I’m back :)

October 12, 2008

Whew…. back from another 2 weeks of meeting, playing and eating…. yeah yeah, I know it’s a dog’s life but somebody got to do it, right?

Okay, first I want to thank my 2 fellow shoemakers for holding the fort and then, I got to quickly go out and get myself a dictionary – Mark’s english is so “English”, you know what I mean?

For now, outline of events that transpired in Singapore and Penang (I am keeping to MA related topics) :-

  • Recorded a TCMA performance held in Hong Lim Park in Chinatown area, Singapore. Frankly, I had no clue about this show until Ian Leong wrote to me about this. Not knowing what to expect, I just showed up and boy, what a pleasant surprise; Ah Teck (TaiZu), Sifu Ku Choy Wah, Zhou Jia, Saolim, Hungga, Sifu Liao Shong Fen/Hakka Boxing and a string of other TCMAs presented a 3 hrs show to a audience of about 500 – 1000. And all this in a downtown park too – what can I say?

  • Spoke comprehensively to both Ah Teck and Sifu Ku Choy Wah regarding publishing books and I am really glad to say that the response is really affirmative….finally. So Mark/Russ, roll up your sleeves, we got “work” cut out in front of us – cancel all vacation plans and be prepared to come here!

  • Visited one of my White Crane Sifus, Li Wen Shi together with my sihing. At 93, Sifu Li is still able to describe most of his training experience in Fuzhou White Crane. Listening to him is like taking a stroll through history during a highly capricious time when CKF masters were fleeing the mainland. His journey, alone, is sufficient to fill up an entire book about Fuzhou Whooping Crane both the MingChiang and Putien lines; personally, if you want to examine Whooping Crane, I say talk to this Master – even China wanted him back to restore Whooping Crane! So guys, more work……

  • It’s beginning to look like we will be kicking Muay Thai off soon (pardon the pun). Spoke to the relevant people and took a tour of a MT school run by a Thai coach, Bia.

I will be putting up pics and clips etc over the next few days.

Penang was equally hectic; starting with Por Suk’s 63th birthday dinner. For those of you, who are thinking that this is a “formal” occasion, wait for the clips.

Instead of staying in a hotel, I decided to lodge at Por Suk hillside temple and for 3 solid days, we were going over plans of publishing his “Cho Gar Hay Bun Wing Chun”.

And it was also during these 3 days that I got a really close up view of his Wing Chun including his distinctive wooden dummy and sandbag drills – 3 days ain’t enough folks!!!

The purpose of the Penang leg of the trip is to talk to the right folks about next year’s event in Penang and I will expand on this in a later entry.

Before I left, I revisited GM Cheong Cheng Loong and mooted the idea of forming a “TCMA Research Fellowship” involving masters from the various families.

This concept received warm reception from GM Cheong and in fact, from almost all the masters I spoke to.

So fellow cobblers, yeah, you got it – more work 🙂

I got some pics here for you first – I shot Por Suk’s “13 Arrow Palms”, one of the essential forms in his line of WCK in preparation for the book that we’re working on.

Enjoy…..

Well folks, I will be traveling again from tomorrow and would not be back until May – got quite a fair bit of packing to do this time.

Besides personals, I got equipments, research materials and other bits and pieces from this part to give out as gifts to American friends…..

Then there is that stopover in Singapore for the White Crane and Taizu video sessions planned – aaarrrgggghhhh …… I need a bigger bag!

One thing for sure, I will keep updating from every stop – got no reason to think that I will have no access to the internet in the States….unless when I’m skiing in Colorado or hanging out with Najavos in Arizona.

Going to leave you with a Muay Thai clip taken from a Malaysian tournament; around here Muay Thai is also known as “Tomoi”.

Widely practiced in States like Kelantan, Muay Thai has been around in the Northern region for a while now; these northern states have strong historical/cultural links with Thailand.

Lately, I have been spending time with this fight sport with the intent of playing a role of launching this proper in Malaysia.

And if things go according to plan, you will be hearing more about this when I come back.

So stay tuned…….

 

Monkey Climbing Tree ?

March 6, 2008

From the same “Yuan Gung Quan” DVD, here’s a pretty common monkey style approach.

Here you see a leg hook followed with a leaping knee strike; something resembling “Monkey climbing tree” in other styles like Saolim monkey….

Except that you see more of a stepping lift off with one leg on opponent tigh and then knee strike with your other leg in most other styles.

Just like what Tony Jaa likes to do in his movies and if I remember correctly, the old name for this Muay Thai technique has “Hannuman” in it.

“Hannuman” referring to the “Monkey God” in Hinduism ……..

Sawadeekup – Muay Thai.

February 9, 2008

Muay Thai – my path is crossing with this deadly efficient fighting art once again. 

Back some years ago, I was in Singapore and working with one of my Saolim sihings, Collin Chan. 

Collin, a successful businessman wanted to introduce Muay Thai into Singapore and there I was finding myself involved…in a very small way….. 

It was through Collin that I met Stephan Fox, the current General Secretary of World Muay Thai Council. 

Originally a Wing Chun man, Stephan went on to do and later became a champion in his Muay Thai career. 

And now that we are mooting the idea of launching Muay Thai in Malaysia; who else would I go to for guidance? 

Collin and Stephan, of course and that exactly why I will be flying to Singapore this month end – to explore…. 

To me Muay Thai is what effective fighting is all about – keep it uncomplicated and keep training repetitiously, solo and with a partner. 

To learn how to fight, you got to fight and that’s precisely why Muay Thai is so highly regarded as a “fighting art”.

It’s all about “fights”……