January 29, 2010
Even now, super clean and “hyper-regulated”, we still get cases like this in Singapore :- click here.
I don’t know….I used to think that the government was being too high-handed when they stepped in the late 70s to dismantle all the “gangs” and “secret societies” operating under banners of “Hong Men” or “Hung Mun” which, to me personally, is a part of the TCMA legacy; I know of many CKF elders’ connection to these since TCMA first resettled in Singapore.
But reading story like this one here, I think the government did right – jeeze, can you imagine the scale of the problem if left unrestrained on a highly crowded island.
Fighting for tufts would be rampant…….and I am sure you’ll read more of such tragedy.
January 28, 2010
So, here is the Chinese kuen kuit (fist poem) that I spoke about in my “Kung Fu Riddle” entry……
一出 三打 六发力
眼要对手 手要对心 手从心发
一伸一缩 柔中带刚 刚中带柔
For those of you who are conversant in Mandarin, maybe now you would know which style of TCMA is being referred to.
Just as a word of advice, if you are thinking of quoting this or reusing it in any other form, be sure you don’t stray from the substance.
This kuit is one of the oldest versions (in my knowledge) of this notable style.
Don’t dilute before use.
January 27, 2010
Arh,arh arh …. That is the sound of me gasping for air …. I am up to my nose with work after my trip to Penang.
2 full scale proposals to be submitted by end of this week …… arrrrrggghhhhh!!!
Annnyway, I got a bunch of DVDs that I am converting and hopefully extract bits to be youtubed for sharing, which reminds me; I am out of Carlsberg….hahahaha….
I did receive a mail today from one of my youtube subscribers; don’t really know anything about this subscriber …. Nothing but a username you understand?
He sent me a link of “Butterfly Palm” a Hakka style that I spoke about briefly in one of my earlier posts.
Yes, this style of boxing is still practiced in Sarawak but around here, it’s taught within the Henghua community. Henghua or XinHua is another southern dialect group.
The thing is that they are found mainly in Sibu and not where I am at now, Kuching Sarawak. Sibu is about half an hour away by air.
So the next time I visit I’ll try and make contact with them and perhaps capture their renditions on videos…..
Here’s the clip sent to me.
January 25, 2010
Well here we go – 3 pics from this Penang trip.
Top pic : when they say Penang is at the crossroad of East/West for the last few hundred years and that today you’ll see a exotic mix of East and West cultures, I think this pic represents that succinctly. It is not everyday that you see a Coke disc displayed right next to a “Guan Kong” altar. I took this during lunch at one of the many coffee shops along Gurney Drive.
Middle pic : So you think you know everything about “Yong Chun” or “Ever Spring” hah! But did you know that in Penang, Yong Chun is also into trading??? What did I tell you, the more you think you know the lesser you really know ….. duh huh ?????
Bottom pic : Errrh, from the film set of “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” or maybe you’ll see Wong Fei Hung stepping out of that door? Actually, this is a part of “Khoo Kongsi” and if you don’t know what I am talking about, click here.
January 24, 2010
Here is an extract from a Malaysian Tourism site :-
Penang, often referred to as the Pearl of the Orient, is one of the most picturesque and romantic cities in all of Asia. This tropical island-city lies in the Indian Ocean, just off the north-west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Penang received its name from the Pinang, or Betel Nut tree, once commonly found on the island.
Established as the first British trading post in the Far East in 1776, Penang today is a bustling metropolis reflecting a unique, exotic blend of East and West.
On Penang Island sits the capital, Georgetown, a city steeped in history and tradition, yet sparkling with progress and modern development.
The island also boasts some of the best food in the region, ranging from Nyonya Cuisine to foodstall favourites like nasi kandar, char kway teow and penang laksa, all of which are cooked in a uniquely ‘Penang’ way.
You know, I have been in and out of Penang so many times that I have lost count.
And I thought I have seen and tasted enough but this is no where near true, every time I visit, I would spot something that I missed before … from foods, old buildings with quaint façade to martial arts … what can I say???
The more I know, the more I realize how much I don’t …. And Penang is one place that you really need to savor patiently.
So, any misgiving why my boss want to invest there?
This trip is to scout for a good venues for our plans and you know how it is always location, location and location.
Plus, I met up with 2 crucial persons who are going to be instrumental in moving our projects forward so this trip is really all work and almost no “play” hahahaha….
Still I found time to move around a little to shoot more pics and before I left, a short Carlsberg session with Saolim Sifu we all call “Ah boy” shown in the pic below sledge hammering a stone slab on his student’s head.
I will upload more pics later …….
January 20, 2010
1 technique, 3 hits and 6 power generations.
Eyes align to hands, hands align to heart and all executions start with the heart.
1 extension 1 retraction, hardness is hidden in softness and softness hidden in hardness.
Keep anything that approaches, using speed to pre-empt opponent’s execution.
Strike when bridging is broken, using fast tight techniques to overwhelm opponent.
3 ying 3 yang and derive power from waist and changes in stance.
And before I take off to Penang, I thought I leave you with a little Kung fu riddle; the poem above, tell me which style of TCKF are we examining here?
Just so you know, this is the poem that a CKF veteran from around this region and I spent enormous amount of time analyzing.
Not naming him because that would give the answer away ….. A couple of lines are precisely the same ones that I was taught since I was but a kid learning Fuzhou Crane.
I don’t have my Chinese writing tablet ready; need to find the driver that for some reasons vanished after I moved.
Once I get that fixed, I will put up the Chinese version.
What I have got here is a horizontal translation that, to me, is falling flat….. there are just some concepts that you can’t really express properly switching from one language to another…..
