As a rule, Master Bill Hulsey never gets involved in online forums, arguments or discussions as they are futile. He is going to make an exception this time .
This is an open letter to all of those who say you cannot learn Kung Fu San Soo through books or videos:
Well, I know a few people who would disagree with you completely. Jimmy H. Woo is the first person that comes to my mind. I personally bought five autographed books from him many years ago. He told me and many others that purchased these books from him that we could study and learn from them after he was gone. That was their purpose and I have learned many new lessons from his books. I don’t think his wife Bernice would be too happy about those statements you guys have made either. You see, she still sells these books for study to this day.
As far as learning from any video is concerned, one of you said and I quote” I’ve talked to Master Jack Sera about this many times and he always says, nope it’s not going to work out.” Wow! Master Jack Sera has three training videos out there for sale himself doesn’t he? I don’t understand. Why would someone who has three training videos for sale himself say that you can’t learn from a video? Maybe you should go back and talk that over with him again before volunteering his opinion on this forum. The truth be known, there are lots of other training books and videos on San Soo out there as well, beside mine, for sale right now.
There’s an old Chinese saying that says that he who speaks the most usually knows the least. I have found this to be true in many cases, but of course, not all.
In regards to my distance training program, I don’t want to offend anybody, even though I have been offended myself. When someone says publically that my work is not valid, then I must speak out. I know it is valid and those who have used it also know this to be true.
To those of you who said my program doesn’t work, I have a few questions for you. Just what are you experts basing these opinions on? Have any of you ever trained using my videos? Have any of you ever worked out with a student that I have trained through my DVDs? Do any of you even know how my program works? Do any of you even know the true intention of these DVDs? And lastly, do any of you even know who’s using these DVDs? If you can’t answer yes to all of these questions then prey tell me what are you basing your opinion on? Do you have some sort of ESP that the rest of lack?
I won’t take your comments too personally when you say that I truly don’t understand the art or that I care more about money than proper instruction because as you will see my distance training program isn’t necessarily for beginners, it is for all practitioners of this art, even though beginners can use it.
I have studied this art for 44 years. I studied with Frank Woolsey, one of Jimmy’s best punchers, for about six of those years. I was able to attend class six days a week and I put in 2 to 3 hours on the floor every day.
I received my black belt through Master degree from Jimmy H. Woo. I continued to study with him for many years after I received my Master degree. I have been teaching in a school for the past 37 years so I think I do truly understand this art. As far as money is concerned, when I win the lottery I will stop charging for lessons. Is there actually anybody out there that teaches for free? Do you work for free? I have kept this art alive and well for the many generations to come by dedicating my life to its perpetuation. What have you done for this art? I’m not trying to run you down; I would really like to know.
So, just who is using my DVDs?
About 65% or more of those who benefit from my family videos are actual current full-time San Soo students studying the Choy-Li-Ho-Fut lessons, the so-called new school lessons. Many of these students are people who don’t have a teacher that is either not qualified to teach the old-style combat punching lessons or someone that simply doesn’t teach them.
Kung Fu San Soo consists of Choy-Li-Ho-Fut and HUNG. If you don’t have the Hung (old style combat power punching) part of this art, then you only possess one half of it. It would be like having only one half of the alphabet. How many words can you spell with only part of the alphabet? These students want to learn the other half of this art as well. They want to learn the old-style. They want to learn how to punch decisively and with power and accuracy. My DVDs offer this training information. These students always do well with distance training because they already have very good basics of the art, provided by you guys of course, and they are open to new material. They also usually have other San Soo partners to practice with.
About 30% of my distance training programs are used by current students from other martial arts like Tae kwon do, Shotokan, Jujitsu, and other various martial arts. These people also do very well with this training because they already have the skills necessary to learn. These skills including coordination, timing, speed, power and experience give them the ability to simply substitute San Soo moves for the ones they already have. They too usually have a variety of partners to work out with.
About 5% of my distance training students are those who have already studied San Soo from a qualified teacher. They have either moved away, or their teacher has retired or closed down the business. These people simply want to continue to train but can’t find a San Soo school close enough to them to make it practical. These students also do very well with my training program. They generally seek out new students and train them so they can have a variety of partners to work out with as well.
Less than 1% of my distance trainees have had no experience at all. However, even they can generally learn enough about the art to make them feel reasonably good about themselves. Admittedly, it is much more difficult for them. Nothing, absolutely nothing can replace having a live teacher at your disposal. However, in the event that one is not available then I believe the DVDs are a reasonable tool to have and use. These people must seek out partners to work out with. They also need to be in constant touch with me. They also need to film themselves a little more often than all the other students do.
How does the San Soo distance training work?
I think the most misunderstood part of my distance training program is how it works. When a potential student contacts me with questions about the training, I always find out what their particular needs are. I have to know about their training experience in the martial arts. I also need to know what they’re expecting to get from my program. Knowing this, I can then recommend which DVDs would be best for them or design a program specifically for them.
After students begin their initial training, the usual protocol is to send me a DVD of them doing a few of their first lessons. They can also post these private on YouTube if they desire. This gives me a chance to make corrections on them immediately. These students do have preferred communications with me regarding any questions they may have while studying their lessons.
