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What we have to say about training at the Harmonious Fist Gung fu School

 

 

It's been a year since I joined Harmonious Fist.
Before, I never imagined that I would do martial arts. My life was nothing to do with martial arts, and I wasn't that athletic either.
One day, my friend asked me to come to a class and somehow I decided to start doing it. At that time, my main reason was to meet new people.
And a few weeks passed by......I don't know what it is, but it got me. I love it so much now. I love our style, Northern Shaolim Kung Fu. Also I love my classmates. We always have nice positive atmosphere in class. It motivates me to practice harder.
A Kung Fu has changed my life alot. First of all, it helps me to gain my self-confidence. (I am still working on that.) Additionally, because of our style and hard training in class, I have lost weight and it allows me to have better self-image, and I can start seeing about myself in more positive way.
I love doing forms, I love doing weapon sets. I am always excited to learn new moves. By learning and practicing basic stances and those forms, of course I am building new skills and knowledge. But more importantly, I like what I am gaining and building inside of me.
It is still a big challenge for me to do Kung Fu physically and mentally: however, I know that Kung Fu is a big part of my life now and it will be forever.
It's always never to be late to start doing something new in your life. :-)
Thank you Sifu!

 

-Hatsumi


Dear Sifu and Classmates,
I am writing you this email from India, where I have been spending
the last 2 months celebrating my marriage with my Indian better
half! If some of you don't know about Indian marriage, they are a
real life experience. Now that I went through it I can say it's one
of the most amazing and beautiful experience of my Life! I am sorry
I have been MIA from the group email but between the festivities and
the challenge to find a internet access it was hard to keep up with
my electronic mail...
I have just spent the last hour catching up with the differents
postinfs. I found the email from Sifu asking to share our KF
experience, I believe there is no better way to get back on the
forum so here it is....
One morning in 1999 I woke up with only one word in my mind : KUNG
FU!
As some of you might know I am French, which means I spent the first
30 years of my Life drinking wine, smoking 2 packs a day and eating
long heavy meals without any phisycal exercises!
It was a real shock for my friends when I told them I was looking
for a Kung Fu school...
I visited a few schools but when I entered the HF school I knew I
found was I was looking for. Josh was the one who opened the door
and it was before the starting time of the class. I was very
intiminated and I sat in a corner watching the student arriving,
warming up and going through class. As I was watching them I was
thinking to myself "I want to know how to do this" and I was back
the following day for my first class.
As I told you I didn't do any physical activities for the most part
of my life. In the middle of my first class I found myself vomiting
in the bathroom as my body was on shock and was trying to understand
was was going on! I barely made it through limpo and tan tui. When I
got back in my car my legs were hurting so bad I couldn't even use
the clutch!
Kung Fu biggest teaching was to never give up, I watch my body and
my life change as Sifu was pushing me and as I was pushing myself.
Another teaching I learnt from practicing KF was to overcome pain
and frustations. after 3 years of practice I torn my right ACL for
the second times. I went through a very painful surgery and recovery
time but even when I couldn't walk I never stop practicing in my
head. Before practicing again I had to learn how to walk again but I
did it and Sifu was there to show me the path. Thanks to KF my knee
recovered and now is stronger than ever.
KF has become part of my life and I use its teachings every moments.
My goal is to spread the style and hopefully one day to have a KF
school Sifu can be proud of!
I feel KF is a gift of Life and I am thanking Sifu and all the
Ancestors for keeping these teaching alive to pass them on to us.
Thank you all of you for being there and you are with me every time
I practice. I'll see you soon...I should be back in LA at the end of
January.
May 2006 be full of Peace and Serenity, Daniel

 


 

 

David E. K-1 Japan. July 24/2005

Hello everyone at HFist. These days I have had some really cool experiences with training. I have been seriously training Taichi for past few weeks. Through training and wrestling at the gym, something cool about taicni was revealed to me. Taichi has always been about energy training for me, but now I see as the supreme style for grappling and take downs. The movements in taichi mainly focus on fighting at the ranges were punches and kicks are not effective. Northern Shaolin is different. It has many take downs and china na techniques, but the main focus of the style is on boxing at the middle and long ranges. Taichi has many punches and kicks, but the main focus is fighting at short ranges or when your opponent grabs you. So, I have been trying to use taichi principles when grabbed.


The second thing I realized is, if you practice the martial arts just to learn how to fight, you cannot practice at a high level. Since coming to Japan I have practicing for the soul purpose of fighting. My practiced changed from this peaceful search for the truth, to a very aggressive kind of energy that drained me instead of energizing me. When I trained I could feel this intense focus that lasted throughout the day. I begin to become restless and I constantly wanted to fight and use what I have been learning. All of that energy grew inside and it didn`t have a place to go. I asked myself, " Why am I training like this, when the fight is not until a month away?" For a few days I could not find any reason to train. Well, to make a long story short. I realized that if you practice for fighting only, you may be a good fighter and win fights, but that alone is not enough to push you to practice at a high level for the rest of your life. After you become a champion, you will have no reason to train and stop. So, I still practice with fighting in mind, but I have returned to gaining understanding of principles and theory.

 

 

Thanks for the post on stretching Matt. I've often
confused stretching vs. warming up.
I want to add a quick testimonial to the practice of
N. Shaolin. Since infancy I've been plagued with
illness...bronchitis, high fevers, flus, allergies,
you name it. Even up to adulthood, I would get flus
that lasted 3 weeks or more. A few months into
studying the style (and of course practicing on a
regular basis) I stopped getting sick! Nothing more
than a day or two during the worst seasons, and that
just small symptomatic stuff--tender throat or runny
nose. Not that I don't get exhausted or mentally
challenged, but I haven't been "sick" in over 2 years!
Yoga didn't do it for me like that! Something to
think about...
I liked the energy of the group last night.
John
(((((O))))))

on 4/16/05 3:35 AM,

john k at vivacadadia@.....com wrote:

Sifu,

just wanted to drop u a note from thailand...i still have been training frequently in tantui, limpo, # 6 and # 7 but not as much as i would like to as i have been busy adjusting to life in a foreign country which takes a lot of energy as one must overcome language barriers and many cultural differences just to get simple things done...even though my last seven or eight months in LA i was not in class because i was probably only in LA half that time as i was back and forth between thailand and LA trying to transition for my move here, i still trained whenever i could....however, this week was thai new years and most people are off the entire week from work so had a chance to train hard....

it's been a while since i've done this but on the first day this week i did ten sets of limpo in a row wearing a 35 pound weight vest. here's basically what i went through....since i haven't been able to train more than three times a week since i've been here, i am not in the best of shape...pretty good but not the best....by the time i finished the third set i was already breathing hard and the vest seemed to weigh a ton....after the fourth set, my lungs felt like they were on fire....halfway through i wanted to quit but knew that it was all mental and that i could make it through so pushed on...after set number six, i am still breathing hard and my legs sare starting to fatigue....they feel heavy but not rubbery at all...however, i could tell that my stance work was a lot better than six months ago because though my legs felt tired, my stances still felt solid...also because i was working on being smooth as one cannot move all that fast with 35 pounds on one's chest, i had an epiphany during each set....i felt as though most of my set was solid except one part....each time i did the set, i felt that one strike in horse stance was weak and made a concerted effort to fix it on subsequent sets....set number 7....about halfway through the set, fatigue made me shorten one of the strikes (hammer fist to the temple)...i actually heard sifu kisu's voice in my head ("what was that? who is that strike going to hurt?")...i knew that though fatigued, my strike was not strong because my stance was not strong....i corrected the rest of my stances on the rest of my set and my strikes remained strong...set number eight...truly fatigued now...i'm waiting for my legs to feel rubbery because i remember that the last time i did 10 sets of limpo wearing my weight vest, my legs became rubbery and my stances faltered toward the end of the 10 sets...however fatigued, i concentrate on my stances, and still feel my legs are strong by the end of the eighth set...at the end, my legs are still ok but i am sucking wind...now have to take a longer breather, bending down, hands on my knees...i take the longest breather between any set until my breaths are no longer short and continue...at the end of set number 9 , my breathing is still short but i force myself to take three long breaths to force air deep into my lungs, i try to breath deep into the center of my chi and after maybe 15 seconds, go into the last and final 10th set...after i finish the 10th set, much to my amazement, i find that my legs never became rubbery which i attribute to my stances being stronger than the last time i did limpo with my weight vest...i remove my weight vest and do an eleventh set...i am flying...not because i am trying to go fast but because relatively speaking i feel light as a feather now...i fly through the set probably with my strongest strikes ever at the quickest speed ever...however, i am disappointed because at this speed i can feel that my stances are not strong...i am not nearly as strong, rooted to the earth and upright in my stances when wearing the vest and realize that i have much to work on still....i do a twelfth set concentrating on my stances...still flying because still feel light as a feather...stances are much better, not as sloppy as the 11th set, but still not as strong and rooted as when wearing the vest...


