is a curious anecdote that I have about him which confirms his deep knowledge of Choy Li Fut and Tai Chi. It happened when I was practicing a set in his presence while he was resting in a seat with his eyes closed. I was practicing the Tiger Form (Fu Ying Kuen) that I was learning by that time, suddenly he interrupted my practice and opened his eyes and told me that I had made an incorrect movement in the form and that he had recognized it from the sound of the movements that I had executed. He told me to repeat the last part of the form, and indeed there was a forgotten movement in the sequence.

I also remember other anecdotes about the human side of Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong that I would rather keep in my heart; I like these best because they are the ones that make him special to me.

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