Can you give us a little background on your Chinese Martial arts training and experience, how long have you practiced and what have you studied?

The main Chinese martial art that I practice and teach is Ving Tsun kung fu. I started teaching as an assistant for my Sifu, Master Lee Moy Shan in 1978. His school at the time I joined was located at 26th St. and Lexington Ave. in Manhattan, NY. When the school re-located to Chambers St., I became a full instructor in 1980 in which I ran the day class. I have continued teaching from that time; it’s something I really love to do. My training at the Lee Moy Shan school in those early days was awesome. I will tell you that training with my older kung fu brothers is an experience that I will never forget. Probably the most powerful of us all was Vinny Thomas. Sihing Vinny had studied Fu Jow Pai for several years prior to getting involved in ving tsun. So his energy was way ahead of most people in the class. The thing with Vinny was that he was very proficient technically and strikes just flowed one after another when he executed movements in chi sao, the impact was devastating. I remember one day after a chi sao bout I asked him why he hit so damned hard all of the time? He looked at me dead panned and said, “I train as if every move was my last move.” Now man, that is serious training, especially when you are on the receiving end. Needless to say there were very few people who would chi sao with Vinny, and I mean that as a compliment.

Now another one of my Sihings was Steve Goericke, Steve was from Brooklyn and he grew up in a very rough neighborhood and was always in fights. He was a good street fighter and full of grit. Steve was very close to Vinny in powerfulness and could bang the hell out of you and in fact did. Steve and I would stay after class for a couple of hours most nights before heading home and we would chi sao and chi gerk for all of that time. Almost every night my t-shirt would be in shreds and my lip busted in several places, and I will tell you, drinking a beer at the end of the night was pretty tough when your lips are in that condition. I would go home and while in bed pour jow on my chest and tenderly rub it in it hurt so bad. I mean you could literally watch the lumps grow during class protruding from my chest half an inch.

Another couple of older brothers are Richie Louie and Paul Field. Richie was one of the biggest Chinese guys I ever saw. He was a very serious guy and you could never read him, very stoic. His chi sao was like ice, smooth and clean, very precise and relentless. Now Paul, he was like rubber, it was very difficult stopping him. I’ll tell you, there were so many times that I walked out of class thinking that it would have been easier to be in a street fight. I will say this however, I owe much gratitude to these guys and all of my kung fu brothers. Hey, I can go on and on about the old days but I think you get the idea. Training in NYC is a different beast entirely. People there have good reason to learn real martial arts because you just don’t know when you’ll need it to save your life. So we took training very serious and many of us put up with what was dished out knowing full well that this is the way it had to be. It was all good though.

I also studied Shuai Chiao and Ch’ang Tai Chi with my friend Sifu Rocky Byars. I met Rocky at a Chinese martial art tournament and we started talking. When I asked him where he lived he said Orlando, so I asked where was his school.? He told me he didn’t have one yet but was working on it. So I came right out and said that I had a few nights free at the school if he wanted to teach from there, and he agreed. That was the beginning of a wonderful friendship that I’ll never forget. We would trade kung fu as Sifu from different disciplines often would do. We had no problem with that at all, there was none of that mine is better than yours mentality. I was fascinated with the throwing aspects of Chinese martial art, and with the Ch’ang style Tai Chi Chuan. I didn’t feel as if I needed to learn something new, I just wanted to learn something new, does that make sense? So Sifu Rocky and I would trade out, ving tsun for shuai chiao or ving tsun for ch’ang tai chi. It was a great time, Sifu Rocky was a wonderful teacher and a wonderful student. He was quite thrilled by chi sao and
eventually we started examining ways of combining Shuai Chiao throws in chi sao. It was a very interesting endeavor for both of us. Sifu Rocky passed away in November 2001.

What is your academic and professional background?

