Friday, May 25, 2007

Crazy Liars. Why?

At some point in class, Mike taught a spear form. The spear was really long, 10 feet or something like that. It was made of bamboo so it was springy and flexible. I enjoyed learning the form because it had a martial feel to it. We all bought spears so we could practice with them. They were relatively inexpensive since they were just bamboo with a cheap, dull metal spear head on them.

I would go down to the park to practice. I lived near a beautiful large park. It was so large that it was easy to find a secluded spot to practice. The park was covered with paths and access roads also. The paths and access roads were nice because they were flat. Sometimes I would practice in on the grass somewhere, and sometimes I would practice on a path or a road.

Depending on the time of day, the park would be almost deserted. Early in the moring, or at lunch time, or after work, there would be more traffic as people went to the part to exercise. At most other times though, it was deserted. I loved it because I could practice as much as I wanted in complete solitude, surrounded by the beautiful forest.

One day I decided I would practice in one of the access roads. What I would usually do is go to a grass spot I liked. There was an access road right next to it. If it was a quiet day, I would use the access road, then maybe move back over to the grass if people were coming. That day was quiet so I was in the access road.

The form was quite involved. It might take 15 minutes to complete. It was necessary to travel back and forth, spin around, shake the pole and generally take up a fairly large amount of space. Especially as the swinging 10 foot pole covered a lot of area.

I am doing part of the form moving forward when I hear a woman's voice. Some woman is walking her dog and she has approached along the access road behind me.

The woman is shouting at me to get out of the way. She sounds rude or angry or maybe even hysterical. Her attitude was obnoxious.

There was no reason for me to move. The access road was probably 20 feet wide. On either side of the road were the grassy areas I described earlier. One one side the grassy area was proably 50 feet wide. On the other side, the grassy area might have been 100 feet from the access road to the trees. If the woman had some problem or the other, all she had to do was walk around me.

The woman continued to yell at me telling me to stop what I was doing and get out of the way. Her demands were so outrageous I of course ignored them. Besides, I was in the middle of doing the form. Once you start a form, you are not supposed to stop for anything. I thought it was good practice to continue doing the spear form with a screaming crazy woman behind me.

When it became obvious I was not going to stop, the lady went ahead and walked by me, yelling the entire time. Our city has a lot of homeless people that are always walking around yelling. This lady was not homeless, but she was acting like a yelling homeless crazy, so it was easy for me to ignore her.

I might even have told her to shut up and go away. She was that obnoxious. It was mind boggling from my perspective to be surrounded by 150 feet of grassy area that gave the woman large amounts of room to avoid me, but instead she came right at me, and demanded that I give way to her. The woman was obviously having some kind of bad time and she was looking for a fight.

The woman walks by as I continue to practice the spear form. She disappeared down the access road and I worked on returning to a calm state of mind so I was practicing the way I should be.

I do another 3 or 4 sets of the form. I did some certain number of repetitions I do not remember. Maybe 10 since that sounds like a round number. I am in the middle of doing the next set when a police car appears on the access road from the direction the lady disappeared.

That was weird. I went to that park every day to practice for months and years. I never saw a police car down there before.

I didn't think any more of it and kept practicing. As I said, the access road and surrounding area were large. I moved over to the side of the access road a little as I was perform the set so the police car could drive by.

The police car gets up close to me and he stops. I am expecting trouble of course. I have never seen a police car there in all the years I have been there and there is a police car. I thought he was probably going to give me trouble for practicing with the spear.

I was all ready for him. Where I live there is a large community of people who practice martial arts. You can find people all over the park and all over the city practicing empty handed, with spears, with staffs, with swords or anything else you can think of. I was fully prepared to tell the police man all of this if he was going to harass me.

Instead, the police officer says "We had a report there were homeless people fighting down here. Have you seen anything?".

That made no sense to me at all. I had been there for an hour or so and I did not hear a thing. I had not seen anybody besides maybe a jogger, a bicyclist and that screaming lady. I said no I had not seen any homeless people fighting.

Then I look up and what do I see? Another police car coming down from the same direction as the other one. Then it hit me.

That crazy lady went home and called the police on me because I would not do what she told me to!!!!

The police had made up the excuse about homeless people because they knew that it was completely normal for a person to be practicing martial arts in the park. I was calm and collected. I did not run away or look guilty. I was just a regular person.

I am guessing that the crazy lady called the police and told them a dangerous man swinging a weapon around had bothered her in the park. Why else would two police cars come?

The policeman drove away, then his buddy drove by also in the other car. They disappeared down the access road without stopping anywhere else or asking anyone else any questions about homeless people fighting.

I was looking forward to the next Ba Gua class. I wanted to tell the guys how I was out practicing like a respectable kung fu man, and some crazy lady had called the police on me. I went to the next class and did exactly that. I described everything I did above to the guys at Ba Gua class.

I expected them to be as outraged as I was at some crazy lady causing a respectable kung fu man trouble. I expected them to commiserate with me about how wrong it was for me to have to deal with a policeman when I was a good upstanding kung fu man.

That was not what they did at all. They began to question my conclusions!

"How do you know the lady called the police?" they asked me. Of course I did not "Know". I would have had to follow her home and watch the phone call.

"The police probably were really looking for homeless people fighting". I was there for an hour. I never heard a sound or saw any homeless people at all.