the next day i return...i have realized from the previous day that i probably could have done twenty sets in a row with my vest (or maybe fifteen???) if my breathing rhythm was better...if i breathed deeper into the seat of my chi...my legs were not fatigued having proper stances yesterday but my lungs burned as if on fire from the third set on...i do only five sets of limpo with the weight vest this time concentrating on my breathing during the sets and in between sets...in between sets though i want to take shallow breaths i force myself to take long deep breaths in and out.... no short breaths...it is actually more difficult to breath deeply than to take short breaths but i recover much more quickly...i do basically all five sets only taking five very deep breaths in and out in between sets...much shorter resting times in between sets than yesterday because i am forcing oxygen deep into my lungs and thus need a shorter recovery time....i take off my vest, and finish with one set each of tan tui, #6, #7 and two section staff....after i finish i put my weight vest back on, and with 35 pounds on my chest i run 2 kilometers on the treadmill (i know not that far, but am not that young anymore, so still am fatigued at the end of my run)....

day three, i remember sifu kisu saying you have not trained at all until you have trained until the point where you can not walk...as hard as i've trained the past two days and as fatigued as i was, i could still walk fine at the end of the day...on day three though i realize this saying as my legs are so fatigued and so tired i cannot train this day....my legs are super sore and i take a day off

day four....i train for one hour straight, this time without the weight vest....though tired i feel good at the end of my training....i put the weight vest back on and hit the treadmill after a ten minute rest...at the end of 2 kilometers i want to quit....again though i know my fatigue is mental...i want to push my mental barrier...i told myself at the beginning of the run i would run 4 kilometers and i tell myself i will finish 4 kilometers....at 3.5 kilometers i am REALLY fatigued...i would really really like to quit running or at least take a rest but i do not...i have to force my legs to keep pumping...actually tell my brain to tell my legs to keep running...i try to lose my fatigue by taking my mind somewhere else...i close my eyes and run maybe for ten seconds with my eyes closed and almost fall off the treadmill! i guess with my eyes closed, i did not realize that i had slowed down my pace and the treadmill almost throws me off....i speed up my pace and for the last .20 kilometers i increase my pace so i am running at a full sprint....i finish 4.0 kilometers knowing that i would as long as i kept my mental focus....

i wrote you this mini journal sifu because if u decide to post it i hope it helps your current students to train hard....when i was 25 (i am now 36), i probably trained twice as hard as above! now i'm too old to train as hard as i did back then because physically i can't handle it but mentally i can still push myself harder than what i think i can physically do...

train hard everyone!

peace,

john




From: Roger <rogermotti@...>
Date: Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:01 pm

Subject: a not so simple thank you
hello sifu and all my harmonious brothers and sisters-
i just got back from my trip and i wanted to share
something inspiring and wonderful that happened while
i was there - all due to my joining harmonious fist.
this is going to require a bit more sharing then i'm
normally accustomed to (and comfortable with usually),
but since it has alot to do with the person i'm
becoming as a result of my time spent with you all -
i'm going to jump in knowing that i've found a pretty
outstanding group of supportive people that will bear
with my corniness (and long winded nature when i
write)
so i was on vacation in hawai'i - and i lived up to
my promise that i would practice my kung fu everyday -
i have a lot to work on - (my confidence mostly)
- but still, i'd like to get out of my head and rely
on my instincts more, feeling confident in what my
body already knows - try and rely less on my natural
strengths (i'm earthy - grounded and strong - but
stiff and inflexible)
so every morning i got up and went down to the beach -
i'd stretch and look out at the waves and see the flow
of the water i'd breathe in the cleanest of air i'd
felt in quite awhile and felt this warm powerful sun
on my back and i had an epiphany -
(i've had a couple in class since i started - like the
first time my body settled into forward stance right
or i gained some ground on my strikes in tan tui -
each one teaching me something different - how my body
was changing - getting stronger and more flexible or
how my persistence and commitment were paying off)
in this case, in trying to tap into the energies of
the universe and in myself, i realized how grateful i
was to you sifu and to all of you for sharing your
knowledge with me - for your support and guidance -
both patient and full of humor
i've been told by some of you that i should expect
more moments like these and to just roll with them,
and so i am
gratefully
so thank you again sifu for creating a really
welcoming community
that's not just making me fit in body (although i'm
pretty grateful for that too)
i'm looking forward to the long road ahead
rog

 


Be careful: if you let it, kung-fu will change your
life.
Please bear with me for a little bit of back story: In
2002, I was a 24-year-old with a lot of potential, but
a crappy low paying job in the entertainment industry.
I made it through the days by taking frequent trips
to my possible future or my better days past. I had
been diabetic for 12 years, and I guess the milestone
hadn‚t sunk in yet; I was about to have spent more of
my life diabetic, than not. I was healthy, in that I
was not overweight. I would even say in shape. My
blood sugars were consistent. They were just
consistently high.
It is now December of 2004. I am producing a series
for national geographic. It has taken me to some cool
places in the world (which is great, except I do miss
the Fist when I am gone).
January 1, 2002 I was taking an insulin basal rate of
19.6 units per day. An insulin basal rate is how much
base line insulin you must give yourself in a day of
fasting. If I didn‚t take in any extra sugar, how
much insulin my body needs is my basal rate. In
connection with how consistent and ideal my blood
sugars are, it is a great indicator of how healthy or
efficient my body is.
When I do kung-fu every day, for more than a month at
a time, my basal rate is 14.7 units per day. One
could say that my body needs 25 percent less insulin,
because I am using that energy. This change is much
more drastic than just an increase in activity. I am
not only using less insulin, my blood sugars are
consistently in the ideal range. But I am not even
doing hours of kung-fu every day. An hour committed
to good kung-fu every day is enough to keep me healthy
and in excellent shape. Even when I am unable to do
kung-fu consistently for weeks at a time, my basal
rate is 17.3 units per day. Kung-fu has made me like
wine, getting healthier with age. And I have been
doing kung-fu for only 18 months.
People often ask me what I do to stay in shape, and I
say, „I do kung-fu.‰ „I know that you do kung-fu, but
how do you keep such a good body. Do you work out?‰
„Yes, I do kung-fu.‰ I wouldn‚t only say I am in
shape, but I also make pretty shapes with my body.
Kung-fu means bitter work. I have also heard it
translated as „the bitter work needed to become a
master.‰ I don‚t know if that is the poetic essence
of the words, or a bad transliteration, but the reason
why kung-fu has changed my life is that it has taught
me to commit. Why? If someone is attacking you, no
matter how big or how many, you have to commit to the
shape you are making with your body to effectively
have a chance at leaving the situation harmed less
than your opponent. It increases your whoop-ass
factor if you are committed to well-formed shapes.
But here is the trick. Once you understand how to
commit yourself to what you are doing it is hard not
to commit to everything. Commit yourself to what you
are doing. Commit yourself to who you are. Commit
yourself to what is happening right now. In essence,
commit yourself to the life you are living.
I won‚t be 26 forever. One day, I will reach an age
where the likelihood of dying from a diabetic-related
reason is greater than dying of anything else. So I
can talk about being healthier, being happier, being
more loving and more loved, experiencing the world,
accomplishing whatever it is that you create for
yourself as a possible future for yourself to help you
cope with the present state. Or you can make your
possible future your present state.
Kung-fu is hard work. Sifu says you can bullshit your
way through a lot of things, but you can‚t bullshit
your way through kung-fu. I would add to that, that
once you stop bullshitting your way through kung-fu,
it is hard to continue bullshitting everything else.
Once you commit to the awesome feeling of presence and
power you feel when you start to gain control of your
body, it is hard not to change your life.
I have seen plenty of people come for a month or
three. Hell, if it were easy, everybody would do it.
But I feel like flying for experiencing the changes I
have accomplished with kung-fu. Thank you Sifu.


All photos are un-retouched.



My name is Elijah.  I've been studying martial arts since Feb '02 when I started at H-Fist.  I value learning NSL because it pushes me both physically and also on the "insides".  I've noticed too that I feel different when I train in class and when I train solo.  I was telling Mary the other night, that for me I like to train solo because after working in the office all day, training is like a moving meditation.  I like training in class because there's a lot of good people and Sifu always adds another piece to the NSL puzzle, though I don't feel as much of the moving meditation in group training.
 
Ok, the forms I've learned so far:
Limpo
Tan Tui
Hoy Moon (#1)
Tun Da (#6)
Moi Fa (#7)
Bot Bo (#8)
Bung Bo (Mantis1)
Tonfas (double clubs) Cern Guai
2section staff
cane
pek kwar broadsword
 
What I'm learning now:
Double broadsword
Staff
 
What I want to gain from the class:
Solid basics.  These days I spend a lot more time practicing:  Iron Cage/Meteor Fists, NSL Leg attacks, Stance sequences. 
 
