My eternal gratitude to my Kung Fu Master, Sifu Karl Romain for showing me how Kung Fu relates to every aspect of life:
In a school, there should be common purpose; a philosophy we can all aspire to; a fellowship and support system that takes us through difficult time; a caring for the individual as an integral part of the greater whole. Schools used to be that way! Today rarely! That is why a traditional discipline, like Kung Fu has direct relevance to our art form!
We also need colleagues more advanced than we who inspire us to greater heights! Our Kung Fu school has many of those. Our teachers call themselves fellow students, and they inspire us to reach their heights!
These two especially have been my constant teachers along with my Sifu (Master)! Without their inspiration and encouragement as both my teachers and fellow students, I would not make it to Black Sash! This school is so very special! I am not leaving it, but rather extending the principles I learned there to my new home in Sweden. Kung Fu is not "fighting"! It is a way of life. It means "great skill." One can have great skill in anything if one approaches that thing with passion, discipline and respect.
Our Ying-Yang symbol is about interdependent parts--Paradox remains my favorite word. This point of arrival is a new point of departure. Tying the Black Sash the first time is both a celebration of an arrival and a preparation for the next part of the longer journey.
Not accepting mediocrity is not a judgement of others but rather an assertion of personal values! If we as singers wish to enjoy our art form in the ways we imagined when we first began, with a sense that anything is possible, we must search deeper in ourselves for the answers we did not get in the course of our studies! I have had great singing teachers throughout my studies. It is not their fault that the systems we went through, even the very best ones, do not meet the rigors of an average martial arts school. It is my believe that we need to use every new technology that is available to us, every possible experience that is accessible today to further the Old School principles that developed great operatic artists. Among these principles are Faith in our destiny, Courage to pursue our dreams and Patience to see our hard work yield fruit!