Zu Wei Shu History:
The Zu Wei Shu Gung Fu system is a continually evolving energetic study. It is the product of almost 50 years of Martial Arts training that Grandmaster Miller began to develop after his
first 20 years of Martial Arts study, and reaching Master Level (6th Dan) with the Chuan Lo Chinese Boxing Society.
Early on, Grandmaster Miller had the good fortune to study with innovative teachers, who instilled in him that, even though each Martial Art has its merits, it is more “the man” than “the art” that will prevail.
Grandmaster Don Jones emphasized form and technique, looking to unlock the “secrets” each style had to offer, which were hidden in its sets. Grandmaster Landon’s study was one of application and personal attributes. He used sparring as his primary vehicle to teach martial concepts and principles.
Besides hours of daily practice, Grandmaster Miller’s study included reading all available materials, visiting local schools, and traveling to seek out other arts and their practitioners.
In the 1960s, most schools were run by servicemen returning from various overseas stations. More often than not, they were not particularly advanced students, with little more than basic knowledge in any style or art. When a Brown Belt or Black Belt came to town, everyone went to train and spar with them. Back then, Martial Artists worked together and shared knowledge.
By the 1970s, higher ranking (3rd Dan and up) practitioners were opening schools and began to develop an attitude that their style was “better,” so they began to hide their “secrets.” Also during that time, students were expected to keep their style “pure” and were not allowed to “mix” arts.
Because of Grandmaster Jones’ unique skills and abilities, he was accepted by many other Masters and could get valuable information about their styles. Grandmaster Landon was more of the opinion that “what works” is the most important thing, and that which works is discovered through application, or sparring.
Anything could be used in our contests: throws, chokes, submission holds, kicks, punches, etc. Of course, safety came first, i.e. no eye attacks, and an opponent could always tap out. Training was intense, often almost brutal, but was always a learning experience.
On the West Coast, Bruce Lee was working toward a similar end, but he was unknown to us at that time. Unfortunately, Bruce did not become well-known to the general Martial Arts community until after his death.
Being schooled in many styles and many Martial Arts, Grandmaster Miller wanted to cross-train his students, so he could have people to train with. He decided that there was no reason why students couldn’t practice effective Martial Arts, like the artists in the 1960s did. At the same time, he sought to help students develop the control and discipline gained from the study of more structured Oriental Martial Arts.