 



 I've been studying with Sifu at the fist since - well
I'm not really sure. My first 2 or three classes were
at the Lindenhurst school and I came at the same time
as Shin and several months after Michael, Felicia and
Dee. So if anyone who's been around know s how long
that's been please tell me.
Anyway I'm from Washington D.C. originally but have
been in LA for about 5 years now. I've always been
interested in the martial arts and was curious
specifically about Chinese MA which is what brought me
to Sifu.
I've learned and can perform on my own:
Lim Po
Tan Tui
Tun Da
Moi Fa
Bot Bo
Bong Bo (Mantis 1)
2 section staff
Double Clubs
Cane
Broadsword
What I'm working on still:
Staff
Double Broadswords
Mantis 2
Hoy Moon
Hope to see you all in class soon.
James
 



Hello Kung Fu Brothers and Sistas!
 I'm originally from London and have been in LA for 7 yrs.  I've been studying with Sifu Kisu for 4 months now.  I have studied other styles before...Wing Chun for 4yrs, Arashi Ryu Karate Do 1yr. So far it is the Northern Shoalin style Sifu Kisu teaches that makes my spirit sing the most!  Not only the system, but the passion by which it being taught...thank you Sifu:)
  In the 4 months I've practiced I've learned:
                                                                    Limpo
                                                                    Tan Tui
                                                                    Tun Da (#6)
 I'm working on:
                       All my basic sets above and other basics such as stances, kicks etc...
 Other forms:
                     Cha Kuen(sp?)
                     Tai Chi straight sword
                     NS Straight sword
                     Fan
                     Two sectioned staff
 
I've learned patience due to old injuries and gain comfort in the knowledge that I will study for life, so there's no hurry... it will come.  I've learned a lot about my weaknesses and also of my strengths.  I hope to learn a lot more over the rest of my life:)  I've learned a lot about you all too and respect you all very much and appreciate everything you bring to class.  You are all an inspiration in your unique style!  I learn a lot from each of you, whether I'm being taught or I am the one teaching. Thank you!
 
Mayumi C.

 

 


Hello everyone. I am David E. and I have been sifu's student for a year and a half. I started around January 02. I from Compton Ca and i am a student at Cal state Long Beach. Currently, i am in Taiwan learning Chinese at Feng Jia University in Tai Chung city, Taiwan. So, many of you will not see me in class for a while (about a year). I truly enjoy practicing Northern Shaolin. It is the style i have been searching for. I like northern Shaolin so much, that even though there are many martial arts styles in Taiwan, i don't even care to learn them. I just want to practice on my own and see where the practice leads me.
the forms i know and still working on are:
Lim po
Tan tui
#6  Tun da
#7 Moi fa
#8 But bo
#1 Hoy men
#4 Chum sam
Bung bo  Mantis
Tai Chi Short From
Ba gua
Tiger & crane set
  
Weapons
pak kar staff
King of nine province staff
pak kar broadsword
two section staff
double broadswords
cane
gwan dao
taichi sword 
 
i dont have any weapons to practice with except the two section staff, been using imagination, practicing my forms as if i had weapons in my hands. I wonder how it will feel when use my weapons at home?  well, ill see you all when i get back. Take care Oh! and welcome to all the newcomers.

 


Hi All,
   My name is Alex V. and I started the last week of October.  I
think it is really interesting to read how many people have looked
for Shaolim training all of their lives, as I really feel the same
way.  I studied a little aikido and Hapkido when I was younger as
well as a little Tae Kwon Do and Jujitsu.  I also studied Tang soo
Do for about two years.   None of the styles really held me,
especially as I got older and busier.  Finding Shaolim is
incredible... finally a style that values your opponents well
being!  What a goal to set! 
   I love the long forms and I love how precise Kung Fu is.  Of
course, I feel totally overwhelmed with how much there is to learn,
but I took it upon myself as a challenge when Sifu said most people
don't stick around.  I also saw it as an oportunity when many of you
seemed to have so much ability, knowledge, strength, and compassion
for the learning process.  
     For me, I hope in a year, two years, etc. I have the same
passion I feel right now.  For me, learning this style is a
marathon, not a sprint.  Right now, I can pretty well make it
through Lim Po and Tan Tui sets one through three, although I often
have to hold a form to remember where I am within the set for Lim
Po.  Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.  See you all at class.
Alex



My name is Chris B. and I’ve been studying with Sifu since March of ’02. I teach French at a local junior college which I’ve been doing now for about 10 years. Being a teacher myself, I truly appreciate Sifu’s teaching style and appreciate the sense of solidarity and fellowship that he fosters among his students. I find the style extremely challenging both mentally and physically. The more I learn, the more I realize I truly need to work on refining my basics.
What I’ve learned so far (and am continually working on!):
Lim Po
Tan Tui
# 6 – (Tun Da)
# 7 – (Moi Fa)
# 8 – (Bot Bo)
 2 section staff
What I’m currently learning:
# 1 ( Hoy Moon)
Bong Bo (Mantis 1)
Zham Ma Do (Horsecutter)
Clubs
Staff
Steel Fan
Broadsword

 


 

Hi all,
I'm Ondraus J.  I started studying with Sifu in 2000.  However, I
went MIA after only a few months and had to beg--and yes--cry my way
back into the fold a few months ago.  So I, in reality, I have only been
studying for 8 months or so.  I am the much reviled entertainment
lawyer, and I've been practicing law since 1997.
I have learned and continue to train:  Lim Po, Tan Tui, and #6(Tun
Da).
And I'm trying to learn:  #7, Clubs, Staff, Fan.
OJ

 


 

Hello hello,
I began in Apr 2000, a time where I couldn't touch my
toes or stand on one leg for longer than 2 seconds.  I
believe Felicia and I started roughly the same time.
Since then, there have been many changes, new faces,
and lots of sweat.  I learned most of my basics from
Mui, Josh, and Jon.  Soon thereafter, I began to be
overwhelmed with information, and to this day I am
still trying to figure out how to balance everything.
Sometimes I think this is the hardest part - not the
actual practice.  If you don't manage your time and
motivation wisely, you won't even get to practice. 
I've learned a lot, including limpo, tantui,
#1,4,5,6,7,8.  We are lucky to have this style
available to us, and to have a Sifu that trusts us
with it.
I just started the PhD program in Chinese Lit & Lang
at UCI, so I am quite busy.  Most likely you'll catch
me on sundays...
mike

 

 


 

Hi, everyone, my name is Misako. I came to the class since last Nov. I learned Limpo and Tan Tui. I 'm still working on # 6. It's not easy to remember the form for me. I think I take a much more time to stay in one form. Sorry Sifu I'm a slow learner. I started to learn Tai Chi since when I was in Japan 25 years ago. Then I studied Yang long form since I moved to U.S. 22 years ago. But I could not continue because my knee pain. So I studied Alexander Tech. for body awareness and changing my bad use of myself since 17 years ago. And I became a teacher of Alexander Tech. That helped me to go back to Martial Arts since I dreamed about since kid. I feel terrible sometimes not to remember the form. But I love body movement. I teach Tai Chi short form and Qi Gong for mostly senior citizens and also people in down town skid row area for 5 years. Sifu Kisu was a first person to encourage me to teach Tai Chi long time ago (if he remembered). I came to larrn from Kisu was that I love his spirit and dedication. I wanted to improve my Tai Chi also. I enjoy learning Kung Fu with my classmates. I appreciate everybody to teach me and practice with me. Thank you.

 

 

 



Hi everybody,
I'm Josh; i joined the hfist in october of '97, so i've been studying
Northern Shaolin for about 6 years now.  since last fall, i have been
living in philadelphia where i'm working on my Ph.D.
as for what i've learned...
hand forms: limpo, tantui, NSL 1,2,4,5,6,7,8, chaquan, 24 taiji,
bagua, bengbu, plum blossom hand, plum blossom falling, drunken arhat
weapons: dragon walking sword, eight immortal sword, taiji sword,
pigua broadsword, spear, 5th son pole, 9 provinces pole, cane, 9-
section whip, double daggers, horse-cutting knife
plus i've learned bits & pieces of: iron fan, tiger & crane, 2-
section staff, double broadsword, xingyi
it's good to hear that there are so many people in class these days,
you all should feel very lucky to be learning such a great style
under such a great teacher!
josh

 

 


