In my own journey to emptiness I have had many teachers/guides along the way.In the 70s as a young teenager growing up in San Francisco during the troubled times of the day.  

Looking for a refuge,  Chinese Martial Arts “CMA” opened its door and invited me in.

Little did I know, I would never leave.

Tibetan White Crane

Mike Staples / Gary Fung

My first teachers in “CMA”.

Mike, just back from the Vietnam war, Gary Fung, a long time white crane practitioner under Shifu Gorge Long.

During this time 1970s Chinese Martial (CMA)  arts was undergoing a coming out with Bruce Lee on the worlds stage.

At the same time being questioned by many observing that what was often demoed and trained was not used in full contact competitions of the day.

In the city it was said by many that CMA artist could not fight with what they trained in.  Often said with a knowing smile.

The term “kick boxing” came in vogue in trying to describe something that it was not, actually doing a disservice to those who were “kick boxers”  and trained to do so.


White Crane a very distinctive style.  Mike, would later go on to write a book about the style as taught by Shifu Gorge Long.

Ron Dong / Shifu Gorge Long

Shifu Long’s teacher Chan Hak Fu (陳克夫) made famous by the White Crane vs Wu style taiji public match, with teacher Wu Gongyi (吳公儀) of (Wu style taij)i.


Mike would write another book on “Hop Gar” as taught by Master David Chin,  Mike’s teacher at the time.  

A style that is very similar in nature to what is called white crane sometimes refereed to as Tibetan White Crane . 

White Crane very distinctive, geared towards fighting.  The distinctive foot work coupled with what is called “long arm” made the style very effective in operating inside the kicking range and yet outside the punching range of most styles.   The conditioning and training followed typical regimens that fighters use with specialized training unique to the style.

As a young teenager, later a young GI in the US Army  I would have many encounters with people who practiced different styles correcting what I felt were misconceptions about CMA.  In the traditional way the style white crane  spoke through me in answer to their questions.

The US Army, in its infinite wisdom would send me to the GDR,  “German Democratic Republic”  Where I would serve as an Infantry field medic in the 1/39th mech inf located in Baumholder  Germany, many memories of this place all of them about the cold, and what seemed like bad weather most of the time.

During this time in a grunt unit just after the Vietnam war I would find my self testing my art against many  martial artist in the unit and  some of the local ones in the area.

Someone suggested I should go to Korea in my  journey.

Next stop Korea

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