Since Sifu declared his intention to make me a disciple when his teacher comes out to Australia next year, Sifu has started teaching me a style of Mantis. I think a little bit of it is because Sifu Wong is very experienced with a number of Mantis styles and Sifu Wong is almost certianly going to be teaching some mantis stuff during his visit.
I think the style of Mantis that I am learning is Chi Hsing Tang Lang or 7-star Preying Mantis. I only know a couple of movments as Sifu only started teaching me on Tuesday. Sifu said that he chose to teach me this style because he thinks it suits my tempermanent and body style (which is interesting because I am carrying at least 15kg of extra weight from when I was a fit young whipper snapper of 19). I also think he preferres to have people doing different things at any one time.
For example, Tuedays class had people doing Chen style Taiji Quan, Ba Ji and Preying Mantis. Some of us were just starting, some of us have many years of experience with other disciplines. It does seem to give the impression that each persons journey is just that; A individual journey helped by Sifu. About the only drawback it that you get a limited time with Sifu to help you as he goes around the class.
When I compare it to my Tae Kwon Do experience, it seems to make more sense. Looking back on TKD, every student was on the same journey to the same destination. People may have started at different times but on the whole it was the same journey for everybody.
When Sifu was sounding me out about becomming a disciple, he first asked me where I thought I might like to head towards in respect to my martial arts. I think he was considering me but wasn't sure until I responded that I might like to go towards something a little more harder and taking training more seriously (I was/am studying Yang style tai chi at that point). So I think that Sifu has thought about that and looked about what he knows and wants to pass on and said: "Here, this style would be a good place for you to start with." and started teaching me this particular style.
That won't be all that he will teach me. He's not going to say: "No, I will only teach you this style and nothing else". He has said that if a style isn't working for you he will teach me something else that does. He did say that he will probably teach us as much as he can in the one style first before moving on to another.
I'm very fortunate to be studying under someone who has so many styles squirreled under their belt. Then you add weapons to that and I only count myself lucky to have Sifu here in the same Town as I am.
When you consider Sifu is from Alaska it is pretty extraordinary. I'll have to get him to tell me the story of how he and his family came to live in Darwin. I'm sure it's a good one.