Ok, i'm bryan , i'm 26. originally from cleveland, oh, then
outside atlanta, ga, then louisville, ky, then back to the suburbs of
atlanta, then up to cincinnati for a year at a small art school, then over
to the rhode island school of design, in providence, for the remaining three
years. i studied illustration and animation, focused on oil painting and
narrative works.
after college i lived briefly in manhattan before making the move to los
angeles to ride the booming t.v. animation wave in 1998. in the past four
years i've worked on a variety of animated shows in a variety of positions
(storyboard, art director, etc.).
for the past ten months my friend and i have been developing our own series
with nickelodeon. it is a martial arts epic set in a fictional asia in a
lost age. i wanted to do the kung fu in the show justice, rather than
copying moves from movies, so that's why i sought out sifu kisu. he and the
northern shaolin tradition have been an immense inspiration for the project
from the day i met him. the concepts and philosophies sifu passes on to us
are an integral theme of the story. maybe in a year or two you will all be
able to tune in and say, "i know that style!!!"
other than that... i'm the youngest of five kids, i have seven nephews, i
attempt to record music in my spare time and i don't practice my kung fu
enough. but i'm getting better about that:)

 

 


 

 

I guess I'll join the fray too
My name is Frank and I'm 20 years old, almost legal. I grew up in LA but somehow ended up going to New York for college on a whim. I was young and dumb and didn‚t know what „below zero‰ meant. Now I‚m a junior at the Stern school of business at New York University. I‚m double majoring in finance and accounting (sexy and glamorous it is not), in hopes that I‚ll pay off my college loans before I die. One day, I hope to have the privilege of working 90-hour weeks on Wall Street.
I first came to the Harmonious Fist when I was 17, with my mom at my side. Now I‚m 20, and my mom lets me come by myself, which is progress. At the time, I was by far the youngest person in class. Because of this, I often felt a little intimidated in class. It made my adjustment to class a little more difficult than it should have been. Plus, Josh and John never smiled once. Hence, I socialized more with people in my age group˜namely, Arjuna. But now I guess I‚ve grown up and I love coming to class and meeting people.
It‚s been about 3 years in the making and I‚ve learned a few things. I know Sifu, I‚m shocked too! I‚ll be the first one to admit that practicing and keeping the self-motivation at a high level is difficult when you live 3000 miles away. But Sifu‚s great and I find myself scurrying to class, wherever it may be, whenever I‚m in town.
When I first came to class I couldn‚t even touch my toes. Now, I still can‚t touch my toes, but I‚ve learned a hell of a lot more than that. The Fu‚s become a big part of my life, thanks to Sifu. I hope my Kung Fu journey continues, until the day I‚m too old to walk, or just not welcome to class anymore.
This is my last week: Bye everybody.
~Frank

 


Hi everybody!!
My name is Linda and I'm the most inconsistent student, but the most
loyal! (no comments from the peanut gallery please!) I first joined almost 2
yrs. ago. I'm out here to act and sing. I'm from Florida and anytime anyone
wants to get together and practice outside of class or just get together and
do a H-Fist outing I'm so down!! just give me a call I live in Hollywood!!


Linda


Hi Fist! I'm Mary


I decided to take kung fu after my friend Greg lent me a bunch of Jademan "Blood Sword" comics. I've never been a big kung fu movie freak or had any urges to beat anyone up, but the talk of "inner kung fu" in those comics got me interested. I would say my primary motivation for taking kung fu is rooted in self-discipline (of which I have always had very little), physical health, and hopefully spirituality. I personally don't ever intend to fight another human being. I'm hoping that "Avoid rather than check" will probably get me through life, but if it doesn't, maybe with practice I'll be prepared to "Check rather than hurt." But I don't begrudge anyone else their view of the martial arts as more physical and fight-oriented. To each his own.
I've never stuck with any sort of physical regimen for this long; I did a lot of somewhat intense ballet as a kid but that stopped when I was about 13. I was horrifically out of shape when I started class with Sifu (not quite one year ago), and now I'm only terribly out of shape. I think kung fu appeals to me because there is always some small detail -and- some larger picture left to discover. I tried yoga, which seems like it would have the same quality, but somehow the motivation didn't gel. I think I like the fact that kung fu is both a solitary and a group activity; I get a lot out of taking class with my brothers and sisters, but of course the work to be done always rests solely in me. I'm also more-than-interested in the ties between kung fu and Chan buddhism. Lately I'm interested in the premise of the forms being meditations and the 'opponents' being mental rather than physical.
I also chose Harmonious Fist because the other local schools whose websites I could find didn't really appeal to me at all. I knew I wanted a teacher who would address more than just fighting techniques and belt requirements, and who wouldn't push me so hard I'd get annoyed and give up, and I feel very fortunate to have found Sifu and this school. I like the easy-going-yet-respectful-and-dedicated nature of the class. I like the fact that Sifu talked about preparing for the upcoming competitions as personal explorations rather than focusing on them as chances to dominate. I also like Sifu's humility and his general teaching style. I really like that I never seem to have to talk myself into going to class, because I always want to.
I'm really heartened by the type of students Sifu seems to attract and retain, too. I feel like we've got a great group and that every new student who stays just keeps making it greater.
Longwinded enough? I'm enjoying reading everyone's bios, keep 'em coming!
See you in class.
Mary

 


You very sly Sifu. Who doesn't like to talk about themselves? More
importantly, the group is strengthened when we know more about one
another. OK. I'll bite.
Linda said she was your most inconsistent student. I might give her
a run for her money. Then again, I might take the prize as most
consistent. Most consistently absent. I dunno. I go through fits
and spurts of daily practice then I get overwhelmed by my life and
that slinks down to a few then a couple of times a week. I'm
getting to it most days these days. It's so unsettling when I can't
chisel out the time for it. I feel so much better about everything
when I do.
I think I also have the distinction of being the only student Sifu
has taught for going on 2 years who still knows no fu. Took up tai
chi at the tender young age of somewhere between 35 and 40. All I
really wanted was tai chi to be taught as a martial art. That's how
I first learned it when I was a young college pup like most of you
are now. The teacher was in Dallas where I was attending school. I
find it interesting how many of you `find' this art at exactly the
same time I `found' it the first time around. Anyway, it's alarming
how difficult it is to find a teacher who can relay all the many
facets of the art ˆincluding the practical and the martial ones. But
I found Sifu and, with my post-two-baby body and screeching toward
the 40 year mark --never looked back.
So I know now a very scant few things but I enjoy practicing them
very much. They are:
Short tai chi set, tai chi straight sword, 7 of the 8 bagua palm
changes. I can muddle through long tai chi set and would welcome any
help with that from anyone. I have also been handed a staff in the
last few weeks and, well, that's got me very excited as it would any
red-blooded American-or-otherwise girl.
I'm just a mess with everything right now. I'm constantly falling
over during the bagua and have many new bruises from my fine new
staff. But I have become stronger and more flexible.
I treated myself to a good used piano over the holidays and am loving
the juxtaposition of practicing music and martial art. They are both
maddening and thrilling. It's very cool.
As for the bio: grew up in rural Arkansas. Chris, where in
Arkansas? And who are you? You see, I'm the one leaving when you're
all arriving because if I don't get home in time to tuck the kids in
they explode all over my husband. So I have placed faces on a
handful of your names but not all of you.
Anyway˜Arkansas. I played in the woods most days until I heard my
mama calling me to supper. Loved to read. Fertile imagination.
Strong tendencies toward theatre and acting but also with a strong
talent for (you wouldn't know it from reading this posting) writing.
So I decided to major in journalism in college. That lasted about
three months and I switched majors to acting. So that's what my
undergraduate degree is in.
That degree has served me well. For an actress, I am an extremely
good information systems manager. I love to cook and do crafty things and I never have time for
either. I make the best flan you'll ever put in your mouth. I'm the
only So Cal gal I know who can't snow ski but can water ski. Hoping
to get to some mountain some time with my kids and learn with them.
I have been concentrating on my writing since I had the kids and that
is really what I'm hoping to transition to here soon. Recently
optioned my first script and, if I ever get the time (!), I have more
stories to tell. In the meantime, I have a great job managing the
info for an investment management firm (Frank: bring that sexy and
glamorous degree around when you're done with it. I'd love to see us
add a kung fu trader/analyst to our desk. And nobody works 90 hour
weeks at my firm.) I also have two fabulous kids, ages 7 and almost
5; a fabulous husband, even older than me; and two fat, stinky cats.
The two kids and the two careers make me a walking stress case. But
what I have realized, of course, is that the demands that even the
few forms I know make on my mind and body really fortify me.
All good things on all y'all's heads.
Keri Fitzgerald

 


