Author Archives: Wei Joo Lee

FRAGRANT FOX — A NOVELETTE ON SHAOLIN KUNGFU PART 2

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general/fragrant-fox/fragrant-fox02.html)

This novelette, still unpublished, was written about 40 years ago by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit in the 1980s. Those attending the Valentine Kungfu Courses 2018 on the Shaolin Pakua Set will find the novelette particularly interesting as there are accounts of combat sequences from the Pakua Set.

THE PERFECT DETECTIVE


Commissioner Chin’s career in the Imperial Bureau of Criminal Investigation had been so outstandingly successful that people called him the Perfect Detective. Like Yang Shao Ming, he was also good at kungfu.

Any police officer, if he wanted to survive, had to be proficient in the martial arts, for although this period of Chinese history during the Ming Dynasty was comparatively peaceful and prosperous, big time criminals were generally skillful fighters. Indeed to a great extent it was because of his kungfu excellence as much as his efficiency in preventing and solving crimes that the public enjoyed peaceful times.

Nevertheless, the Commissioner was even better known for his fine taste. Everything about him was the best: he wore the best clothes, ate the best food, drank the best wine, had the best-looking women, and mixed with the best friends. Even his officers and his investigation methods were the best. In fact people were convinced that Commissioner Chin was the personification of success.

What can worry Commissioner Chin? Yang wondered to himself. Just what on earth can worry this man whose support includes the highest ministers of the Emperor, whose friends comprise of the best kungfu experts in China, and whose efficiency spells fear as well as reverence throughout the whole underworld of crime?

Yang hoped Chin would reveal his worries, but the more he hoped, the more Chin seemed to have forgotten about this irresistible curiosity which he appeared to have accidentally caused Yang to suffer.

Yang looked across the table at the Police Commissioner. His earlier sulky look had disappeared from his face. Commissioner Chin even seemed to be smiling to himself, being oblivious to the troubled thoughts in Yang’s head, and oblivious to everything around him. He took a sip of his fragrant wine, sat back and rinsed the wine gently and artfully in his mouth, and with eyes closed, obviously enjoying its lingering aroma.

Can the cause of his worries be Fragrant Fox? Yang reasoned to himself. He realized he could stand it no longer.

“Have you any news of Fragrant Fox?” he eventually asked, almost foolishly.

“She has given me enough trouble, this Fox,” Chin replied wrathfully. It was amazing how quickly his earlier complacent disposition turned into anger. “I’ll soon have her caught.” But in a moment, the Commissioner reverted to his nonchalant mood, as if totally involved in the appreciation of his wine.

Yang could understand Chin’s exasperation, even for a moment. Although this Fragrant Fox was actually not a criminal — she never robbed nor killed — yet she must have caused this Chief Investigator of the Empire more trouble than the most notorious criminals. Since the widely-talked-about appearance of this highly amorous Fox some months ago, many people had begun to doubt the validity of the Perfect Detective’s reputation.

“It’s just incredible,” Yang said, “that even those whom she made love to, and who enjoyed her love so much, could not know who she actually is!”

“Fragrant Fox is not only a kungfu expert, she is also excellent in make-up techniques,” Chin explained, still in his leisurely mood. “Her variety of disguises is such that even if she were your neighbour, you might not know it!”

“Perhaps she is a very ugly woman. She has to wear different masks to hide her face,” Yang jested.

“She is extremely beautiful and charming,” Chin objected, then sighed, as if regretting that had she been a less insatiable lover, he might have married her.

“How do you know? Have you seen her actual face?”

Yang’s abrupt questions aroused the Commissioner from his dreamy state, but he managed to reply calmly, “I have sufficient evidence at present to pin-point a certain suspect.”

“Who is this suspect?”

“I won’t tell you now so as not to prejudice your investigation.”

“My investigation? So you are again asking me to do your investigation!” Yang protested.

“I hope you won’t refuse to help,” came a melodious, timely reply from behind.