"You are probabaly wrong in accusing that lady of calling the police". WHAT! Here I am thinking these men are my friends, my fellow kung fu students, and they are questioning everything I saw and every conclusion I reached.

What the heck was wrong with them? Are they crazy?

I was mad. I could not believe they reacted like that. When I realized they were not going to side with me, they were going to continue to cast doubts on every word I said, I stopped talking and gave up.

What was the point in talking to crazies? People who thought they had a better idea of what happened, even though they were not there?

It took me years to figure out what was going on. They were manipulating me. I was angry or upset or something about the incident. They asked me all those questions so that I would doubt myself. If I doubted myself, I would no longer be upset.

To them, it did not matter what the event was or if I was right or wrong. Their only concern was to say anything to me, no matter how crazy or how much of a lie it was, so that I would calm down and lose the emotion associated with the event.

You readers need to be aware of this technique. That was not just some random conversation they had with me. They used a technique to control and manipulate me.

This same technique is used by guilty people to escape responsibility. You might catch a murderer with the knife in his hand. Using this technique, he will say to yo "Did you SEE me stab the person". You of course say no because you did not see the actual stabbing. You walked up afterwards.

Using the technique, the guilty person will continue pounding away, "Did you SEE me stab the person". They create doubt in the target, who will eventually give up on the accusation.

It sounds crazy. The person is standing there with a bloody knife in their hand. But someone like that really can, through force of will and insisting on lies, convince some people that he did not commit the murder.

Or you can use the technique to convince someone that some event that has them emotionally charged never really happened, or happened in some other way that is not worth getting emotionally charged up.

After that incident, I think I took 5 steps back from everyone. Here I am thinking they are my friends who will agree with me that I was wronged. Instead, they are crazy liars telling me lies and trying to get me to doubt the own processes of my brain, just so they can practice some mind control manipulation technique on me.

Sometimes I really think those guys were scum. ;)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lonnie and George

Years back I came across a website by the group. As I perused the site, I had the feeling it was run by the group alone. I don't think Mike was around. The site had a friendly feel to it. As if it was run by regular people who were advertising and looking to reach out to others.

Part of the site that made me think it was run by the group and the part of the site that gave me a friendly feeling was the photo section. There were some photos of people demonstrating Yin Fu Ba Gua.

Later on, 1 or 2 or more years, I went back to the site and it had changed. It had a professional and cold feel to it. Interestingly to me, the photo section was gone.

To me that meant one thing and one thing only. Mike was back in the picture. ;) Mike had made an appearance and taken control of the group or the website. Mike's natural paranoia, reticence and secretive nature would demand that anything that was real information about the group or about Ba Gua would have to be hidden.

The website now is a sterile, cold, uninviting place that is rarely even updated. Also interesting to me was that before, there was an address for a school where lessons were given. After Mike showed up, the address was removed. Now it is necessary to call to find out where the school is.

More of Mike. More checking and controlling. He has to control who he allows to come to the class. Instead of being friendly people who want interested parties to come and meet them, now it is an exclusive club where, only if your shit does not stink, are you even allowed to go to the school to view a class.


My harsh language in that last sentence is motivated in part by writing this blog. As I have written down more and more of what happened, Mike's true nature has been hard to ignore.

As a student, I heard what I wanted to hear. Dignity, Loyalty, Pride, Family Style. All good things that make a person feel good and are considered good by human culture at large.

Mike was about hiding, secretiveness, lying, paranoia, tricking, controlling, manipulating.......all things that are considered negative by most individuals and most human cultures.

Mike would tell you that all of it was for good. He manipulated to help people. He controlled to help people. He lied to help people. That is possible I suppose. Telling white lies, leading people to do what is best for them could all be construed as good acts.

What I saw though was manipulation and lies for selfish ends. Manipulation and lies for money, sex, and control of a group of individuals.


Hmmmmmmmm. This post changed quite a bit from my original intent. My original intent was to post this photo.

This is Lonnie and George demonstrating a Ba Gua stance. Lonnie is on the left, George is on the right.

This photograph is very illuminating for those of you that are observant and have keen minds. Some of the goals of Yin Fu Ba Gua can be seen in the stance. Some of the effects on the body of Yin Fu Ba Gua can be seen in Lonnie and George. It is possible to tell who is more skilled and who is less skilled by looking at the photo without knowing anything at all about the two men.

If you don't care, that is fine. If you want to be a ring fighter that gets paid to let other people try to hurt you, then do what is good for you.

But if you are a kung fu man who wants to be a scholar warrior, a man who knows physical kung fu and wants to practice it for health and strength, but you are more interested with elevating your mind and living the life of a moral and proper human being than with fighting or doing bad things, then study that picture. Save it and look at it every 6 months or so. It will teach you something.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I am going on vacation. And you are still going to pay me

At some point in the second year I think it was, Mike announced he was going on vacation. He was going to travel back to Hong Kong to go see Gong Bao Zhai. He was going to be gone for 2 weeks or a month. I think it was probably a month.

That was unwelcome news of course. We all liked the class, and Mike was the instructor of the class. If the instructor was gone, there was not really a class. During the announcement, it was stated that classes would continue for those that were interested.

Of course I was going to keep going to class. I was dedicated. For me, the Ba Gua class was a class where I received instruction in Ba Gua and other things, but it was also an informal group of men. We were all older men who shared common goals and interests. For me, the group was not really about an older guy controlling a bunch of younger guys as would be usual in a martial arts class. Especially since Mike and I were close to the same age.