Damn, it has been a great thing opening my yahoo
account and learning so much abt. kung fu/tai
chi/bagua and their influences on each of your lives
and each of your individual takes on them. Thank you
for sharing....
OK
What have you learned so far?
I am learning Limpo, tantui, #6, #7, # 8
I am copying Sifu's and your guys' moves in #1
I have been guided through the 2 section staff till
the 1st sequence. I have also completed the 1st pole
set, but have not even tried doing it on my own.
What have you learned from practicing this style?
Uhmmm...let me see. I have learned that you can
achieve much more than you give yourself a chance to
if you just practise and don't worry about the
results, that to hit is to hit through the target with
your weight being multiplied by your hips and striking
with a tight fist or palm, to practice with all heart
or not practice at all, that I need to quit smoking
ASAP if I ever want to reach the levels you people
will (I don't think any of you smoke), your defese
should be like an iron cage, practicing sets can be a
moving meditation, you will get surprised by your own
progress and you will be disappointed at your own
struggle to practice, yet you come to realize that
this is not a short term thing, to hold your head
high like a string pulls you from the heavens, tuck
your chin slightly, root your feet and imagen them as
roots digging deeper, you are pulled from the heavens
and the earth and you feel a beautiful tension in your
mid-section, you are ready to do your sets/your
fu/your practise...remember you should be breathing
like a dragon throughout all this and be objectively
detached from emotions ...
What do you want to learn?
I feel like I do not know enough to answer this
question. Whatever was taught to students
traditionally would be my answer.
My favorites:
I have always been attracted to the two section staff
or ninechuks sp? ever since I saw Bruce Lee movies...
I love the pole...something about being able to
control a stick at whim...any of you seen the chinese
cartoon with the "Monkey King" damn that monkey was
awesome with his red staff with gold tips...
I love to watch and would love to learn bagua,
something mysterioius about it.
Something different than the Northern Shaolin movement
that I am trying to hone down...makes me think it will
introduce me to a different element of thinking about
movement and expand my current horizons.
Would want to practice the short strikes and traps of
the Mantis...
I feel like I need to gain an understanding of
distancing and closing in, counter attacking and
striking long or low or short and with an instep into
the opponent with strategy and style. How to respond
to various moves of an opponent? Maybe I need to just
start competing in competitions.
I would love to be competent in the whole essence of
the style and also small tricks that could help me in
situations where 1 or 2 second practised moves could
make a difference of getting away or getting
thrashed...
Since I am a small guy, I would like to learn placing
my body to uproot bigger opponents gravity without
harming myself. What will be your specialty?
I feel like I am in no position to answer this
questions since it is to early for me. I have not
realized the essence of all sets or practices.
Thanks for listening...
SEE U TODAY!
Nishan

 


first of all, have really enjoyed reading everyone's postings
although i have only made it through bryan's, nishan's, mary's and
frank's so far....
as far as myself, i have learned limpo and am still learning tantui
(spelling?)...so i practice limpo and tantui whenever i can...i
probably know about up to set #7 or #8 in tantui and then things get
fuzzy for me when i practice on my own....i try to do limpo over and
over again until exhaustion like sifu has recommended but am
disappointed in how easily tired i get....i don't think i am
breathing properly so i try to focus more on that...i remember the
days when i could spar and get all prideful about the fact that i
would not be breathing hard at all when others would be dying...those
days are long gone but am striving to get there again...
i am too much of a neophyte in northern shaolim to know what will be
my specialty but as far as weapons i would like to learn
staff...don't know why but i always thought the staff was a bad ass
weapon....
as far as why i joined hfist...i had a very similar ordeal to
nishan's...when i first moved to LA i searched hi and lo for a
martial arts dojo that felt like home...i probably visited 10 or more
different schools and none did...i looked at hapkido, aikido, jui-
jutsu schools, but so many talked about the arts for about all of
half a minute before telling me how much i would have to pay for
a "trial" evaluatory session and for gear....the pollution of the
true spirits of the arts for money kind of disgusted me and for the
first three years, sadly, i relegated myself to training on my
own...i feel blessed to have found sifu and hfist because i was
searching for a dojo where i could extend the training that had been
given me by prior sifu's and sensei's....i know it probably doesn't
show, but i trained under a navy SEAL in philly for three years first
in kyokushinkai karate, then in aiki-jutsu...interestingly enough my
first sensei/sifu went through an evolution of mindset from
kyokushinkai to aiki-jitsu after sparring with his sensei one day and
having a moment of enlightenment....so the weapons he trained us in
were primarily the bokken and tanto....from there i moved to SF were
i continued training in aiki-jutsu and then had a lull in my training
after moving to LA....the reason i FIRST became involved in the
martial arts was because way back when , in Philly i was a pissed
off kid most of the time....i knew that if i didn't learn to control,
and eventually squash my anger that it would get me in serious
trouble one day....my sensei taught me that anger would cripple my
speed during confrontations and that anger would cloud my judgement
and that anger would make me tense, disallowing true power to flow
from my movements....he also taught me that to let go of my ego would
allow me to let go of all fear...even fear of dying....i still strive
to get to that point but am nowhere close to that yet...
that is where my crossing with sifu kisu was so much of a
blessing...i wanted to find someone that could serve as an extension
of my first sifu/ sensei's teachings...no one came close to that in
LA until i met sifu kisu...in fact, seeing the dispositions and
dedication of his students at the first class i attended, i
immediately could see sifu kisu's connection with his students and i
knew that i had found my new "home"...i also knew that because
martial arts was the single most important facet in my life that
helped me to become a better person that i needed to have it be an
integral part of my life again...
currently i am a financial advisor and just starting out in this
position, it is a thankless job in the beginning...you work extremely
long hours and you only get paid by the business you bring in...it is
a truly entrepreneurial job...more money flowing out then coming in
ever since i've been at this job as i try to build a respectable
business....at times i have been stressed thinking what will happen
if i don't make it in the next several months...i've put myself more
in debt at this job, tapping my credit cards, than the ridiculous
loads of debt i've already racked up in grad school...but martial
arts, as well as buddhist philosophy that i've managed to embrace,
keeps me mindful, my worries about the future in check, and allows me
to live in the present and enjoy the present as much as it is
possible...also one of the reasons that i know i ABSOLUTELY must have
martial arts in my life...it keeps me on an even keel and raises my
quality of life...hopefully one day, it will also allow me to keep my
ROAD RAGE in check...but LA drivers...damn! what other city has cab
drivers who can't f*cking drive?? LA cab drivers would get murdered
in NY....not to mention that LA drivers act like it's snowing when
it's RAINING! one of my true loves is writing...i've written a couple
novels that i am trying to get published...and oddly enough, my
second novel kinda sounds like your experience nishan...i started
writing it three yrs ago when i traveled through thailand and
burma...because i experienced a lot of things that made me think for
days if not weeks on end...if i didn't have so much debt to pay off,
i'd probably try to write for a living...
alright enough rambling...
peace.
-John

 


i'm Dave S, and you probably haven't seen me for a while....
i came to the school in january of 2001. i attended class 4-5 times a week and soaked up as much as i could. i was finishing my third year of law school, and was desperately trying to do something to get into shape and get active in something that didn't involve beer or the law. although, to be honest with you, there was a little of both in my fu experience.
in may of 2001, i moved to boston for a while, and practiced wushu with yao li, and in fact taught him number 6 (with sifu's permission, of course). wushu was a bit flowery for my taste, but it gave me a different perspective on fu.
one thing i learned while sparring in boston, however, was that as long as i kept my opponent at a distance, i could close the gap and attack and keep him from attacking. but if he got inside my perimeter, i had a tough time.
so when i moved to oakland and couldn't find a good shaolin school i liked, i went to a wing chun school taught by hoover chan. it's a great deal different from shaolin, and is very effective is close quarters. but it's a bit esoteric, mastering tiny and subtle moves, and didn't give me the same spark as northern shaolin, so i kind of drifted away.
i came back to h.fist late last year, wildly overweight and out of shape, and got busy trying to get back into the swing of it. 
i hope to get back to the fu soon. i'm pretty disappointed, but i've got about another month or so before i can consider training again.
so far, i've learned lim po, tan tui, 6 and 7, and started learning staff and clubs. i've also learned the wushu form nan quan, and the wing chun form siu lim tau.
personally, i'm an attorney starting my own civil rights practice in santa monica. i'm also a recovering journalist.



Hey All,
 
I'm Felicia L. and have been studying with Sifu for 3 years. I came to learn about Sifu the way most you have via the internet. I stopped by his school and met John( who is now oversees in Iraq with the Army,) he convinced me to come back and  on my  second visit I met Mike L. We both sat in a corner of the school watching Sifu train his students.   I was simply blown away at the emphasis of proper form,  technique, and strong foundation that was taught. I didn't look for another school and have been with the school ever since.  I had studied Tae Kwon Do briefly in college but it just was not what I was looking for.  I do not believe that one can learn a form then take a belt test and say that they "KNOW"  a form.  That is what I love about Northern Shaolin, you never really know a form even when you learned it completely. You are constantly presented with a new perpesctive every time you practice.  This is a life-long journey for me and I truly get excited when performing Lim Po I see a move that I done hundred times in a new fresh way. The greatest change that I can attribute to studying martial arts is that it has spurned my thirst to learn more about the Chinese culture, literature, and language.  The thought that each form was developed for a specific reason fascinates me.  It is great to see so many new students and see their dedication to learning the style.
 
