Testimony of a Young Sifu
Golden Harmony Kung Fu has been an integral aspect of my entire adult life. I met SiFu Harvey on the beach of Lake Ontario, when I was just eighteen years old. Seeing the man move with such grace and yet with so much power, along with his group of young and enthusiastic students, I had to find out more about what they were doing. We actually sat for over an hour on a park bench just talking about life, the Art, philosophy, all kinds of things. Yet, our conversation seemed to weave all those things with a common thread; that the development of self was imperative for the survival and prosperity of life.
Having been an athlete all through school, I had been craving for activity and discipline that was no longer a part of my daily routine now that I graduated. After attending my first class with Golden Harmony Kung Fu Club, it was clear that this was exactly what I needed. Back then, we trained 2-3 times a week, in 4- 6 hour classes! Its sounds like a lot, but it seemed there was always more to learn, and the enthusiasm and excitement the whole class had created such a high level of energy, that we would continue to talk about it and practice long after class was dismissed! This formed an invaluable bond between the students; some friendships that have now lasted 13 years!
SiFu’s emphasis on the Warrior Ethos, our club motto and the Shaolin Spirit, has been a key factor in the closeness, yet openness of the group. We truly learn respect, humility, strength of character, not just as a philosophical idea, but through practice, through application. These key components of his teachings have become synonymous with everything I do, every relationship I have, with every commitment I make.
Rarely have I seen an organization or a system that truly develops each individual, according to their unique attributes, abilities and short comings. As SiFu used to say often “I’m not training robots! Move! Express yourself! Each one of you has to find your own way to express this Art!” This, I believe, is what truly stands us apart in the Arts, that we are trained to think, to feel! This has grown my self confidence and my works, yet the humility in knowing of the great practitioners that have come before me, has always kept me in check.
SiFu Rupert Harvey is a man of great principle, and is guided by his principles. He is a constant pillar in his community, always involved in something locally, to benefit his neighbors, friends and peers. He is holds his family, his wife, his children, high in his heart with love. He is the same with his long time students, treating them like family. Also, these principles have opened the door for his students in many other ways.
We have always been encouraged to train with our kung fu ‘Uncles’ and ‘Aunties’, our grandmasters and affiliated teachers. Literally, dozens of masters, styles, systems are available to us through Golden Harmony. We are able to cross train, to grow in various fields of interest, from Chinese Energetic methods and medicine, personal training, diet, several styles of the Mantis form, Tai Ji, Combat Eskrima, Hung Gaar, Lion Dancing, just to name a few. All of these avenues are open to the students, because of the confidence and openness of our Teacher.
As I continue to grow and learn, the system has grown as well. SiFu continues to dedicate himself to training daily, developing himself, his skills, his Art. This is truly inspiring, and shows us an example of truly good leadership. I have come to consider my SiFu not only as an instructor, but a friend too. He is a mentor whose advice is always based on a firm foundation of Truth, Principle and Faith. His martial Art is based on the same foundation, and none, save his teacher, have I seen in matched skill and knowledge in the Art.
SiFu Gordon Wicks, 12th generation practitioner