How do you find the right Wudang school?
There is no ultimate formula without meeting the master personally. But you should understand that the connection between master and student is not similar to what we are used to in the west. Because you pay money, it does not mean the master has to teach you. It is a bond of trust and dedication similar to that of a family. Instead of planning your trip to a specific Wudang school you should first travel to Wudang as a tourist and check out different locations.
When you see videos and documentaries Wudang is shown from a perfect angle. This will not be the case during your visit when you are there! The master can be very interesting on video, but meeting him in person and have a little talk may work wonders before you finally decide. Before talking to an authentic Wudang master you must make up your mind to dedicate yourself, or else you will not be taken seriously.
Always remember that a Wudang lineage will demand the respect and dedication to continue the traditions!
You are very new to the Taoist culture as a westerner, so you should ask when something is unclear. Do not play the strong or try to hide your mistake; the master will usually see right through your behavior. Show a bright personality, and a good heart and you will soon be recognized as an official student.
Stop questioning the practice!
Since a real Wudang lineage has a lot of respect in China, it is almost ridiculous to question its methods. Since you decided for this lineage, you have to stick with it and its methods. It is considered rude to question your master when he tells you something. Follow the commands always with a pure heart, and you will be given the opportunity to clarify your understanding. In an authentic Wudang school action always comes first, put your effort into the practice!
Guide: How to talk to Shifu
At first eye contact, you should greet him with the words: “Shifu Hao”! Bow your head slightly and form a flat hand left and a fist with your right and put the hands together. This will indicate your potential interest to become a student.
Usually, you should bring a small gift from your hometown. Wine or liquor is always a nice gift to bring in Chinese culture!
Most masters may talk to you over a tea ceremony if that is the case tip with two fingers two times on the table close to your served cup, this means “thank you”. You can casually drink your tea now and talk about your origin and why you came here.
Tell your future plans! There is nothing more interesting for a Shifu than to understand what you want to accomplish with his teachings!
How to practice in a Wudang school
So you finally decided on a Wudang school! Now you need to know how you should practice:
- When Shifu gives you a task, you should continue to do so until he tells you to stop.
- Take everything seriously, smile less and keep doing! Family tradition is a serious matter in China.
- Learn from your Gongfu brothers and try to support them – Teamwork is everything in China.
- If you see an opportunity to help, don’t miss it!
- When you hit your physical or mental limits do not talk about it, if Shifu believes you can do it, you can do it – the real problem is you don’t know yet! But this is part of your study.