Let's see the bio.  I was born and raised in Texas in a small town south of Houston and went to college in Louisiana(yes this means I am country hick.)  I moved to LA 6 years to work in the movies and am currently an assistant editor on "Dragnet." About 3 years ago I decided that I wanted to persue a lifelong goal of studying martial arts and found HFist.  I am currently learning Spanish and playing the guitar - the learning never stops.
 
The forms I have learned:
 
limpo, tantui, cha kuen,6, 7, 8, 1, 4
mantis1, 2,3
staff1, 2, pek kwar broadsword, 2sectionstaff, hookswords,straight sword
 
what I am learning as of now:
5, cane, tonfas, bagua
 
I am trying to specialize in the straight sword and #7. 
 
 
Felicia
 
 


What I've learned: Lim Po, Tan Tui, #6, #7, #8
Working on: #1, two-section staff, staff, clubs

I'd like to focus on learning #1 and two-section staff right now 

 
Eventually: mantis forms & kwan-do look really cool...

 

I took a couple of years of TaeKwonDo back when I was 18 or 19, loved it but started doing theatre and loved doing plays more.  My instructor would get mad and yell at me when I missed a month or two at a time in order to do a play, so I eventually stopped going...  I started taking kung fu classes a couple of years ago at UCIrvine (Northern Shaolin, but different forms than what Sifu teaches), and when I moved to LA my teacher from UCI recommended Sifu Kisu.
 
I also grew up in Arkansas (Little Rock and then Fayetteville - who knew we had such a large Arkansas contingent at Harmonious Fist?) and went to undergrad at University of Arkansas where I got degrees in both Drama and Computer Science.  After 5 months mountain-biking and hitchhiking across Europe, I moved to San Francisco, where I worked on computer games with a few different companies and job titles - ranging from a software tester at Electronic Arts to Project Manager/Co-Director/Casting Director/Writer/Game Designer/Art Director (it was a small company!) for a PC/Mac CD-ROM title called "Mummy: Tomb of the Pharaoh" for which we cast Malcolm McDowell as the main bad guy.  I also started my own theatre company and directed a few things there as well as acted in quite a few plays (lots of Shakespeare) and some independent films.
 
Then I went to grad school at UCIrvine and eventually got a Master's degree in Theatre Directing.  I still teach classes there in Web Design twice a week, but live in Los Feliz (yes, it's a long commute!)  I have a fifteen-minute martial arts/fantasy DV short called "Dream of the Lizard" which I wrote and directed that's in post-production (we have a rough cut done, but still working on sound editing and music), plus wrote a feature-length vampire screenplay this past summer with the goal of directing it someday!  I also occasionally do some lighting design, oil painting and fight choreography... 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeff

 


Name: John
Las Vegas, Nevada
Graduated Rutgers College Class of '92
Current Assignment: Elementary School Teacher--Watts area of LA;
also involved in cartoon illustration, digital video manipulation,
and soulseeking.
Am extremely excited about finding this martial arts group! Been
searching for ??? years. Thank you Sifu Kisu!


I have been studying with you all since the first week of January of
this year -- most of the time i am still the newest student, and if
you don't know who i am from that, i'm also apparently the only guy
who doesn't own a black shirt. i'm working on that one.
I am originally from Kansas City, MO. I was an athletic kid until i
spent most of about 3 years in a series of hospitals trying to kick
a rare kidney disease. after i came out of that period, i just
wanted to live hard and so i did a lot of drugs and almost failed
out of high school, and was most definitely not in my body.
during that time, i also got into this idea of 'paratheatrics', and
started to host bizarre performance art ritual/parties in my parents
basement -- that led somehow to getting into the NYU Theatre school
where i studied at the Experimental Theatre Wing and had my ass
kicked for the first time physically. I studied many dance forms
there, as well as other systems of theatre performance training
which share at least some basic principles of control and balance
with martial arts. i also began to seriously study yoga. i was
unsatisfied with the rigor of the classes at NYU, always feeling
like we moved on to something else just when it was starting to make
sense -- and because i didn't know where to find teachers in the
other forms we were studying (these great theatre directors are all
either dead or cloistered in tiny monastic-style centers in europe
refusing to take new students) I dropped out of school and went on a
trip to Asia where i spent several months studying Balinese Dance
with a master in Bali and then Yoga at an ashram in Rishikesh,
India.
At the ashram, the yogi took me aside after about 5 weeks and told
me that i needed to go back to new york city and finish studying to
be an artist because I was not settled enough in my yoga study -- he
said that i too clearly wanted to use the strength and clarity and
flexibility to achieve something as an individual, and that although
yoga could be an effective tool, my path of study was becoming
monastic and that I would not be happy until i had tried to follow
my ambitions and either achieve them or resolve them. i thought this
was very wise and so i went back to new york, reenrolled at NYU and
started lifting weights and jogging instead of doing yoga because i
felt it was more 'honest'.
when i graduated from NYU, i joined a theatre which works in a very
strict, physically rigorous tradition. we spent 3 hours every day
training our bodies to be 'expressive' tools. it was an amazing
experience, but the company had political problems and after a year
it dissolved. Trying to deal with the shock of suddenly NOT training
for hours every day, I began studying Northern Eagle Claw (Ying Jow
Pai)with Leung Shum in New York, and i was totally hooked on Kung
Fu. within a month after beginning to study, however, I had to leave
New York in order to take advantage of an opportunity to begin
directing my own theatre work.
I spent about 2 years in Kansas City, where i took advantage of the
cheap rent and arts-starved scene and began to develop my own way of
making theatre -- including a performer-training structure which is
influenced by the many traditions to which i've been exposed. the
company was critically (but not financially) successful, and i
decided it was time to move on so i moved out to LA to begin some
collaborations with my brother who is an LA-based writer and a
friend from NYU. I've been here since May, 2002, and some exciting
things are just starting to happen for me towards getting a company
off the ground to continue my work from KC. Meanwhile, I'm applying
to MFA and PHD programs in a number of different cities.
Although I teach this performance-training structure as part of my
directing work, I often drift from the priniciples in my own body
and in my own life, and I know that i am in great need of a master
and a discipline. I have been nervous about joining a Kung Fu school
because my primary interest has never been in fighting, and i know
that there is some disdain among Kung Fu masters for people who are
interested in the 'flower' rather than the fist. I also know that
my work will continue to move me around, so I am nervous about
making a commitment to a school when i don't know how long I'm going
to be in one place.
I have been amazed at the sense of community and commitment
surrounding Sifu Kisu's group, and at the focus on external form
while retaining a respect for the implicit esoteric elements of the
study. My life is chaotic and my ego is a great obstacle which
resists allowing me to have a true beginner-mind -- but i do hope
that this study will become an integral and consistent part of my
life. I already feel so much better.
I know Lim Po, although I sometimes still get lost in the sequence.
I am beginning to learn Tantuie.
Thanks Sifu, and all of the senior students who have been so patient
and helpful in getting me started.
Peace
randall

 


brothers and sisters-
first of all, my apologies for not being in class over the
past 1.5 weeks. i just returned from hong kong where i
attended my best friend's wedding. i'll be back tomorrow
evening ready to practice.
my name is ted chi. i am 31 years old and tend to work too
much. i am striving to maintain greater balance in my
life.
i am originally from shrewsbury, massachusetts and then
moved to cupertino (northern california) and san diego. i
went to uc san diego and studied economics before moving to
la to work as a corporate banker. after three years
structuring commercial loans for middle market companies, i
worked at a start-up sporting goods company and then went
off to business school at kellogg where i studied
marketing. i finished my mba in '00 and moved back to los
angeles to be close to my family. i worked at an internet
start-up for a year before moving over to activision -
videogame company - where i am currently marketing
sports-related games for next gen consoles. i launched a
baskeball title last year and am in the midst of launching
a wakeboarding title this summer.
i have been interested in kung fu since i was a kid...
watching kung fu theater. i've always been interested in
pushing myself/personal improvement. after running the
l.a. marathon last year, i felt like i needed something to
focus on outside of work that wouldn't demolish my knees.
something to work towards to bring greater harmony in my
life that would also enable me to grow. i learned about
harmonious fist from the internet. everyone i've met has
been so genuine... from my first encounter with sifu, i
knew two things. first, this was no nonsense kung fu for
people who really want to learn. second, sifu was going to
make me work my butt off. my first experience with lim po
was truly like learning to walk again. yes, i am indeed
still learning this new walk. in addition, i must thank
michael lee. mike - you have such strong form and precise
movement in your kung fu... a great role model.
these days, i am working on #6 and the staff while
practicing lim po and tan tui. i am also stretching a lot
to increase my flexibility as my kicking has much to be
desired. i am learning that kung fu is indeed a lifelong
passion and am enjoying the process.
thanks to everyone!
ted


Hey Its Madison! Well Here is my bio. Ive been here at the good ol HFist since August of 2002 I am 15. Although Im not sure if I'm the yougest member ever I think i am the youngest currently. I went looking for Kung Fu classes last summer for reasons I dont remember. But I knew I wanted to do Chinese Kung Fu and nothing else. I found that to be easier said than done. The Y had a program that dissolved due to lack of interest by members. Then I found two schools that were close to me the Harmonious Fist and some Wing Chung place in Burbank who's name I can't remmember. Any way I went to class at the house and was pleased with Kisu's way of teaching my mom came along too for the Tai Chi. My mom was unable to stay but I came countinuosly. And Ive been here ever since. I am happy with the school I helped me loose 30 pounds when I was dieting last fall. I am happy to have Kisu as my teacher I love the people he teaches he really has the cream of the crop under his belt and I am very thankfull. Excuse the Writing errors. 
 