Mike departed for his vacation and the Ba Gua classes continued. Some people came and some people did not. For me it was interesting because it was an opportunity to see who was dedicated to martial arts, and who as a brown noser their to follow Mike in a personality cult kind of way. I was not surprised to see that many of the women did not come to class while Mike was on vacation. I think most of the men continued to attend.

One of the classes would have been the usual day to pay Mike for class. I believe I have related how Mike asked everyone to put their money into an envelope. The envelopes would then be collected by a third party and given to Mike, or they would be dropped in Mike's bag.

Mike would not allow anyone to give him money directly.

People were putting their envelopes in the collection bag. I didn't. I didn't plan on paying for class that month. Mike was on vacation for a month. I paid Mike for instruction in Ba Gua. The meetings with the other students only were, for me, just like the tuesday men's meetings. A voluntary meeting of the men for their own benefit.

When it became apparent I was not going to be paying, I think Jeff said something. Maybe it was "Do you have an envelope before the bag is closed up?". I explained how I felt. Mike was gone, we were all friends getting together, why was I paying for a class?

Wow! You should have felt the attitude. Rejection and censure. I didn't care. I thought they were sheep. Why would you pay someone to go on vacation? Why pay for something you were not receiving? If the rest of them were rich and voluntarily wanted to pay Mike, that was their choice. For me, money was very tight. I was frugal to the point of miserliness because I had to be. Paying for nothing went against my entire lifestyle.

Mike returns from his vacation. We are at the first class since his return. Everyone is glad he is back, there are big smiles all around. Mike talks some about his trip to Hong Kong and what happened.

I could be wrong, but I think he said it publically. I think he publically in the group mentioned that some people did not pay tuition. He said he felt that paying the tuition was a gesture of goodwill and faith. Even though Mike was not their to instruct, paying the money showed that you respected Mike and were being respectful of the group.

I felt the speech was obviously directed at me in an attempt to shame me into paying. I wasn't ashamed. I could care less. Especially since he was trying to publically shame me. I shrugged my shoulders and ignored him.

I don't think I ever did pay him. In spite of his pressure, and pressure from the others. You bet George, Lonnie and Jeff all sidled over to give their opinion about how disrespectful it was not to pay Mike.

I think that was one of those turning points that I missed. One of those events where Mike's willingness to teach me dissappated. He knew that he could control me so far, but no farther. No matter what coercion he or the others inflicted on me, I would still do what I wanted to do.

Mike wanted robots. People that unquestioningly obeyed him. People that would be clone Mike's.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ed Burke visit - addendum

There was a big post about the visit of Ed Burke, Mike's fellow Tai Chi student awhile back. Refer back to it if you are interested in what was said.

There was something else needed to be added to the entry to complete the picture of the people involved and the visit.

Mike was sneaky, dishonest and manipulative. That is odd because he always talked in class about dignity, pride and family. Before we actually met Ed Burke the day he came to visit, George came over to give us a message from Mike.

As in Mike kept Ed occupied, while George moseyed over and spoke to us real casual like.

It may have been discussed before George moseyed over and George was coming by to remind us of the message. Or it may have been the first time the message was delivered.

The message was "Don't tell Ed Burke we do Tai Chi".

Just writing that down makes me shrug my shoulders and spread my hands in confusion. Why would Mike tell us not to tell his fellow Tai Chi student, Ed Burke, who had travelled across the country to visit Mike, that we practiced Tai Chi?

Not only was it a false and dishonest statement to make coming from a man always pushing dignity and pride, but to treat a man who had travelled across the country to visit Mike and was described as a friend with boggled my mind.

There was only one reason that I could think of that Mike would not want Ed to know that we practiced Tai Chi.


As I have previously described, Mike never worked with the men on Tai Chi. We all did the Tai Chi form during the entire group practice at the beginning of class. That was it. Mike would spend a lot of time teaching the women Tai Chi, and basically refused to teach us or to answer questions.

I never questioned it at the time, but now, combined with describing how he was dishonest with Ed, I think Mike must have been hiding his Tai Chi from his own students. With the women, Mike would not feel threatened. He knew the power of the penis would keep them in line.

But if he taught the men the real Tai Chi that he knew, they might be competition for him. It is all so cave man like as to be repulsive and embarrassing.

Mike's attitude of course rubbed off on the sycophants. If one of the newer students asked Lonnie or Jeff about Tai Chi, they would almost always be patronized, or receive some kind of brush off.

Maybe it was just me that received that type of behavior? I was the only one being excluded? I don't think so. Neither George, Steve, James, Daniel, Tom, Arol or Tim ever showed anything that looked like Tai Chi skill. They might be able to verbally lie to my face, but they could not hide their bodies from me. None of them had any real Tai Chi skill.

Lonnie and Jeff on the other hand both knew the Tai Chi form well. Lonnie had practiced Tai Chi before he met Jeff so he had basic knowledge of the form that he could add Mike's lessons to. Jeff of course received everything as he did in Ba Gua as the favored student and as the man most able to properly perform Tai Chi or Ba Gua.


As you might imagine, if any of us other than Jeff or Lonnie were to do the Tai Chi form, we would have looked very bad. If we had put on a bad performance in front of Ed Burke, the Ed would look at Mike with questioning eyes?

Was Mike a terrible teacher and he had terrible students? Was Mike a decision maker and chose students who were not very good? Were all of Mike's students fakers? People pretending to be able to do Tai Chi, but really doing not much more than aerobics by waving their arms in the air?

