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My Veiws on Kung Fu / Gung Fu


      Glen Dahms was born in 1952 and grew up US in the 60's. I was interested in playing sports and being a tuff guy. I also grew up with an abusive alcoholic step father and a degrading nick name, so I fought a lot, admired and wanted to be a great fighter!

     About the time I was hitting puberty (1964) was Influenced by the images and movies of Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee. I had no real father and these were my idols, my role models of the 1960’s. The handsome tough guy with a karete chop who could sing,charm and have any girl, and the coolest, guenise, most effective fighter with secretes never seen before.An it was called Chinese Kung Fu. My path, my goals were to know, become close to,be like my idols. I watched,read everything, eat and drank Elvis and Bruce Lee.Though I tried learning other things I heard Bruce did Kung Fu was the main goal of my journey,but it was secret and nearly impossable to find in the 1960's and 70's. But i did! Strangely it lead me to much more then just being a tough guy. My first Kung Fu training was in my home town of Wauconda, IL. Privately with me and three freinds 1970's. Next in Chicago in a real Kung Fu school 1970's, then late 1970's and early 80's at Tein Tao Temple and later two others in Chicago. Below are pictures of the some Kung Fu/ Taoist Temples I spent some time studying and visiting on my trips in Asia.

Taoist Temple Hollywood Hills Cebu City Visited there in 1985, 1986, 1987 Hollywood Hills Cebu City Taoist Temple of VirtueTaoist Temple of Virtue China Temple China Kung fu Temple
Cobra Kai TempleCobra Kai Kung Fu Temple Chinese Spiritual Temple Courtyard shot Chinese Spiritual Temple Trigram Cobra is on Top Note: tower window Trigram Cobra is on Top, Tiger @3 Crane @4, Leopard @11 (not normal order of trigram, denotes preferences)


The Eight TrigramsThe Eight Trigrams to Balance & Harmony
4 Major & 4 Minor Animal SystemThe Chi Tao Circle of the 4 Major & 4 Minor Animals to become the Dragon inner & outer Traveling the heavanly way Traveling the Heavenly path or way; Note the logo in our Header.

