It may be a question in the minds of many who come to this sight and wonder if there is going to be new material. The answer to this question is YES, and some very fine and interesting material I guarantee.
Currently I have been digging through my vast archive of old private tapes (of classes and demos) from my teacher Dr. Brownridge and digitizing and cataloging them into Mp2, H.264(mp4) format. We have also been busy setting up a studio for shooting video and commentary. Not being an IT geek, each stage has required learning new tech; both software and hardware. Soundtrack, voice-over has been more of a challenge than we anticipated but all things are being worked through at a steady pace.
The Hard Truth
All the time I was brought up through the ranks my teacher constantly repeated the following, “You have to earn the right to learn.” I always accepted that and did strive every day to be the one who earned his trust and to make him very favorable toward passing on his knowledge and skills. So it is today I look upon the vast sea of entitled journeymen who believe they have a right to the deep secrets and I am sad.
I say the truth; I have many well hidden secrets, some so rare that there are only a very few who are in possession; not even 100 or 50, some even less. I tell you that I would rather die with my art than waste it on an unworthy or corrupt person.
What can we expect
It is not widely known that my teacher taped certain educational seminars that were attended by very few. He did not start doing this until the late 80s and early 90s when I had already moved from Illinois to Texas. During that tenure I would travel north multiple times from 1983 to 2004 to see him and spend a week or so and in one case 10 months (1988) I would train privately and sometimes I would attend an advanced class. Class in those days was very demanding, and my training had expanded to Xingyi, BaGua, Taijiquan, and other systems and also the development of Wujiquan so my style diverged somewhat and I did not want to confuse or conflate with due respect, but I did participate and this included fighting with very high rank masters as they were all on my level. This was and still is a high-risk and dangerous matter when done with my contemporaries, depending upon who you were sparring, as the way we did things at the school from those days would probably have been considered violent, brutal and dangerous to be kind. I have seen many so called black belts melt in a puddle of …well. you know, when confronted with how we did things. So I admit I preferred privately when I was not in ready condition for matches of this sort. This had gotten bloody on many occasions (notably not my blood) and sometimes I was not in the mood. (Have anyone of you ever heard of combat sparring?) It was after that that I learned of the tapes upon returning which he distributed to sincere students for a nominal contribution. In 1990 Dr Brownridge out of great compassion and generosity traveled to Dallas where I lived at the time (because I could not afford to travel north due to funds and also my work schedule) and I put him up at the hotel I was working as an auditor giving me hours a day free time for training and study.
At that time I was teaching out of the aerobics center at gold’s gym in the Hyland Park neighborhood and he generously offered to test me for 8th Dan. That was when I first was tested for the esteemed and honorable rank of 8th Dan which I failed to pass at the time. I prepared a thesis in the form of an entirely new martial art based on 6 Karate systems and Xingyi Quan which I called Wujido. This is the origin of the name I use for the school. I demonstrated the entire art up to 10th Dan level. I also performed my “test” routine and finally the Wujiquan long-boxing which has 172 sections (taolu). I did not demonstrate Taijiquan, Xingyiquan, nor Baguaquan as these were not his expertise.
He was very impressed, and I even observed a measure of stunned respect. Although he had my 8th Dan certificate in the briefcase (I saw it) he did not award it to me at that time but on my next appointed test date in 1997 he did award me this honored and prestigious rank. I did not question him but he offered the following. “Mastery and rank is not just about ability and skill, character, humility, and spiritual attainment are equally important.” I must apologize if my words are inexact, it was a long time ago, but this is my memory. I then asked him about a secret Kata, being aware that he had mastered it and of which I had been researching for more than 12 years and as usual in casual fashion he walked through it once; and once only. This was his way. If you made him repeat himself or show you twice, he would refuse to ever, and I mean never show you again as he viewed this to be extreme disrespect to not pay absolute and focused attention to what he was teaching. If you were low rank that is something different. But if you were high rank this is how he taught. In my profession I have met a few who had experienced a single class, a few classes, a seminar and they were all filled with awe and respect and somewhat traumatized by my observation, all had experienced a life altering event and often were unable to stop talking about the experience. This is my lifelong teacher and master, a jewel and treasure hidden in a field of abject mediocrity.
Dr Brownridge is retired now and focused on his church and ministry, he currently pastors a church and does missionary work in Africa and places like Kenya.
