Archive for Freddie Lee

Sifu Lee on Teaching Kungfu

Posted in Kungfu, Martial Arts, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

The great thing about being a Kung Fu teacher is that it is about being a teacher of life, it is not just about teaching someone how to defend themselves physically. It goes much deeper than that. So being a chiropractor, teacher, or a translator is all relevant to Kung Fu & Martial Arts. A chiropractor will know how to heal the body from pain, this is extremely important in the Martial Arts. When you share your knowledge in Kung Fu & Martial Arts to others, that is teaching. When you study the Eastern cultures and way of life and share it with others in the West, you are being a translator.

We are not meant to be cogs in a machine who are designed to do one repetitive task over and over again. We are meant to be creative and artistic with many loves in life. That is why you have so many interests in career choices that you find it difficult to choose one. The beauty of Kung Fu & Martial Arts is that you do not have to choose one. As you practice… as you turn it into a way of life, you are simply living, enjoying, and teaching about life – you are not just limited to serving one specialized function.

A Martial Artist may make less money than a Chiropractor, but that depends on how successful you are. As a Martial Artist you can reach out to many people in different ways. The schooling required in order to become a Chiropractor I would imagine would be extremely expensive, if you put that into consideration, they do not make as much money as you would believe them to make. Whereas being a Martial Artist would not nearly cost you as much in schooling, so you can potentially live a comfortable lifestyle in that field.

Being a Martial Arts teacher is not just a dream that many seem to fail at, but rather it is not a common practice here in the West. They do not have a wide variety of schools that prepare you to be a full time Martial Arts instructor. They do not have the curriculum established. You cannot go to grade school, jr. high, high school, and college all for the preparation to be a Martial Arts teacher. It is just recognized as a hobby, not something that is seen to be a serious occupational goal to achieve, like a doctor, professor, electrician, etc.

They do not have the schools available because people here in the West still do not know what Martial Arts really is. All they really know about is sport, they know nothing about Martial Art. They cannot teach what they do not know. That is the primary reason many find it hard to achieve their goals in the Martial Arts.  They do not have the proper guidance. Those who are successful end up having to self-guide themselves. To develop themselves to be real Martial Artists.

Being a quality Martial Arts teacher is not a high paying job. If you are most concerned about money, then this is not the field for you. A big part of the spirituality in the Martial Arts is the balance between giving and taking. The more you make, the more you give. The goal is not to maximize profits in which to exploit others. You do not cheat people out of their money – you are fair in how you conduct business. Your success can grow through time, and you may eventually be profitable, but that is not the primary goal.

If you truly love Martial Arts, there is no other job that is more perfect than being a Martial Arts teacher. Real life is what you make it. Teaching Martial Arts is not just about giving kids self-confidence, it is about helping human beings grow to their potential.

I live modestly and I am able to make a living by teaching. It’s not easy, but neither is becoming a Chiropractor or whatever profession that requires an enormous amount of time for study and money for schooling. It may be better to work and teach on the side until you build enough of a student base in order to go full-time with it.

Yes, it is definitely a good job and yes, it is very realistic – much more realistic than you may think.

Without my notice, I had been training in Kung Fu since birth and all these years of training had led me up to this point, where all that I know and all that I have experienced is completely relevant to being in the position that I am in. I never planned to be a Martial Arts teacher, it just happened on its own. Sometimes in life you don’t plan for things. They just happen. I believe the key is to put your heart into what you love. If you do that, you should be fine.

Freddie Lee

[via FMK’s Facebook Page]

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Sifu Lee on The Internet

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by Sifu Freddie Lee

The true desire I have within since I started practicing Martial Arts is to express myself as an Artist on a large scale. Without that opportunity, I would feel something within me would be in lack. Yes I would continue to practice while being hidden, but I would always feel something would be missing. I know Bruce had this drive & that is what pushed him towards Hollywood. For me, I have the Internet & social media, but I see that those in power are attempting to take away this Internet & our ability to communicate. The result would hinder much creativity in this world. I would then have to concentrate my energies on a local level but doing so I would not be enabled at all to connect with people who are miles away. It brings me great joy to see how I can connect with others in other states & countries through modern technology. I believe this to be nearly every Artist’s dream. To me it’s not even about making money, if anything, as a starving Artist you will always be spending money in order to share what you have grown to love so much, in my case it is Kung Fu & Martial Arts.

