Direct transmisison


Gongfu is what martial artists, healers, qigong practitioners, and anyone else learning to do something and do it well is after.
Gongfu basically means skill. Everything we do in life refines our gongfu or it doesn’t, it is our choice. In both martial arts and spiritual practice circles, we have the idea of learning by direct transmission.
Direct transmission is exactly what its name implies, it is the transmission of ability or skill directly from one person (the master) to another (the student).
I have had many teachers in my life who have taught me wonderful things and helped me attain some real skills. However, In all of my martial arts training, I had never really experienced direct transmission until I met Fong Ha.


Now, I’m a bit of a skeptic.
I’m open minded, but a skeptic nonetheless. Most of the stories told about this sort of thing are full of a lot of fantastic imagery which usually throws me off (I know it shouldn’t – working on it). What I experienced with Ha Sifu in 2006 when I first met him was something quite amazing.
It wasn’t ceremonial or magical, it just was. Fong Ha can wax philosophic all day long with the best of them and his martial arts pedigree is one of the best, but as impressed as I was with all of this, it was his very presence and skill that really did the trick for me.
Pushing hands with him and just feeling the sort of power that is cultivated through arts like Taijiquan and Yiquan when done right opened something in my mind that talking and doing forms just can’t get at.
Something happened then that I am still getting my mind around. Some deeper part of me responded to the experience of that kind of power, and in an instant I transcended all that I had ever learned about martial arts and about life.
It wasn’t an annihilation of my experiences up to that point, it was more of an organization of them.
It was like turning on the electromagnet underneath the metal filings.
Out of the chaos of the filings comes the order of the magnet. Out of the chaos of theory and sophistication came the order of the simple skill and power I was experiencing. When we can receive transmission like this from a master like Fong Ha, I think it strikes a powerful tuning pitch for all that we are. Suddenly, things make sense and we feel free.
I find myself fighting this freedom, even to this day, because it is so contrary to how most people do things. I get caught up in wanting to complicate my practice and forget to stay rooted to the simple skill that I was after in the first place.


It is good to learn as many different methods and techniques as you can, but if you can’t put them down and just be what you are, they will burden you.
A real master of anything must be able to point directly to the essence of what he does. If he can’t do that, he is not a master. Mastering a thing means being free of it.
If your art imprisons you, you cannot master it. When a student has the sort of direct transmission that I experienced, it can open your eyes and in an instant take you further than a million years of learning forms and talking about theory. There is a truth to all things that cannot be put into words. It cannot be put into form of any kind, because it is the mother of all forms. Only experience can get you there. By experience, I don’t mean the length of time you spend doing something. Thirty years of doing something wrong doesn’t make you a master. One second of doing it right can bring you real wisdom and skill if it takes you to the essence of the practice and you are willing to go.


What happened with me in that simple little gathering of people years ago changed me forever and opened the door to stronger gongfu than I ever thought I’d have.
I simultaneously wish I had more time to spend with Ha Sifu and wonder what more he could possibly pass on to me. Ha Sifu has students all over the world.
He has been meeting some of them in the park for decades. And yet, he is the most modest and unassuming master of his ilk that I have ever known.
There is the old saying that when the student is ready the master appears. Maybe everyone’s experiences with Ha Sifu are different.
I know people who attended some of the same seminars I did who did not have the same experience I did. I think when the time is right, the Spirit flows.
The time was right for me in 2006 and something flowed that I was not expecting. My experiences with Ha Sifu continue to fuel my own evolution as a martial artist, as a healer, and as a human being. As Sifu says, “The end of technique is skill, the end of skill is spirituality.”

I hope that everyone out there can find a teacher who provides for them this sort of experience – don’t stop until you do.
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Copyright © 2016. Fabien Latouille Studio pour sifu mag. All rights reserved.
Posted By: Master Fong Ha
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