That is the only explanation I can think of for Mike to ask us to lie to his friend Ed Burke. To ask us to hide the fact that Mike claimed to be teaching us Tai Chi.

Mike knew that none of us could do Tai Chi and he did not want Ed to see it. And maybe, just maybe, so we would not see Ed's reaction ourselves.

What would we do if we realized that Ed thought our Tai Chi was terrible? Would we then go to Mike and express our dissatisfaction with him? It is impossible to hide reactions like that. If Ed thought we were clowns performing Tai Chi, all of us would have been able to see that in his body language.

Hmmmmmmmm. I was always certain Mike had us lie to Ed because he did not want to be shamed by our poor performance. Now I wonder if there is the equal possibility that Mike had us lie to Ed so Ed would not let us know that our Tai Chi was awful.

We all thought we were doing OK. ;)

What a wuss Daniel is! ;)

One of the Men's meetings was going to be held at Daniels house for some reason or the other. It had never happened before. I think the reason was because of the location. Most of the group lived clustered around a city. Daniel lived 20 or 30 miles away in a direction that no one else lived. It was not convenient for most of the group to get there.

Lonnie and I drove down together which was a story in itself. I called Lonnie and he asked who was driving. I told him he should come by my house and meet me, thinking we would take his car. He had a small, fuel efficient and trustworthy car, while my car was old, a gas guzzler, and you always wondered if you would make your destination or not.

I walk up to the prearranged meeting spot which was probably 8 blocks or so from my house. Who do I see but Lonnie standing on the corner. He thought I was driving, and he had parked his car somewhere and was standing there on the corner waiting for me. We took Lonnie's car since it was right there and we would have had to drive back to my house to change car's.

We arrive at Daniel's place which turns out to be a condominium. It is one of those places where all the units are attached and share common walls. It was kind of secluded, but not in a nice way. It was not secluded behind trees and greenery as if it was exclusive. From what I recall, it was secluded as if it was out in some industrial area, or perhaps the first units on a large open expanse of land. It felt desolate.

We go inside and the place is about as you would expect a condominium to be. Smallish, but nice. I think it had sliding glass doors to go into the back. It had 4 or 5 rooms and it was on the ground floor. There was a living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and at least one other room that was a study or workroom for Daniel. The meeting was going to be held there.

I think when we arrived George and Jeff might have been there. I know Jeff was there.

We entered the study room which was actually smallish for 4 grown men to be occupying. Daniel had some toy like musical instruments that were either in that room, or he brought them into the room. There was small xylophone I think, and I think a small drum. Small as in 8 inches high or so.

We are having some fun and playing these miniature instruments as we wait for the others to arrive. We were playing both instruments and enjoying ourselves. I don't know how loud that might have sounded, but it could not have been that loud. The drum was only 8 inches or so high and the xylophone or keyboard was small to.

You know what? Daniel was musical which was why these instruments were available. There were not decorative as in artwork decorative. Daniel played the guitar so he had real musical interest in the xylophone and / or drum.

There is a knocking at the door. I think I was free because Jeff and Daniel were playing the instruments. I got up to go answer the door, expecting it to be George or Steve or Tom arriving for the meeting.

I answer the door and there is a woman standing there. She is probably in her late 20's or early 30's. She asks if she can speak to Daniel. I had a momentary bit of confusion as I wondered what she was doing there, when I was expecting one of the men, but I did not think too much about it.

I went back and told Daniel he had a visitor, and sat down. Now that Daniel was gone, I would get a chance at some noise making. We all sat there unconcernedly playing around with the instruments.

Then Daniel comes back and tells us that was his neighbor. The woman was Daniel's upstairs neighbor, and she wanted him to stop making noise. I was shocked and outraged. The musical instruments were really small. The noise they made could not have been that loud. It did not seem loud to me in the room.

To think that the lady could hear it upstairs and be annoyed by it made me think she was only being trouble. A complainer trying to control others. The time was maybe 8 or so. It was not as if it was 12 o clock at night and there was a raucous party going on. We were serious men having a bit of fun before our serious meeting started.

I voiced my opinion. I said I thought she was a complainer and should be ignored. That brings a smile to my face now when I think of how the other men must have thought of me. I was being myself and and I honestly felt what I said. They were all very reticent and all very......confrontation avoiding. If there was a confrontation, no matter if they were 100% right, they would back up instead of dealing with the confrontation.

I think my confrontational attitude must have made them feel as if I did not belong. I did not back up like they did. In there eyes, I was probably on the obnoxious side. ;)

After Daniel relates what the woman said, he suggests we need to stop which is when I made clear my opinion we should go right ahead at 8 oclock in the evening and do what we pleased in the privacy of Daniel's home. I don't think this appealed to Daniel. Part of his personality as being a public relations person was to always give people what they wanted. Even if it inconvenienced him.

Daniel wanted to stop, and of course Jeff and Lonnie supported him. I thought it was foolish. Once you allow someone like that woman to control you or an aspect of your behavior, you will be forever changed.

Daniel was allowing a total stranger to control his behavior in the privacy of his own home. Daniel paid big money to live in a fancy condominium, yet he was not allowed to do the things that pleased him in his own home.

Those kinds of incidents and attitudes settle into the mind and stick. They change who you are. In my opinion, it was another event that was training Daniel to be a marshmallow that let anyone get away with anything.

