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…..

Read about this form in an old Kung Fu book published in the 40s, I think. My dad gave that book to me; no photos just some hand-drawn illustrations and this Hung Gar form, accordingly to the book, is an advanced “short-bridge” form. The same is mentioned in this DVD from China.

Funny thing is that I have never seen this form done by any of the Hung Gar exponents I know personally. The common “taming tiger” form, of course, being “Character Ten Taming Tiger”. 

This is my second encounter with the form and both are demonstrated by mainlanders.

A slice of history…

February 4, 2008

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In addition to all the books, magazines, manuals and video footages etc – I have collected quite a heap of “anniversary magazines” circulated by individual CKF clubs, schools and associations.

Customary in these parts to host a once a year dinner to raise funds; guests invited usually make monetary contributions to sustain many of the schools; the magazine acknowledges these contributions…

Therefore, many of these magazines are “advertisements” for businesses and wealthy well-to-do making donations; so you got a win-win arrangement.

All that aside, these magazines, to me, symbolize a slice of history of TCMA in SE Asia especially now that many of these schools and associations are defunct; some existing in names only with little or no activities….

Many CKF schools/associations were more than merely about kung fu training; many are extensions of clan associations formed by Chinese resettling in SE Asia.

It was important to the early day SE Asia or “Straits” Chinese to remember their roots; the concept was to make enough money and then go back, so staying closely-knitted was the order of the day.

As it turned out, many Chinese never left their new homes and became, collectively, Nanyang Chinese or “Southern Ocean Chinese”.

The pics you see are from one such anniversary magazine published in 1970 by “Kwang Boo Kok Suat Thuan” – an association formed by the Hainanese in Singapore.

38 years old ago ….. jeez…I must be getting old…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Back to my favorite topic; how peeved I get when I read how some folks like to make sweeping statements regarding CKF.

Like – there is no “ground fighting” in CKF.

Well my friends, how high is the sky and how thick is the earth?

Do you know or think you know?

 

 

 

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Received another mail asking about the stick/spear book in the photo-slide clip…

Another one of those old books described as “classical treasure” and with no author mentioned – I love books like that, a real gem, not only because of the kung fu knowledge within but the hand drawn illustrations….. They don’t produce them like that anymore… 

I remember Por Suk telling how most single-head staffs are, fundamentally, modified spear works and this is so well exemplified in this small book.

Soooo, whoever the original author was; a big “Thank You” from me for leaving behind this “classical treasure” indeed! 

Got to make a copy and present it to Por Suk the next time I see him …….

 

 

 

 

I am back …….

January 29, 2008

Back from another short and hectic trip; attempting to get like 50 things done in 3 days in Singapore…. Déjà vu …. This is how it was last year.

First it was a swift stop at Johor Bahru, a hotel business meeting room and we were examining prospects of a couple of business joint ventures with some folks from Singapore.

This includes launching Muay Thai in Malaysia, both amateur and pro fights and to start from scratch is calling for much commitment from all in the meeting.

I know the people involved in Singapore Muay Thai during the initial days, as well as Stephen Fox, the current General Secretary of World Muay Thai Boxing Council and my next meeting should be with Stephen.

After the meeting, we made our hurried exit to Singapore to avoid the usual weekend bumper-to-bumper infamous traffic jam along the causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore.

A quick dinner and it was off to visiting my White Crane sihing. Always the same taciturn exterior, I finally got him to commit to a Fuzhou Crane publication project.

Besides a definitely more qualified player, protocol dictates that I seek his approval for a project of this nature; he is, after all, the highest ranking in the style.

I will be posting about the activities in the coming days.

For now, a photo-slide from pages of some of the old books that I brought back to Malaysia; I got books scattered everywhere – US, Singapore and now Malaysia. I am trying to have them all concentrated here with me in Kuching…..

This is just a sample slide-show; got too many books to scan….more to follow….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Responding to a request.

January 14, 2008

Got a youtube message asking for more clips from GM Poon Seng 43rd anniversary performance – obviously a big fan of GM Poon Seng….

Ooookay, I’ll try to post as much as possible from the DVDs..

Enjoy.

Hakka Wing Chun Kuen

January 13, 2008

Keeping in the vein of things Hakka, here’s a “Hakka Wing Chun” clip.

