A site honoring the teachings of Kuo Lien Ying and the magical time that we were able to learn from Si Fu

Portsmouth Square 1965-1985

Gordon Guttmann's Bio

 My favorite book is A Course in Miracles. It taught me that meditation is not necessarily something one stops and does, but a constant state of mind. Life is not a journey, but an awakening.

I was born 1947 in Germany and immigrated to Detroit complements of the Jewish Federation. A large percentage of my family perished at Auschwitz. As a young teen I was attracted to ideas outside of my upbringing. Learning some of the concepts of Zen, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam made me feel that there was hope for internal peace. I was raised in part by Imam Mohamad Jawad Chirri and his family whose patience and love helped me greatly in joining the human race. He was fluent in the language of humanity. I did a tour in Vietnam and five years later discovered Mr. Kuo's studio when living at Clay and Jackson. Sifu showed me the warm-ups and laughed with me at my attempts to put chin to toe. Behind this laughter was also seriousness as he presented me with a goal.

I loved my time with Sifu and the students. I lived next door to the studio above two floors of Chinese sewing factory. One morning I was ill with the flu and decided not to practice. Then I heard objects bouncing from the window and a familiar voice yelling Gao Teng (Gordon). I looked from the window and saw Sifu standing impatient gesturing for me to practice. I dragged myself out and did a Shao Lin practice. Every moment with him was new. Each evening Kathy would show me what she learned of T'ai Chi and I would practice on the roof in secret. Kimo during that time taught me the staff and I also practiced it on the roof. I still use that same staff 34 years later. One day just before sundown, Simu saw me practice the staff and immediately took me to Sifu and told him of my disloyalty. To my surprise, he was so happy with a big thumb up and said “Hen Hao”. I have hundreds of stories about how my life was changed forever by his unique character and positive teaching method. I admired all the students who were inspired and devoted to learning Chinese Kung Fu. And to know that many of us still practice decades later is a real tribute to the powerful teaching method and personal inspiration of Professor Kuo Lien Ying.

My pervasive feeling during that time, other than the joy of physical practice and the learning of some applications was that something about the learning of T'ai Chi Ch'uan was withheld. One day I asked Sifu about the hardbound book in Chinese called The T'ai Chi Boxing Chronicle. He indicated emphatically that this was very important and smiled with a knowing and serious instant communication that I took to heart. Through years of extracting the ideas of the book, I was overjoyed that this book provided the missing link between theory and practice. Every idea was direct and to the point. There was no filler or superfluous language. These ideas have given content and direction to my own practice today and provide me with a continued source of an ideal to strive towards.

Thank you Randy for creating this website and thank you all for your contributions. My hope is that we will share and discuss what we learned from Mr. Kuo openly. Each of us was taught uniquely and it would be beneficial for us to raise any questions that we may have. Best of luck to all! - Gordon

And, happy 70th Bing.