The school of “Hard knocks,” in the city. To be perfectly honest, growing up in NYC , “school” was not a priority. Keeping your clothes, money and lunch in your possession was the priority. It was a very frustrating time in my life as there were always fights in school either between students or students and teachers. The NYC public school system in the sixties and seventies was not conducive to learning. You had to endure walking the gauntlet of bullies in the hallways and gang members who beat people up for no reason. You had to dodge cherry bombs and M-80’s in the stairwells when they were thrown at you or worse still, desks and chairs. For me it was clear, I transferred from the NYC school of Hard Knocks 1967-72 and joined the Marine Corps. Professionally, I retired as a Corporate Investigator in 2001, I’m sure everyone remembers that year. Now I teach Ving Tsun full time. I occasionally provide Executive Protection for clients on a freelance basis as well.

Iunderstand you traveled throughout Asia, would you tell us about what you learned and your experiences?

I went to the Far East twice actually, my latest trip was in 2001. I met with many of the Grandmasters and interviewed them along with many of the top sifu for a book I was doing. The first time in South East Asia was interesting as far as martial arts goes. I first went there in 1972 for a year during my tour with the Marine Corps. Studying karate in Okinawa and the Philippines was totally different than how it is today in America. Although in NYC I have to admit karate schools taught more traditionally during that time in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Studying in Okinawa was very unique. Karate instructors did not put up with any crap, and training was very serious. I can never forget the big stick that would crack you in the head because you were in a bad position or if you weren’t trying hard enough, it was a totally different training mentality. Maybe they did it that way because of the language barrier, but it worked. From the time you stepped into the Dojo to the time you left, it was all about training. It was seeing this other side of the coin in martial arts training that has forged my training methods that I use today. I can’t forget the Marine Corps though, they played a big role in how I teach as well.

How did you get into the Wing Chun Kuen?

I started karate when I was 13 up until the time I went into the Marine Corps, and by the time I had returned from overseas I had 9 years of karate prior to joining the ving tsun school. To put it bluntly, I was bored with karate. When I returned home I recall looking in the yellow pages for something different, something other than karate. So I looked for kung fu, specifically ving tsun. I found out about ving tsun while I was overseas. You see, I would go on liberty or R and R in cities like Hong Kong, or Olongapo, P.I. and there were always movie theaters somewhere around town. Without fail, lines of people would wrap around the block and it was always for this guy whom I never heard of, guess who it was, Bruce Lee. Kids would be in the streets and sidewalks throwing kicks and punches in the air, or sparring with each other. It was pretty amazing to me because it just wasn’t every once in awhile it was all of the time and happening every where. Kids were crazy about Bruce Lee and so were the adults.

Thankfully they weren’t in the streets like the kids sparring and going through routines like the kids otherwise it could have been pandemonium. One day I went to the movies to watch one of his movies, it was the Big Boss and I was amazed at how Bruce could move with blinding speed and precision. After researching his background, I found that he studied ving tsun. Of course that is what I wanted to study.

What is unique about the training that you received under your sifu, and how is the application different from whatever else you have learned?

Truthfully, I’m not so sure if there was anything more or less unique in the way my Sifu trained us in ving tsun, I’m sure there were a lot of sifu in those days who had the same beliefs he did when it came to training regardless of the style. I had always presumed that any and all martial arts are equally unique. It boils down to what your preference is, you know, the one that fits your personality best. Which one is most like your character? The gentler of us may prefer Tai Chi, and the straighter to the point type may prefer ving tsun. However, I can say that my Sifu’s training was more like that of training overseas in Okinawa. He was very aggressive in his approach to teaching and demanded 100% effort. Now as far as the applications being different from the other systems I may have learned, well that’s pretty easy to answer. Ving Tsun is designed to be easy to learn and simple to apply. So in other words, ving tsun prefers the least amount of moves be used to affect a technique, the less the better. Or, the simpler the better as the more complicated a technique becomes, the more time it takes to affect the technique. Did that make sense?

What do you use in application?

