A while ago some of my kung fu brothers and I got together for a photo shoot in Golden Gate Park. It was actually the first time I can remember getting together with these guys when we were all in our formal uniforms displaying our Jing Mo Athletic Group patches. This never happens since we don't really participate in many tournaments or demos as a team (I think I've been the only student in our class who's competed in a tournament in years). I guess it's because ours is sort of a "masters class" of sorts. We're all experienced students of the great grandmaster Wong Jack Man (the man who fought with Bruce Lee back in 1964) and there aren't really any younger kids in our class.This is actually a good thing for me because I've managed to learn a lot from these guys without a huge class getting in the way. Of course, I'm the least experienced of the group since I only just started learning from Sifu Wong a few years before he retired. So I've ended up mimicking my senior kung fu brothers, which has given me a multitude of perspectives on one of our main arts, Bak Siu Lum (also called Bei Shaolin or Northern Shaolin). It's been said in our passed down traditions that it was, indeed, the original, "Shaolin Northern Style of Shaolin Gate". This was the original style of the Shaolin monks who escaped the destruction of the temple by Qing troops in 1732. Bei Shaolin has an interesting history after that, having been kept alive by traveling performers, Ming rebels, and the famed, Kuo Yu Chang. There's been some controversy surrounding who has the "real" Shaolin since all of the Northern Shaolin masters (and most all other kung fu masters) had to flee Communist China because all kung fu teaching and practicing was forbidden during The Cultural Revolution. There's an interesting Kung Fu Magazine article about this: http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/ezine/article.php?article=158I was actually debating about this stuff on the KF Magazine forums and, I didn't realize at first, but Shi Deyang himself was arguing with me! I felt kind of like a jerk after that. As the 31st generation successor of the Shaolin tradition, I still have to give him some props and respect. I sincerely hope I didn't offend him:http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47251&highlight=Ten+Song+Shan+Forms
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