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