My conversation with Donald Wong at Nam Pai covered a lot of things, but what I found most interesting was his worldview and how he saw the purpose of organizations like the Shriners, Hung Mun, his political office, and even Ultimate Fitness. He saw all of these organizations, even if they were different as a tool to do good. I think he used the words a "means" of doing good. I think he would through his Kung Fu and Qigong in there as well.
This was interesting to me because I think I was looking at the organizations and the Kung Fu themselves instead of what they were for. I mean of course I looked at their purpose too, but I don't think I ever worded it like that in my brain, and when Donald Wong put all these organizations, Chinese, or International or American into a category, a sort of tool box, a way to give back to the community or strengthen the character of youth.. that kind of struck me.
To tie this into my previous posts, Donald Wong views Ultimate fitness as a place where Kung Fu masters can get a start and teach Kung Fu, because rent is so high it is not easy to just open up your own school by yourself. And what is the point of Kung Fu? Well it develops character and teaches the kids about discipline, brotherhood and sisterhood, and there are morals built into the Martial Practice. There is also a spiritual element to it, and I think a lot of Donald's adult students relate to that. For intsance, if you were raised in a very rigid religious system, there is something freeing about gathering together to practice Chi Gung.. without being read to many rules about cosmology. Instead it is searching within oneself for spirituality... but at the same time you are doing a completely rational exercise that has scientific backing for being beneficial to one's health. In other words, atheists can practice Chi Gung. There is no conflict. It is a little difficult for an atheist to pray.
I do see a common thread between everything Donald is doing, as a State Rep in Saugus, as a Chi Gong teacher going from organization to organization all around Massachusetts, and as a Chinatown Community leader... it's pretty cool. Inspiring in fact.
I've been trying to upload some video of his disciple, but I have been having trouble with the files. I might just post about it instead.
Does anyone do Kung Fu and have stories about what the practice means to them?
Feel free to comment.