Well, I don’t really have a favorite application and I guess by application you mean techniques such as Tan Da, or Pak Da in chi sao. Actually I use very little techniques per se. The majority of what I do in chi sao is simply Chek Chung (feel space shoot forward). If you think about it there really isn’t that much need to use techniques unless it is for reasons of practice. Think of it like this, if a guy can’t control his centerline and gate, why do you need to do a technique? You just hit him right? No special technique is required. Now here comes the idea of using techniques, and that is when your partner does have control over his centerline and you can’t hit them by way of chek chung, then you apply a technique. It’s a double edge sword though because if you meet a guy who can really control his centerline and gate, what makes you so sure that your technique will work then? They will simply be countered or nullified useless. So, I like to just go into the spaces that appear regardless of how they got there not using any special method. I know it doesn’t sound that exciting but it seems to work fairly well for me. Now bear in mind I am not advocating not doing techniques or that they are not useful. To the contrary, they are useful it just depends on how and when they are used. Of course you have to train them in the beginning to familiarize yourself with the application. This is all good but keep in mind that the use of a technique is derived by way of a conscious decision to do so and in most cases as soon as you turn on your brain to apply the technique, the guy you are training with feels your intent and will be ready with an answer. So you see, I prefer to just flow and go where the holes show up and not worry too much about techniques.

When do you apply it, what are the results, how does the opponent respond?

I apply chek chung when the partner does not hold his center line well and the result typically is they are hit. Now let me mention, I consider the word RESPOND differently from the word REACT. If I hit you, it is not a response that I get, but a reaction. If I attempt to hit you and you prevent me from doing so, then you have responded to the threat. So if you will please, their reaction is that they either a. go back, or b. try and counter after they were hit. Nowadays I rarely train chi sao for hitting, I’m simply too old for that. Generally speaking what I work on with my students is energy development. To me, this is the most important aspect you can take away from your training. If
you are not training to fight in No Holds Barred competitions or tournaments of that nature, then what is it we train for, I ask you? I mean, how many fights do we get into each day, or every month, or even every year? Hardly any if at all, right? So what are we training for, we are training for what my sifu used to always say, “to have energy for our old age.” Doesn’t that make sense? Chi sao facilitates energy development in conjunction with form work, especially Siu Nim Tao the first form. Of course I have some private students who I work out with that love to rough it up and naturally I need to protect myself or these young guys will take advantage of the situation. Just like memories of my training back in the old days of NYC, they end up receiving some injuries. It’s not that I want to hurt them, I’m just protecting myself because I don’t want to get hurt myself. But I can appreciate why these kind of guys go out for that high octane action, hell I was young once too, and besides who knows how much longer I can keep up with it.

Tell us a little about the training/principles/concepts of your Wing Chun system.

Truthfully, it is not so much my ving tsun, it is what was passed on to me. Although I suppose that after all of these years it has in some ways become my ving tsun. I do however pass it on the way it was passed on to me. If there are things that I have discovered or drills that I have come across or that I have created, I tell the students this. If you do not pass it on as you have learned it, I feel it is important to tell the students the difference. Now as with anything through time, I am sure there are small differences that have occurred in what I teach as to what I was taught, and I believe that cannot be helped. That is the natural process of evolution taking place and this is what happens to everyone who teaches ving tsun.

As far as training goes, it’s the same as how it was when I was going to class, intense. I do not short cut anyone on training, if you come to my school you are expected to train, period. Now what this does is wash out the wannabe’s and the kung fu socializers. These are people who only want to say that they do kung fu but don’t want to work hard for it. It so happens that because of this I have a high attrition rate, but I can’t help it, as a matter of fact I don’t even care. I didn’t get what I have by playing mai jhong in school, I worked hard for it and sifu and the older brothers made sure of it. So that is the way for my students, traditional hard training. You’re training to make yourself powerful, to develop your spirit and energy for your upcoming old age. That does not happen over night, you have to work at it and keep up with it otherwise you have to ask yourself what are you doing it for.