LINKS

Fragrant Fox — Overview

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FRAGRANT FOX — A NOVELETTE ON SHAOLIN KUNGFU PART 1

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general/fragrant-fox/fragrant-fox01.html)

This novelette, still unpublished, was written about 40 years ago by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit in the 1980s. Those attending the Valentine Kungfu Courses 2018 on the Shaolin Pakua Set will find the novelette particularly interesting as there are accounts of combat sequences from the Pakua Set.

PERSIAN SCARLET

Chinese wine

Chinese wine



As Yang Shao Ming entered the reception chamber, Commissioner Chin was already waiting. The room was spacious and luxurious, with expensive paintings on walls and precious porcelains vases on artistically carved selves. Everything about the room was delicate and exquisite, just like the Commissioner himself.

The Commissioner, in his early thirties, was comfortably seated at a table, laid over with a fine, red silk table-cloth, and on the table were delicious food and excellent wine. Yang Shao Ming could easily tell the superb quality of the wine by its gentle, fragrant aroma.

Commissioner Chin was alone. Even his bodyguards and the pretty maidens who habitually surrounded and pampered him were conspicuously absent.

“My dear Yang,” the Commissioner said as his young friend entered, “fine food and wine wait on our appetite.”

“I suppose you’re going to ask favours from me again.” Yang smiled but was straight to the point without any pretensions, as he eyed the delicious food and excellent wine on the table. “They say the best way to a person’s favour is through his stomach!”

“Let’s enjoy this Persian Scarlet,” Chin replied as he poured a cupful of the best quality wine for his friend. “You can’t buy such wine with any amount of money. The King of Persia sent three barrels to our Emperor as tribute, and His Majesty is so graceful and generous to give me one.”

“And you’re so graceful and generous to let me share it.”

“What is a barrel of wine compared with the company of good friends. I must say that even if I had achieved nothing in this short life, I would leave this world without any regrets because I have you as a good friend.”

That was quite true. Any one of Yang’s friends would agree that was true. Yang Shao Ming was only in his late twenties, but he was so skillful in martial arts that many people considered him one of the best kungfu exponents the famous Shaolin Monastery had ever produced. But, of course, it was not merely because of his Shaolin kungfu that his friends adored him.

“You certainly have achieved a lot in life, my dear Commissioner, and you certainly understand the pleasures of life.”

“Unfortunately I am not drinking for my own pleasure this very moment!” The Commissioner frowned. And he said this so naturally and spontaneously that his friend was not sure whether he was joking.

But Yang Shao Ming retorted in jest, “Ha, ha! As if you’re drinking for my pleasure then!”

“Three cupfuls to drown my worries,” Chin sighed as he gobbled down his first cupful of scarlet wine.

Yang almost burst out laughing.

“You should know my worries, my two pertinent worries,” Chin said with half closed eyes.

Yang could not laugh now. He wanted to know the two pertinent worries, yet he dared not ask. He knew too well that as soon as he foolishly opened his mouth, Chin would talk him into doing favours again. He had done enough favours for the Commissioner in solving crimes, and this time Yang was determined not to be used again. He sat back, like his friend, half closing his eyes, and tried to enjoy the succulent Persian wine.

Wine, Songs and Women: these were the pleasures of men – at least of most men. But now Yang did not find the wine pleasurable. Two pertinent worries? Yang thought.

LINKS

Fragrant Fox — Overview

HAPPY BIRD HOPS UP BRANCH

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/shaolin/kungfu-sets/happy-bird/video01.html)

This is the third combat-application set of Shaolin Kungfu in Shaolin Wahnam, and is composed of the following four combat sequences:

  1. Happy Bird Hops up Branch

  2. White Horse Presents Hoof

  3. Yellow Oriole Drinks Water

  4. Naughty Monkey Kicks at Tree


Please click on the picture or the caption below to view the video

Happy Bird Hops up Branch from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.

