Archive for June, 2012
Posted by Alexa Vaughn
Jesse Glover, the first student of martial arts legend Bruce Lee, died on Wednesday at age 77 after a battle with cancer, according to close friend and past student Steve Smith.
Glover, a lifelong Seattlite, used what he learned from Lee and his days as a judo champion to become a prominent leader in the martial arts community himself. While developing a method called non-classical Gung Fu, he worked as a private martial arts trainer in Seattle and eventually taught across the nation and as far as Germany, according to Glover’s training website.
Lee and Glover met in 1959 while attending Edison Technical School, now Seattle Central Community College. Glover had already seen Lee demonstrate Gung Fu on stage when he ran into him on campus and asked to be his first student. They became good friends and trained together for four years.
About four years ago, a year after I opened my Chinese medicine clinic, I let people cancel and no-show without reprimand (read: payment). What finally forced me to charge a fee was a day I’ll never forget.
Mortgage was coming out that Friday and I had three no-shows and two late cancellations. I was out a lot of money and I immediately put signs up on all my doors. I also put a new paragraph after the informed consent portion that my patients would have to initial regarding the new fee.
Just recently, I was introduced to an editor of a well-known magazine. After pitching my article idea to him, he told me to go for it. Two days later on the phone he steered my article in the direction he wanted to see it go. I wanted the gig, and I like to try to be flexible, so I agreed. As the conversation came to a close, he slipped in that he might not be able to pay me, but the self-promotion because of the exposure would be great.
I’ve finished the article and have to send it to him today. I’ve been struggling with how I’m going to approach how much I want to get paid for the work. I came to the conclusion that I would do this one for free, just to get my foot in the door, and then the next one ask to be paid. And then something happened.
My car died. The valve seat came loose and forced a bunch of little pieces through the engine. ‘Terminal’ was the word my mechanic used. So here I am again, forced to make a stand, not only on principle but on how my world works. A new payment will be coming out of my bank account – one we haven’t had for a few years. And I need to get paid. And if he won’t pay me, someone else will.
“Death is not extinguishing the light;
it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”
The world looks drab.
I imagine that when you have swum in a river of ecstacy or have run through everglades with wild things, its difficult to return to seeing the world as merely ordinary.
And I have seen greatness first hand and have also felt its iron backfist, stinging across the face of a punch pad.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Today, at this very moment, the world appears bleached as if the kiss of the sun has gone. Its brightness muted. Yesterday’s excited whirring and whizzing has been replaced by a muffled sound. A dull hum in a sealed tomb. And once, where my skin tingled with universal vibrations, I find myself numb.
Jesse R. Glover passed away today.
He slipped quietly on the morning of the twenty seventh of June two thousand and twelve, after having lost his battle with cancer and its many manifestations of illness.
Love. Lost. Broken. Reborn. Missed.
Thank you Jesse for touching our lives.
“Naturally I miss Bruce. I was quite sad when I heard of his death.
The best thing that I got from Bruce was a way to learn and a path to follow.“
Jesse Glover on Bruce Lee
“Make techniques as simple as possible, avoid complexity for the sake of looking good and constantly look for ways to perform a technique with less movement.”
Jesse Glover, sifu
(16 October 1934 to 27 June 2012)
Dark Wing Chun.
And to the uninitiated, it seems that the system of Wing Chun is what it’s all about. And that’s fair. But, it must beg the question, “To where can that lead?”
To which we attempt to construct an answer.
Postscript: The Most Important Thing*
Someone once unsubscribed from my blog and left a note that said, “Thanks for everything, but I need to go it alone now.”
*Excerpt from Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau
***selected quotes from Joseph Campbell
“The role of the artist I now understood as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul, and the great agent to assist the artist was the myth.”
