In an odd way, this reminds me of the time I have spent in CMA. My background has mainly been in the the Chinese Internal Arts of Taijiquan, Xingyiquan & Baguazhang. Some years ago, I became aware of an internal arts teacher in a neighboring city by the name of John Painter. Anyone reading this who has a background somewhat similar to mine may know the name & may also know him to be a controversial figure in the realm of Chinese internal methods. Much of the internet chatter that I happened upon regarding Shirfu Painter centered upon arguments such as, "he made up his lineage", "can't prove what he says about his teacher", "he's not teaching authentic internal arts", "i caught him in a lie once,"---blah, blah, blah. Ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I grew curious about Shirfu Painter's training methods after seeing him post in a forum. With much skepticism (stemming from all that I had been exposed to), I e-mailed him with a barrage of questions. The response I received was frank, courteous and open--answering my several questions & inviting me to come meet him at his Kwoon. Intrigued, I accepted his invitation & made the 1-hr drive to his school the following Saturday. When I arrived, a Xingyi class was just starting. For an hour I observed the class--then observed the following "basic self-defense" class infused with Bagua, Xingyi, Taiji techniques & principles for another hour. What I found were classes that stressed the understanding & application of principles that were rigorously drilled into the students. I saw repetition of a few techniques clearly explained and demonstrated. And (horrors!) I saw these drills being performed on less than compliant opponents using sucker-punches, roundhouse punches etc. The result? I signed up for a couple of his classes & never regretted doing so. I stopped going only because my work schedule made a 2-hr commute next to impossible. He never proved his lineage, system lineage, etc to me nor did he need to. The efficacy of the system spoke for itself. Give me something that I can use to protect myself & others that may be with me from a real, savage, violent attack & I will gladly train in it leaving the politics, history & lineage questions to the lineage queens who would rather wage internet fast-typing kung-fu battles than put in serious training.