 

SHAOLIN WAHNAM KUNGFU — COMBAT SEQUENCE 5 “FIERCE TIGER SPEEDS THROUGH VALLEY”

SHAOLIN WAHNAM KUNGFU — COMBAT SEQUENCE 5
“FIERCE TIGER SPEEDS THROUGH VALLEY”

(reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org/review/fierce.html)

Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley

Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley

Progressing to the Right Leg Mode for Combat

Combat Sequences 1 to 4 which have been posted in previous webpages constitute one stage of combat training, and they form the kungfu set “Black Tiger Steals Heart” in the Shaolin Kungfu programme of our school. The main objective of this stage is to develop fundamental combat skills as follows:

  1. right timing

  2. right spacing

  3. flowing movement and force

  4. right judgement

  5. fast decision

  6. instantaneous change

  7. footwork adjustment

  8. safe coverage

  9. flowing attack

  10. pressing attack

The first two skills, right timing and right spacing, are the most fundamental. Without them the other skills, as well as all techniques and force, lose their significance. An exponent, for example, may have some fantastic techniques and tremendous force, but if his attack or defence cannot reach its target on time, all his techniques and force are quite useless.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Poise Patterns

Fierce Tiger

All the principles you learn in combat training can be, and should be, transferred to our daily work and play to make our life more rewarding. This is a main reason why we devote our time and effort to kungfu training. The principles of right timing and right spacing are of utmost importance in life. You may be the best computer programmer in the world or have the most advanced marketing skills, but if these skills are not used at the right time and at the right place, they are as good as being useless.

Some people, who may actually have many talents or much knowledge, constantly complain that society or Mother Luck never gives them an opportunity to use their talents and knowledge. What they need is to develop the skills of right timing and right spacing like what we do in our combat training, and transfer these fundamental skills to daily life.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Single Tiger

Golden Dragon

In the previous set of four combat sequences, besides the fundamental skills you also learned the basic techniques for hand attacks and defence. You should practise these four sequences in stages, as follows:

  1. pre-choice

  2. self-choice

  3. end-point continuation

  4. mid-point continuation

  5. end-point addition

At the pre-choice stage, the initiator begins with a pre-chosen sequence, and the responder responds accordingly to complete the sequence. At the self-choice stage, the initiator may start with any sequence he likes, but the releasing of control must be gradual so that the responder can respond accordingly too and both partners can complete the sequence smoothly.

At the end-point continuation stage, after completing one sequence the initiator (or sometimes the responder) starts another sequence without retreating to poise patterns. For example, after completing Combat Sequence 1, instead of returning to poise patterns, the initiator continues by repeating Combat Sequence 1 or starting Combat Sequence 2. You should continue to the next sequence at the start of the next sequence, but later you may continue at any suitable point of the next sequence. Hence, at this stage an encounter will consist of five or six exchanges instead of three.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Fierce Tiger

Golden Dragon

At the mid-point continuation stage, either one of the partner may continue with another sequence at the mid-point of the first sequence. For example, you may start with Combat Sequence 2, but at any suitable point during the sequence you or your partner may continue to Combat Sequence 3. You may enter Combat Sequence 3 at its beginning or at any suitable point of Sequence 3. Hence the exchanges are less although this stage is a progression from the previous stage. But later you may have three instead of two sequences in one encounter.

At the end-point addition stage, you or your partner may add a suitable hand-attack pattern and the other person will respond accordingly. The additional attack pattern need not be any of the patterns found in the four sequences, but it must be a hand attack. For example, instead of a level punch of the “Black Tiger”, you may use a palm strike or a phoenix-fist. You are to add only one pattern, and after the respond both will return to poise patterns.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Precious Duck

Golden Star

Once you have practised these four combat sequences well, you can defend against all hand attacks — although at this level the range of techniques is limited. Hence, you will soon find that neither you nor your sparring partner can beat the other. No matter what hand attack or counter- attack one uses, the other can defend against it effectively. None has an advantage over the other because now both have the same level of skills and techniques.

To overcome this impasse, you have to find at least one advantage over your partner (or opponent in real fighting). This can be achieved by either improving your skills or expanding your techniques. In other words, although you and your partner are at the same level of techniques, if you are faster or more powerful than him, you can still beat him. Alternatively, although you and your partner are at the same level of skills, if you can use techniques which he is unfamiliar with, you will also beat him. A main objective of the next set of four combat sequences, Sequences 5 to 8, is to expand your hand techniques.

