"Five years ago I arrived at Wudang a few days into the programme, and seriously considered joining in the first few months. But after speaking with Shifu he thought the traditional class was not the best way for me, and that if I came and went twice each year for the five years I could still learn everything I would need to know.
In making this decision I underwent some very unique challenges. The physical and financial effort of making twelve individual journeys to and from Wudang and trying to keep up a high level of training, alongside earning a living and beginning to teach and run a school has been more than I ever bargained for, and more than I ever thought possible. I have made so many mistakes. Over the years I have often envied san ban for their stable environment here, and fact that they have only had one world of difficulties instead of two. With this stability they have improved their physical abilities to level that I continue to be in awe of.
I have learned though, that personal transformation and the application of the dao to our lives is the only way to realize our potential as human beings, and to find meaning and truth and usefulness in being here on earth for those that search for it. A great peace has arisen in me from following the ways of nature and the universe, and I look forward to a lifetime of learning that these five years have built the foundation for.
For this journey I am so grateful to Shifu and to my kung fu family here at the school. Shifu has taught me how to listen to the world and to my own heart. He has given me the means to change and heal my body and my health and has always supported me to return here, which was so important in the first few years when I did not have so much support. It has been so difficult at times, but it was the only way. Thank you Shifu.
And from each of my brothers and sisters in San Ban I have learned so much. Watching and listening to their own struggles and challenges and achievements and slowly opening my heart to become part of a family closer than any I could have imagined. You each remain in my heart forever.
It feels that we are no longer children, and now must go forward and enjoy life, and play our part in bringing balance to the world. I give thanks to the ancestors and teachers in our lineage, for the wisdom and foresight of Shifu, and for the great gift of becoming a disciple. May we all be successful, both in our health and our work, and may San Feng Pai lineage prosper in the best possible way.
Rachael / Deng Mao Zi Jiao