September 18, 2007: It’s 12:25 a.m. and we just finished our GRANDMASTER WILLY LIN SEMINAR a few hours ago. We had thirty participants and to say it was a success would be an understatement. Instructor Ted Mancuso started with a little background on Willy (as he likes to be called) mentioning that he was the first person to bring BajiQuan to the United States; the first person to write an English language book on the art of Chin Nah; the first to introduce the Rope Dart in demonstration and, of course, the carrier who introduced T’ien Shan P’ai to the Western world.
Next Willy demonstrated his version of Push Hands making many great comments on the way to practice, the usefulness of Tai Chi in relaxing and repairing the body, the strategies and technical aspects of the exercise. Everyone paired up and attempted the intricate and complex actions of “four hand” pushing. People were laughing at finding themselves unable to distinguish between their own hands and those of their partners. No one, we think, would claim to have mastered the motions but it was fun, frustrating and educational. Next Willy showed a number of Chin Nah techniques demonstrated on Mike Gruber the very versatile methods of using joint locks and controls. People then spent a good amount of time hurting one another, though gracefully. Grunting and laughing were intermixed as the participants attempted to mimic Willy’s “soft and relaxed” methods. He told how he posed for Inside Kung Fu magazine and the photographer wanted him to grit his teeth and look mean when he performed Chin Nah and he kept trying to tell the guy that if Chin Nah is really good then he should be grinning since he was winning.
Finally, Willy showed the Ba Duan Jin, one of the oldest Chi Kung (Qigong) exercises in the world. These eight methods are constructed along the lines of Chinese medicine and are a perfect regimen, particularly for people as they get older.
The entire school applauded Willy and his great presentation, especially for his open and friendly manner and his homey observations on Kung Fu, right thoughts, honor and respect. After the meeting a few members took Willy to dinner and then Instructor Mancuso, Debbie Shayne and Willy had a long and interesting discussion on true Feng Shui and some amazing applications of this folk method to life and discovering one’s fate. All in one session people had a wonderful time and reunited with their teacher’s teacher, always an important event in martial careers.