Even to the point of allowing his friend and kung fu master to have sex with his wife.

Don't want to complain. Don't want to make waves. ;(

Daniel's testing

This post is not really Ba Gua related. It is more of a life lesson kind of post, and it also offers insight into the Asian mindset.

Daniel worked in some kind of convention job. I believe that he set up displays for products at conventions. He would travel around as part of his job so occasionally he would miss class because he was out of state.

At some point in time Daniel came in contact with some Japanese people. I cannot recall if he set up a convention display for Japanese people or products in the USA, or if he went to Japan and did it.

Daniel returned from this job happy. He was smiling and animated as he described his work and interaction with the Japanese people. What he was really excited about was that the Japanese people liked him. They wanted to do further business with him.

I can imagine how special that must have made Daniel feel. Daniel was youngish. He looked and acted youngish. For a corporation or a group of people to single him out and make him feel special must have been intoxicating.

From the Japanese perspective, Daniel was white, he was young so he was impressionable, he was outgoing and friendly, he was a people person. Daniel would have been a good person to work in Public Relations. He would be a worthwhile asset to a business or corporation.

At some point in time Daniel said the Japanese wanted him to fly to Japan. Because of this, I am thinking he must have first met the Japanese in the USA. Daniel was bursting as he talked about how they were paying for everything. How they wanted him to go to Japan and participate in something or other for some period of time, perhaps a week or a weekend, while they covered all of the costs.

For a corporation, that money is nothing. A tax writeoff. Something corporate types accept as part of their lifestyle. For Daniel, having everything paid for, and most of it being top of the line in accomodations or business class, he must have felt godlike.

Daniel returned from Japan and it was even better than he had hoped. He had enjoyed the entire trip. The Japanese people all seemed to have loved him. Most of all they were going to have him come back for all of that special treatment again!

I was impressed. I have never flown to Japan before. I think it would be a special place. I think it would be quite an experience to interact with Japanese people in their own country.

Daniel and I were discussing one of the parties he had attended when he said "and something weird happened".

Daniel said he had been at one of the fancy parties speaking to people when he mentioned that he spoke German. Everyone was impressed and reacted as you imagine they might. Making appreciative comments for an intellectual attainment that required perseverance and hard work.

Daniel then said that there was another party or meeting the next day, and during this meeting one of the Japanese men there began to speak German to Daniel. Daniel wondered at the coincidence of telling the Japanese he spoke German, and then the next day a German speaking Japanese comes to the meeting and begins speaking to Daniel.

Even Daniel wasn't that slow. He said to me "I wonder if they were testing me?"

Of course they were testing him. Daniel had stated that he spoke German. From the perspective of the Japanese, or the perspective of a prospective employer, they would want to know if he really did speak German. If Daniel did speak German, they would test has ability to speak German. If he did not speak German, Daniel would be exposed as a man who made false claims. A man who was not suitable for employment.

When Daniel said this I remember thinking how naive he was. Actually I was less charitable than that. I wondered if he was blind or stupid. ;) There are no coincidences. Things like that never happen by accident.

For me it was a reaffirmation of my admiration for Japanese people. I have always admired Japanese culture. To hear this first hand account of how they subtly tested Daniel's claim of speaking German was affirmation that the Japanese were a special kind of people in my opinion.

In contrast, I could see a people who were more blatant about thinks point blanking asking Daniel to speak German to "prove he could speak German". Or maybe asking him to report somewhere where he could "be tested for his ability in German". Both aggressive, rude and uncaring ways of testing Daniel, when compared to the smoothness of a guest at a relaxing party "happening to speak German" and testing Daniel in that relaxed, courteous and polite atmosphere.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Daniel's tragedy

As stated in the previous post, at the end, Mike decided he was going to leave town and move to another state. The group would end and that was that. It was a hard situation. Mike had talked for years about unity, family, etc. Now here he was saying he was leaving and see you later everyone.

Everyone was asked what their intentions were. It was talked about that people could leave town with Mike and go to the new location to start a new group there. I was very bitter about this because I felt Mike had finally found a way to get rid of me. ;) I was going to college at the time and there was no way I could quit and follow a guy to a new state just to learn kung fu.

I recall the meeting where everyone was asked there intentions. One by one everyone said no, they had obligations that meant the were staying. When it was my turn, I am embarrassed to say my bitterness was obvious as I practically spit out my answer that I would have to stay also and be left behind. That is how I viewed the situation.

Then it came to be Daniel's turn. Daniel announced that he and his wife were both going to leave with Mike and go form the new group. That was an astounding announcement to me. Daniel had a well paying job, his wife had an apparently even better paying job. The idea they would both give up that money and lifestyle to move somewhere and start again, just to learn kung fu from some guy was mind boggling.

The end came and Mike left. Daniel and his wife went with him. We continued with the Ba Gua classes on our own, with Jeff or Lonnie as the leader for the men's group.

One day I get a call from Steve. This was unusual because I did not have much contact with people from the group on an individual basis. I was not friends with anyone like I would call them to go over for a beer.

We begin to talk, then Steve blurts out to me that he heard that Mike has been sleeping with Daniel's wife. I was stunned! After Mike made such a big deal about separating the men's and women's group, he was sleeping with one of the women? And after talking about loyalty and dignity and family, he was screwing one of the students wives?

I could not imagine what it must have been like for Daniel. He quits his job to follow his wife, who is following the man that is screwing her. Daniel is looking up to this man as a master or teacher or something. This man is playing Daniel for a fool while he diddles Daniel's wife.