Combat Application

Combat Application

Green Dragon

Poise Patterns

This sequence, “Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley”, introduces the right leg mode in attack. So far, from Combat Sequences 1 to 4 with the exception of the “Precious Duck” pattern, the left leg mode is used. The left leg mode and the right leg mode have their own strong points and weaknesses. Some martial artists, often without their own awareness, favour one mode to the other. Later when you are more skilfull and know more techniques, you can maneuver your opponent to his unaccustomed leg mode, often without him knowing, thus gaining a tactical advantage.

In the previous four combat sequences, continuing from one sequence to another was easy when you were executing Sequences 1 and 2, but you probably experienced some difficulty if you were executing Sequences 3 or 4. This was because of your leg mode. After completing Sequences 3 and 4, your right leg was in front, and you might not know how to continue your attack as your attack patterns in the right leg mode were limited.

Now this limitation can readily be overcome. For example, after defending against your partner’s Black Tiger or Green Dragon with your right Single Tiger in Sequences 3 or 4, you can “thread” with your left Golden Dragon and continue with your right Fierce Tiger as in Sequence 5. You will find a lot of attack patterns in the right leg mode in subsequent sequences.

OVERVIEW

Combat Application

Combat Application

Combat Application

Poise Patterns

Fierce Tiger

Single Tiger

Combat Application

Combat Application

Combat Application

Golden Dragon

Fierce Tiger

Golden Dragon

Combat Application

Combat Application

Combat Application

Combat Application

Precious Duck

Golden Star

Green Dragon

Poise Patterns

HOW TO OVERCOME OR PREVENT OVER-TRAINING

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/discussion-2/nessa01.html)

Shaolin neigong

A simple chi kung exercise, but performed in a deep chi kung state of mind, can be very powerful



We have become so cost-effective that students and instructors do not have to do their best to practice as I have taught. If they practice daily and attain only 30% of what they attained during the courses I taught them, they would have done well.

This is almost a joke. “Ku lian”, which means “bitter training”, is the hallmark of all kungfu training, including my own kungfu training when I was a student. But now we tell our students, “Don’t worry! Don’t intellectualize! Enjoy your practice! If you just attain 30% you would have done well. If you try to do your best, you will be over-training.”

Hence, it is no surprise that many of our students and some instructors over-train.

What are the signs we can use to say that we over-train?

Over-training is the result of getting more benefits than our physcial body can cope. The signs are unpleasantlness, nausiousness, tiredness, pain and over-cleansing.

Over-cleansing, which is a result of over-training, is a process where we clear away rubbish faster than what our physical body can cope. Rubbish includes bad cells, pain, sickness, negative emotions and perverted views.

The signs of over-cleansing are similar to those of over-training, thus the confusion, such as unpleasantness, nausiousness, tiredness and pain, and may also include rashes, pimples, heavy breadth and body ordour.

The obvious action to overcome or prevent over-training is to slow down the training. Slowing down the training can be achieved in time or intensity.

If a student practices an hour a session, he can slow down by prcticing just 15 minutes a session. If he practices two sessions a day, he can now practice one session a day. If he practices everyday, now he can practice once in two days or three days.

In this connection, it is helpful to remind himself that practicing kungfu or chi kung is to enrich his life and the lives of other people, and never to enslave himself to the art. By reducing the time of his training, he now has more time for other worthy activities, which previously he may mistakenly thought he had no time for, like spending more time with his parents or friends, or just watching clouds passing by in the sky.

As many of our students and instructors enjoy our training, and also our training time is much shorter than what most other practitioners spend in their training, a more suitable alternative is to reduce the intensity of training to overcome or prevent over-training.

To make our training less powerful so that we do not over-train, we do not go too deeply into a chi kung state of mind. Instead of spending a minute, for example, to enter into a chi kung state of mind, we just spend a few seconds.

Or we can just go straight to our exercise without first spending time, even a short one, entering into a chi kung state of mind. Even when we do not purposely enter into a chi kung state of mind, we are still in a chi kung state of mind due to our habit, so we are still practicing genuine chi kung or good kungfu.

I tried this method at a chi kung course in Madrid recently, and it worked very well. All students, including some fresh beginners, enjoyed an energy flow. It was not as powerful as in other courses, but it was still powerful, and more importantly it best suited the needs of the students. The students were still fresh and energetic at the end of the course, not tired and worn out as in some other courses.

