Albuquerque Kung Fu and Tai Chi - Si Feng Wu Kung Fu

The only predictable thing about combat is the unpredictable nature of combat.
- Sifu David P. Brown


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Si Feng Wu Kung Fu

In the spring of 1980, I became obsessed with finding and learning the ultimate fighting art. My initial experience was with the Chinese systems, so I sought out the Japanese and Korean training methods. In the fall of 1987, after my first year as a law enforcement officer, I came to the realization that philosophies and techniques of the modern classical budos (Japanese and Korean systems) in which I had trained were limited in scope and effectiveness when applied to a real world street environment. I found that many of the philosophies and practices were finite and limited to the perfectly structured world of the dojo (the Japanese word for "school"). I came to this conclusion based on the numerous experiences I had with other police officers during street confrontations. I watched as experienced Aikido, Judo, and Karate practitioners become injured while trying to execute a roundhouse kick or an Oshi Gatami in the imperfect and dynamic world of the street.

I learned many difficult lessons that first year as a cop. The most valuable lesson was that no two physical encounters are ever the same. The variables are as numerous and diverse as the environmental conditions in which the human body can be immersed, and as complicated as each human being is different. I realized that there is little room for error in the real world. In a critical hand-to-hand confrontation, there must be spontaneous correction upon correction, both physical and mental, to address the fluid nature of combat. In a law enforcement environment, for example, "wisdom mind" must be trained to be omnipresent during every hands-on confrontation. I have observed that it is the lack of mental and physical flexibility and preparedness on the part of a martial artist that leads to failure in a combative environment.

In 1988, I began the process of evaluating and distilling the fundamental essences of the four primary arts in which I was trained – Chinese (Traco chuan fa) and Japanese Kenpo (Matosi), Chinese T'ai Chi Ch'uan (Yang style), Korean Tang Soo Do and Japanese Aikido – and my experience as a law enforcement certified Defensive Tactics Ground Control instructor. A major contributing factor to the pragmatic development of this new system was the fact that I was working as an undercover narcotics agent. The experience was tempering my mental and physical martial skills as well as providing me with tremendous insight into human behavior.

Si Feng Wu (Four Winds Way) is truly an eclectic art. Although the styles that inspired it are mutually exclusive by design, they all possess certain core concepts and principles that are fundamentally universal. A limited number of core concepts are such that they may be interwoven in order to create a new principle. Two core concept fundamentals are the dynamics of the human body in motion (physics) and the principles of human biomechanics. Physics and the biomechanics of the human body do not change. No system can exist without these two fundamental principles working in harmony. The primary principle that empowers the biomechanics of Si Feng Wu is that there can be no restrictions on where and how the human body moves as it is designed. Given this design, expression of power in the human body is both internal and external, and the manner of movement is linear and circular, rapid and slow, hard and fast, yielding and unyielding. This is the nature of the body. This complicated matrix of understanding is what comprises the core concepts of Si Feng Wu kung fu.

The 7 Primary Philosophies of Si Feng Wu are:

  • The human body must be trained to move effectively along every vector of biomechanical possibility.
  • The body must be capable of expressing power both internally and externally.
  • The body must be capable of expressing power along every vector of biomechanical possibility.
  • The physical body must be capable of responding on a cellular reflex level ("no mind"), independent of an emotional mind.
  • The mind must be trained to remain within "wisdom mind" during mental and physical confrontation.
  • The "wisdom mind" must be instantaneously capable of tremendous insight with regard to the morality and consequences of any action during an encounter.
  • The mind and body together must be flexible and capable of performing optimally under the most adverse of circumstances. Physically, such as ill and injury and environmentally such as heat and cold.

The physical techniques that comprise this gung fu are unique to this system. With the exception of the Aikido walking drills and the boxing drills, all of the Si Feng Wu training practices were created to cultivate this unique martial art. All of the forms or katas taught at Si Feng Wu are also unique to the system. The development of wei dan qi gung or external power is reflected in the beginning forms. These initial forms are patterned after the original Mitosi Japanese Kenpo forms. Thereafter nei dan or internal qi gung, combined with external power, is cultivated and reflected in the various forms. The nature and movements of the Tiger, Crane, Leopard, Snake, Dragon and Monkey are all represented in Si Feng Wu technique.

The adult curriculum also contains the entire Yang style Tai Chi Chuan system as a requirement for advancement to Black Belt. Adult students also learn, in detail, Chen style T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Wu Dan kung fu principles of generating power. For both healing and combative purposes, the internal and external attributes of the T'ai Chi Ch'uan systems are principles that must be contained in any martial artist's repertoire, and they are taught in Si Feng Wu.

The kung fu of Si Feng Wu is a truly unique approach. Admittedly, the amount and nature of martial material contained within this system may seem insurmountable. With this in mind, you, as a prospective martial student, must know your goals prior to beginning this endeavor. If your desire is to learn a simple approach to staying fit, or if your thought process simply does not allow for this holistic approach, then Si Feng Wu may not be for you. But if you can imagine learning to generate power as opposed to force with every part of your body, internally and externally; if you can imagine truly developing the strengths of body, mind and spirit, then you have the fortitude for this particular school of study. Training in any martial art is demanding. Some approaches are more simple, and some are more involved. Again, you must ask yourself, "What is my goal?" Then you simply choose a system, and thereby take your first step into the joyous Tao of the martial arts.

In the martial arts we gauge success one training session, one confrontation, one insight at a time. As a martial arts student, you will one day wake up and suddenly move on every biomechanical plane of human possibility without effort. You will wake up one day exhibiting, without conscious effort, more grace and poise than you even imagined, whether in roughhousing with your dog or resolving a challenging conflict. If you continue with the way of a true warrior, you will eventually realize your higher self.

At Four Winds, we offer kung fu classes for both children and adults. Adults-only and private lessons are also available upon request.

For more information regarding our classes, please send an e-mail using our contact form, or call us at (505) 814-4128.