I have to admit that it takes a bit of time and some suffering through life before you realize how incredible your parents really are.
What is it about the irony of life that you have to know sadness to appreciate happiness and deceit to appreciate the good?
I also don’t understand people who fear getting older, I love every bit of it, because with each day I actually understand better, who I am.
Through the discovery of knowing myself I have learned that many people do not get themselves, love themselves or believe in themselves, even though they wear a front of self confidence with a constant undertone of the unrelenting competitive child, always concerned with the outward appeal to fulfill the lacking of their own internal emptiness.
The more I get myself, the clearer I see other people. I have a tendency to blind myself with wanting to believe what my idea of “good” is in others and finally realizing that people try to be as “good” as they know how to be and while that might not always align with what my ideals are, people should be respected for trying their best and this is why I’ve learned that rather get into a confrontation with people who are by nature Narcissistic, Manipulative, Greedy, Selfish and Scheming, I just walk away. I doubt anyone intentionally wants to be bad and maybe I’m just not seeing enough of the good in them. Either way, we are too different, like oil and water and you have to respect the properties of nature, they exist this way for a reason and our job is to listen.
In my younger years I would fire off like a pistol if something hit me the wrong way. I had no filter and kinda still don’t today, but my trigger was on a hair and I have to say, I learned this manner of expression from my mom. She is a spitfire and was the one who got my gentleman of a father into his street fights in the west. She jokes around now that she was just helping him build his name in America, but I was taught from childhood that mom’s manner of chosen expression was what caused unnecessary fights and I share this next part for those of you who have fighter friends and mouth off in public because you know your friend is a fighter.
My family is very solid and open. We talked about everything growing up and I was taught to question everything and that it was always ok to even question your parents, but you have to do it respectfully. Mom mouthed off cause she new dad was a famous fighter and new he would protect her. I have had several instances where I have had girlfriends who got tough in public because they were with me. Like my father I would always stand by my friends, but I also learned that when a friend uses you to show off and mouth off with an act of toughness they are not your friend, they aren’t even their own friend, these people are dangerous and you have to eliminate them without question. However, I am now almost 40 (in less than a month) and mom was a kid when she got dad into rumbles, but she did learn and both mom and dad openly shared their mistakes with us growing up to help us learn that nobody is perfect and we will all mess up. It’s how you get back up and embrace the gift of your lessons which make you everything more, or you can choose to blame the world and these are the people I have learned to just leave alone. If you don’t, you just enable a parasitic beast who moves along side you almost as if they think your life is theirs and its all just too creepy. They can’t respect boundaries, because boundaries can’t exist if they feel entitled to your life all of the time.
This is the first time I have actually ever read anything about this fight that my father was supposed to have.
In my later years I have gone through such incredible changes and while I still have the same fire and ferocious nature, something about me has become more quiet. I have always been my father’s daughter, I have his height, I have his feet, I have his hands, I am completely physically built like him, but now I have become my own woman and this has made me realize that I am more like him than I have ever known and finally knowing this makes me more proud than ever of whose daughter I am and the woman I meant to become.
This fight was supposed to happen in Singapore.
We traveled around the world for a family vacation. We began in places all over the USA and then hit Europe. Dad taught here and there and that was always normal to us. Mom always took us to do educational activities and we earned allowances from daily journals she made us write. This would feel like torture when my mom would hold onto my allowance until I completed my writing, but I liked writing once I started and looking back at those journals are priceless and I can even remember some of the moments I was writing in them at.
This just popped into my head, we were in Nice, France and lost on the beach. Going topless is part of the culture, but I’m an American kid, so it made me bashful, but I remember thinking “OMG, Should we cover dad’s eyes, he shouldn’t see other women’s boobs, because he’s married to my mom”. Then we had to stop and ask a lady for directions, it was hot and we were tired. She was topless and then I said to dad after “Why did you talk to the naked lady in-front of mommy?”, dad said “She isn’t naked, she’s natural here, people in Europe do things more naturally, there’s nothing wrong with it, we have to learn to respect how people do things in different countries”. This would stay with me forever, actually almost everything dad said to me has stuck, I may not have always listened or understood the way he meant, but his lessons stick and with time I have managed to get a few things right over time.
