There are a lot of well meaning martial practitioners out there that have probably never posed in front of a camera. They make honest, traditional and studied demonstrations of each particular style. Despite the special qualities of the style, the survey of their forms may be tepid and self-conscious. No disrespect to them, they did not sign up to be actors, just teachers.
On the other hand there are teachers who are dynamic from the salute. Jou Bao Fu is one of these. His explanations are direct and even a little edgy. His performance is never lukewarm. He moves like he’s taking a chance, even on the simplest actions. There’s an old saying that the school is held up by the spirit of the teacher. Sifu Jou’s may dip occasionally, but it never sinks.
We have just received a rendition of his Chen style Tai Chi which, as you may guess, has a lot of very martial movements along with some original insights and occasional applications. We have also added a DVD of his Mizong or Lost Track style and in that he really lives up to the name especially with the Lost footwork, crossing, leaning, twist, recovering. This would be a very difficult dance lesson.
We have a lot more coming but so far this year we have seen some of the best quality instruction and demonstration in a relatively short time. Let’s see what the rest of the Monkey year has in store.