Each of the skills offered by Adam Wallace come directly from Master Michael Tse, who studied closely under the actual standard-bearers and lineage-holfders of these authentic and ancient skills!
Grandmasters Yang Meijun, Chen Xiaowang, and Ip Chun are simply among China’s most world-renowned teachers this past generation. Each of these individuals can all trace their history back to the very founders of their arts! And, each of these standard-bearers has even been acknowledged and lauded by the Chinese government as a “Living Treasure”, not only for demonstrating the highest levels of achievement, but also for their contributions to dissemination of traditional Chinese culture.
Why does this matter? Any skill we learn is only as good as the person passing it down! The better the teacher, the better the compass to get us to our destination, or torch to lead us out of the darkness. Bad teachers only succeed in imparting their bad habits, and lead us farther off-course. The Chinese have a valuable saying, “If you Drink the Water, Consider the Source”. It is vital to know not just the identity of the teacher’s teacher, but also that teacher’s teacher! The best racehorses and show dogs all have pedigree. The mule or mutt may be lovable and have good qualities, but not the speed and power, or natural grace, and elegance of the thoroughbred. In this case, the further away we get from the actual source, the less depth, clarity, and precision we will find. Much like a game of ‘Telephone’ (or ‘Chinese Whispers’) the word originally whispered becomes so distorted, as it is passed down the line, that by the end it has changed into something altogether different. What the general public perceives and has come to accept as Tai Chi or Qigong, for example, is oftentimes barely recognizable, when compared side-by-side to the original skills, from which they are meant to have derived!
Learning from a respected lineage is a guarantee of quality, and not just of form and technique, but the manner in which it is passed down, including the theory, philosophy, and culture. It also means being connected to that history, which allows the student to draw great strength and energy from standing on the shoulders of the ancestors.
A lineage represents the Past. No Lineage means No Past. And, No Past equals No Future!
To stumble across a quality teacher of a traditional skill with lineage can be considered ‘Good Fortune’, and studying from him, or her, in depth, to reach a high standard is considered ‘Fate’. However, this may involve having to make sacrifices – saving up funds, or giving up something in return, or traveling great distances. Real skill, that a master has made great sacrifices for himself to learn, is never sold cheaply, nor will it be given away for free, as it is important the student respects and values the skills taught. Conversely, beware those skills that come with extortionate price tags, taught quickly to “save you time”, and making unbelievable claims. There really are no ‘secret’ skills anymore, and in the past, when a skill was kept ‘secret’, maintained within a family or small group, they were reserved for those that could be trusted, and not solely for an elite, being the only ones that could afford it.
The best quality ginseng, it is said, is found in the highest, most difficult and perilous places, to reach. Choosing a class/ school/ teacher based solely on closest proximity or cheapest price invariably ends up being a very costly mistake, as we can end up with little of worth, or worse, a skill that can actually damage our heath, wellbeing, and nature. When we begin to see the actual positive results we realize the benefits attained outweigh any sacrifice.