Footage taken in Hong Kong some 20 -30 (maybe more) years back, got no info of the background of the form or performer.

Duh, this form is announced as “Hakka Wing Chun” so no mail from anyone telling me I got it labeled wrongly.

If you must, write to the presenter ….. If you can find him ……hahaha…

Again, with some historians recording 600+ styles of CKF, how certain are we that we’ve seen the big picture.

CKF is a huge elephant folks, so let’s not be the 6 blind men…

It’s Sunday still, remember?

And I am still in the “preachy” mood…..

 

 

More CLF.

January 12, 2008

From the same DVDs that GM Chia gave me in Singapore, here’s another extract:-

GM Poon Seng doing one of his forms.

This is one master that I read so much about growing up, in all the magazines and books published in Hong Kong in the 70s and 80s.

Now, to be able to watch him in action even if it is only in a video recording is really inspiring….

You know the more I see all the senior masters performing, at an age that most would have problems just moving around, the more persuaded I get; TCMA is the right path….. 

 

I am not a Cantonese.

January 12, 2008

I received the following from a reader, pointing to a Wing Chun clip I posted recently.

Yes, the characters on the DVD’s sleeve is “rice machine Wong” and I spelled in as “Mai Kay” and not “Mai Gei” . 

Just want to clarify that I spell the way I pronounce those characters in the Cantonese that I speak – no other agenda… 

I am not Cantonese and the way I speak is a mix of all the various Cantonese that I’ve picked up around here in SE Asia.

And “thanks” for your inputs about Sifu Wong; if you are contact with him, please tell him that I am a big fan of his….

 Here’s his message :-

I would like to correct a clip name. This is not “Mai Kay Wong WCK” but “Mai Gei Wong WCK”.

I would like to correct a clip name. This is not “Mai Kay Wong WCK” but “Mai Gei Wong WCK”.

Greatmaster Wong Wu Fong, later for his fighting ability called “Mai Gei Wong” – “rice machine Wong”. He was intersted in martial art from his childhood, he was experienced in many styles and big physical culture fans. He trained “Nothern Shaolin”, “Taj Ji”, “Pakua”, “Xing Yi”, “Tai Hoi”, “Mok Ga”, western box, fight and weight-lifting. By Master Wong Jing he started to learn, when like the only Master, who he met, managed him in friend fight to knock him down. He sent him to train to another Yuen Kay Shan pupil´s school – Master Sum Nung to have another view on Wing Chun from other direction. From there come some excercises “San Sik” and next techniques, which Master Wong Wu Fong included to his style “Mai Gei Wong Wing Chun”. In 1960´s and 1970´s was the line “Mai Gei Wong” Wing Chun the strongest school of this style in surrounding cities Fatsan and Guangzhou. Greatmaster Wong Wu Fong was admired master of fight and very respected person of local sommunity martial arts. There are incredible stories about his fighting abilities, speed and power, many times certified from up to now living eye-wintesses. After retire he forbad to use the name “Mai Gei Wong”, so his style isn´t known except China. Greatmaster Wong Wu Fong died in the year 1998. On his funeral were over 300 mourning guests, mainly pupils and Masters of many kung fu styles, who were his friends.

Greatmaster Wong Wu Fong taught Wing Chun Kung Fu all his children. One of them is Master Wong Nim Yi, who lives and teaches in southchinese city Guangzhou. He trains Kung fu from early childhood under his father´s charge, but another important Masters too. He can a few kung fu styles, but for example “Lion dance”, kaligraphy… His own kung fu school festively opened and officially registered in the year 1998. Before he taught in his father´s school, which he took over after hi death. He taught only “Mai Gei Wong Wing Chun” and a few interested people Tai Ji Quan every day early morning and in the evening in “Tian He Sport Center” park. During the day is his flat full of pupils and variant visiters – Wing Chun teachers from far surrounding and Masters of other styles, who like discussing with him by “Kung Fu” tea about all possible martial art aspects, how chinese as any other. Master Wong is very pleasant and humorous man, who also can during a second explode with incredible power and speed. His Wing Chun Kung Fu knowledges and fighting abilities are very deep. His pupils are from all social sections and all age groups. In last years he teaches his art unchinese pupils too.

On this video is master Wong Nim Yi.