A Phone call from the teacher
A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call just prior to his leaving for Kenya on the 16th day of November this year. It occurred that he had misplaced his master tape of his Advanced Black Belt Kata up to 8th Dan. It appeared that I was the only student who had a copy. I did eventually find it among the many boxes where I have VCR tapes in storage. Happily he now has a copy. (update)
I have to admit that the quality of those tapes are rather poor, given they were made with a cheap camera during the era of Xerox copy machines with that icky blue ink. I am sure most of you don’t remember this but there was a time when I was younger we used manual typewriters and made these nasty-looking copies using the Xerox. This was before Windows, Microsoft and Apple. The tapes are of very poor quality and some have music background that currently may make them unusable due to new copyright laws.
However, If I am able I will attempt to clean them up (if possible) and put together some tapes that combine some samples of his work, and that means I will put together something in the sparring methods where you will see some of my Kungfu and Karate brethren from my earlier years; Prof Wesley Smith, Prof Eric Harris, his brother Professor Tony Harris, Dave and Doug Heath. If not I will provide updated material that can be used by others and even his own students to expand and level up on some basic routines.
I, like my master am not in the business of giving things away to people who have not earned the right. Some things, even rare and valuable teaching will pass through these pages, but I don’t plan at this time to lay open the most advanced secrets in this or any website as this will violate promises and oaths taken. If that changes all will know. Training under a true master (whomever you trust and respect) is a requirement to achieve advanced levels. Being a MMA tough is not really advanced and it carries with it both advantages and disadvantages. We see this on display whenever we look into the lives of MMA fighters. It is a lifestyle, a combat sport, but it is truly not Martial Art in the historical and accurate sense of the term.
In truth I have studied under MANY masters, but Dr. Brownridge is my teacher. Dr David Brownridge 10th Dan PhD MMA Karate, Jujitsu,Judo, Wushu. I can verify that I have been across the country and abroad in China a dozen times and met no one superior to him. At this level everyone is truly an individual and different just as every blossom every tree every face is different from all others. I believe that all true masters are unique as such, and I don’t presume to grade or compare. We as men of Martial Chivalry understand that we stand or fall on our own merit. Although I have many very high rank certificates in a number of systems I consider them as what they really are, paper. I am humbled by the honors given me by great men and hope to live up to them. It is who we are, and what we accomplish that matters. In the age of the internet people of little consequence or worth constantly degrade others publicly and openly, often precisely because this person has accomplished something of great worth.
My most recent promotions
My most recent formal promotions occurred in the following way, in 1997 I received the 8th Dan in Champaign Illinois at headquarters, and in June of 2004 at headquarters I tested before an International grand-master committee and received the 9th/10th Dan. I have provided photograph evidence of certificates back to godan rank (5th Dan) considering others to not be particularly relevant. The red belt shown is the highest honor, It was sent to me from the Eur-Asian Union thus making my ranks legitimately world wide and internationally recognized. Some of the masters and systems I trained under did not award rank (or did not mention such to me as I am not Chinese) Some use sashes. Some masters when they discovered my superior skills (which I always hid) immediately stopped teaching me and became afraid (for no reason) and did not want to teach me privately or pass on anything of value. So at some point in your journey if you become advanced enough, you will be on your own. It is inevitable.
In 2002 a disloyal student/employee broke into my car and stole a briefcase containing a massive amount of original material concerning my Wujiquan research. Unfortunately for him it was in code and short hand with no illustrations or drawings. Later we caught him embezzling and cheating some of my students. I stripped him of all ranks, made him sign a confession in front of witnesses, and threw him out. As it would happen, just this last year, as my library is vast I decided to open an old book from 1847 to look into his theories on the electrical nature of the universe and inside was the very first outline I had ever made of the 48 linear styles in 4 typed pages. These are the 48 linear styles of Wujiquan. I had managed to recover everything else but that and now I have it again. Such is my life.
My training has never ceased however. In 2014 10 years after spending 46 training hours with Yang jun (Yang shih Taijiquan) my 6th Taiji teacher I formalized 5 corrections to the Yang form that had gradually altered the 3rd generation Yang chenfu routine. Since then I have recovered the 1st generation original inner door Yang shih Taijiquan routine through extensive research and verification and hopefully will as a result one of only a very few living masters who possess the original Yang luchan /Yang banhou 1st generation set. It took 10 years to find and make the corrections to the 3rd gen routine, this one is even more difficult to recover. But this is the type of work with which I am engaged.
Train with purpose, never quit on yourself; respect yourself and respect others. Be virtuous. It is more important than you may realize at this time. Practice mindfulness no matter what your discipline, expand your knowledge, find joy in other’s improvements however great or small.
The Longmen Xiongdi Oath in part begins with these words; We who study the art of kungfu consider it our responsibility and duty to continue to improve our character, to observe the superior qualities of courage, compassion, self-restraint, and non-violence.
Article updated 4/19/2018