This FAQ was Compiled by Kathy Jo Connors, and reviewed by Kenneth Chung, February 2002.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT KEN'S WING CHUN
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No. Ken has plainly stated that he does not now, nor has he ever actively practiced or learned Taiji. He humorously confesses that he does not even know the simplest of its forms.
No. The cause-effect is backward.
Ken had observed what, for lack of a better term at the moment, I will call some "internal" elements through his practice of Wing Chun over the years. Ken is well known for his outstanding sensitivity and "listening" skills, to a degree uncommon among Wing Chun practitioners. It was Ken's delight when he met Feng, and later some others including Chen Xiaowang and Master Cai, to discover that high level practitioners in other arts (in this case, arts traditionally categorized as neijia) have some elements in common.
While Feng, Chen and others developed their skills through Chen's Taiji, Ken's skills developed naturally through his careful and diligent Wing Chun practice as he learned from Leung Sheung. Ken's Wing Chun was especially influenced by the deeper insights gained in his second round of training with Leung Sheung.
It was very exciting and interesting to Ken in finding other martial artists - in any art - with such high degree of skills, and similar in nature to those he had developed through Wing Chun practice. It was also a pleasure for him to discover and touch such extraordinary hands.
Ken does many things relevant for his health and well being. It should be no surprise that qigong for health would be among them. It is quite natural and appropriate for Ken to get occasional pointers on qigong practice from friends and acquaintances. This is not equivalent to the practice and study of Taiji.
People all over the world practice forms of qigong, including martial artists of all styles, and non-martial artists alike.
Like Leung Sheung, Ken does not place emphasis on qigong for the practice of Wing Chun, though qigong development may naturally occur.
Ken lives in the Bay Area, rich with martial arts of all varieties. He is also immersed in martial arts communities in Hong Kong and China. It is little wonder that he should have friends and acquaintances in many martial arts, including but not limited to some exponents of Chen's Taiji.
Similarly, Ken has many friends in a vast number of other arts, including Hung Ga, Dragon style, White Eyebrow, Sui Shou, and Eagle Claw, just to name a few. He is less often accused of being influenced by those.
People who are open to the more "sensitive" aspects of Wing Chun tend to be attracted to Ken's approach and understanding of the art. It should be no surprise that some of those students would find interest in other arts with comparable aspects.
The inclination of some students, combined with the availability of quality Taiji instruction, explains in part the crossover between some of Ken's people and Taiji. It is nothing by design, nor indicative of a mixing and matching of the arts. It is rather a matter of circumstance, convenience, and predilection of individual students.
From my own perspective, I regret that so many of Ken's people have chosen to pursue Chen's Taiji in lieu of Wing Chun. But I also understand that for some, Wing Chun may have been a stop along the way in finding where they better needed to be.