Superhero myths have played a big part in my transformation into a Gung Fu fighter. As a youth, there was something primal, appealing and unifying that I found about characters who flew, leapt, crawled and burst their way out of comics. They are the archetypal myths for our generation. Not only do the stories of Batman, Spiderman and the Hulk attack the senses with their vivid colours and ultra-violence, but they also provide a narrative on questions facing humanity such as social responsibility, crime, punishment, personal identity and the meaning of life.
“Wherever the hero may wander, whatever he may do, he is ever in the presence of his own essence — for he has the perfected eye to see.
There is no separateness.
Thus, just as the way of social participation may lead in the end to a realization of the All in the individual, so that of exile brings the hero to the Self in all.”
Additionally, comics appear to be about overcoming the human condition by means which appear to be not only fantastical but also outside the realm of possibility. There was no way I would inherit wealth like Bruce Wayne that would enable me to use cutting edge gadgetry and provide me time to hone my detective skills. And I have no inclination to test Gamma radiation on myself like Bruce Banner or worse, to douse myself in toxic waste like the young Matt Murdock.
I therefore felt martial arts, particularly Gung Fu, would the most accessible route to physical and psychological improvement. Even now, well into my 30′s, I am still fascinated by superhero myths and continue to find them a source of inspiration while punching and kicking.
“We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us — the labyrinth is thoroughly known.
We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence.
And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”
There is so much good stuff going on here. Thanks to PF for the find.
No wasted motion. Do only enough to hit and not be hit.
No extra food portions. Stop when full.
No excess fat. Why carry burdensome weight?
No extra flexibility. Over flexible muscles are weak muscles.
No obsessive workouts. Far more important to recover than to push too hard.
No discussions. Life is about action. Plenty of time to contemplate once dead.
A conversation with a patient stirred this up in my head. You are not a robot – we are not robots. We are human beings.
What is about emotions that we shun? She was angry but didn’t know what to do with it. “Be angry!” I said.
What good is it to stuff it way down? To not make time to feel? Sure, the treatment would calm and ease and soothe the emotion, but what of the situation that brought it on in the first place? Surely she would be angry again unless the situation changed.
And that’s the point right there – change. How can we possibly change the outcome if we didn’t get angry? If we didn’t feel sadness? And how would we know that we should keep doing what we’re doing if we didn’t feel happy wash over our being?
During the 1970′s, two British occultists (Peter Carroll and Ray Sherwin) who had become frustrated with the existent dogma in occult practice, decided to spearhead a new organisation called the Illuminates of Chaos.Their goal was to make the practice of Magic, highly individualistic. They encouraged each student to find out, adopt and embrace those methods that best worked for them.
By traditional magic standards, these two were viewed as revolutionaries, threatening the established schools of occultism, precisely because the individual was seen as more important than any blind adherence to an existent school of thought on magical and occult practice.
Chaos Gung Fu
The same approach can be used in Gung Fu, placing the individual firmly before a particular school of Gung Fu, be it Wing Chun, Mantis, Hung Gar, Choy Lay Fut, etc. Although a practitioner seeks mastery of a codified system of fighting which has ancestral roots in chinese martial arts, the student should develop his or her own personal version of Gung Fu, based on their own physical attributes as well as any relevant life experience.
As a result mastery then becomes self mastery, something personal and intimate.
Chaos in Violent Encounters
The theme of a Chaos based approach becomes even more important when one carries out even a superficial analysis of street violence. Chaos is a fundamental part of the type of violence one attempts to prepare for through martial arts. Chaos therefore, should be adopted as part of ones training method.
You mimic chaotic scenarios in your skill training, as well as the free-flow type chaos which typifies partner skill development through random play based activity such as sticking hand (chi sao) or sparring.
Allow it to be a fundamental aspect of ones training in Gung Fu, as well as a guiding principle in your expression of magic, be it personal alchemy/self-transformation or the invocation of demons.
Everything’s changing around me
And I want to change too
It’s one thing I know
It ain’t cool being no fool
I feel different today
I don’t know what else to say
But Imma get my shit together
It’s now or never