For some students and instructors in our school, even not purposely entering into a chi kung state of mind at the start of the exercise may still be too powerful. The next step, in a descending order of steps described here, is to purposely perform the exercise at a physcial level.

This is akin to but not the same as the step described previous to this one. At the previous step, we did not purposely enter into a chi kung state of mind, but might perform the exercise in a chi kung state of mind due to habit.

At this step we purposely do not enter into a chi kung state of mind, and purposely perform our chi kung or kungfu exercise at a form level. This indeed is what most people who practice genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu do.

But this is not what most people who say they practice chi kung and kungfu do. They perform genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu forms as gentle physcial exercise and as kungfu gymnastics. That constitutes more than 80% of chi kung and kungfu practitioners. Less than 20% perform genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu but at a form level. That was also what I did when I took more than a year to generate an energy flow or to develop internal force.

When you perform chi kung or kungfu exercise at a form level, you are still performing genuine chi kung and genuine kungfu, and therefore still in a chi kung state of mind — at lease some of the time and not too deeply. Our students and instructors would have no difficulty in understanding what I explain here. But many other people may not understand though they know the dictionary meaning of all the words I have used.

Do you know why? It is because they do not have the experience of what I explain, whereas our students and instructors have. Another way is to say that the problem is due to the limitation of words.

If a practitioner still finds himself over-training even when he performs the art or exercise at the form level, a remedy is to take negative action. He purposely intellectualizes or purposely tenses his muscles — not all the time but some of the time. When he intellectualizes or tenses his muscles, he brings himself out of the chi kung state of mind. When he is not in the chi kung state of mind, he will not get the benefits of chi kung or internal force which causes over-cleansing in kungfu. At the end of his practice, he must have a short remedial exercise to relax his mind and muscles.

Besides reducing the level of training so as not to over-train, which is described above in descending order, one can also spend his excess energy in wholesome activiites. He can performs kungfu sets or combat sequences at a form level. He can also spend his time enjoying with his friends, family or with himself, like hiking, swimming, partying, traveling, socializing, reading and writing. He can also spend his excess energy on his work, like moving goods around in a shop or planning a marketing progreamme for his company.

Deviating is getting harmful effects instead of benefits from one’s training. In a mild form it is not getting the result practicing the art or exercise is meant to give, but not suffering from harmful effects.

Shaolin neigong

An effective way to expand extra energy is to practice combat sequences at a physical level


The above article reproduced from Grandmaster Wong’s long answer on Essence of Spiritual Cultivation: Question-Answer 6 bere is quoted by Sifu Nessa Kahila of Shaolin Wahnam Finland on 26th June 2015 in the thread Over-Training and Over-Cleansing in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEARNING AND PRACTICING, INFORMATION AND PERFORMANCE

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/answers/sp-issues/practicing-performance.html)

Art of Shaolin Kung Fu

One can learn a lot about kungfu by reading good kungfu books

Question

I have recently started to learn kung fu, but I feel sometimes that I am not learning as much as I could. But I have nothing to compare with.

— Edward, UK

Answer by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit

Some people may think it is a matter of semantics, but actually the difference in the choice of words here is crucial. I clearly remember that in my early days with Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, my sifu told me, “One does not learn kungfu, he practises kungfu.”

That was good advice from a great master. When you learn kungfu, you add techniques, or worse still you add theoretical information. When you practise kungfu, you go over and over again what you already know, without adding something new.

Most people want to learn kungfu; they would be bored practising kungfu. When you learn kungfu, even if you keep on learning for many years, you remain a learner, or at best a scholar. When you practise kungfu, if you keep on practising for many years, you may become a master.

Another crucial difference is that when you learn kungfu, your emphasis is on information, whereas when you practise kungfu, your emphasis is on performance. When your emphasis is on information, you may know a lot about kungfu, such as various techniques to develop internal force and to defend yourself, but still you have no internal force and cannot defend yourself.

