Lighten up dude!

August 14, 2009

These last couple of days, in the course of compiling data for our upcoming book, I visited 3 CKF elders here in Kuching to seek their guidance.

All 3 are recognized veterans from Hakka styles boxing; 2 from Praying Mantis and one from Hakka Tiger.

Most parts of our discussion centered on the arrival of CKF in Sarawak and unforgettable events since those pioneering days some 200 years ago.

What I hear just affirms what I believe all my life regarding CKF and the all important role that CKF played with the Chinese communities around here in this region.

Not much different from accounts I’ve heard all over West Malaysia, Indonesia and my hometown, Singapore.

In short, without the CKF masters and their fighting skills, I wonder if the immigrant Chinese could have endured and flourished in these, once upon a time, very antagonistic environments.

And as always, the discussion later turned to spotlight on me and my CKF experience and once again, I find myself explaining and demonstrating the Crane arts that I do and the masters “testing” my skills.

One of them had some experience with White Crane and as a kid; he studied with a White Crane master for a brief period of time.

You know me, every time I heard about White Crane from the old country, I get all super excited ……

So I probed, temporarily forgetting my mission there.


We went through the main attributes of Crane boxing and the one element that we both share is the “gracefulness”.

And really Crane boxing is singular in this aspect – no tightening of muscles and tendons and always staying relaxed is the definitive trait.

Just like the way a real crane would move and coupled with the fact that the founder was a woman, do you really think that hard tensed and aggressive approach is crane-inspired?

Well some of you might think so but I certainly think not …. But then again, in CKF, their is really no absolutes.

We say “form and intent” and that is exactly what we need to preserve.

The intent is obviously to win in every encounter.

The form, frequently , is sadly missed.

I like to quote my own late teacher who was fond of reminding us:-

To be aggressive and win is good skill.

To be relaxed and win is pinnacle skill.

So in the Chinese minds, what is the form of a Crane?

To answer this, I like to refer to something that is written some 2000 years back by Hua Tuo; the “5 Animal Frolics”.

Found this site that has some really good info … click here.

And some pages from one of my books, talking about almost the same thing.


huatuo 5 animals play_Page_028

huatuo 5 animals play_Page_029

huatuo 5 animals play_Page_030

huatuo 5 animals play_Page_032

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