                            Madison  



I am a photojournalist and I work for an international
wire service (Associated Press). I'm from New York and
I left in 1995 to work for a newspaper in New Orleans.
I stayed in N.O. for 6-1/2 years before being hired to
work for Associated Press in Los Angeles (August
2001). I'm married, and my wife Cassandra is a
creative writer/reporter who's working on her graduate
degree in creative non-fiction.
My interest in martial arts stemmed from simply
wanting to take care of my body both physically and
spritually. I started studying White Crane Kung Fu in
1995 with Chief Instructor Sifu Lou Illar and Sifu Ron
Schulingkamp. I began my studies with Sifu Kisu in
March of 2002. The one thing that stands out when I
think of what I've learned from Sifu Kisu is that
regardless of what you've learned often it's best to
relearn it, e.g. side kicks. I've participated in
numerous open karate tournaments (we averaged 3 a
year) and I always did well in sparring. However, my
side kicks still need work.
I've learned Lim Po, Tan Tui, #6 and #7. I'm working
on #8 and the two-section staff. Northern Shaolin has
much to offer and I'm excited about studying the
system. I'm focused on truly making the two-section
staff an extension of my arms and hands.
Peace,
Ric

____________________________________________


My name is Stefanos K. I am originally from the Washington, D.C.
area, and came out to LA for film school. I have been looking for a
community of people to train with and a style that suited me since I came to
LA, so I have easily checked out over 25 schools in LA. I am not sure what
I was looking for, specifically, but knew almost immediately everytime I
came to a school that it wasn't it. Since starting Northern Shaolim, I have
found that the teachings, physicalities and mental aspects stretch far
beyond class and even beyond Kung-Fu. I find myself hearing Sifu's words
pertain to my job everyday, to my state of mind when I am sitting in
traffic, or applying to the world as a whole. It is strange when something
Simo or Sifu said about Limpo comes to mind when involved in everyday
mundanities.
Anyways, I have learned Limpo, Tan Tui and #6.
I am working on the above, and two section staff.
I am very interested in learning all the forms and weapons, when I am ready
for them. I too see this as a way of life I want to pursue for many many
years.
I am also a moderator for Hfist now. I really have no idea what that means,
but I have been reading a lot of the messages in the archives. A lot of
gold buried there.
Thanks for listening, teaching and Fuing with me.
Stefanos


Hello,Everyone
My name is Patrick,
I've been with H-fist Since 2000 Off and on.
I have to say that I have tried alot of differant
Martial arts schools. I feel that I have found my
place, that I can call my home. I have found the
greatest group of brothers and sisters, Like Michel
Lee, Josh, Felicia, Shin, Dee, and James this group of
people have been around before my time and I have
learned alot by watching them and asking questions.
The Energy and the focus that I have gained by
training here is unbelievable. That is why I will
drive any distance to train. If I could I would be
there every night there was class. But because I'm not
made of money that is impossible from San Diego, but
believe me when I do have the money for gas, I will be
there. So far I have learned these sets.
Lim Po
Tan Tui
Tun Da (#6)
Moi Fa (#7)
I am learning
Bot Bo (#8)
Bong Bo (Mantis#1)
Hoy Moon (#1)
Drunken
2 section staff
double Clubs
Broad Sword
I wish to thank Kisu for giving me the opportunity to
learn from such a great Teacher with Knowledge of the
Past and present. I know that I could never repay you
for allowing me to train in a great style, but always
remember if you ever need me for anything all you have
to do is call and I will do my best to be there for
you.
Thanks
Patrick

 



Hello Students!
 
My name is John H.  I started training with Harmonious Fist in Dec. 02.  My reasons for joining are still unclear to me (explanation later), but I know that I was following an inner voice that said--"go learn KungFu, study hard, practice hard, become a master".  Actually I was at quite an emotional low point in my life then, and as I heard the voice I walked into a local dive donut/chess house and saw a Yoga teacher with whom I have studied--he told me that he was at a Kung Fu class that day in Plummer Park, and that the teacher was a pretty "heavy cat, the real thing", and that I should go.  I have not wavered since.  The main thing I have learned from my short experience training here (thanks in part to Sifu's words) is that my sense of self-importance means nothing in the face of the real Gongfu.  I wake up every day and tell myself that the only greatness I can achieve in this life is the greatness I work hard for.  Any words I might have for newer students so far is stop thinking and practice what you have learned, and be kind to yourself because we are all students and seekers.
 
Hand sets/Weapon sets that I have learned/am learning:
 
Limpo, TanTui, TunDa (6), MoiFa (7), Cane, Staff, Tongfa (clubs), and 2-section staff (nunchaku), and more to come....
 
**Thanks to Sifu Kisu for his dedication and (most times) patience with slowbees like me!!!

 



Hi...
Jumping in, I came to Harmonious Fist and Sifu Kisu in late February of
2002. I had mostly become interested in kung fu through some comics that a
friend lent me, and as far as seeking out teachers, Sifu (and the HF
website) seemed to be the only thing in LA that remotely approximated what
I expected/wanted training to be like. Of course, now, training with Sifu
has far exceeded any expectations I had.
Kung fu has been the only physical activity in my adult life that I stuck
with.
The most important things I've learned from Sifu are:
- The impetus to practice hard (or meditate regularly, or anything really)
has to come from within
- The rate of improvement with daily practice and repeat-til-exhausted
practice is almost exponentially faster than with half-assed practice.
- When you think you can't possibly hold a stance any longer, breathing and
refusing to pay attention to the "pain" can cause the "pain" to evaporate.
- BREATHING. The amount I have gotten out of proper breathing alone... I
went straight from complaining that I couldn't run for five minutes without
my heart feeling like it was going to explode, to running a half hour and
wanting to go more, after *one* conversation about proper breath with Sifu.The hand forms I've "gotten to the last move in" are: Lim Po, Tan Tui, #6,
#7, #8
weapon forms I've "gotten to the last move in" are: Ton Fa, and then I
guess Two Section Staff and Double Daggers but I think Sifu is laughing as
hard as I am at me putting those on my "completed" list.
And then I'm still wading my way through: Mantis 1, the beginning of #1,
Cha Kuan (Cha Kyun?), the staff, and just started straight sword.
This year, I'm hoping to work especially hard on my jumps and general
"lightness on my feet", my sweeps, and when it warms up again, my splits.
I'm also really into learning that Iron Wire set so I can do it at home.
And I've finally admitted to myself that i need to get some serious
push-ups out of these spaghetti arms. The other less physical things I want
to work on are releasing my "I can't hold this stance any longer" type
thoughts, and staying "in the zone" -- working 100% as hard as I can at all
times -- when practicing.
Anyway, I love this class more than most things I've done in my life. It's
a great group of people...  it's so much fun to work out with and be
inspired by people who share so much enthusiasm for the same worthy goal.
Now that I am learning more about the style and our lineage -- and really,
martial arts in general, since I knew bupkis coming in -- I am feeling
incredibly lucky to have happened upon this extraordinary school.
Thanks Sifu.
Mary

 



Hello everyone,
I'm Scott, 33, Taiwanese,
born and raised in Northern California, Like many others I
trained in another style before, studying Kali for 2 years. Living in
Southern California I wanted to learn a Chinese martial art so I
looked at a few different schools. I came to Harmonious Fist via The
Google. The Google was good to me.
Began attending classes on June 6, 2003. I was extremely impressed
with all 3 factors – the style – the Sifu – and the classmates.
Northern Shaolin, to me, is a beautiful art of movement and energy,
and watching Sifu and the senior students demonstrate the forms is
inspiring. I love how the art has such a long history, and how it is
practical yet has historical ties to spiritual growth. I'm only
beginning as a student so I don't really know anything, but I think
the style has so much depth that the learning is limitless. Sifu is a
great example of someone who dedicates himself to the art. His
knowledge and skill is incredible. What is also extraordinary is how
he still approaches the art as a daily practitioner who is continuing
to learn, and how he teaches it with such openness to students who
are willing to learn. As a student, I really enjoy being a part of
this group of people. Everybody has been very cool, humble and
generous with their time. Training with the class is always fun and
always feels productive. I'd always hit the 101 feeling pretty high
(you could even say – harmonious). I think that makes me
appreciate Sifu and you all even more. Now I practice on my own and
hopefully there are positives I can take from that. Training is still
one of the best parts of my day, sometimes the best. In the immediate
future, I may be in Los Angeles even less frequently than I have been
so I don't know when I'll see you next. I will though.
The forms that I practice - Lim Po, Tan Tui, #6, #7
The forms I practice partially - #8, Two Section Staff, Staff  Paying respect,
Scott


The Art of Corporate Kung Fu

(or, "A Long List of Reasons NOT To Practice It") -By Dione

 

Well, here it is, my testimony that runs familiar to the heavy mocking our Sifu demonstrated during last nights class. You know, the mocking we giggled at and complained about before he darn sure showed us what true training is all about.