I tell everyone that joins that I will not hold their hands during class. They will not receive special treatment nor will I slack up. I have no beginner’s class; anyone can join at any time. So they are in a class that is mixed with peers, intermediate and advanced students. When we work out they are expected to hang in there the best they can, and when they need to take a break they break for as long as it takes minimally and then get back into the mix. If they are not serious enough about learning and training then they will drop out, it’s actually very simple. So what I am saying is that if you are not serious about really wanting to get involved in a real martial art that will one day be priceless to you, then I say this. Save your money, stay home with the family and do what you want to do, now doesn’t that sound like more fun? Of course it does, so if you decide to do kung fu, make up your mind to do it for real, don’t waste your sifu’s time and that of your classmates.

After saying that however, I am rather progressive in my ideas on training. For instance, traditionally when I learned the Muk Yan Jong, I was not allowed to touch it until I got to it. That’s the way it was. Me, I teach my students drills on the dummy way before they get to the dummy form. I show them drills for each and every level, siu nim tao, chum kiu, biu jee. I do this to help prepare them for the eventuality of learning the dummy. They start to develop proper energy and arm conditioning. Why do I do this? Well to develop my students quicker than usual! Actually, I have invented a few training apparatus for the development of proprioception. I built prototypes and currently the students are working on them and as a matter of fact they will be made available to the general public in the near future. I believe these apparatus will speed up the ability to balance while in motion much quicker than normal. So you see, I do step out of the box when I believe it is worth it for the benefit of the students, as long as it does not dilute or subtract from the teaching that were passed on to me.

What do you think martial artists can gain through the study of this martial art?

Well today we have No Holds Barred competitions. There are no longer fighters in these kinds of tournaments who are strictly one art only fighters. They must know how to strike, grapple, throw, and do submission holds as well as prevent these techniques from happening. There aren’t too many places nowadays that have one particular system as the main style. However, ving tsun offers a range of fighting that falls between long range and grappling distance. It is a distance where one is controlling your opponent’s arms and legs and hitting him with powerful strikes with the fists, elbows and knees at very close range. Ving tsun offers anyone willing to go through the process the best way of doing this while remaining in good balance and striking with as much power as can be generated from so short a distance as you control your opponent. I will also say that within ving tsun there is the ability to apply joint locks and throws, it is simply a matter of having it pointed out or discovering it on your own when experience has manifested the ving tsun in the individual. However if you are not inclined for training in NHB, the idea that ving tsun is one of those martial arts that develop internal energy in a sound and quick manner should be quite appealing. After learning the 1st form and reaching chi sao level, you stand to gain in leaps and bounds. You see, chi sao facilitates the development of internal energy of the 1st form which is in my opinion internal. It doesn’t matter what one believes as far as how it works. Whether it is exchanging electrical magnetic, or bio chemical energy or yin side connected to yang side and changing between movements correlated with internal breathing, so forth and so on, take your pick I’ve heard them all. It’s like tui sao (push hands) of tai chi if you will, and it is generally believed that tui sao facilitates energy development. So the idea here for those not inclined to go into competition of any kind, I would say that ving tsun is great for an expedient method in developing internal energy for your old age and basic self defense for emergencies.

Would you go so far as to make a comparison of the effectiveness of your Wing Chun and what is commonly practiced as Wing Chun?

Listen, it is my firm belief that regardless of what kind of ving tsun you practice and from what family it originates, it is all effective. There are many variables to making any martial system effective. How long one may have been practicing, and how well they understand and can apply the theories and laws of the system. The physical capabilities of the individual along with their attributes all help determine what and how well they perform in ving tsun or any other martial art for that matter. Then too what is the reason for studying in the first place? So you see, effectiveness in this case is relative.

