SaoLim Old Guard.

March 9, 2008

This recent hop over to Singapore saw me sitting down with some SaoLim elders over at Siao Teck San School; one of the oldest SaoLim schools still teaching in the “old fashion” manner.

The few hours I spent with Sifu Lew was a real eye-opener as he took me through some of the methods that the late Ven. Sek used to train disciples.

We started out talking about the current state of affairs in SaoLim, forms, techniques and future plans and next thing you know, it’s almost 3 in the morning…..

I really respect all these old timers who stay true to the methods handed down and having no interest in changing for changing’s sake.

Their attitude is to continuously polish what they have learned to reach the highest level and this means constantly challenging their own thresholds.

Sifu Liew commented that many dismissed traditional MAs as “unusable” because they lack the knowledge of making it work in the first place.

Either they were not taught or taught by someone who is equally in the dark.

The techniques are one thing, what really counts is the training process involved to fully master them and this calls for long period of time understudying a qualified teacher.

There is no other way…….

 

Back from Singapore .

March 3, 2008

Just flew in from Singapore ……thru some pretty rough weather just before touching down …… aarrrggghh….this kind of excitement I can do without……

Short but really fruitful trip meeting elders in Saolim and also, finally, finding time to sit down and have a in-depth discussion with my Fuzhou Crane sihing about future of our style of White Crane.

I will update in the days to come but for now, a short clip from Siao Teck San – one of the very few schools left still teaching Ven. Sek Saolim – the way it was passed down.

The form in the clip is Saolim’s version of “leper’s fist” – the half clenched fists symbolize that….

One of the original forms taught by Sigung Ven Sek and, personally, priceless…..

I also got the unabridged version of “Lotus” or “Lian Huay” fists and together with “Yi Ki Muay” and “Lohan” make up the “mother fists” of Sigung Ven Sek SaoLim.

Something else that is priceless – sitting around talking to Saolim elders and having them relate what it was like training with Sigung ……

Okay… the bad weather flying is worth it……

Still, a little Carlsberg – to still the nerves you understand…..