Mok Gar.

December 31, 2007

Another prominent Cantonese system, Mok Gar, as in “Hung, Lau, Choy, Li and Mok” often quoted as “major” 5 big families of Cantonese styles.

Comparatively uncommon, at least in my part of the world, Mok Gar is prominent for their kicking methods – “heart piercing” and “small ghost” kicks being their typical techniques …..

Talking to Por Suk and Ku Sifu recently in Penang and Singapore, I found out that:-

  • Mok Gar teaches “Pien San” or” Side body” approaches. Kind of like how a TKD fighter would take on an opponent….
  • Mok Gar, along with Wing Chun, Hungga and CLF is still very much a part of Poon Yu’s Cho Koon training syllabus.

Here’s a old clip featuring this style:-

Love their opening posture” “Hands are the 2 doors, the legs take the opponent”…..

Got a bunch of old books/magazines talking about Mok Gar…will post those at a later time including Poon Yu’s Mok Gar.





Yes indeed, what a tangled web … or in the words of the late/great Bruce Lee; “classical mess”.

For as long as I can remember, folks have been squabbling non-stop about:-

  • Starting point – who came first and who is the most “original”?
  • The “true” ways and usually this refer to the ways of the one who one taking the stand. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning the “frauds” and “pretenders”; folks who make claims to deceive and misrepresent in order to make a buck. 

And yes I do think it’s essential to maintain integrity when it comes to histories and lineages; to me, the components of cultural/dialect and family identities…

But I think we must also not deny the fact that all arts evolve and sometimes, to the point of complete transformation.

The simple fact is that we are at dissimilar points of this chain and to insist that one particular way is the only right way is to miss the whole picture. 

Like a big family, some of us grow up and leave to form our own families elsewhere but that does not erase the fact that we are from the same family tree. 

Frankly, I think there is nothing more pointless to keep engaging in this subject of who is the “first”. 

We have this saying in Chinese; with the same surname, we are all family “500” years ago…

I know folks are still debating the issue of “Wing Chun and White Crane” link; well, got some news for these folks… 

Some 30 plus years ago, they had a big roundtable discussion on this very topic. And if memory serves me right, nothing final was drawn. I still have that article with me somewhere and when I find it, I will be sure to translate and post it here for all to see. 

Well, well, well, looks like an exercise that started 30+ years ago is still in session and at the rate things are going, it will probably run for another 30 years …. Or more…….

A clip here of “Mai Kay Wong WCK” …. Maybe it’s just me but this looks soooo WC – White Crane I mean…..












This pic was taken some 4 – 5 years ago when I first got here. Shot outside a place called “Fairies’ Cave” – awesome …. the cave I mean!

Time to take a short pause and “reflect” a little….

When I first started this weblog, gotta tell you, it was strange, really.

Quite unlike playing in a forum, you know, kinda like a “chat” room, a blog is pretty one-way at times;” HELLO, is there anybody out there, this is Captain Tom speaking…..”

WordPress is good in the sense that I get to access the statistics behind; how many views, from where and other stats that I don’t really bother.

Still got to remind myself sometimes that this is the “new thang” – an electronic journal – so apt for logging the journey that I am on.

And with view stats climbing towards 12K, it’s not just me shooting rubber bands at the moon after all….hmmmmm…..

Folks come up to me and say that I am wasting too much time on the internet; you know this blog and posting on youtube etc etc….

A good friend even added that if you post a clip of yourself holding a pack of “Marlboro” in your hands, there will be those who will challenge you and call that pack everything but ……

Another friend posted a clip, a while back, with himself doing a form and he got some very colorful comments; one even disputing his form…

This friend of mine, jovially, told me “hey, I got folks from half way around the world telling me who my father is”…hahahahaha….

And then there is this thing with folks still writing to tell me that I got my clips labeled “wrongly”.

Once and for all, I want to stress that I labeled them accordingly to the owners or described within the footages. I am not in the business of “reinventing” or “renaming”.

Or think that I know all and go around “correcting others”.

If, in my lifetime, I could somehow put the thousands of manuscripts, books, magazines and video footages on-line – I would consider my “mission” accomplished!

The more info I put out there, the lesser others got to “shoot rubber bands in the dark”.

On that note, I like to wish all of you, whoever you are :-

“A peaceful, happy and fruitful New Year”…..










What’s in a name ?

December 27, 2007

A lot if you are talking about oral accounting.

Especially when you are trying to piece together histories and all you got to fall back on are orally transmitted histories.

Spoken about this elsewhere, repeating it here:-

Form                 Japanese                       Fukien                           Fuzhou

3 battles            Sanchin                         San Chiem                     San Jin

18                     Seipai                           Chuck Paik                     Saik Paik

24                     Nesheshi                       Ni Chuck Si                    Nay Saik Say

36                     Sanseiru                        Sar Chuck Luck              San Saik Lurk

108                   Suparinpei                     Chit Park Lin Paik            Sok Park Lin Paik


Names in Fukien/Fuzhou spelled as they are commonly pronounced in those dialects.

If I were to go with the above, I am going to say the names of kata were pronounced in Fuzhou at the point of crossover to Okinawa. 

The good question is then, are they Fuzhou forms of those names? 

If yes, are they the similar, like Sanchin?

Got here a Fukien Shaolin form, also named “36”.

