Reportage CBC – Les 3 maîtrises et la Voie du Kung Fu – Montréal 2001
I am Alain Crevier. Welcome. Do you remember the first images of Kung Fu you’ve seen at the movies? They were extremely violent. Today we understand that Kung Fu is the opposite of violence, for it teaches self-control. It is the preparation of the body for the preparation of the soul. We can even say that Kung Fu is a spiritual way. “Sifu” is the title of Kung Fu professors. It has no feminine form. It means “teaching dad”. I practice since 1971. I was then working in a bank. I abandoned the job and sold everything. Afterwards I always lived as my internal soul wanted rather than what my external body did. It seems that Providence always brought me good fortune because I always kept doing what I truly enjoyed. In Oriental philosophy we believe in reincarnation, in a destination called Karma. Therefore we keep trying to understand our Karma and to follow it. Following your Karma shall make your life easier. You swim with the tide. Not following it means you swim against the tide. In our philosophy, everybody must search for his own Way and follow it. A way to follow, to fulfill and accomplish. I find all my answers through my teaching, my practice and my pathway and that of others. It tells me why I exist, why I am on this planet. I have all the answers. In Kung Fu we established the rule of the three M’s. The first is the Mastery of Techniques. Through techniques you shall understand your capacity and weakness. The second M stands for Mastery of Emotions. We human beings experience seven emotions. In martial arts this mastery of all emotions is also called the Mastery of Self. After these two steps, you have to attain another level. It is the Mastery of Violence. Such is the goal of Kung Fu. The movements that are at the genesis of Kung Fu go far back in time. Is is the venue of the Indian monk Bodhidharma in China in the 6th century that set the foundation of Kung Fu as it is known today First taught to monks, Kung Fu is in itself a spiritual path. It applies the philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. A main goal of this art is to follow our personal way without resisting it, while giving our body a rigorous and demanding physical discipline. Two steps that seem contradictory and as heterogeneous as water and oil. However they harmonize with the philosophy of Kung Fu through practice. They are not contradictory at all. If you throw yourself in the river you will have to swim not to be carried away. You must stay alive to progress. To cross the ocean you need a steady ship. If not steady, how do you plan on crossing it? The body is the ship. Make it strong before you cross the ocean. Such is the vision of Kung Fu. Before I did martial arts I didn’t like grocery-shopping because I had to climb stairs with heavy bags. A month after I started to practice, this task became part of my progress in martial arts. Every hustle of my life became a tool to get better in martial arts. I was changing all my life. You become aware of what you do in the present. I prefer to call it a “presence” than a “concentration”. It is fluid. It’s all about following the moment that keeps moving. When we practice Kung Fu you go beyond your limits, we discover who we are. We discover our beauty. That we have great qualities and that we may love ourselves even more. We develop a self-confidence. The most beneficial aspect I get from teaching and practicing Kung Fu for a long period of time is the comprehension of Life and Death. For some it is esoteric. For others it might be difficult to grasp. After 50 years following the Way it all becomes very clear. It is something I think everyone must understand in order to grasp a great philosophy. That is the most important.