The simple label of “Tao” brings together so many people of like understanding. It was the Tao that liberated my mind from conformity. I believe I am here to complete what Bruce was unable to complete for the Martial Arts community. Yes it is an enormous task but I am willing to dedicate my entire life into completing this task. If those in power wish to take away the internet, it will be much more difficult to reach out to others on a mass scale as Bruce was able to do, as Hollywood would hardly ever knock at my door. But I see that publishing a few books will do, it may be so that some individuals may accidently discover my writings & possibly become transformed as what I have experienced with the Tao. In a library filled with thousands of books & movies, there will be the few that you will find that will guide you towards the way. But always remember that anything of great value is never something that is easily obtained. Continue on your journey towards the way, I will continue on mine, by doing so, our spirits will forever be connected.

Sifu Freddie Lee

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Sifu Lee on Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Posted in Discussion Question, Fighters, Martial Arts, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2011 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Mayweather (related article) is a great undefeated Boxer with over 40 wins in a row! That is amazing. If Bruce was a Boxer, he would box like Mayweather & Ali, if I was a Boxer I would Box like that too, utilizing grace, speed, talent & skill.  To dance around the opponent, not fight in anger & brute force.  But still, even though Mayweather is a great Boxer who is undefeated he does not inspire me, that’s all he is, just a Boxer, nothing more. Bruce & Ali were not just Fighters. They took their talents outside of their craft & inspired change.

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I am not inspired by Fighters or Artists who only fight for the money & nothing more. You see Ali & John Lennon stood up against the War; they inspired people to do the right thing against authority. Bruce stood up against racial discrimination; he inspired people to do the right thing against authority. Now these Fighters nowadays, they stand for nothing, all they want to do is make money from Fighting. Someone can win 100 fights in a row & it still will not impress me if he does not seek to make this world a better place.

Freddie Lee

“Thoughts via FMK Facebook

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WHAT HAPPENED? FLOYD MAYWEATHER vs. VICTOR ORTIZ

Boredom with Exercise : Sifu Lee

Posted in Health, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by Sifu Freddie Lee

In order to achieve elite physical potential, one must liberate oneself from the feeling of boredom while exercising.  The foundational exercises to maintain a healthy state of physicality are simple and if an individual cannot be satisfied with this simplicity then there can never be enough “new” exercises to alleviate this persons feeling of boredom.  In order to be a great basketball player, a person cannot get “bored” of shooting.  The person would literally have to shoot thousands shots before achieving his true potential.  In order to become a great boxer, a person cannot get “bored” of punching.  The person would have to punch thousands of times in order to become great.  With exercising and physical fitness, it is the same concept.

If a person who is unfit wishes to become healthy and fit, the person cannot be bored of exercising.  If this person becomes bored, this person will eventually lose his interest to exercise and never become fit and healthy until he has learned to free himself from this inner feeling of boredom.  No personal trainer in this world can ever come up with enough varieties of exercise to satisfy a clients feeling of boredom.  Any and all exercises are simply variations from the foundational exercises that are required to achieve elite physical potential.

For example the foundational exercise to maintain cardio endurance is running, any other cardio exercise that heightens the heart rate is just a variation to the foundation.  No matter if it is biking, swimming, using the elliptical, using a stationary bike, jumping rope, doing jumping jacks, etc.  In order to achieve elite physical potential, one cannot become dependent on variations due to simply being bored of the foundation.  Many times a person will use excuses to not exercise because he does not have access to certain training equipment that he has become dependent on.  A swimmer may not exercise because the swimming pool has closed for the day.  A biker may not exercise because his bike had a flat tire.  An individual who frequents the gym may become dependent on an elliptical machine and will only exercise when she has access to an elliptical.  All these are examples of different forms of dependency that provide excuses for individuals to not exercise.  If one is satisfied with the foundation, which is running, then one always maintains cardio fitness no matter the location or circumstances.  One can run indoors, one can run outdoors, and one can run in place.  One is not dependent on other variations of cardio fitness; one is satisfied with the foundation.  This foundation will allow an individual to maintain cardio fitness for the entirety of one’s life.