Do you think different ‘schools’ (styles of the same method) are important?
Well of course they are important. If they are legitimate branches of ving tsun then they can only be important. They all offer something unique and it just doesn’t make sense to be prejudice simply because it isn’t from my family line. We all spring forth from the same seed
and so in this sense we are related. Isn’t your uncle or aunt important to you? I would think so.

What do you think is the goal of Wing Chun training?

The goal of ving tsun training? Well my immediate thought is to get good at it. It doesn’t make much sense to me to do something and not want to get as good as you can at it. Now I will tell you that training at my school is to develop your energy and to build the student’s self confidence in fighting abilities in the event that you may have to use it to protect yourself. Let’s face it, the world is a violent place and I don’t see it improving any time soon. I firmly believe that if you train diligently in ving tsun that one day it could save your life as it also teaches the ability to observe your surroundings in the same way that you would an opponent. Never underestimate your opponent or surrounding’s; this is what training is for, to always be prepared. To know how to take and dish out pain if you need to, or as the Marine Corps puts it, “to kick ass and take names.” My way of thinking when I train students, is that the more they can take it in class, the less surprises they’ll have on the streets. I have a saying that you may be aware of it that sums up training in my opinion, “If you fail to train, you train to fail.”

Do you feel that you still have further to go in your studies?

In ving tsun there is no ending. You can study and practice it for 100 years and take something away from it everyday. That is why I have been so attracted to it for all of these years. For a martial system to have only three forms and a few basic techniques, it still fascinates me. It truly is the thinking man’s art.

Sifu, how would you sum up the changes in martial arts that you’ve seen over the years?

Please, let’s not be so formal, Darrell is fine. What I have seen through the years is simply the evolution of martial art. It doesn’t matter which martial art it is as with anything else in life, through time conditions evolve. Generally speaking, the evolution I have noticed in martial arts through the 40 years I have been involved is that it changed from a robotic type of fighting to a free flowing continuous type, you know, more natural. Even in the early 70’s when I trained in Okinawa and the Philippines the fighting now is much different from then. Well at least in terms of here in the U.S., for all I know it could still be the same there even after all of these years. But when I started training in karate and sparred as we typically did, I have to tell you that we looked like karate fighters. There was no way that you couldn’t distinguish it as karate. Today though, when you watch sparring in a karate school, it looks like kick boxing, you see no flavor of the style. Now with ving tsun, you can either look like a ving tsun fighter or not, take your pick, providing of course you have the experience to do so. What that means is that as long as you abide by the theories and principles of ving tsun, your movements don’t have to appear as typical ving tsun movements, or ones that are familiar as ving tsun movements. I hope I’m not making this confusing. You see, ving tsun goes beyond that of simply a way of fighting and everything else I may have mentioned of it. It becomes an expression of your life and you will respond to threats based on this expression which doesn’t necessarily have to appear familiar in how we train. Man, maybe I better stop here before it really gets complicated.

How has your personal martial art (kung fu) changed/developed over the years?

Well of course that too evolved. It has too, everyday in ving tsun there is something new realized regardless of how large or small the realization is which inevitably changes what you do with it. That’s why I love it so much. Even when you think about it, which for me is all of the time; it changes and evolves into something more than what it was just yesterday. It has to evolve, everything does for that matter in order for it to perpetuate into the future. So for me to try and explain how it has changed or developed over the years is impossible because it changes everyday. When I look at my ving tsun the next day after waking up in the morning, it is something different; it is more than what it was yesterday. So I can’t honestly answer that question for you. Therein lies the mystery of ving tsun and that is the only mystery that I know of, at least for me anyway.

Martial arts are nowadays often referred to as a sport… would you agree with this definition?

