Zong Wu Men Internal Fighting Arts
School Goals and Philosophy
George Wood Laoshi - Head Instructor
It is my belief that the study of traditional martial arts can play a positive role in one's life and the society of which they are a part. I "grew up" in the martial arts being instilled the good values and traits which training should bring to oneself. Since I started training in my teens, all of my teachers made emphasis that the training of martial arts should extend beyond the walls of the dojo, wuguan or school. One should bring humility, respect, care, attention, diligence and focus to one's own training, to the school with one's interactions with both the teacher and fellow students, and to one's life at large.
The introspective nature of the solo practices of internal martial arts helps to foster these goals. Alike meditation practices, or long days of work cutting wood, tending a garden or bailing hay, the nature of solo practices in Baguazhang and Xingyiquan allow one to look into themselves more deeply. To see what's inside and to see how one reacts to the outside. One gains the most from this process when they are utterly truthful - something that requires humility, respect and awareness.
These practices are also balanced by the assiduous and conscientious training with practice partners. Similar to other sports, one learns to interact with others and see one's place in the bigger picture through training as a group. But martial arts, especially, usually goes beyond this. The very nature of martial arts is that of intimate contact with one's classmates. Within classes one must have mutual trust and mutual respect for any training to proceed. Furthermore, for the individuals and the group as a whole, there must be a pervasive attitude to foster mutual welfare and benefit for all involved. We do not try to take advantage of each other in training for our own benefit. In the long and short run, the goal is for everyone to rise up together.
More on George Wood's ideals and goals for Zong Wu Men
- Martial arts should be a positive pursuit for everyone involved. Everyone should be able to benefit from their study of martial arts.
- One's study should never end. There is always more to learn, technique to further refine, further mountains to climb.
- Martial arts are primarily and at their core systems of fighting. This does not mean that there are not other wonderful side benefits or pursuits in the martial arts, or that every student must become some type of vicious street fighter. But to lose sight and practice of the essence of martial arts is to leave their path.
- The martial arts are a living tradition. Sweat over, bled over and researched by our forebears - we owe them no less than to do the same in our practice.
- It is our basic premise that these are living arts and should continue that nature. They should continue to be useful, they should continue to evolve to meet the threats and challenges of today, they should continue to benefit us and those around us.
- The study of martial arts is fun. Walking a circle alone in a forest glen or refining my fighting skills with like-minded people is something I enjoy and love. And I hope to have some of that love of the arts rub off onto my students.
- A proper learning environment for the martial arts requires not just hard work, serious and consistent study, but also mutual respect among the students and teacher, approaching every learning situation with humility and an "empty cup," and a dedication to mutual benefit for all involved.
- Martial arts should build you up, not break you down. And each practitioner has to learn to listen to their bodies such that they will know both what they are capable of and what is beneficial to them at any given moment.
Goals of Zong Wu Men
- To promote the YiZong traditions.
- To train, teach and research the Internal Martial Arts, while upholding their primary aim of developing fighting skill.
- To provide a positive learning environment for the study of the full range of what Internal Martial Arts has to offer.
- To provide a fun, friendly, respectful and serious learning environment for the students.
- Promote the history and culture from which these arts arose.
A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown
"Success in MA requires a good system, a good teacher and a good student. One must respect the system, respect the teacher and respect the training in order to succeed." - Luo Dexiu Laoshi
"The wisest mind has something yet to learn." - George Santayana
"Walking is man's best medicine." - Hippocrates
"Maximum efficient use of energy, mutual welfare and benefit." - Judo maxim
"Become the one." - Luo Dexiu Laoshi
"The power comes from motion, not emotion." - Luo Dexiu Laoshi