Sifu Allen is well known for his censure of programs that have limited material to teach; of schools that de-emphasize the indispensability of strength training; of any style or system that has extremely low standards/requirements for awarding of rank; of the manner in which tournaments are conducted (no allowance for the essential degree of difficulty, no recognition of strength differential); of programs that put the stress on training for tournaments at the expense of concentration on classical fighting forms; and of the failure to employ extensive weapons work of all kinds which deprives students of the tremendous developmental challenges that can accelerate the progress of a serious student at an exponential rate – a fact demonstrated hundreds of times by Green Dragon personnel over the past five decades. Needless to say, being reduced to a preoccupation with MMA, Wu Shu, and the ‘internal’ styles, Sifu would be hammering away if a platform equivalent to IKF still existed, pleading the cause of thousands who’ll never have the interest, desire or aptitude to have their choices for training restricted to the above three.
For someone to have garnered as much worldwide attention and favorable comment as Sifu Allen has since 1986, it is remarkable to many that he hasn’t a trace of ego to assuage. As his long term students are well aware, Sifu was assaulted twice by determined armed attackers, one with a knife on the first occasion, and one with a freight hook on the second — both with the intent to inflict maximum damage. Fortunately for us, in both instances it was attackers who paid a steep price for their aggression; however, this kind of success is not something from which Sifu expects students to derive motivation. Rather, the pure, authentic sets/fighting forms of classical Kung fu are what they should find to be infinitely inspiring.
Summarily, what has Sifu Allen’s impact on the Chinese martial arts been? Consultation with a cross-section of his senior students would produce enough descriptive opinion to take a book to relate in that they view him as the Kung fu counterpart to the proverbial Renaissance Man. However, in keeping with Sifu’s central objective of emphasizing his teaching and the quality of the students he’s developed in well over half a century, the following could be noted: in the late 1980s, Mr. Dave Cater, previously alluded to in this biography as Inside Kung Fu Magazine‘s senior editor for the entire 35+ years of its existence, requested a visit to Green Dragon Studio to personally ascertain the nature of the activities drawing so much attention from around the world. Remember, virtually nothing went on in the international Kung fu community that Mr. Cater had not been a witness to — in a phrase, he had seen it all! After watching the Green Dragon demonstration team perform for 90 minutes, we think his comment is the best one-sentence summary of what sets Green Dragon apart, and is a fitting testimonial to Sifu Allen’s content and method of instruction. To quote:
“I DON’T THINK ANYONE IS CAPABLE OF DOING WHAT YOUR PEOPLE SEEM TO BE CAPABLE OF DOING!“
- Unknown Type