“Dojo Rat”

May 18, 2010

Received an email from a gentleman, John Titus, who runs a blog named “Dojo Rat”…… click here.

I browsed this a little and …. really… nice….

But what is with the “rat” ???

Made in India ???

May 17, 2010

Ooookay, it’s that time again – answer emails…..

Firstly, again, allow me to apologize to those who have written in with invitations to be friends over at youtube and facebook etc etc..

Like I explained before, I am just about able to cope as it is; juggling my time doing this and that and the last thing I need is to commit to something I cannot upkeep.

Many emails received asked for specific articles in old magazines, video clips and info about schools and Sifus; I would try my best to oblige.

Someone wrote in to ask whether I subscribe to the theory that CKF was influenced by her neighbor India.

Well, for as long as I could remember, many elders before me spoke of the extraordinary relationship between India and China through the early ages; written documents attest to this.

I guess for most folks, looking at contemporary Indian fighting arts, they find it difficult to reconcile the 2 countries’fighting art forms.

I recall a Saolim elder telling me that to see the connection, you got to concentrate on the stick arts; they are telling movements to relate the 2.

Got a mainland clip here that might just do that; no background info but apparently a northern form. Something that you would expect to see Chuo Jiao, Sanhuangpaochui and Shaolin exponents do.

Reminds me of something from the “crazy” stick series ………

I bet you never knew gongfu could come so handy grasshopper …..

He floors lover with gongfu kicks …. click here.



Another hectic week just zipped by …. The year of the Tiger is proving to be more “vigorous” than I first imagined.

Well, this is good …. It’s always better to be busy than idle …so say so many folks around here.

And this past week had been made “busier” with the visit of my Zhou Jia (Jow Ga) sihing, Peter Lum, from Penang.

He was supposed to travel with Por Suk (Cho Ga Ban Chung Wing Chun) but Por Suk had to change plan last minute; one of his students bought tickets for him to go to China….

Well anyway Peter stayed with us in the new house so it was 4 days of kung fu talks and discussions of projects plus meeting with my boss, kung fu folks in Kuching and some sightseeing / shopping squeezed in.

This being his virgin trip to East Malaysia, we wanted him to experience as much as possible; life in East and West Malaysia are really 2 totally diverse matters.

You just go to hands on both to know what I mean.

4 days are just barely adequate to scratch the surface, so Peter is scheduling on coming back …. With Por Suk.

In the meantime, I will be building a “mok chong” or “wooden dummy” using “belian” …one of the hardest “iron wood” known to man.

I will be working my knives techniques on the dummy … what are you thinking you dummy hahahaha….

Downtown Kuching near the waterfront.

GM Kong Shu Ming (Hakka Suppressing Tiger Fists) having morning       coffee with Peter.

“Arsenic Lake” in Bau Kuching. Seriously the lake is laced with arsenic left behind during the gold mining operations. Swim at your own risk !!!

Some more bird talk.

May 10, 2010

Okay okay I know, this is supposed to be a Kung Fu blog and I should stay the course ….. but please remember also that “all Kung Fu and nothing else makes Eric a dull boy” … duh !!!

However, Kung Fu is a big part of my life and I don’t drift far, a little diversion now and then but still it is the “comfort zone” that I am comfy with.

Got another clip here to share – Yong Chun White Crane’s “8 parts”, to me, a signature form for them after Sanchiem; a “forcing the 4th gate” form since they don’t do any “angles or corners” battle form per se.

Maybe and this is a big maybe, latter days’ Fuzhou Cranes “4th gate” form is inspired by this form; it is really hard to ascertain particularly since no proper chronology record exist.

Talking to both Yong Chun and Fuzhou Cranes elders, nothing clear cut resulted …..

Then of course you got “Grand Ancestor” or “Tai Chor” Boxing  and the consensus is that this is a much older system and if you inspect their paradigm of training, you’ll find :-

  • Sanchiem – connecting sky, man and earth or in other tongue, absorbing into the earth and rising to the sky power trajectory.
  • 4 doors
  • 5 gates
  • 8 methods

Looks like all these are swimming in the same water no?

Another account that I’ve got from a White Crane elder around here is that “8 parts” refer to the 4 major wrist and elbow manipulations – this then put the form closer to what Wing Chun folks preach…..

This White Crane veteran has his fair share of touching hands with White Crane experts of most lines and really, I cherish everything he has got to share with me; you should see some of the classical hand written/illustrated manuscripts that his teacher left him – priceless!!!

Back to the form in the clip, the performer appears to be much “harder” that the earlier YCWC clips that I posted. This kind of delivery makes it easy to see why many in the Karate world are now claiming association to YCWC as reported in the many websites and magazines out of the mainland.

So which is the right execution? Well, if you ask me, they are both “right” – go back to the White Crane classics and you’ll find recorded in no uncertain terms, that White Crane is “half hard half soft”.

Sinking into the “Dantien” and sinking into the earth produce different energies and appearances….

To sink into “Dantien” you keep your legs tight like in your typical “hourglass” stance whereas sinking into the earth calls for the legs to stay “springy”.

Well, more on this topic over time …. Let me find more clips to demonstrate what I mean.

This past week …..

