With only just 3 weeks to the Penang event and a little time to spare before I travel to Singapore; I thought I take a little time out (since it’s a public holiday here) to visit one of the masters invited.

Sifu Liew Joon Mew, custodian of Hakka Chu Gar “Internal Jin” Praying Mantis, lives about 18 miles outside Kuching.

The morning started out really soggy, strong winds and heavy downpour, made the ½ hr drive through the countryside just the little more “thrilling”.

It was still raining when we got to Sifu Liew’s house/TCM treatment clinic lying at the foot of a scenic hill surrounded by lush greens; this is agricultural country.

We sat down in his rustic living room and the conversation quickly turned to CKF and his particular branch of Hakka mantis. Describing in details, he pointed out that basic training reigns, everything is in the fundamentals. The eventual aim is to be able to generate his distinctive style of jin to power the techniques.

Cosmetics are given little consideration and he recounted how the early Chinese settlers had to fight for their rights to stay in Sarawak. You either win or die or leave for another site and that’s exactly how many Chinese from Kalimantan Indonesia ended up in Sarawak. So Kung Fu is really about survival in a, usually, hostile environment. No time for fancy experiments.

The 7th generation in his family line, he was requested, on many occasions, to return to his village in China to restore the arts. But with roots firmly grounded in Sarawak, he is hesitant to make any radical changes to his present lifestyle and opted instead to travel there where his schedule permits.

We talked about the future of his art and the various ways to ensure that it’s kept alive. Plans were drawn and it’s look like I will be working very closely with this Sifu from now on.

It was almost 3 hours later that we left Sifu Liew and by then, the sun is out shinning brightly; mark of better things to come for TCMA maybe?

Got this photo presentation here showing the wet trip, the village leading to Sifu Liew clinic/home and the interior of his house with a very rural kitchen that reminds me of Singapore in the 60s…

Sifu Liew in action.