I began training seriously while Gramps was still at home in my childhood nest. He’d chuckle heartily as I taught Grandma Wing Chun’s first form during visits & she’d adapt its moves into comedic gestures. I didn’t know then how the three of us would someday endure the hardship of his last year alive. I remember nights out on the Hudson River, beneath the moon and behind the hospital we camped in for 11mos. Grandma & I alternated so he’d never be alone. On many a traumatic night, once he was safe & comfortably asleep, I’d slip out to seek peace atop the river rocks, & practice my forms there. This became part of being present in those days but also, I’d decided, my way of holding those days dear. By practicing my forms outside Gramps’ window, I wasn’t only stilling my heart & mind, but lining my love for him into my motions; forms I hoped to refine far beyond that present. Time has now passed. My commitment to Wing Chun & the guidance of my master, Sifu Chung K. Chow, recently figured into a trip to San Francisco, where I met a high-level Wing Chun lineage holder named Alan Ngai (above) & disciple of Sifu Kenneth Chung—another Wing Chun master & friend of my Sifu. Sisook Alan & I would touch hands in SF, where he transmitted experience from his years of training & we formed a bond around our art. Two weeks later, Alan visited our school in NYC to give a seminar. These days, I feel blessed to be part of this larger Kung Fu family, where strength is measured by control & skill is best demonstrated by kindness & humility. Yet, when I see photos like this, I’m grateful not just for where Wing Chun has led, but also for what it helps me carry. No matter where these forms take me, a part of me will always be on those river rocks, beside my grandfather. Encoded into my practice is that moon, each return to my first teacher’s bedside, and the love that held us together through those deep nights. This is the heart & evolution of my Wing Chun practice.
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