Expression of thanks
Here I would like to thank all my masters and teachers from whom I have been privileged to learn so much over the past 37 years. During this time I have concentrated on studying more than 10 different styles of martial arts, meditation, massage and healing systems of the Far East and they have taught me much that is interesting and which has helped to expand my consciousness..
There have been times when either I or the masters thought that I would never make it – due to the sheer magnitude of the subject matter. With hindsight though, I seem to have been lucky enough to have assimilated and developed within myself a good deal of what I was able to learn from all of them. Sometimes I can no longer say whether I really learned a certain technique from one of my many masters or whether it was a natural development of my intensive studies of the subject matter they taught me. There appears to be a higher-level network of everything with everything.
Simply by exactly following and applying the given energetic laws and principles, new and yet equally correct principles are bound to arise through the combination of many different principles.
Anyway, this is what I experience day in and day out, week in and week out during my classes. I am thankful for everything I have ever been permitted and able to learn and understand from teachers, masters, grand masters and sometimes simply from a sparring partner or student.
“If your endeavours are honest, success will come of its own accord at some point”
(old Chinese quote from a needle grinder)
I see the success and popularity of the German Tai Chi Forum as a logical consequence of this law: it has been the almost automatic result of the honest efforts of well over 37 years. An awful lot of work, attention to detail, heart and soul has gone into the gathering, comprehension and compilation of this knowledge. Some people who are new to the subject might find this logical and easy to understand. On a purely intellectual level this may be true, but seen from the viewpoint of all levels of existence it presents quite a challenge. Only those who have studied with several masters and undertaken a few journeys to uncover all manner of secret knowledge can really appreciate and true value of our work. My hope is that more people will eventually become very actively involved with the study of this highly qualified knowledge. I also hope that this will lead to an expansion and improvement of their consciousness – I know it has mine in ways I would never have dreamed of.
At this point I would like to express my thanks to everyone in chronological order. Those at the top of the list are not necessarily the most important – it is simply that they were my first teachers. At the same time I have not been afraid to place well-known masters and teachers alongside relatively or completely unknown teachers. I didn’t always learn most of what is most important to me from the most famous masters. I have maintained friendly links with many of my lesser known teachers, and still do.
Masters (in chronical order)
I am certain that the names of several other world-famous masters, both male and female will be added to this considerable list over the next few years. I hope to have given you some idea of the comprehensive and complex training I have undergone during the past 37 years. It is impossible to learn everything and I have never met a master who knew everything there was to know. Some of the aforementioned masters are real phenomena in their fields, but often only in their specific fields. Through their extreme specialization, which is often very time-consuming, it is not easy for some of them to gain such a broad overview. I doubt whether many of them have become aquainted with the half of what I have seen during my long years of searching. It was, and is an enormous amount of ancient, secret knowledge. I am not claiming that I have mastered everything I have ever encountered, sometimes just in passing, but my tireless search has given me an insight into many of the mysteries of this planet. Sometimes, in the course of conversation, it became obvious that I have knowledge of many things that even some Chinese people have never heard of.
Last but not least I would like to mention all the teachers Vera and I have trained over the years, as well as our multitude of Students the world over. In the course of over 20 years as Tai Chi teachers we have been able to gain valuable experience with all these keen people. Through our preoccupation with the subject, we have been able to make countless discoveries, both large and small, after years of teaching at increasingly subtle levels. We could never have made such progress in our own practice without all these exceedingly eager people. For how can one aspire to higher things without knowing one’s own position at any particular time? You can only define your own position with any accuracy, if you have other people with which to compare yourself. Our thanks to all the students who have accompanied us along the way, sometimes for longer, sometimes only for a short time.
I would like to encourage all those who are still practising to carry on, because our experience shows that Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Taoist meditation get more interesting the longer you practise them. And this is definitely not always the case with lots of other things. Besides, could anything be more important than the study of Chi, the universally preserving life force.
Finally I would like to thank my longstanding training partners Hans Jürgen Klemenz (Taekwon-Do), Heiner Martin (WT), in Tai Chi especially my oldest all-time training partner Gunnar König (who was tragically killed in a road accident on 24th March 2004 through no fault of his own), and Matthias Schader and Klaus Birker for the many hours of training we spent together. I have also spent many pleasant and professionally stimulating hours with Hans Kurt Schäfer, Andreas Heyden, Wolfgang Hesse Schiller and Alexander Kron. I mustn’t forget my colleagues Andreas Friedrich in Munich and Ralf Heber in Ulm. I would also like to thank all my American training partners and teachers, whom I met and came to appreciate during numerous seminars in the USA, above all Jamie Cobb, Jim Servas, Don Miller. Much of my knowledge could never have been attained without these people – my thanks to you all.
I must also thank all those who I have forgotten to mention here because that they slipped my memory at the moment of writing. Please be aware of my gratitude at this present moment.