Interview with Dr. Kam Yuen
I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Kam Yuen for 10 minutes to discuss his thoughts on the martial arts and his full spectrum healing system, The Yuen Method (TM). Dr. Yuen was in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Tuesday August 25, 2009, giving a two-hour presentation to an audience of about 100 people at Unity of Kalamazoo.
(Please introduce yourself and tell us your involvement in the martial arts and why you are here in Kalamazoo today)
Hello everyone, my name’s Kam Yuen. I’m a grandmaster of Shaolin kung fu and a doctor of chiropractic. So, I’m retired from those two things now and I spend time lecturing to people and training people to cure their wellness in their life. So it’s not just about health, not just about fitness. It’s also about relationships and money and finances and careers and purpose and also deals with their past, present, and future that can stand in the way of their self development, and also about aging. So it should be less aging and more prosperity.
So it’s really using the method of finding the weakness using the Daoist principle of yin and yang and apply the effects of it and get results on the spot. The whole purpose is for me to educate people that they can take care of themselves and gain self-mastery that what the martial art has offered to the public. I would like to have people appreciate the potential of the martial arts in their life.
So it’s not about fighting with individuals but it’s more like understanding their life and have answers to their life as well as if you think about fighting it’s more interesting to fight disease….even that is not about fighting, because when it comes to fighting then it creates more disease than resolving a disease in a person’s life.
I’ve been teaching the martial arts since the mid-sixties and I was involved with the original Kung Fu series with David Carradine. So, I’m David Carradine’s instructor. I was the technical (…) of the Kung Fu series. So I was involved with the martial arts heavily when I was younger. At this time there’s a lot of people teaching the Chinese martial arts that have gained enough experience in teaching the arts whereas in the sixties and seventies there wasn’t that many people teaching the Chinese martial arts so I elect myself to do so at that time.
(Question: Is the Yuen Method based on “mind over body”?)
Well, it’s not so much the strength of mind over body it’s really mind body and spirit and that forms a triad and they should be even with each other. So, the mistake that people make is they think that the mind should overcome the body and they miss the potential of developing the body. The body, or the physical level should be more even with the mental level and also with the spiritual level. So, as you know, if you have three things that are uneven with each other they are always going to be in conflict with each other. So the secret or the knowledge is really to raise the physical potential to be the same level as the mental level so it’s not mind over body. You want to create the evenness there so there will be no conflict with each other. They should work together and they should also be able to work in separating from each other. There’s a lot of potential of our body that we take for granted that we then take the understanding how we could further the potential of our physical body, so we spend more time dealing with our illnesses, our physical illnesses, that essentially we don’t have to do that.
(Question: is the Yuen Method something for a martial artist?)
If the martial arts practitioner would look at the potential of this method their martial arts would be so much faster in learning. They would improve their coordination on the spot. They would improve their strength on the spot. They would have complete management of their body they would (normally) not have, they would make a lot of extra training that is more redundant that is needed to accomplish what they want to accomplish physically, mentally and spiritually.
(Question: are students of The Yuen Method martial artists or non-martial artists?)
The students are more-or-less non-martial arts people. In a way the martial arts people are so engrained with their tradition that they don’t want to change anything, so that’s the limitation there. So, even though you have a method that would improve a person’s flexibility on the spot, improve their endurance, their strength, their confidence, since it didn’t register with their traditional trainer of the martial arts they think that there’s something not right about it. I’ve met a lot of traditional martial arts people that are totally afraid to get involved with it.
They have a pre-conceived concept of what it is and they stay with it even though I treat a lot of martial art masters that give you their problem, but they have a problem in implementing it (The Yuen Method) because they think that they can’t learn it but even though you ensure that they can learn it … but they don’t want to look like they have difficulty learning something that’s new or something that’s different.
(Question: because they’re “masters”?)
Well they think they’re on that level but they’re not. There’s more levels that they can go to and they’re not allowing themselves to get to those levels. And if you get to those levels then the world would appreciate the martial arts that much better. So, to be a martial arts master you are better than doctors, you are better than lawyers, better than people with a PHD, if you learn correctly and be more applicable in what a person learns from this method. It’s really a method that gets results and the results speak for themselves. It’s no theory or conflicting in philosophy…it’s not a philosophy it’s an applicable principle. Either it works or it doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work than we’re not going to talk about it.
(Question: how often do you teach your method?)
Well I have a seminar almost every weekend somewhere in the world. Next month I’ll be in Spain for four weekends. I’ll be giving seminars in …… giving seminars in Madrid. And I have given seminars in China and Hong Kong and Japan and Thailand. So, people learn this method, they will bring the benefit to people in general so they could appreciate the martial art. Because it (The Yuen Method) is based on the principle of the martial arts but it’s been expanded to the level that it will benefit the rest of the population.
Links to more information on Dr. Yuen: