Account from Grand Master Nam Anh, 1999
After ten years of separation, I found Grand Master Liu Ping still unchanged. His long hair whitened by the passing of one hundred and nine winters was always done in the traditional taoist way, as a big clove of garlic atop his head. In his hand he held his old pipe, carved out of the clavicle of a bandit, who, eighty years before, had had the misfortune of crossing his path; in the other, his steel-bamboo cane, [ 1 ] warped by the wooden knots and from which hung a huge squash gourd. [ 2 ] He waved this cane, rattled the bracelets of human bones adorning his thin wrists and hoisted as trophies : this reminded me of the deeds of this noble administrator of justice, wandering and solitary, who had terrified villains and corrupt mandarins along the Sino-vietnamese border at the turn of the century.
We had spent many sleepless nights lost in discussions that only dying campfires and empty wine flasks could conclude. There he was, right in front of me, the old taoist with the childish grin, his eyes, as always, probing my deepest thoughts. His calm and soothing voice woke me :
- And so my disciple, what have you accomplished in the Western World with your Kung Fu? Tell me all about this, but first of all, you must answer me : do you still insist on not explaining when you teach?
No, Grand Master, it's quite the opposite : I lose my breath in endless explanations.
He stopped pouring tea into the tiny clay cups.
- Do you still cover them with insults?
No, Grand Master, I have begun showering them with compliments.
The curly white brows met above his inquiring stare.
- But do you still kick their behinds when they play the fool?
No, Grand Master, I no longer dare to do so.
He sighed heavily and gazed into the distance.
And so you have become a bad master. It will be many a long time before a Grand Master is found amongst the white people...