After the conversation was over, I was thinking how shocking it all was when I remembered what my wife had said.

"She will never make it"

What my wife meant was that she could tell that Mike had been working over Daniel's wife. Not only was he screwing her, he was mind controlling her. That is why her pupils were so dilated. That is a sign of getting zapped by energy. When you are zapped by high level energy, you will do just about anything for the person who is zapping you.

Including throwing your legs up into the air.

The first inkling of tragedy for Daniel

The first inkling I had of the tragedy in store for Daniel came in the 3rd year I was with Mike. It was time for the yearly banquet where the group and it's family members got together for a dinner. People were allowed to invite friends to get a taste of what the Ba Gua group was like.

I will have plenty to say about this dinner later on. ;)

The dinner was held at a church in the town where Mike lived. It was a smallish small town church. Nothing grand or fancy. It was like the rest of the town, surrounded by trees and greenery.

This was set to be a tramatic event for me. I felt confident enough to attend the dinner and to bring my wife. I had avoided the earlier dinners. I had also kept my involvement in Ba Gua mostly separate from my private life. My wife was just not a person interested at all in kung fu or anything like it.

I arrived early to help with sitting up the church. My wife was scheduled to arrive later with Lonnie's wife.

People began arriving and the party began. People being introduced and meeting each other. Mingling and gathering to form groups. At some point Lonnie's wife and my wife arrived. My wife and I got together and began to move around talking to people.

Then the fateful moment arrived. It is so intriguing how these events take place. It felt like there was a wide empty space around my wife and I. It also felt like one of those moments where everything is quiet and you are in your own little piece of the world.

Daniel's wife was approaching us.

Daniel's wife was a doll. She was smallish with curly brown or blondish hair. She had a moon like face and was small limbed. She really looked like a doll. What was most striking to me was her eyes. She had beautiful green eyes. I had never really met her or spoken to her before because of the separation of the men's and women's group.

We exchanged some small talk and I noticed the oddest thing. The pupils of Daniel's wife's eyes were huge. They looked like those large pupils that are painted on dolls. I want to say they looked twice normal size. They seemed to fill her eyes from top to bottom.

I think there was some talk, from my direction, about Carol joining the group. I felt immediate resistance on the part of both women. I didn't know why. Then we said our goodbyes and parted.

When this dinner took place, Mike had publically been making plans to leave the city and move somewhere else. He was closing down the group and the lessons and going elsewhere.

As Daniel's wife walked away, my wife said "She is never going to make it". I asked here what she meant, but she would not tell me. Little did I know that my wife had many of the same abilities as Mike did. ;)

That was my first inking that Daniel was headed for trouble. What exactly did my wife mean when she said Daniel's wife "would never make it", if Mike closed down the group and left town?

Mike taught Daniel something he didn't teach me! Son of Bitch!

We are at the practice park out by Mike's house. The practice for the day has ended and everyone is walking away. Something had happened where I was not happy. Daniel had stopped to talk to me and try to deal with my unhappiness.

Mike, George and the others had walked away so that they were at least 30 or more feet away. Far enough away to give Daniel and I a feeling of privacy.

I think I was describing what had happened or what was bothering me and Daniel was saying some kind of calming things. Then it happened. Daniel opened my heart.

Mike was always talking about opening up people's hearts. When I first started and heard this kind of talk, I thought about it in an intellectual way. As if a person had to think good thoughts, or perhaps do good deeds.

I was completely wrong.

What Mike meant was that the heart could be physically opened. This could be done by the individual, or IT COULD BE IMPOSED ON THE INDIVIDUAL FROM THE OUTSIDE.

Mike had done this to me numerous times. When it happened, I don't think I really intellectually connected what was happening to me with an outside agency making something happen to me. I felt I was responding to words or the emotions of the moment.

Opening someone's heart makes their heart physically change. The person whose heart is opened will feel very specific physical sensations. These sensations will be accompanied by a burst of euphoria that is a result of opening the heart and releasing energy.

This is not a technique that you buy at the store. It is something special that some people learn to do on their own, but many others learn from someone.

Mike had taught Daniel how to open people's hearts. But Mike had not even really talked to me about how people's hearts were opened, much less taught me how.

When one person opens another persons heart, or does any other kind of energy manipulation, people who know about energy in the surrounding vicinity can feel it. Mike felt Daniel opening my heart.

I could see everything happening in slow motion. My brain had the thought "Mike showed Daniel how to open people's hearts! That son of a bitch never showed me!" At that exact instance, Mike began to turn around. It was like he was turning in slow motion like in a movie.

I am thinking to myself in outrage "I can't believe it! He taught Daniel how to open people's hearts but he hasn't taught me! How could he! How could he betray my trust like that!". Then Mike completes his slow motion turn. George and the others are all turning at the same time as if they are connected to Mike.

Then Mike shouts "Daniel" in a sharp voice and breaks the spell. Mike knew what I was thinking. Mike knew he had taught Daniel something he did not teach to me. Mike knew that I had caught on and understood exactly what had happened.

Mike never expected Daniel to use the ability on me. Daniel himself probably never really thought about it. He did it to see if he really could. And he really could.