In order to achieve elite cardio fitness, a runner must take thousands of steps.  In order to develop muscular strength in the chest and arms, an individual must practice thousands of pushups.  Being bored of certain exercises simply is not an adequate excuse to stop exercising, one simply needs to liberate oneself from any feeling of boredom and learn to appreciate and find joy in practicing the foundational exercises necessary to maintain physical fitness.  The truth to exercising and staying fit is that it is simple.  Others just wish to make you think that it is complicated so that they can somehow turn it into a profession in order to make profits.  What the majority of the population really lacks is not how to stay fit and healthy but rather the lack is in the motivation and discipline in which to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Sifu Freddie Lee

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Being Proficient In Combat : By: Sifu Lee

Posted in Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2010 by Sifu Freddie Lee

Ultimately Martial Arts should be for health preservation and spiritualism.  But it is my firm belief that a Marital Artist MUST be proficient in defending himself from a violent encounter.  And with that expectation, it requires very much physical training, technique training, cardio training, strength training, flexibility training, etc.  Basically a true Martial Artist should train like a competition fighter but do not compete.  It’s very easy for a weak inefficient Martial Artist to promote mental and spiritual development over physical development because they have the luxury of skipping a very important aspect that requires years of development.  To me, they are not complete.   In order to be complete and balanced a true Martial Artist must go through hard physical training, become extremely proficient in self defense, and then come to the realization that there is no need to fight.  As mostly all fights occur within the mind between the ego and the true inner spirit.

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We must realize the clear distinction between a Martial Artist and a Wise Sage.  For example Lao-Tzu, Buddha, J.Krishnamurti, and Osho are not Martial Artists, they are great spiritual sages.  Mentally and spiritually strong but physically weak.  Now someone like Bruce Lee, is a balanced Martial Artist.  As a disciple one must decide for oneself which path he wishes to partake in.  Does he wish to be a Wise Sage or does he wish to be a Martial Artist who has become a Wise Sage?  A disciple can skip over the physical if he wishes and come to the realization that physical combat training is no longer necessary, but if he does so, then he would no longer be a Martial Artist.  As specifically what sets the difference between a Martial Artist and a Wise Sage is that a Martial Artist has continued to realize the importance of self defense technique development and invests a balanced portion of his time to develop himself in that respect.

Sifu Freddie Lee

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Roundtable Discussion 002: Meditation

Posted in Roundtable Discussion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 3, 2010 by Combative Corner

“How important is meditation in your discipline & personal practice?”

Lee:  Living a life of meditation is the highest state in the Martial Arts.  In “The Book of Secrets.” By Osho, there is 112 techniques of meditation.  Sitting meditation is just one of them.  When I first started practicing Martial Arts, I thought sitting meditation was the only meditation.  As I continued my study, I came to the understanding and realization that meditation can take place during ANY activity.  Meditation is a state of mind, of complete awareness, completely in the present moment.  Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” really helped me understand what meditation really is.  Once you disccover what meditation really is, your life will dynamically change, you will realize true happiness and bliss, there is no future, no past, no ego.  You are connected with everything around you, you are whole.  Meditation takes place throughout the entire day, sitting, standing, walking, cleaning the home, exercising, playing with kids, making love, reading, writing, speaking, etc.  Meditation is living life totally and completely aware.


Robert Lara: For me Aikido and Meditation go hand-and-hand.

Without a calm, centered mind we can never apply Aikido Waza in the proper way.

Only when we Meditate first can we hope to be able to fully have a relaxed mind, body & spirit. Meditation plays a very high role in my own training. I would never have made it to where I am today without it.

