I am now the 4th generation.
This is both a blessing and a curse.
I never forgot anything my Sifus ever taught me. Even Sifu Patrick. I still remember what he said to me.. “The secret of Tai Chi is…” oh, but I can’t reveal the secrets of course. 🙂
I still remember what he said when I left. I still remember those two forms he taught me. Learning from him and Sifu David was a valuable preparation to my later studies; I remember what he said; ‘When you do the form in front of him, do it his way, and when you do the form in front of me, do it my way.’ This didn’t explain what would happen if both of them were there at the same time, but I didn’t ask. Years later I had the same experience with my sifus. But the different approaches taught me quite a lot about what the form is and how it should be done.
When I think about how famous and important my teachers are, and their teachers before them, and Da Shi Wang, I am somewhat stunned. So instead I just look at it as if through a dream; the magnitude of it does not really affect me. What changed is that I came to understand that Sifu is a real person and not a movie star. This changed my perspective and made me understand that I could do it — I could succeed — that anyone could do it and all they needed was a dream.
I am the 4th generation now. There are others but they are not like me. This is a blessing and a curse. Many of them are more successful than me. Many of them trained with sifus longer than me. Many of them are better than me. But there is something about being last that I am very happy with. When I look at the others and see what they have done, and what they are doing, I wonder. We are all a family, but when is the family reunion? I feel like I want to stand up and say, everyone, let’s have a barbecue at my place! But, I live in China now, so no one would come.
The weight and the responsibility is numbing, but with hard work the load feels lighter and lighter.
It is now my responsibility to pass on and preserve these important traditions. It can be both a blessing and a curse; but one of the most important things my sifus taught me is that I get to choose which one it will become.
The new wave is coming! I am so excited!