I always recommend they find five or six friends to practice with and to learn with. When I receive their personal videos, I grade them and make all the necessary corrections that they need. This process continues on a timely basis throughout their training. Many are in constant contact with me with some type of question or another and I do my best to answer and correct them.
I also hold an annual seminar every August for the many distance trainees as well as any other san soo students interested in improving themselves with the old-style punching techniques. This seminar always sells out.
As far as the original intent of these lessons was, let me explain. I thought, like most of you do, before I made the DVDs that they may not work. I was skeptical at first as well, as everyone should be. To be honest with you, I didn’t have a clue as to whether these videos would work or not. In fact, I never intended to sell any of them. I made them to teach my nephew Kung Fu San Soo. He lived in Chicago, and I, of course, live here in California.
That is why they are called “private family videos”. No one outside my family was to ever see these videos or to know of their existence. My nephew would come out to see me every three months or so. I taught him what I could and we would film as many lessons as we had time for. I put as many secrets as I could on the videos. I taught him and filmed everything I could think of. I knew I wouldn’t be there with him so I tried to anticipate every question he might have. I incorporated many of the typical mistakes past students have made and put them in with their corrections. I filmed every tip on the art I could think of.
When he came back for his next visit after three months, I was amazed just how good he had learned. This training was actually working. We continued this distance training for several years. He had now reached second degree black belt and he well deserved it. He opened a school of his own and did very well at it. Up until the past few years, these videos were kept secret and still were only intended for my family.
One day, I was asked by a student if I had anything down on film. I told him that I did but that they were for not sale. He begged and begged for chance to buy one. For some reason, I told him I would sell him one for $100.00 thinking he would pass because of the cost. He jumped at the prospect. As reluctant as I was, I sold him one. I realized then, that if I didn’t make them public, he would probably just make copies and make them public anyway. So began my distance training program.
The thing is though, is that the first video I got back from a couple in central California was pretty impressive. This couple sent me a video of them practicing together. I showed it to my wife and we watched in disbelief. They were actually pretty good. In fact, they were real good. Every time, to this day, when I get a test video from a distance training student, my wife and I sit down and watch it together.
I don’t particularly care what you or anybody else thinks about my program. I am far more concerned with the hundreds of those who are using my program, rather than the few who criticize it. The program works. I couldn’t be more proud of my distance training programs and I couldn’t be more proud of the men and women who have learned from them. If my distance training program saves one person from going to the emergency room, which it has already done by the way, or if it saves one life or one injury then it really is worth its weight in gold, isn’t it?
I couldn’t disagree more with the negative comments made by those who would rather commit a student to an inferior art with a live teacher rather than have them at least try my distance training program first. San Soo is the best martial art I have ever seen in my life. I do agree that absolutely nothing could replace the wisdom of a live teacher. However, when that live teacher doesn’t exist, then distance training is a viable option. I have students all over the world including South Africa, Australia, Canada and Great Britain as well as other countries. There are typically very few or no san soo teachers available in these areas. In fact, it is hard enough to find one here.
These people sought me out. I didn’t petition them. They wanted to learn Kung Fu San Soo, not karate, and it didn’t exist nearby or even within their own country or in their state. I realize, this is just one little finger I put out there, but I believe that these DVDs will help this art flourish. They will help your San Soo schools flourish. I wish I could show you the many letters of gratitude that I have received from these students.
They say the proof is in the pudding. So I am going to post a video of one of my distance trainees who I have only met a few times in my whole life. His name is David Peel. He has not only learned how to defend himself with this art through my distance training program, he has learned the art itself. I don’t look at Dave as the exception because he is joined by many others who have learned this art extremely well themselves through the distance training. Students are students, regardless of whether they study with a live teacher or through a DVD. Some of the students are going to get with the program and benefit from it. Some will not regardless of what we do as teachers.
Jimmy said the art is about building human character. Dave has learned this attribute. This is why he won’t defend himself in this forum. He has learned humility. He is humble. He is humble even in the presence of those who have told him that what he is doing is not good. It is a shame that many others haven’t learned humility as well. Dave has studied San Soo only through DVDs and from my seminars. He stacks up punch for punch, kick for kick, and leverage for leverage with ANY student on his training level, live teacher or not, and MANY above his level.
Dave represents one of those San Soo fingers that I put out there. He is now teaching others this great art of Kung Fu San Soo. His students also stack up punch for punch, kick for kick, and leverage for leverage with any of their peers on their level, regardless of where the others have learned. His students have everything they need to become great students in their own right. They have a great teacher. They do have a live teacher. Their teacher has learned this art very well and is as capable as any to pass it down for generations to come. I am proud to be a part of that.
In conclusion, my family video collection will now ensure that the vast number of lessons found in the combat portion of the art will never be lost. I have documented on DVD and on their companion books over 500 of the old style combat lessons and I’m adding more to the collection as fast as I can. I feel about my videos as Jimmy did about his books. When I’m gone you can still study the old lessons of Kung Fu San Soo.