After Mike shouted, Daniel abruptly turned and walked away. You cannot imagine he sense of lonliness and isolation I felt. Not only was I betrayed by Mike, he taught the new student something he had not taught me, when I caught on to what he did, he did not even try to make an excuse. He gathered up the other men and they all walked away as a group, leaving me behind with the knowledge that they were without a doubt excluding me from some of the activities of the groups and some of the techniques of Ba Gua.

Mike you dishonest, lying, manipulator. How can you look people in the face and talk about pride, dignity and honor, and then turn around and behave like that?

You say one thing and you do another. That is not the behavior you taught us was respectable from a kung fu man. I think Gong Bao Zhai would be ashamed.

Unless of course that is where you learned the dishonesty from.

Stunned and Shocked! Daniel is stronger than I am

When Daniel came to the class, it was at the behest of his wife. His wife was part of the women's group and she talked or cajoled or perhaps only interested Daniel in joining the group.

Daniel was a marshmallow. He was a largish 6ft plus, but he had the demeanor of a boy. He was soft and flabby. Daniel did not join because he wanted to learn kung fu. He had never had a desire to practice kung fu before joining the group. Because of that, I did not respect him that much.

As has been related before, Daniel was a suck up. He was always talking about became fast friends with Mike. Daniel, Mike, and Steve, the other suck up, were always hanging out and talking. I mentioned before that Steve had no previous kung fu training or interest before joining the group.

This really bothered me. Although both me were good men in that they were friendly, kind, likable, funny and a good addition to the group, it still bothered me that the were not really devoted to kung fu. I felt that Mike should not have allowed them to be so friendly and goofy, and should have pushed them to be more serious about kung fu.

I am stating all of this to give a background to my opinion of Daniel's abilities. He never practiced kung fu before. When he started Ba Gua he of course looked very bad when he did things. Not because he was useless or anything, but because he was a 1st year beginner at kung fu.

For that reason I did not have much respect for Daniel as a kung fu man. I felt he had little or no ability. It is oddly hard for me to write this know, but back then, I was certain my 10 years plus experience in kung fu would allow me to beat Daniel in any kind of fight.

There was never a lot of physical contact or sparring where people used anything like real power in class. Everything was always about doing the form the proper way and controlling yourself so you did not become wild. I personally never had any real hard evidence of how strong or good anyone was.

I of course knew that George was strong because he was big and he played football. I knew Lonnie was strong because he had done Tai Chi for 15 years or so. Even though Jeff was small and probably weaker than me, I knew he had done kung fu for most of his life so his skill level was levels above mine. I knew that James had sadistic tendencies that would make him a difficult man to oppose.

Steve and James though did not bother me. I was convinced that Steve's age and condition would make any fight out of the question. It would be me hurting him and nothing else. I was convinced that Daniel's out of shape condition, his goofy attitude and his lack of previous training would allow me to beat him also.


One weekend we go to the Sunday meeting after the meetings had moved out by Mike's house. The area was breathtakingly beautiful. Tall trees, pine needles on the ground, soft rich smelling dirt, bushes and crawling plants and vines all over. This was a parklike area that was within walking distance of Mike's house.

The area was full to bursting with energy. The entire town was built on a pocket of good energy. Because people who know about this stuff knew about the good energy of the town, the town was for the super wealthy. That was why Mike lived and worked there. To make contacts with the super wealthy so he could get some of that wealth.

The part of the park up by his house had a large wooden decking area built for some purpose. Perhaps outdoor concerts or poetry reading or something. The library was just up the hill from the decking. We all walked down to this perfect spot to practice kung fu.

The day was different from most in that we were going to be working on partner drills. Usually we did the forms together, then people broke up to perform the forms individually. There was not a lot of person on person training. This day was going to be especially devoted to two person drills.

We perform this and that kinds of drills involving Ba Gua walking while approaching or avoiding people. Some pushing kinds of drills. Some attack and defence kinds of drills.

Then we are going to do a drill that involves pushing. We are supposed to put our hands on the attackers chest and try to forcefully push him away, while the other man stays in his Ba Gua stance and trys to disappate the force without falling down.

My partner was Daniel. I thought to myself, "This should be easy. Now is my turn to show I do have superior kung fu skills to Daniel. I have been with Mike for 3 years while Daniel has only been here a year or a year and a half. Now is my time to show my stuff".

We both prepare ourselves for the drill. I reach out and place both of my hands on Daniels chest and I go into shock. My mouth drops open, my hands fall awaw from his chest and I stand there dazed.

Daniel is stronger than me.

I was shocked because not only was Daniel stronger than me, I could tell this by doing nothing more than placing my hands on his chest. It was an ability I had no idea I had.

If you read about old time Tai Chi contests that are famous, you will read about how the two famous men came together, touched hands, then one was declared victorious without anyone doing any punching or kicking. The stories always describe how the spectators are disappointed and mystified.

Why no fight? How did they decide who one?

Those old time guys decided who one using the same method I used above. I had become so sensitive though my long time kung fu practice that when I placed my hands on Daniel's chest, I did not feel just his chest muscles. I could feel that his body was connected and solid from his chest muscles all the way down to his feet. I could feel that he could aborb anything I could do to him becuase he was better connected within his body than i was.

I was devastated. I was so certain about the level of my abilities. Then this man I have no respect for, a man who practices like a child with no focus, is stronger than I am.

Daniel has no idea what is going on. I can see him looking at me like "What happened to this guys mind? He looks like no one is home". Not really knowing what is going on, he mimiced the movement that I had made to him. He placed his hands on my chest for a second and pulled them away.