Perhaps for this reason, some people cynically say that “those who cannot, teach; those who can, do.” But this cynical statement does not apply to genuine kungfu, because the emphasis is on performance. A good kungfu exponent is one who is healthy and can efficiently defend himself, not one who knows a lot about kungfu information.

This, of course, does not necessarily mean that information is useless in kungfu. Information is very useful, but it should be geared towards practical results.

There are two sets of criteria you can compare your training with. One, you can compare with what kungfu is reputed to produce, such as good health and combat efficiency. Has your training made you healthy and combat efficient?

Of course, you must be fair. You cannot expect to have good results after just a few months of training. But if you have been practising for a few years, and yet you are still sickly and defenceless, you would have wasted your time even though you might have accumulated a lot of kungfu knowledge.

Two, you can compare with the purposes for which you want to practise kungfu. For example, if your purposes are to learn some graceful kungfu movements to loosen your limbs and joints, as well as to demonstrate to friends, you would have achieved your purposes.

Shaolin Kung Fu

To attain good kungfu performance, one needs to practice correctly and diligently

LINKS

Reproduced from Questions 3 in Selection of Questions and Answers — August 2001 Part 2

You can visit the Facebook Page for Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit’s books (Cosmos Internet Sdn Bhd).

You can also visit the website for Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit’s books at Cosmos Internet.

TELL US ONE OR TWO SECRETS

Grandmaster Wong Kiew KitThe Way of the Master, written by my Sifu, Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, is now officially launched.

You can order the book through Amazon or write a review.

You can also read more delightful stories, or order the special edition directly.

Please enjoy one of the memorable stories from my Sifu’s book below:

TELL US ONE OR TWO SECRETS

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/way-of-master/way15.html)

famous staff

Six-and-Half-Point Staff



One night, at Sifu Choe Hoong Choy’s house where he taught Wing Choon Kungfu in the garden at the back of his house, Uncle Cheong, a senior disciple of Sifu Choe Hoong Choy and well-respected kungfu master in his own right, visited the school. Some senior students were practising a staff set called Thirteen-Techniques Spear. Despite its name, it was a staff set, and a long tapering staff was used.

The students asked Uncle Cheong, who was an expert of the staff, about the combat application of a pattern called “High Mountain Flows Water”, where a staff was held slantingly away from the practitioner’s body with the head of the staff above the practitioner’s head, and the tapering tail of the staff slanting away almost touching the floor.

Uncle Cheong said, “It can be used to block a low sweeping attack.”

He then asked the student to sweep his legs and he blocked the attack using this pattern, “High Mountain Flows Water”.

Uncle Cheong then turned to me. “Kit Chye,” he said, “How would you use this pattern to block a low sweeping attack?”

“Kit Chye” (杰仔) was the name they called me. Other students would call me “Kit Kor” (杰哥), which means Elder Brother Kit. “Kit Chye” is an endearing term, often used by parents to call their children or elders to call their loved ones. It means “Kit, my lovely boy”.

“Uncle Cheong is an expert of the staff,” I replied indirectly.

“I know you are also an expert of the staff. Tell us one or two secrets.”

“I’m not sure whether I can tell one or two secrets.”

“Let’s ask our sifu.”

Uncle Cheong then turned to Sifu Choe Hoong Choy. “Sifu, would you let Kit Chye to reveal one or two secrets?”

“They are senior students. There’s no harm telling them one or two secrets,” Sifu Choe Hoong Choy said.

I took over the staff from Uncle Cheong, and asked the senior student to attack me with a low sweep.

As he did so, I blocked the attack as Uncle Cheong did earlier, but with the end of the staff gently hitting the attacker’s lower leg.

I asked him to attack again. I performed the same pattern blocking his attack, but this time with the tip of the staff pointing just an inch above a vital point between his lower leg and his foot.

Sifu Choe Hoong Choy and Uncle Cheong smiled noddingly.

“In a real fight,” Uncle Cheong told the student, “Your lower leg would be fractured as soon as you make the attack, or you would not be able to walk as your vital point at the foot would be dotted.”

famous staff set

Fifth Brother Octagonal Staff

 


You can read more stories at our Discussion Forum. Here are details to order the special and limited edition. This edition will not be reprinted once it is sold out.