5 Ancestors and Malaysia.

November 24, 2007


So why Penang, you might ask?


For us, it was a decision of expediency; Malaysia is celebrating this year’s “Chinese Cultural Festival” in that State and traditional martial arts are going to be notably featured, so there is good synergy for us to debut there.


Another reason, although I did not realize this earlier, emerged from an impromptu mini-conference attended by Por Suk, Teo Choon Teck, Lee Kam Yuen, Liu Chang I and other Zhou Jia elders, when we found ourselves stranded, on a heavy downpour day, at Por Suk’s temple – located at the foot of Penang famed Buddhist temple, Kek Lok Si.


We were talking about migratory paths of the various arts from the mainland to SE Asia.


Then someone brought up that Kek Lok Si must have special significance considering the fact that many prominent CKF figures visited, apparently to do more than just site-seeing.


Among them were the Zhou brothers (Zhou Jia Quan), Choy Lee Fut elders and other masters from Canton and Fukien.


And as the discussion continued, I was told than most CKF histories were passed down by KF families, scholars or the general population through folklores etc…


There is, however, another mode of transmission that is not regularly spoken of and that is through the “Hung Moon” or “Ang Men”. This is commonly translated to the “underground triads” which is right to a certain extent. Specifically, it’s referring to organizations formed to overthrow the Manchus.


We had masters from both Canton and Fukien styles present in the pow wow that day and it was captivating to hear them talk and compare “Hung Moon” poems.


One in particular stands out and loosely translated, it says “Honor the 3 heroes and respect the 5 ancestors”. This is something that is recited during initialization ceremony for admission into the Hung Doors.


The 5 Ancestors, contrary to popular beliefs, do not refer to 5 individuals.


Rather, it indicate escapees from the sacked Shaolin temple that fled to 5 locations.


The next stanza of the poem described exactly where the 5 locations are; one of these divisions fled to Malaysia and resettled in Malaca and Penang.


Coming from such a diverse group of masters, this info is something that I would not dismiss easily.


Later, I remembered a book that I read a while back, talking about Nanyang Chinese resettling in Malaysia.


Call it coincidence or what, the author spoke extensively about the Hakka, Fukien and Cantonese forming their various “kongsi” or “gangs” in those 2 places.


And many of these “kongsi” members were suspected to be solders or fighters fleeing the Manchus; they all brought fighting skills with them.









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