Yes, I believe that to be a reasonable observation to some degree. Let’s face it, the majority of people who take martial arts will not be professional at it nor do they want to put in 100% effort. So the sports side of it must be stressed in order to retain these people so that school owners can make money. Once you see a martial art in the Olympics, it’s a sport, there’s no doubt about that. So for most people it has to be easy and fun where the teacher is saying good job, keep up the good work, your improving wonderfully, feeding their ego with false confidence. Instructors know this and for their survival they have to do it that way. On the opposite page though they may have a special student class where only a select number of very serious students come and train in a traditional way. These are the hard core people who know what they want with their martial art. Me, I don’t make any money, I’m the first to admit I’m a poor sifu. A famous kung fu friend of mine, and I won’t mention his name, told me once when we were talking shop that if I insisted on training my students that I would always have a small school. I asked him what he meant by that and you know what he said? "99.99% of people are lazy and do
not want to train hard. They come from work and then they have to work harder still? Just teach them and let them worry about their own training. Then your school will grow big.” You know what I said; I guess I’ll always have a small school then. I just don’t have the heart to do that with my ving tsun, sorry. Sorry!

What general advice would you have for the martial artist?

Remain diligent and true in what you seek and the glory of the martial art you study will be realized. Most people when they initially begin a martial art typically join to lose weight, for exercise, or because they had always wanted to do some form of martial training. However, if they stick with it they eventually realize that they are gaining more from the training than they ever imagined. I always recommend the study of the most traditional systems is the way to go. Develop your base in that particular system and if you feel that you want to develop different attributes in the martial way, explore other areas of martial arts to round out your training, but first you must have a base to work from.

Who would you like to have trained with that you have not?

There are a host of sifu and sensei that I would have or could have trained with. However I do not dwell on that as I am quite content with who and what systems I have studied. In the 1960’s when I started with karate there were a host of excellent sensei to have studied with, Peter Urban, William Oliver, Thomas Lapuppet, and a others in NYC at that time. However there were very few Ving Tsun sifu in NYC in the 1970’s. Let’s see, you had Lee Moy Shan, Moy Yat, Duncan Leung, and Jason Lau. I chose my Sifu’s Ving Tsun school based on what I observed of training and the students I had met at the time. Having experienced a multitude of karate schools in the Far East and New York in those early days, I found there were plenty of cocky guys in those schools strutting around demanding that the lower ranks give way to them. It was not like that at my sifu’s school, everyone was cool; no one had anything to prove. I liked that and that was the main reason for choosing my sifu’s school. I have no regrets.

What would you say to someone who is interested in starting to learn martial arts?

First, you have to know what you want to do with the martial art, why do you want to involve yourself with it. In which direction do you want to go when you do become involved? You must also decide what makes sense to you as a martial art. Do you want to grapple with someone, do you want to strike, or do you want to throw, or a combination of all of those? Once you can answer honestly these questions, then you must shop around. Speak with the sifu or sensei as well as the students and assistant instructors. When you have interviewed them, then you must see in your mind that you can fit in with the class. But you must shop around, don’t join the first place you go to as you will find out that that usually doesn’t work out in your best interest. Remember though; don’t kid yourself if you decide on a traditional martial art system. It is a serious endeavor and it’s not for everyone, you must be absolutely sure that it is what you want to do. And when you do it and find you can’t handle it, you must know in your heart of hearts that you gave it 100% effort, don’t waste everyone’s time by not doing that at least. One last bit of advice, if you ever go in to observe a school and you see students striking karate kid poses, get out of there fast.

What is it that keeps you motivated after all these years?

Initially, my motivation was to come out on top in my fights growing up in NYC. Now, it is simply the spirit of it that I seek and my personal development and self exploration into who I am.

Do you think it is necessary to engage in free-fighting to achieve fighting skills in the street?

