Early this year I finished teaching my first batch of long pole students. I am very excited about this as now the long pole system has a chance to thrive and survive. While many who have "learned" it don't practice it at all or worse they opt to keep it secret, I'm of the opinion that this skill is like all others - it needs practice! No one can practice what they don't learn and so I've opened the learning of the WT pole to Primary Level Technicians and above.
I'm also convinced many so-called masters here don't teach it or practice it because they themselves don't own the skills yet. Well that and the fact that their associations forbid them to teach it.
As seems to be tradition in WT, I teach the long pole in four, 4-hour modules. Starting tomorrow (Friday) the next batch of students will begin learning Long Pole 1. A number of those who completed the series of four will also be rejoining to brush up on the basics.
I've had the tremendous fortune to learn the long pole from a number of highly qualified instructors. I have had intensive instruction from Grandmaster Leung Ting, Sifu Carson Lau, Sifu Elmond Leung and many others. While I haven't done much long pole training with my Si-bak Sifu Lee yet (due to my hernia surgery recovery) we did go over his version of the form and the variations between instructors. In any case I have had the chance to practice long pole with many instructors and it has enriched my understanding of this elegant weapon. Rather than keep that all to myself, I intend to share.