Words get in the way.
January 19, 2010
Okay, things are finally settling down with the new place. Most of the boxes are unpacked and now it is a matter of getting organized, particularly the piles of books, magazines and DVDs ….. hmmmm…how should I arrange them?? Dates of publication, northern, southern, internal, external, Chinese, Malay/Indonesian, Indian ……
Guess I will just go by the sizes of the book, start with the bigger ones and then line them up accordingly ….. just like in the army hahahaha….. hey, after all, these are books about fighting, a little regimental discipline can’t be wrong.
Then off course I will be flying to Penang the day after tomorrow and there are materials to get ready – working papers, budget projections like the one we used in our inaugural gathering in 2007 – we flew in all the performers, paid for their hotels and foods for the entire length of their stay in Penang, can’t you imagine how much that cost us???
And folks, we are not talking cheap motels and street vendors’ food here – we took up almost an entire floor of Continental Hotel in the heart of Penang, walking distance from all the major cultural heritage sites. Many of the meals were catered by leading restaurants ….. There was one evening that we spent in an open air food market and that was more for the Carlsbergs…..you need moonlight to fully appreciate good beer, trust me…..
So, to give you a glimpse of what it is like now for me now, here are a couple of pics of my new “home”.
Top pic : As you enter the house, you will be “greeted” by my 20 yrs old sword and a pair of butterfly knives – a gift from one of my students here.
Middle and bottom pics : My work bench mentioned in my previous post. This is one segment of the house that would probably never be neat – in a state of perpetual flux what with me pulling out books and mags for cross referencing etc etc….
I am hoping to build a mini video editing studio …soon …soon….
January 17, 2010
Yeah yeah I know, I am starting to lag a little in updating this blog ….. but then you gotta see the amount of work I’ve got piling up on my work bench.
Yup, I got a work bench as opposed to a regular table, just like a carpenter’s hahahaha …. At least, equally messy with tools lying around everywhere.
Well, with 4 cats, staying orderly is quite mission impossible; maybe I should leash them up ….. Nah, that’s mean.
Okay, before I do anything else, I just want to thank those who have written in with your encouraging words; I am particularly touched by those from mainland and I just want you to know that it’s okay to write in Mandarin.
And yes, it is time to really “fulfill the circle and appreciate the fullness”……. Again, Xie Xie.
Got another mainland clip here to share and this time the spotlight is on the application of “tiger” technique from Hsing Yi.
From the form, to formal and then free style application, this clip kinda make me wish that all forum discussions are conducted in this manner and not so much of that I can piss further than you shouting matches.
Or mystification of TCKF that I thought went out with the “White Lotus” Sect……..
January 15, 2010
I knew it, I knew it …..
That it is a matter of time that someone somewhere would repackage White Crane for mass consumption with all that health-promoting and makes you feel good pitching.
Hey it happened in Singapore with Lama White Crane’s “Min Loi Chang” or “Needle in Cotton” sold by some “entrepreneur “ as alternative to Tai Chi, the housewife’s’ and not the martial version.
So do I like this senior citizen’s White Crane???
To answer that, I got to quote the wise words of Simon Cowell who, in one episode of “Britain Got Talent” asked rhetorically – “Do I like a dog that meows” after watching a contestant all made up like a punk rocker but sang an aria instead……
Okay okay, I got nothing against senior folks doing anything for health but this is too close for comfort ……. I guess.
So, before anyone thinks about tweaking traditions, think thrice before you act.
The outcome might not be what you expect.
January 13, 2010
Phew…what a way to start the new working year….with a meeting with none other than the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak himself, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr. George Chan.
So for about an hour, we were discussing a project that the company is spearheading and when you’re dealing with the DCM of the country, you want to be on your toes and your figures at your finger tips……
Can you imagine the preparatory work that went into the blue print?
So once again, don’t let it be said or even whispered that I don’t have to work for a living and on top of that, not more than an hour after I left the DCM’s office, a call came in on my cell to tell me that the authorities over at Penang want to see me about another MA event that they are setting up for the end of this year.
Got to get my traveling gears ready again …. Not that I mind this, another chance to play with Por Suk …. Nice ……..
But before any of that, I was checking the Hsing Yi form clip that I posted over on youtube earlier and noticed some comments about; is this wushu or traditional was asked.
Well, how do you demarcate really … with other forms, maybe, the distinction is easier to spot but with this Hsing Yi form ,which to my eyes , an traditional form granted done in a “exaggerated” manner plus this is taken from an traditional form competition, I really don’t want to be to quick to call.
Hmmm, maybe my Chinese Wushu coach friend is right; traditional forms are simply “modern Wushu” forms done “shabbily”…not that I concur with him, you understand.
But he does both, so maybe he is on to something.
Anyway, I got another Hsing Yi clip here and this time, I am pretty sure most of you would agree that there are traditional standards.
This whole issue is almost like the argument that you hear a lot lately – is sport fighting really “fighting”. If it is not, so what are they doing in the ring is one contention.
Then I remember when I was in Denver last and during one lunch with some MA friends, the topic of “Ultimate Fight Challenge” was raised.
So what is so “ultimate” a friend asked? Who died already?
Isn’t that the “ultimate” of fighting?
Well, folks, it’s getting late and I don’t really want to get into semantics.
My position is simply this; we can all debate until our faces turn blue or any other colors but when your trainings and skills are really tested…..
Just make sure the red you see is from the other person or persons.
Talking war on paper is in the words of Por Suk, nothing more than “farn farn” or “play play”…….