Sure do. In a real fight, and I’m not talking about competitions here, they are fast and furious and usually there is more than one opponent. Most times a weapon will appear and in these cases you don’t have the time to consider your options. You must be able to
move and respond in a way that is decisive and permanent. In order to do this, absolute control of fear, adrenal rush and breathing is paramount. You also must have a cool, calm and collected mind. The idea of flowing in a balanced and powerful manner delivering powerful strikes and throws is more readily gained in free fighting. These attributes and abilities to defend oneself in the face of imminent danger are not derived by way of class room training alone where you simply spar with classmates whom you are familiar with. Competition is a good way to learn these attribute and to further your abilities in fighting. Bear in mind, I am not recommending going out to get into fights, that is dangerous and it is not what martial arts is about. I will tell you what I have done for my more aggressive students or for those who want to test their mettle, I started a fight club. We meet once a week and for most of the class it is hard core, grueling training. The end of the class the students fight. It may be with gloves, it may be bare knuckle, it just depends. On the bare knuckle nights when I first initiated it, I can tell you the adrenaline was rushing and the breathing irregular but through experience they are learning how to master their emotions and fear. This is how you learn to breathe properly and to utilize the adrenaline. Listen, I don’t recommend this for everyone, it is simply my answer for learning these essential attributes and skills in a more realistic manner. A real fight is dynamic and really doesn’t last that long. And when it happens or you are all of a sudden pounced on, it has been known that people without experience are so shocked by the overwhelming adrenaline and fear they freeze up and can’t do anything but take a beating. So yes, I strongly agree with free fighting in order to learn the weaknesses of your movements and strategy. I would also strongly recommend that this be conducted under the authority of an experienced instructor who’s been there and done that. Otherwise it can be very dangerous for the participants.

What is-was your philosophical basis for your martial arts training?

I think you are referring to what it is for my students, in which case I stress training in the study of the self. Through martial art training and especially ving tsun training, it is inevitable that a student begins a journey of self discovery. Ving Tsun will expose the flaws of your character, the weaknesses of your mind and the weaknesses of your body. As it opens your view to all of this it simultaneously begins to correct them in concert with the self through understanding. It builds up your body and makes your mind razor sharp. As you begin to understand and adhere to the theories and principles of Ving Tsun in training it parlays to your everyday life both socially and in
business. It is necessary for this to happen and it is the philosophical basis for which I conduct training. There is a saying that is popular among ving tsun folks that goes like this; know Yourself, Know Your opponent, 100 Battles, 100 Wins.

How do you think a practitioner can increase his-her understanding of the spiritual aspect of the arts?

I just answered that more or less. The idea is that through realizing who you are and the more you know of yourself, the more spiritual you will become, you have to. Are not humans of a spiritual manifestation? I will tell you that the more you know of yourself, the more you will know of the spirit. Everything that exists whether seen or not is of spirit, and so what better way of becoming acquainted with it but by the means that exists through you?

What do you consider to be the most important qualities of a successful martial artist?

Well it depends on what kind of qualities you are referring to. Generally speaking, and in my way of seeing it, the number one quality that someone needs to have is patience. Without it you won’t get anywhere, regardless of in what capacity it takes place, martial art training, business or even socially. Too many people expect to be Bruce Lee in a few weeks and when they find that this is not going to be the case they are disappointed to the point of quitting. They are the kind of people who didn’t figure out why they became involved in martial arts to begin with. So patience in my book is the main quality to have if you want to become anything in life. If you are always expectant, then you will always be disappointed. Good things come in their own time and not a moment before. So relax and take the ride for all it’s worth because I have to tell you it will be a trip you’ll never forget nor one to ever regret.

How do you tie in your work in Wing Chun and your professional life?

My professional work is my ving tsun so I tie it in very nicely.

Thank you, Sifu for interviewing with us. You've certainly given us some great insights!

Well it is not always that I have an opportunity to be interviewed by such an esteemed member of the ving tsun community, I appreciate your questions Sifu Robert. I dare say though, that I may have provided more of the meandering of my mind than anything else. Perhaps with a little luck I may have imparted something that can be useful to someone out there. On the other hand, I truly hope that I have not in anyway offended anyone. Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed the interview.

How may we reach you?

You can go to my web site or for contact information.

An Interview with Darrell Jordan by Robert Chu