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A Big Entry for the Notebook: Mary Sifu Comes to London


There is a little black notebook I have been keeping for the last several years - it becomes more and more precious with time. In it I have tried to record bits and pieces of Yeung Family instruction received through my teacher, Jim Uglow, and from Yeung Ma Lee Sifu and her husband James directly. Notes sometimes recorded after a grueling training session or a particularly stunning insight, its essence escaping the precision of the written word. I often look back and wonder, for example, what does “get the muscle” mean again?

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Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

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It ain’t supposed to be easy!

Wish I had a dime - ok, maybe a quarter - for every time I’ve heard things like: “is there a video I can get that will help me learn the form?” or “is there a diagram or pictures of the postures” or “you know, if you taught this way, it would be much easier to learn” or ” you should try…” and on and on.

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Tucker Bryant - “Oreo” (CUPSI 2014)

"Acceptance means more than looking for a mirror inside somebody else. What makes you think the best we can be is a reflection of you?"

Performing for Stanford University during the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.