Looking at the form, I am disposed to think “5 Ancestors” or “Grand Ancestor” but the opening salute disagrees.   

Not a “temple” form, what with that “Ming” salute that suggest otherwise…..

So what’s in a name really?

(Name of techniques in the clip recited in Fukien)












Here’s another form that we do in Fuzhou Whooping Crane that shows noticeable influence from the Lohan system.

From the punching to the “dragon riding” stance found only in this form, the Lohan influence is obvious.

Interestingly, most of the other “Whooping Crane” folks I’ve met don’t do this form now and when I did it in front of some Crane elders here; their immediate comment was “Shaolin”….

The “rolling hands” that you see towards the end of the clip is classic Lohan’s “Khim Kar” (in Fukien) or “Seize and smash”… 






Blurp….I’m back….

December 26, 2007


Hah! I am back – after a short breather….

Now let’s see what happened these last few days…

Oh yes, it was Christmas and Peter Tan (Hakka Praying Mantis) who is based in Miri was in Kuching for the holidays. 

We met and discussed plans to work together on starting a training center up in Miri as part of our ongoing effort to rejuvenate TCMA in Sarawak. We both recognized the fact that something got to be done fast and in a more “modernized” manner before the situation deteriorate further. In a nutshell; “repackaging” TCMA to bring in more youths. 

Then I got a call from Patrick in Singapore regarding a Wing Chun book published by a mainland company.

An outstandingly done book focusing on Wing Chun and I had mentioned to Sifu Ku, who gave me a copy, that my company is keen to engage in future projects with this company. Sifu Ku spoke to them and they want to talk; I will update on that when more info is ready.

But really, I was lazing around these last few days; watching “Stargate Atlantis” on DVDs, not too bad, they even had a little escrima in some scenes….

Now back to business – got another clip of Lohan Boxing, this time from 5 Ancestors…. I got a bunch of Southern Lohan in my collection and I will start posting them next.










Choy Gar.

December 21, 2007

We hear about this Southern style ever so often; “Hung, Lau, Choy, Li and Mok” and “Hung Tau Choy Mei”…. 

I cannot really say I know a lot about this style; remember watching a performance in Singapore many years ago and one Sifu did a Choy Gar form. The impression I got, at that time, was that this style, striking a likeness to Hungga, seems to utilize much palm works. 

Got a book in my collection published in Singapore in 1986 by a Sifu Hor introducing a Choy Gar form “Wan Lung Kuen” or “Cloud Dragon Fists”. 

Not much info regarding history except that the form is passed down by a Sifu Wong Hung Onn. 

Now looking at the opening salutation sequence again, I am inclined to think “Hungga”; this “open wings” salutation is done by some Hungga lines….

Hmmm, the next time I meet Sifu Lam in Sibu, I am going to ask him….. 



Said this many times before – I am an absolute nobody in Zhou Jia. Did about a year’s training with Sifu Foong Fook Wah and even then, my understanding of Zhou Jia, is at best, elementary.

Really love the flow and rhythm of this extensive style from long range circular to close-quarters snappy techniques, all done in that special flavor that is Zhou Jia.

Zhou Jia is one of the few TCMA in Singapore that is still very closely-knitted and protocol is upheld by many seniors and key figures within the families.

The man who watches over the entire hierarchy is Sibakgung Lee Kam Yuen; the current “Cheong Mun” of Singapore Zhou Jia.

And this is one man who is very austere about keeping things in order; “know your place and behave yourself” is his style of leadership. 

I am conscious of the many efforts by Zhou Jia everywhere to keep the family intact and humbly I hope to contribute to this splendid undertaking.

Besides Sifu Derek Johnson in the US, I am also looking eagerly towards making connections with Zhou Jia in places like Hong Kong, Australia and Europe. 

So any Zhou Jia brothers/sisters reading this – please drop me a note…… 

A clip here with footages from a Zhou Jia committee meeting held in Hong Kong in 2005.












Merry Christmas …….

December 19, 2007


Ho Ho Ho …….

We do a “staff gathering” once a month, you know, talk about this and that; mainly bonding.

This being December, the company decided to have a little early Christmas party… so for couple of hours, everybody was letting their hair down and having fun.

So from all of us:-


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Lohan – no, not Lindsay!

December 19, 2007

This is a clip I posted in March of this year.

Attracted some comments since and I was just too lazy to response – some folks see a snowflake and they scream “winter”!

Since I am talking Sanchin and Lohan here, I thought I include some of my thoughts here:-

This is a traditional Shaolin Luohan northern form. The performer, like most performers from the mainland, oozes “Wushu” with their flamboyant deliveries.

I got a collection of Southern Shaolin monks doing southern forms and again, most folks would label them as “Wushu”.

Sometimes I suspect it is the “over-the-top” speed, power and rhythm that raise eyebrows; so they all get lumped into the “Wushu” bin.

I have seen the form in the clip done by folks in Singapore many years ago and albeit not exact replicas but still you could tell it’s the identical form.


There’s even a “southern” version of the form that the late Sebastian Soh did to show me; delivered with the speed, power and spirit that are so exclusive to him.

And oh before I forget, someone commented about the music I added to the clip; Jacky Chan’s “Drunken Master” was mentioned…

Ah…… no – this is an old Chinese instrumental piece known as “The General’s Order”……