     Gung Fu and Kung Fu learned by Bruce Lee in his early years growing up and this was used in the creation of his Jeet Kune Do. Though born in the US certain behavioral and cultural aspects where an unspoken part of Bruce speaking Chinese, living, and growing up mostly in China. The differences in pronunciation are just dialectical which also suggests the parts of China they came from. More important is that the contents although called by names like White Eyebrow, White and Silver Crane Techniques, Hsingi Chen, Bogwa, Chi Gung, Shaolin, Chi Tao Chuan, Tie Chi Chuan, all are part of, came from one philosophy, one source (explained here later). The Zen, Buhdistic, Thoaist, Chinese philosophy is central to Kung Fu. Budarama's travels and observations from India to southern China brought to the Shaolin Temples the natural lessons of life and death and fighting techniques of the Animal Systems. There were few Kung Fu schools in the States in the 1960's. Temple style learning was still the real way to learn but was fast being basterdised. You must learn the whole system how it was put together, the thought behind it and each lesson to really understand Kung Fu. To learn was a life style that shaped you as you grew, a way of life and living not just effective fighting techniques. To know Kung Fu was to learn not only the lessons of physical technique, hard work, but also how the lessons relate to life. Kung Fu is about nature, the earth the animals, the way of things are and work in the universe, natural life style,the way of life, with natural herbal waters, tea, lineaments and how to use them message them in, (not just rub some on) healing techniques, message muscle manipulation, bone, spine alignment these were all part of Temple style systems, way of learning and growing over many years of life. It enriched ones life with the depth of morality, character, respect, dignity, honor, in the understandings and order, timing of the lessons that were taught to you in Chinese (also Filipino and Indonesian) cultures. Understanding the principles of the Yin Yang, balance,harmony these principles are related in the technique which lead you to the life lessons. There are universal principles found in the philosophy of all Asian Martial Arts and the animal systems. There was one original source from which influences were left behind in each place of his travels. From his observations and his life lessons learned to that piont of his life.
     Kung Fu's lessons the Animal system if learned and understood in it's whole and original form teaches not only the physical technique but also how they relate to life, how they are used and not used in life. It's about family, friendship, morality, conduct,and survival. Learning the four major animals and four minor is to have a half understanding of Kung Fu and Chinese thought. The three Body(snake), Mind (crane), Spiirt (Tiger) leads you to an understanding of what makes up you! But not of enjoying life. The missing offshoot is emotion (leaopard). There are eight trigramson the symbol hanging above the meditation alter or else where in the school/ Temple. The four minor combinations are of Tiger and Crane (Eagle), Crane and Snake (Mantis), Snake and Leopard (Boar), Leopard and Tiger (Panther). The the eight trigrams (broken and unbrocken line sets of three symblize those names, traits, ways. In the center is the globe of Yin and Yang shows understanding of the weaknesses and strengths of each animal stereotype,it shows there is futher combinations, (64 total), and the cross understandings understanding of each leads to balance/ harmony between them (becomes the Dragon), creates the Dragon within the circle; and above and outside the circle looking down at it all. Everything is very symbolic in the Chinese thought and wrapped in metaphor that you must stop, sit, and listen to ponder, think of understand the meaning. It's a good idea to get a chess set and learn it well, learn the depth of thinking and then you'll have the tools the symbolic nature of Chinese thought tries to devevlop. Kung Fu's animal systems was not meant to be chopped up and learned in part, to learn only portions.How it fits together as a whole is key!
     Use of Herb's and the creation of lineaments and the proper way to apply and massage them in. Some are to protect,toughen, invigorate and move blood and energy, some are more topical for muscle bruising and some penetrate deeper for bone bruises. The touch understood in depth for not only fighting, but also for both soothing and healing. The tool of touching areas or spots can be used not just to cause discomfort, pain, destruction, paralysis, and death for fighting; but also between mates for heightening sensitivity, awareness and feelings. The next step of the same tool (touch) is through accupressure, massage, muscle manipulation and bone, neck and back alignment. An understanding of body, mind and spirit is learned in more then one way! As you practice physical technique. But there are also different meditations taught in the various systems and are designed to accomplish different things. The Tan Tien to learn about over coming discomfort while gaining an understanding of the center of your universe, breathing, visualizing energy flow and a certain calm and peace. Others are more for tension release and transcending the three stages of your being, (body, mind and spirit) some for development of chi (life's energy) from the palms which can aid not only in fighting but soothing and healing , others for increased focus and development of total body peace and the protective chi force emanating from and surrounding the body. I am Glen Dahms. The Grand Master, Chief Instructor for Dahms Academy schools. Though I have a more Temple style approach then most I am a firm believer in and consider myself to be teaching in the Jeet Kune Do way. Though I already had some Martial Arts back ground after Bruce Lee’s death I devoted myself to Gung Fu. Till after meeting Bruce Lee’s protegee that is. That’s when my eyes opened wide and my learning really took off. I had learned many things about the Chinese culture in my Temple style training of Gung Fu. (I thought, my travels taught me much more). My first Gung Fu training came from a my meditation instructor John Platt in 1971 to 73 in my little country home town of Wauconda, IL. There was no Kung Fu schools yet. The USA was just experiencing drugs for the first time. Back then it was private teaching, known only by word of mouth taught at home, we called it the animal system. I didn’t know it any other way. All I new was we did toughing, meditation and a lot of neat forms, and that it had come from Denver Colorado. His instructor was Al Decascas. Also I was learning sticks (a little Filipino Eskrima) but I was just out of high school did not pay attention to names or that it was not Gung Fu. I like most of my friends was a sport jock and a tough punk who wanted to be cool. I didn’t know what a Filipino was or how they were different from Chinese, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand or even from Japanese. You could not force me to eat rice and everything made in Japan was a joke, made in USA was the good stuf! It was all Asian to me, then! I didn't know where these countries were on a map, how they lived, what they thought, ate, or developed and could not care less. Just wanted to meet my hero and talk to them, check them out! I wanted to be like Elvis (who died just five years later) on my cycle (in the movie Roustabout) and Bruce Lee like in the movies (who died the next year in China no less). I didn’t have a chance I thought. Came close in the case of Elvis. I followed him around the country in concerts till 1977, saw him near by in passing a fewtimes. Bruce died but I studied books and magazines, (no video tapes then). I found out who Dan Inosanto was and tried to track what he was doing. Made some money, learned to ride thanks to a friend next door, bought a new 1973 750 Honda, fully dressed and took off cruising for a few months. When I left my little country town on a motorcycle to explore and check out the Gung Fu in Denver Colorado and on to California looking but could not find any thing about Jeet Kune Do. I stayed with a relative in San Jose a while and headed back home. Young and wild, what a memory it was, so I did it again in 1975. Still no luck not enough info about Dan and JKD. Later I was well on my way to discovering Jeet Kune Do. (So I thought)! I had a background in Judo and Tae Kwon Do and now a few years of study behind me in Gung Fu. I was commuting several days a week to emples in Chicago. Then in 1980 Dan Inosanto the only instructor under Bruce Lee (as far as I knew) taught a Seminar at JackSoderbergs Lama Kung Fu School, then again in 1980 at Fred Degerbergs. Who knew a seminar was really an intense all day, hands on, drilling sessions in about four topics each day, for two days in a row. I now could experience real JKD training! Seeing Dan demonstrate was a stunning, inspiring, jaw dropping, eye opening experience compared to all I had seen before. JKD can not be understood by reading Bruce’s quotes or his or others JKD books. You must see, feel energy, train the techniques, the way they flow through an opponent. Only a good JKD instructor can teach you that. You must feel, get the real experience! It’s the only way to understand what Bruce was thinking when he wrote those words. Thanks to Fred Degerberg and my working for him at the time he introduced me to Dan personally! (Fred continued bringing Dan back several times a year which started the seminar road of today). It was a shock, I nearly fell off the ladder I was working from. I felt like I was shacking hands, asking questions of Bruce Lee himself! I stopped my Gung Fu and devoted my time to classes at Fred’s and week end seminars every time there was one, two, three times a year and more as time went on. Soon there were week long camps (Smoky Mountain, Janesville, Colorado) with Dan and other Bruce Lee students. Also seminars with other Masters of systems connected with what Dan was doing. I followed him and others connected to him as much as I could for the next fourteen years. Any thing he did in the tristate area and some times a lot further, I prepaid, drove, attended and tried to absorb all I could. This led me to meet many very talented people in the USA and to travel to all the Countries mention above earlier. My Favorite place to go explore and train every year is the Philippines. This has led me to learn so much about myself and the world as well and led me in a diverse life to develop skills and talents way beyond my then high expectations. If it was not for Chicago’s Fred Degerberg, Dan Inosanto, the other Lee students met and JKD instructors under them I would never have developed the talents, skills and knowledge in Martial Arts that I have. Surprisingly also so many things about myself and the world. I am just so thank full that my quest to be tough led me to Kung Fu and through Bruce Lee to Dan Inosanto and to understand the Atrs of Martial Arts and have real ability.

Fear should be in the eye of the beholder, not you! Learn to defend your self for real; agianst a weapon or empty hands, at work, business, inside, outside, getting in a car, even on a plane! Learn fast effective street fighting technique and; Have No Fear!