May 8, 2010

This past week has been optimistically eventful…. It’s beginning to look like the company I work for will be taking up some form of distributorship of Nikwax products for Malaysia; we just need to work out the details to ink an official deal.

Nikwax is headed by Chas in the US and here is their website ….. click.

Then after a long search, we finally found ourselves a writer, Cynthia Chin, to help out in the many projects that we got lined up; many stymied because we can’t really cope with all that writing …… hey, I write hideously ……..

So far I spent a couple of sessions with her and really, this is one fascinating person … besides writing, she is also into environment/wildlife conservation, a photographer, thrash mountain bikes and on top of all that, she got 4 dogs …… arrrgh, maybe she wears a cape and fly too …… Here’s her website …. Click.

Then I had to call Rich (Dean), one of my students in Denver, to seek counsel on some legal matters and got very positive feedbacks from him … so there you go … a roll …hahahaha…

And and not forgetting  my partner and I found 2 puppies ….after a trying search…you know – wrong size, wrong color, too passive or expensive blah blah blah ….

So, say hello to

  • Scooby – all white male.
  • New New – white brown spots female.

Errrh, “new new” sounds like “twisting” in Mandarin … you know like the way some ladies walk ….. hahahaha

Happy Days are here again ……….

I have never met this gentleman, Kahar, but we communicated a few times thru emails etc ……..

When I paid a courtesy call to his teacher, Sifu Yip Fook Choy in Kuala Lumpur, I was told he was out of town.

Well, anyway, here is a newspaper article about Kahar and his involvement in WCK ……

Click here.

Okay, back to the bird ….

With so much mumbo-jumbo floating around, it is becoming tricky to tell what is what no?

Even with something as simple as the 4 divisions, we got folks passing Putien’s “Shaking Crane” as one of the main “Fuzhou” Crane.

Or misguidedly stating that “Shaking Crane” is “Ancestral Crane” because “Shaking” and “Ancestral” are both pronounced as “Zhong” even though they are 2 separate distinct written characters; this is where not knowing the language could lead to slip-ups easily.

In Mandarin, “shaking” and “ancestral” sound close but in Fuzhou, the contrast is much clearer.

Oftentimes, you hear that “Flying, Feeding, Whooping and Hibernating” Cranes are interpretation of physical behaviors of the Crane which is accurate to a large degree but even more profound is the “4 major energies” that is linked with these physical visible behaviors.

White Crane elders from the generation before me refer to these energies more than imitation of crane physical movements; this is one topic that I spent enormous time discussing with White Crane elders around here in Sarawak.

And fortunately for me, I found quite a few of them still familiar with this lingo and my comprehension of White Crane has enhanced immensely thru exchanges with them.

Well, anyway ….. One of the first “energies” that most Crane students would spend the initial few years training is “shuai” or roughly translated to “throw” and in the following clip, you see this unmistakably in the “Flying Crane” and also in the “Yong Chun White Crane” form.

Flying Crane is effectively based on “shuai” jin according to the classic manuscripts that were brought out of the mainland some 100 over years ago and YCWC, being more or less the “mother crane” encompasses this characteristic; it is just that different streams of YCWC emphasize different aspects and that is why you see some coming across as much “harder” expressions.

But you know the old CKF saying “with just one stroke, it’s enough to tell whether you’re real or not”……..

Malacca Mantis.

May 2, 2010

Another email received :-

“hi, i’m shervmen loi from malacca. i had visited your blog. you had done a very good job in trying to preserve traditional wushu. here in malacca also i can tell you that traditional wushu has been sidelined just to make way for the development of modern wushu. traditionalist like me were not many nowaday in malacca. i specialized in the seven stars mantis boxing under the lineage of luo guang yu. i had started my own blog since january 2010. here is the address, http://melakawushu.blogspot.com

Keep looking …..

April 29, 2010

It took me a while but finally….I landed a “big” one.

For some time now, I’ve been aware of the existence of at least 2 books written by the late GM Li Zai Ruan; the highly esteemed White Crane/WuZu teacher who resettled in Borneo.

Today, among the CKF elders in Sarawak, you could still find direct descendents of GM Li if you try hard enough; I met one some 2 years back operating a Chinese medical hall and doubling as a TCM doctor. I went to him to get some old injuries treated and thru him, I got to know GM Li a little better; his life here and the arts that he taught in Sarawak.

And this is the perplexing part – there are 2 GMs in this region, both celebrated Wuzu teachers but for some reasons also referred to as “Yong Chun White Crane” high hands.

I am trying to establish if they were trained in both or was it a custom to use Wuzu and YCWC interchangeably those days?

Looking at the syllabus they taught, it reveals a balance of standard WuZu and YCWC … so what the inside scoop?

The other GM besides GM Li is GM Kan Teck Guan, deemed by many to be a giant in the Wuzu world.

Short of talking to direct students of these 2 gentlemen, the next best thing is to get a hold of written works left by them.

GM Li, I was told, wrote a few books in his time and 2 of which were named as “Crane Boxing”.

Gotta tell you, hunting down his books is anything but easy … but hey you know what they say:

“The Heavens would not deny those with heart”.

So with plenty “heart”, I finally found another of his works and now it’s digesting and dissecting time ……