Brian with Sifu Po-Leung
Tai Chi and the other internal martial  systems have always been a continous  study and passion for Brian. As a child he  lived in San Francisco's Chinatown district. At an early age he was fascinated by the  artwork, Buddha statues and smells of  Chinatown. There were always the sounds of firecrackers and all kinds of firework  paraphanilia around, also many different  Chinese rituals took place around the year. Being a good athlete, Brian's interests  merged with martial arts. His first teacher  Sifu Clarance Lee was one of the most  intelligent and well versed martial artists  in the world. With Mr. Lee Brian studied  different styles of Okinowan Karate,  American boxing, weapons and every now and then some Tai Chi principles. It was  then when Tai Chi first caught Brian's  attention, by the slow consentrated  graceful movements that Mr. Lee  practiced. But most of all it was the  centerdness and the meditative space he  would see Mr. Lee in. Brian stayed with his Sifu for years, but after several bone  fractures he decided to take a break from  the whole scene for a while.
Many years later, when Brian was back from a tour in Europe, he spotted an elderly  gentleman in his eighties doing the most amazing concentrated movements of Tai Chi. This was another Mr. Lee from China. At this point Brian asked for lessons from him, but he declined to teach anyone at this time. Mr. Lee pointed across the park to Sifu Po  Leung, saying: "There is your teacher." It was perfect, just a great person and one of the truly great Tai Chi masters rooted in the Yang tradition of Tai Chi. That day began a wonderful study and friendship which is still flowering. Along with Tai Chi, Brian is interested in Qigong as an internal energy study. He  incorporates all these principles with his drumming and has merged his philosophical  ideas in his book "Tao of Drumming"
:: Sacred tree of the Golden Gate Park ::
Photo: © P. Vähi
Photo: © P. Vähi