There are many Kung Fu teachers out there with various skills. Some are well versed in healing arts; some in qi gong; some are excellent fighters and others have special skills such as chin na, iron Palm or iron shirt. And there are some who are fortunate enough to be adept at many, or all of these things. But how did they get there?
In the past masters came together to learn and share. Those without ego traded techniques, forms, remedies for healing and more. They fought each other, they learned and they (and their chosen style) became better. People bring up the secrecy of Kung Fu in the past, but I believe there were many masters open to learning from and teaching people from other styles. I believe this because ALL styles are a hybrid of one form or another. As the founders exchanged with other martial artists, their styles changed with them. My own style of Jow Ga Kyun is a hybrid of 3 other styles, but there are techniques taken from other systems as well as defenses added in because of other styles attacks. Hung Ga’s Iron Wire is entirely taken from a different system. And that’s ok. As a matter of fact it’s great! The real goal should be to be the best martial artist that you can be and not how your style is better than another.
Ironically it seems in modern times, where there is no need for secrecy (there doesn’t tend to be many duels to the death) teachers do not share many aspects of their art; many times even with their own students! If Chinese Kung Fu is to stay alive, it needs to be passed on. Let’s not forget the 7th line from the Kung fu poem “But if he has honor then you should teach him even if he is a stranger to you”.
Martial artists need to get together to exchange and preserve the arts so that they can become better, so their style can become better and so they can pass on the best of what they have to their students. This doesn’t just mean teaching the techniques, but the humility to never stop learning and to share with those who are deserving.