In the west it is often not so clear why family tradition is so important in martial arts.
The lineage is the most important thing when aspiring to martial arts as a way of life.
In China, the tradition of Gong Fu has often failed due to the many revolutions. The West should do it all the better and therefore I would like to explain some points in more detail.
What foreign students often lack is an interest in where everything comes from and also the ambition to preserve this knowledge. There is no place here for your own reinvention, just for further development. Just picking the cherry on top of every piece of information is not part of maintaining tradition.
Just as our website tries to continue this family tradition without compensation, it is up to each individual to contain their ego and take an interest in the family. I think this is interesting for every family tree in Wudang, not just ours in Sanfengpai.
Respect all family members
First of all, everyone who has entered the Gong Fu family should be respected. With this attitude, everyone trusts that each of them will take on their responsibility to the family and work on themselves, improve themselves, and contribute to the well-being of the family without asking for compensation.
If you are entering a country where such a family member resides, you have to visit and greet. When both have the opportunity to work together, this is expected.
The traditional way of martial arts
Instead of each student building their own castle in their country, all schools should join forces and work together. Martial arts is a way of trial and error to understand what works best. Not just in combat but also in training and in achieving certain goals like your fellow kung fu brothers.
We should all compare ourselves and cultivate this knowledge, inspire and improve each other.
It is important to be ready to accept criticism along the way and to move forward. What is really important for the lineage now is the path of tradition. This varies from lineage to lineage. Each lineage is based on the experience of the senior members, so in the West we should be less ignorant and openly look at the content and just accept it for what it is. If something doesn’t work for you, surely there is a solution, one should ask the master. You shouldn’t just accept content that you don’t understand, if that is so, you haven’t understood the whole concept. Instead, identify yourself with the content that you understand.
Real reason for a traditional lineage?
A Gong Fu lineage is a well-established tradition that provides a stable path for self-development. I would never combine other lineages, multiple are hardly compatible. Everyone has their own set of principles and the exercises are tailored to meet them. Never go picking cherries, live a real family tradition. Many in the West just go back and forth wherever they want, that happens when the Daoist path behind it was clearly not understood. You shouldn’t join a cult either, the cult members don’t really understand why they’re doing something. A traditional Gong Fu family can only be perceived as such if it is understood and worked on.
The final answer: Yes, everyone should know where they are joining and why they are training in this family.
In the end, the lineage gives you an understanding of everything, including training, education, and philosophy.