We get to Malaysia. All throughout Asia and Southeast Asia we were greeted by tons of press and I always thought these were friends and family. They all looked like us, so I thought they were related to us. I couldn’t understand why everyone was so excited, but I remember thinking that they were just so excited to meet us. That’s what my mom told us.
I remember seeing him, Huang Shien Shen. It was something like out of a movie. He stood with his wife on one side and their was a disciple on his other side. He wore all white, hands folded low in-front of him the way the Classic Chinese Masters always stand. He had the feeling of incredible strength and power, he was like a superhero or maybe even more than that to me and I was just 12, but I could feel his energy and it was so powerful. I just got a wave of goosebumps at my memory of this. Behind him stood the students of all of his schools. You could never write this scene in a movie, nobody would believe it, you could never dream this dream in a dream, your mind could never imagine it. They stood with a banner, ooh, just got those goosebumps again and as we walked towards them with all these other people who had crowded us, now respectfully parting the way, I could see the serious faces with such incredible eyes, a look I never have seen before, because I was now blanketed in the old school ways of Truth, Dignity, Honor and Respect. Something this country has never known and something I had never experienced. As we got closer and the Kung Fu Brothers finally found each other’s eyes I felt this buzz of organized chaos, structured in Traditional Chinese Respect become silent. I know there was a lot still happening, but watching these two, truly great men, so respected and so revered, finally meet face to face in, the face of this challenge made everything sound blare-ingly on mute and the power of their presence blanketed the whole moment, in a Magnified and Deafening Silence. It’s how you feel when magic happens in-front of, but this was better, because the Magic was real, it was inescapable and even as 12 year old it hit you from deep within before you could observe what was happening around.
Incidentally, I had a meeting with a writer for a project about a possible television show who had come into our school at the time of this challenge. His recollection of the meeting with my father was something I sensed that put him off because dad had greeted him with a more external and outwardly sensational approach to martial arts, which always appealed to Americans. What he didn’t realize was that he had walked into our school during a very heightened time, I never had a chance to clarify the moment, but he expressed that he had wanted to focus on the internal, which he would have gotten, but he wasn’t impressed and he left only to meet with me about 28 years later.
Back to Malaysia. We were ushered into a parade of cars outside the airport, people parted like the red sea with looks of awe, respect and honor. Many bowed as we walked passed too and I remember thinking “Who are they bowing at? Did I miss someone really famous around us?” I didn’t even think that these people were so affected by just my dad and his brother.
In the Chinese way of Tradition, Respect and Honor. Dignity is King and Integrity is the only way. Men are always of their word and once you love someone like family, that’s it, you honor not just them, you honor yourself and your lineage with how you carry yourself. I never knew what manipulation was, because this is mostly an American Trait. It took me a long while to understand being two-faced too, because I was raised where it just didn’t feel good to have more face than one and I am still catching on to those who enjoy the usage of other for their own agenda. Like it or not, I’m a product of my environment and that just happens to be everything that has either never existed or perhaps become extinct in modern American society. Everyone out for themselves and behaving as though you owe them something, because they were calculating the time and energy they put in with you, for the purpose of their own scheme(s). Although I might still be a little slow to catch on, even now, energy never lies and these people always tell on themselves when they start to get impatient, it’s an interesting, but very crude chess game and while I have been that good on the board, my life game is getting strong.
To read this article and my father’s written challenge moved me to tears. Tears because of the pride I have in knowing where I come from and recognizing who I really am. I am my father’s daughter and I know I am rooted in a tradition and family legacy where Integrity and Dignity are strongholds.
I am unbelievably proud of the man who I am so lucky to call my father and so grateful for the wife he has, who I get to call my mother.
The full article will be posted on The Tai Chi Method Facebook Page.