Joyce:  I’ve always considered myself an introspective person.  Even when I didn’t know specific forms or methods of meditation, I would find ways to bring myself to a place; a place as calming as a trickling brook.  As I became engulfed into the martial arts, and what I thought it meant to be a martial artist, my view of meditation became skewed.  I thought that, to be great, I had to sit or stand for long periods of time and somehow a great gift would be bestowed upon me.  There are sometimes, when I still think that.

My personal belief in meditation is that it’s the medicine to our soul.  Our form; what we practice with careful intention is our art.  The higher our souls happiness, the higher our form of art.  Meditation, the ability to find a tranquil spot within you, whatever the method is essential to health.

Vaughn:  I remember when I was taking Taekwondo back in middle and high school we used to meditate at the beginning and end of each class. We would kneel towards the front of the class and mediate, usually just for a minute or two. To to clear our minds of the chaos of the day so we could better focus on our training before class started and to relax after the workout and reflect on the techniques and drills that we had just gone over at the end. While the style I train in now doesn’t make mediation a regular part of the class routine I still do it in my personal life from time to time. Mainly as a way to help slow my mind down so that I can focus better on the things I have to accomplish or to to help calm myself when I get frustrated or agitated. Every now and then when I have a student that has trouble controlling their anger at school or at home I will show them how to use meditation and breathing, among other things, to help better keep their anger in check. I think meditation is a useful tool that people can gain a lot of value from, they just have to open their minds to it.

Davis:  The course structure for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is sparring intensive (what we like to call “rolling”) and, as a result, every class one attends ought to be adrenaline/sweat packed or your not doing it right. It may appear to the outsider to be much more like a wrestling practice than a traditional martial arts class and the crazy, hyper-aggressive wrestler-types we all know and love are not, generally, associated with the Zen mentality. However, the assumption that meditation must be performed while sitting cross-legged and eyes closed attempting to tap into the flow of “the Ohm” is not only selling meditation short but misplacing the profits you made from the sale too. Meditation is the pursuit of a state of mind which allows the pursuant to not only understand but also become a unique part of the natural flow of the world around them. Us BJJ guys and gals may not know much about Zen meditation but if there are two things we know better than anyone its the importance of proper breathing (we are always trying to choke each other aren’t we?) and of the flow from one technique to another. It is often emphasized that you hit a move inside the transition period, an odd but important concept I cannot do justice to in writing here. In the novella Siddhartha, the main character the book is named after becomes the Buddha (or one with the Buddha depending on how you interpret it) only when he comes to understand the transient but inevitable nature of the universe. If you are to understand the meditation which comes with the practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you must understand the martial art is just that: transient and inevitable.

Kuo:  I-Liq Chuan is a concept-based art which centers on the principles of Taiji (Tai Chi) and Zen. Mindfulness forms the basis of martial skill. As such, meditation is an important part of I-Liq Chuan training. Meditation is both a practice in itself, like sitting meditation or standing meditation; it is also inherent in regular solo and partner practice. The practitioner’s attention should always be present (mindful) in whatever is being practiced. Meditative practices expand the mind’s ability to perceive. At first, the perception of the self is emphasized to facilitate unification of the body with the mind. At this stage, the practitioner is developing kinesthetic sense, body awareness, and body control. Then, the attentions are expanded outward to the opponent and environment. When the mind can see the conditions of the moment as they are, it becomes possible to harmonize with the opponent and flow with the opponent’s force. True skill manifests when movements are based on perception of the true conditions rather than anticipations (or guesses) of what will happen.

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Roundtable Discussion 001: Knowledge

Posted in Roundtable Discussion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2010 by Combative Corner

In regards to the martial arts –

“What do you know NOW that you wish you knew THEN?”

