Interview with master Ku

We have been extremely lucky to secure an interview with one of the foremost masters in the known world, master Ku.

CIA: Master Ku, we've heard that Ku style is the oldest style of Taijiquan and has been in your family for a very, very long time. What can you say about this.
Master Ku: Well, it is difficult to put a precise figure to something as vaguely defined as time.
CIA: We agree with you totally, of course. But perhaps an approximate figure, then.
Master Ku: An approximation requires specifying, in some way, how imprecise a given figure is. This amount of imprecision can be specified precisely, giving us exactly the problem as I have stated it in my last reply, or it can be specified approximately, putting us in the dilemma we are currently in. So really I can't help you there.
CIA: Very interesting, to be sure. Perhaps you could tell us who created the Ku style and then tell us when he/she lived.
Master Ku: The question of creation is very interesting. Can we be certain, when we ascribe to someone the act of creating something so complex and beautiful as a Taijiquan style, that it really was that person that created it?
CIA: We can see what you mean. Do you mean all the other people preceding the creator (not to be confused with Creator) had a hand, so to speak, in co-creating the style and thus we can't be certain who contributed most to the final 'product'?
Master Ku: If you wish to be long-winded about it, then yes. Of course, I don't see why you wish to exclude the Creator in this.
CIA: Well, Creator. Of course we do not wish to exclude Him. That was just a matter of talking. Creator is, of course, Very Important.
Master Ku: Well, then.
CIA: 'Well, then' what?
Master Ku: Well, then, what do you want to know.
CIA: About your Form.
Master Ku: I thought we have covered it.
CIA: So we did. We just didn't get very far with it. OK, then. Can you tell our readers, master Ku what is, in your opinion, the most important thing to practise.
Master Ku: Taijiquan.
CIA: Uh. We meant when learning Taijiquan.
Master Ku: You should say so then. Taijiquan is not a collection of things which can be graded according to Importance.
CIA: Ugh.
Master Ku: Ugh?
CIA: I mean, can you tell us, perhaps, some of the important things one should pay attention to, in order to progress.
Master Ku: Certainly. Practice is one of them.
CIA: Now we are getting somewhere. In particular, which aspects of practice.
Master Ku: All aspects, of course.
CIA: Of course. But some exercises are more important than others in developing Internal Power, for example.
Master Ku: You are correct.
CIA:Good, so could you give our readers some specific examples, please.
Master Ku: Sure. Which examples would you like?
CIA: We are rather hoping you would chose some examples which would illustrate the point.
Master Ku: I see. It is rather simple. Internal Power is developed in conjunction with other aspects of the art. No single exercise develops just one single aspect but rather the development proceed in a harmonious fashion.
CIA: Just give us one example which also develops Internal Power, regardless what else it develops.
Master Ku: With pleasure. Practice of the Form is one such exercise.
CIA: The Form?
Master Ku: Yes. You look surprised. I would have thought it would be obvious.
CIA: Yes, it is, rather.
Master Ku: Well, then.
CIA:'Well, then' what?
Master Ku: Well, then, why did you follow such a convoluted path to get here?
CIA: Can't imagine, really. Unfortunately our time is up so let us wish you a Happy New Year, master Ku.
Master Ku: I hope I was able to help you and your readers on the Path. Thank you.
CIA: Thank you. We look forward to another interview with you in the future (Not!).

This article first appeared in our January 1995 Newsletter,issue 6.