Sifu Li Wen Shi.

October 12, 2008

In my personal experience, it’s never easy to get any of my teachers to talk about Kung Fu; staying taciturn appears to be a common trait.

In fact, in one of my old schools, there was a big sign on the wall that said “Talk less and train more”. Talking was reserved for after-training tea sessions.

Asking about histories, concepts etc was usually met with “when it’s time, you will be told” and this is especially true with my Fuzhou teachers.

Even with my Sihing, it’s only in recent years that I am able to sit down, have tea and just talk, unreservedly. I don’t know, it could be because we are the only 2 left from the old school or even the fact that I have known him for some 20 over years now.

When I first broached the topic of writing a book about Fuzhou Whooping Crane, he added that we must get our only surviving Sifu, Li Wen Shi, involved.

A high-hand in both MingChiang and Putien Minghequan, I remember Sifu Li to be a strict authoritarian who discouraged “small talks”. I will not be surprised if that  sign on the wall was put up by him. Approaching him with question was always filled with trepidations….

Cannot begin to count the number of times he slapped my shoulders/back/hip and yelled “shong” during drills and forms.

So it’s with no less trepidation that I visited him with my Sihing on a mission to collect more materials regarding the early days of White Crane in Singapore.

The session turned out to be easier that I thought, maybe everyone does mellow with time.

Or it could be that it’s time for me to be told ……..

And I will tell you in the book that we are writing.

No 20 years waiting required.

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