VAUGHN :  This question had me scratching my head for a couple of hours but I finally came up with an answer. It’s not so much what I wish I knew, but what I wish I had and that’s confidence. I wish I had the confidence in my martial arts abilities. That is the one thing that has grown by leaps and bounds since I was younger. No matter how well I did in class or how often my instructor told me how much I was improving I always had that little seed of doubt in the back of my head. I couldn’t help wondering, “Will this stuff really work?” “What if the bully tries to hit me, could I really defend myself?” I was even hesitant to compete in tournaments when I was younger because I was afraid that I wouldn’t do well. Now after years of participating in what I’m sure have been hundreds of classes, test, sparring matches, and self defense drills I now have a good idea of how I will react in a real confrontation. Like my current instructor says I’ve finally developed that switch that I can turn on when I need to. I’m not saying that I can easily dispatch an army of crazed ninja without a scratch, but I’m pretty sure that I can hold my own.”

KUO :  “Every technique works, and every technique doesn’t work.” One of my buddies and I had this discussion one day when we were reminiscing on our training journeys and discussing the martial arts flame wars we see arise in discussions. We came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as an ultimate move or unbeatable technique. Sometimes person A can use a technique on person B, but fails to use it on person C. Yet, person B can’t do the technique on person A, but has no trouble using it on person C. If the movement were the only factor, then the the technique should work universally.

There are several factors determining whether a technique will actually work: the physical ability to execute the movements, understanding of the interplay of forces, timing, distance, and most importantly, the ability to recognize the conditions (in real-time) that allow the technique to work. The success of the technique depends on conditions and understanding.”

DAVIS :  “I began Brazilian (Gracie) Jiu-Jitsu without much prior knowledge of the style and therefore without my previous Hapkido based goals in mind. I was hooked; Jiu-Jitsu just spoke to me, as they say. Its training required me to be an athlete, a scientist, and an inventor all at the same time. I realized, then, that there are innumerable styles of martial arts and any one of them with proper instruction and dedication will lead the practitioner to be an effective fighter. This left the only variable in the martial arts to be me and my only criteria for choosing a style to be how much I enjoyed the training. In my mind I still wanted to be that same style of fighter I was working towards in Hapkido but with Jiu-Jitsu I saw that I could be just as effective a fighter while enjoying my training more than previously. This newfound attitude positively expressed itself not only in my demeanor while training but also in the rate of my learning because I simply wanted to train more. I found myself going to class four or five days a week in Jiu-Jitsu rather than the two classes a week schedule I previously maintained in Hapkido. Today I consider myself in love with Jiu-Jitsu and, as is the true nature of love, it is something I must work at relentlessly to maintain but do not feel overly burdened by my efforts. This love, based purely on the fun and enjoyment of training, is that which I wish I had known of when I first began the martial arts. Now that all the emotional stuff has been said; drop the ego, the preconceived ideas, and the expectations; find the style that fits you, not that you want to fit you; and go have some fun.”

JOYCE :  “Like many of us, ‘What I knew then’ wasn’t very much.  All I knew was that I was in love with the combative sciences – from shaolin monks breaking walnuts on a student’s head, watching a boxer find the reserves to stagger back to his feet, dig in deep and come up with the victory, to the old shadow boxer performing ‘step back & repulse monkey.’  Therapists sometimes talk of a stifling love – of loving something so intensely that it’s unhealthy, harmful, or deadly.  When I came into the martial arts, I wanted to ‘climb the ladder’ and succeed beyond my instructor’s belief.  The problem came when I’d be standing knee-deep in a waterfall doing one-inch punches against the granite, or purposely falling onto my upper back only to try my hardest to spring back like a ninja.  I had an unbelievable amount of get-up-and-go attitude, but was too ambitious for my own good.  Once I went to college, got my degree in sport science, later became a licensed massage therapists, read stacks of books on proper exercise training, (not-to-mention gotten older & wiser) did I understand where I went wrong and why my body continued to hurt more year-after-year.  Nowadays, I listen closely to professionals and I am in no rush to out-perform anyone.  My happiness comes from my personal expression of what I’ve learned and as a coach, the thought of my students learning to joyfully express themselves.”

Nothing.  Growth in knowledge and wisdom is possible from not knowing.  The beauty of life is in not knowing.

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