As Sifu Kisu threatened to teach us a new kung fu through means of repetitive hits, kicks, sit-ups and gross check-writing techniques, I wrestled with the inevitable decision of yanking my daughter out of her twice weekly (& that's 1/2 hour per) kung fu class. I was already struggling with this decision (especially since it was he who recommended this particular school to me), but listening to his joyous mockery that sounded all too familiar to what I've watched her endure helped me to know what I had to do.

So I called Kisu today to tell him of my predicament and he asked me to share my experience with you. Please excuse the lengthy email that is to follow herein, but I find myself to be a bit passionate about it at this point.

As much as what I call Corporate Kung Fu is appealing to that certain sector of the masses that requires this training approach that depletes their pocket books in order to feel accomplishment, I am not a part of that group. Sifu says I've been spoiled...had I never experienced his class I would not know any different.

In response to schoolyard bullying coupled with my inability to get myself and my daughter to Sunday kung fu classes, my daughter has been attending the California Marial Arts Academy (http://www.californiamartialarts.com/index.htm) in Irvine since early November. She goes to class twice a week on a set schedule. They prefer you to choose either a Monday/Wednesday or a Tuesday/Thursday session. If you'd like to attend more than twice a week, there is a bigger fee. And, the classes are only 1/2 hour in length that don't even begin to get to the meat of the training until about 5 minutes before the end.

While the instructors are attentive (at least to my child, while I am standing there watching...I have to wonder if this is consistent), I see gaping holes in the finer aspects of form. I mean, I understand that even our own Sifu tells us just to follow along the best we can (when it is new to us) and that the refinement will come...however, this is a belt system school. And, it makes me wonder how an Orange belt adult student (that's me assuming that it goes White, Yellow, Orange, or even White, Orange, Yellow) doesn't even have the greeting correct...which hand is fisted and which hand is covering. I would hope that to get to belt level 2 or 3 you would be required to learn the absolute basics at least. He stood in the back row with the other yellow and orange belted adults who were (to my amazement) grossly overweight and purple faced (this after 5 minutes of kicks and hits and sit-ups) because they weren't breathing at all...much less breathing correctly. All I could think of was the belting fees and additional program fees and months of grueling warm-ups my daughter would need to endure before she gets to this level to not even know how to correctly salute or breathe.

Again, I say, some people require this style of training...not I and certainly not my daughter.

We were recommended to this school by Sifu (I'll let Sifu elaborate on how he knows "John Cheng, MD, Chief Instructor" as I had it incorrect on my initial email to you regarding this school) and were even hopeful of at least a small referral discount...as Sifu would likely extend were the tables turned. We went to the school and met with one of the instructors who explained to us where the training came from (Northern Mantis Style) and gave us a tour of their strip mall based facility. The weapons were nicely displayed, the school is very neat & tidy and the guy we were talking to seemed of pleasing character, offering his own wonderful testimony as to how the art has benefited him. He gave us (being both my daughter and myself) a free introductory lesson. Mind you, this was while I was in the heart of my bronchitis so I failed to notice in our brief training bout that this was the standard curriculum and not just an appetizer for sales (a certain degree of sales pitch is understandable and expected).

At the end we sat at his desk and began by reviewing my daughters perceptions of what kung fu means and what are her priorities in life (she's 11). I was confused by this apparent sales tactic as her discipline is and never has been the problem. He went so far as to have her write down her priorities in a list. Apparently, most of his students come to him with these issues, but my daughter is an excellerated student, a respectful daughter, a overly generous soul and your basic walking goody two shoes...an angel (because of this I know that the rules of probability state that should I ever have another child it will certainly be satan spawn...it is then I will pay my dues).

Anyway, after this confusing discussion regarding self-discipline and priorities, we got to the grit...the money. Turns out that the fee is $100 per month for 2 classes per week with an additional $60 or $160 (I don't exactly recall) for the first month because it includes the uniform (kung fu pants like ours and a white t-shirt selling the school...until the next belt when you begin to wear a uniform top as well). But, because we came in under referral through Sifu Kisu then they would give us the first month for free. How cool! And, because we were unwilling to have direct monthly deductions taken from our checking account, we paid in full for 6 months, cash to get it out of the way. Because we did this, then we got to deduct the uniform fee. So, what's that make...6 months (which is the duration of the white belt program after which you meet again and discuss the next the next level program and next level fees) @ $100/mo minus one free month...so, $500? Nope, $600. How do you figure? I dunno...my daughter's grandma did the final monetary negotiating and that is what they had her write the check for. Then, as we were walking out, all happy and ambitious, new uniform in hand, they handed us 2 coupons from a stack on display at the front counter offering 1 free month of classes to give to her other bullyed classmates. So, as it seems, no referral discount for us, just the standard "rake 'em in the door" discount as everybody else.

[Special testimony to our training environment: I have to say, as much as I may groan under my breathe about having to be out in the cold windy nights training, I wouldn't exchange it for anything. I think being out in the elements happens to add a certain "grounding" that makes me feel more in tune with what I'm in Kung Fu class for in the first place. And, just last night hoping I wouldn't wop anyone in the head during our pole set, it makes me wonder how they train in such a limited, stuffy, white walled, no trees and no Russian spit space.]

So, after much debate, I determined that if my daughter took no more per week than one Sunday afternoon Kung Fu class with us she would learn far more than she ever could in those two 1/2 hour classes later in the week. And, with comprable standard cost, there are no belt fees and no extra class fees (except for Wednesdays). So, I'm promptly yanking her from that school and let's pray that the commute doesn't kill me coming from Orange County on the weekends. Oh, and that my time schedule allows for it consistently...yikes.

Oh yeah, one last thing...you'll notice that there is an offer on the website boasting one month free but that the offer ends Jan. 7th (ironically, TODAY!)...that is the same offer that was on there the day that we joined and came to look at the website when we got back home. We were like "Oh! We're lucky we went there when we did because the offer expired TODAY!"

If you've gotten this far, then I thank you for reading my eternal blabbing and hope that this helps us to all appreciate even more about what we've got in our own training environment. I'd like to take this moment to once again thank Sifu Kisu and Simo Mui for all their generousity and family-style fellowship. (I wonder if my daughter's Sifu is planning a winter ski trip as well? Boy, that would be fun, huh!)

Signed:

The Ultra Gullible Family,
Dione (& Patience)

 


 

Hello to everyone, I just realized I never sent my bio so like we say in French "Mieux vaut tard que jamais!". My name is Daniel C, I grew up in Switzerland and was physically active until I injured my right knee when I turned 16. I torn my ACL and had the surgery done at that time. It took me years to recover and after this I didn't do any physical efforts but making love, drinking and smoking. I forgot to mention that I started smoking cigarettes when I was 13, I guess compare with what I used to smoke I can say I "quit".
In 1998, About 10 years after my first injury, I woke up one morning and decided to practice martial art. I visited many shools in the area but it's only when Josh opened the door of the Lindenhurst hfist shool that I knew I found what I was looking for. After my first class, I got into my car but when I tried to clutch I felt the worst cramp I have ever experienced in my life ! I had to wait 15 minutes to start the car.... After a couple of months I was able to go to 2 classes a week and I started to feel in better health and stronger than ever. I even adventured myself in attending some competitions (another story :-).
Everything looked great until I torn the same ACL again ! This happened 3 years ago and I had the surgery done again almost 2 years ago. Kung Fu helped me through the surgery and the re-edcuation, it's was like learning how to walk again but this time with Kung Fu understandings. I am thankfull for the day I walked through the Harmonious Fist School and I am proud of practincing NSL. Thank you Sifu Kisu for being here every day to share and pass on this precious knowledge.
If you are injured keep practicing in your head and one step at the time it will be reallity again.

I can perform the following :
Lim Po
Tan Tui
Tund Da #6
Moi Fa #7
But Bo #8
Tonfas, double clubs
Single Broadsword

I am still learning :
Ba gua
Chum sam #4
Kwan Dao
Staff

Paix
Daniel





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