I felt embarrassed when he did that. The movement felt like someone feeling up your titties. I wondered if that was what Daniel thought it felt like. ;) It was just a quick laying of the hands on the chest, then immediately pulling them away like you were getting a free feel. ;)

He didn't know what I was thinking so I doubt he felt anything when he pressed my chest. I couldn't hardly say anything so we just looked at each other until my shock wore off.

What could I say? "Daniel. I had no respect for you. I though you were a weak child. After placing my hands on your chest, I am no having to deal with the reality that you, a weak child in my opinion, can probably kick my ass with one hand."

Not only was that hard to accept, it caused bad feelings for Mike to develop in me. My first thought was that because Mike was close to Daniel because he was a suck up, he had taught Daniel things that he had not taught me.

I was exactly right. Daniel the suck up, who never took kung fu before and practiced like an unfocused child, was taught things by Mike that Mike never taught to me, a person who had practiced kung fu for 10 years, and practiced so diligently in class that the other group members thought I was standoffish and unfriendly.

That was when I finally started getting angry at Mike. After ignoring the provocations for years, viewing them as tests of my loyalty, the thought that Mike would teach this marshmallow Daniel things he did not teach me because Daniel was a good butt polisher made my blood boil.

It is boiling right now thinking about it.

You had to know Mike. He talked of nothing but dignity, respect, justice, pride.......Everything moral and right. And here he was, teaching a lower level person things he did not teach a higher level person.

Where was his loyalty to the student? Where was his honor in providing the person the training that Mike accepted money for? Where was his respect for me as a paying student of a higher level than Daniel? How did he think my sense of pride would be when I discovered he was teaching Daniel things he was not teaching me?

For a man who so prided himself on being able to completely control others, a man who really did have probably 20 out of group of 35 people completely controlled in a cult like manner, he really misjudged me.

How glad I am of that.

The kung fu brother videos

One day we are over at Jeff's place for a meeting of something or the other. I wonder if it was a regular Sunday class that was held at Jeff's while the women went off to pursue something else because Mike was at the meeting. Mike never attended any of the men's meetings, so his presence at Jeff's house had to be due to some other event.

The meeting or whatever it was had ended and the group was gathering up things in preparation to leave. At some point in time, Mike and I were left alone in the living room. This was a notable event. Mike and I just were never alone together. As I have said before, I preferred to keep my mouth shut and keep a low profile. Looking back, I think that Mike was probably trying to avoid me most of the time. Between those two attitudes, we were never alone. There was always someone else around to act as a buffer or a diversion.

For that reason, I was on my guard. If Mike and I were alone, he was doing it for a purpose because Mike never did anything by accident. He made certain we were never alone usually, so if we were alone now, something was going to happen.

Mike began telling me about videos that his kung fu brother had created. These videos demonstrated various things that Mike had been teaching in class. Mike said he thought it would be a good idea for me to get them.

Then he takes on a conspiratorial tone and says "They show too much". When he did that, I had this feeling like I should grab the tapes and forget Mike. I could take the tapes and learn from them because they showed more than Mike did.

It was Mike making me feel that way. This was another one of his attempts to get me to leave the group. He told me about the tapes, the mentally, emotionally and energetically manipulated me to think I should grab the tapes and leave Mike.

For long time readers of this blog, you will recognize this must be the 4th or 5th time I have described an incident where it looked like Mike was trying to get rid of me. Even me, being as dense as I was, mind clouded by ideas of loyalty and devotion, could no longer deny that it really looked like Mike wanted me to leave the group.

At that point in time, I became convinced it was all a test. Mike was purposefully being troublesome, purposefully ignoring me, and purposefully pushing me away to test my resolve and loyalty.

Was I the kind of person who, if I got mad at Mike one day, would walk away? Showing that all my protestations of loyalty and desire for Ba Gua were false? Or would I shrug off annoyances and remain loyal?

To my way of thinking at the time, this tape episode was another test. Not only was Mike verbally telling me that this tape offered me more than he did, he actually tried to push me so I would walk away.

If I was only sort of loyal, only a little bit loyal, then his push, his mental manipulation, would have broken the very small loyalty that I had. On the other hand, if I resisted his verbal manipulation, his mental manipulation, his emotional manipulation and his energetic manipulation of me, then that proved that I was loyal to the core. It proved that even in the face of strong provocation, I would remain loyal to both Mike and Ba Gua.

That did not stop me from buying the tapes. ;)

At the time, I did not have such a clear idea of what was happening as I described above. At the time I was susceptible to Mike's manipulation. He advised me to get the tapes so I got the tapes.

But I never watched them. For me that was part of the test. I went ahead and got the tapes as Mike instructed, but because I was loyal to Mike and I trusted him to properly instruct me, there was no need for me to view the tapes. That was part of the test. Would I watch the tapes and start asking Mike about the stuff in them? Or would I continue to trust Mike to watch my progress and tell me what I needed to know when I needed to know it.

Would you believe I never did watch those tapes until almost 10 years later? Yes I still have them Mike. ;) And they are very good tapes as you described. Your kung fu brother did show quite a bit of the system. Enough that a person driven to learn kung fu could perhaps learn some of it on their own.

I am shaking my head over this post and smiling. That poor Mike really wanted to get rid of me. But because I saw so many movies about the master testing the loyalty of the disciple, every time he tried to drive me away, I clung even tighter because I thought it was a test. ;)