(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general/legends-of-southern-shaolin/legends01.html)
Classical Hangzhou, picture taken from “Things to Do in Hangzhou” in the internet
Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province of China just south of Yangtze Jiang, the longest river of China, was one of the most beautiful cities in the world. West Lake situated in the west of the city is now a world heritage site.
But the Qing general stationed at Hangzhou was in a depressive mood. He received intelligence that most of the rebels who wanted to overthrow the Qing Dynasty were in south China.
Just then someone jumped in from a window. The general was alert, but the next moment he noticed that the intruder was Looi Hoong, the chief kungfu instructor of his army. Looi Hoong was so good in kungfu that people called him Tiger Looi.
Looi Hoong knelt before the general, and said.
“Sir, you have long looked after me very well, and I didn’t know how to repay you. I’ve noticed that you were depressed the last few days. I guess it is because of the rebels. There is much evidence that most of them are located in south China. I have an idea but I don’t know whether you will like it.”
“Please tell me your idea,” the general said.
“I’ll set up a ‘lei-tai’ in Hangzhou. On the lei-tai I’ll hang two huge banners, which read ‘A punch will strike the whole of Guangzhou’ and ‘a leg will kick Suzhou and Hangzhou’. This will make many people angry. Rebels, who practice kungfu, will challenge me. In this way we can find out more about the rebels.”
“This is an excellent idea.”
Suzhou is another beautiful city of China. There is a saying in Chinese that “there is heaven above, and Su and Hang below”.
So soon at the Gate of Pure Ball in busy Hangzhou, a lei-tai or a platform for kungfu combat was erected with the two huge banners easily seen. In a lei-tai match there were no rules and no referee. The combatants fought until one was killed or conceded defeat. Any injuries were due to the inferiority of the combatants’ combat skill, and no legal action would be taken.
Many people of course were angry with the banners. In Cantonese, they read
Kuen ta Kongtoong yi shang
Khuik tek Su Hoong leong chow
In English they mean
A punch strikes the whole province of Guangdong
A leg kicks the two districts of Suzhou and Hangzhou
Accompanying the banner there was a notice which read as follows.
This is an announcement from the General who is stationed in Hangzhou. The chief instructor of our army, Looi Hoong, is excellent in combat and wishes to meet heroes of the world. Hence this lei-tai is erected so as to meet warriors of four directions. Combat on the lei-tai is sure to cause injuries.
Please note the following rules.
Those in our army are not permitted to take part.
Those who are monks or nuns are not permitted to take part.
Women and girls are not permitted to take part.
Those who take part must not conceal secret weapons.
Spectators cannot employ secret weapons to help any combatant.
Combatants must register their names and addresses.