While gripping Sifu Mark’s left elbow, Grandmaster Wong drove a fist into Sifu Mark’s heart
Li Chooi Peng paid her cousin sister, Wang Wei Lin, a visit. One of the reasons was to meet the villain, Leong Fa Yun. But Leong Fa Yun was not at home when she visited, so she spent much of the time with her cousin sister to talk about old times.
However, when Li Chooi Peng was about to leave, Leong Fa Yun returned home. Indeed streets were narrow for those who had grudges (which meant that those who had grudges often met).
“Wei Lin,” Leong Fa Yun asked, “who is this lady?”
“She is a relative of my mother, Miss Li Chooi Peng.”
“Ah, the famous Miss Li Chooi Peng. I’ve heard about your fame in the lion dance on New Year day,” Leong Fa Yun said.
Li Chooi Peng had a look at him. His face was wide, and his cheek bones high. He was smiling, but Li Chooi Peng could see vengeance in his eyes. He kept staring at Li Chooi Peng, without moving his eyes away.
“Miss Li,” he said, “the seat is not warm yet, and you are in a hurry to leave.”
“I’ve been here for a long time. If I don’t leave now, my mother will be worried.”
When Leong Fa Yun had returned to his room, he paced about with his hands behind his back.
“This Li Chooi Peng is not only pretty like a flower,” he thought to himself, “she is also a martial artist. Her blood and energy must be abundant and vibrant. Now I just want to use the blood of a strong woman, to strengthen the body and cheer the heart of myself and my men.”
So he went to ask Wang Wei Lin. She said, “Chooi Peng lost her father when she was small. She and her mother live together. But they are not poor like my family. They open a sundry shop, dependent on their own effort, and have warmth and are not hungry.”
Leong Fa Yun was pleased. He thought to himself, “If I use a lot of money to tempt her mother, she will be in my hands. “
So the next morning, he went with some servants carrying expensive gifts to Li Chooi Peng’s house. At that time, Li Chooi Peng was having breakfast with her mother, and they heard a knock on their door.
When Madame Lau opened the door, she had a shock.
“I’ve all the time admire your daughter, Miss Li Chooi Peng. Her wisdom is higher that that of an ordinary person, her character is high and admirable, so I was thinking of uniting with her for a hundred years. I have bought some humble gifts for you.”
“You just married my niece, Wang Wei Lin,” Madame Lau said.
“That’s the reason why I am here,” Leong Fa Yun explained. “I was thinking that a wife would not be happy when her husband married another woman. But Wei Lin and Miss Li are cousins, and she often speaks very highly of Miss Li. They spent time together when they were small, now they can spend time together in my house. I am sure Wei Lin will be happy.”
Li Chooi Peng was furious. She came out from her room and confronted Leong Fa Yun. “If you want to marry me, you must ask my two sisters.”
Leong Fa Yun was surprised. “Do you have two sisters?”
Li Chooi Peng rolled up her sleeves and showed her two fists. “Here are my two sisters.”
Leong Fa Yun became angry. “Little bitch. You use your two fists to frighten me? If I don’t show you some skills, you will not know how high is a mountain and how far is some water.”
Li Chooi Peng moved forward to execute a punch at Leong Fa Yun. Leong Fa Yun quickly warded off the punch. The two persons then fought on the street.
Li Chooi Peng understood kungfu philosophy well. She changed her attack to defence, to watch the opponent’s movements, but she was ready to strike back when an opportunity arose.
Leong Fa Yun did not know Li Chooi Peng’s intention. He thought to himself, “She is a small girl. No matter how good her art is, her stamina does not last as long as that of a man. If I attack her vigorously, she will be defeated.”
So he moved forward and struck Li Chooi Peng’s head with his right palm. She quickly dodged to avoid the attack. Immediately he swept at Li Chooi Peng with his left hand, using the pattern “Whirlwind Sweeps Leaves”. Li Chooi Peng moved back to avoid the sweeping hand. Then Leong Fa Yun kicked out his right leg at Li Chooi Peng’s body. Li Chooi Peng gently threaded it away with her right palm.
The two persons exchanged many encounters, with Leong Fa Yun attacking and Li Chooi Peng avoiding. Leong Fa Yun thought that Li Chooi Peng was quite helpless, knowing just to avoid without counter-attacking. Leong Fa Yun moved in with a right thrust punch. This time Li Chooi Peng anticipated his attack. She moved gently to a side to avoid the punch, then using her two eagle-claws gripped his right striking arm at his elbow and wrist at a time when the arm was fully extended, using Combat Sequence 8 which was called “Pai Pou Hang” or “Side-Step Move”. Leong Fa Yun gave a loud yell as he felt the sharp pain at his arm.
Still holding the opponent’s right elbow with her left eagle-claw, Li Chooi Peng executed a right thrust punch at Leong Fa Yun’s heart, using the pattern “Black Tiger Steals Heart”. Leong Fa Yun fell back a few steps on the street, dead.
His servants who came with expensive gifts were stunned. They dropped the gifts and ran for life.
Another Version of Combat Sequence 40 — Eagle Claw Strength Grip Technique
The nun invited Li Chooi Peng into her temple, and offered her a pot of fragrant tea.
After some preliminaries, Li Chooi Peng asked, “I don’t mean to be inquisitive, but why did sitai become a nun, and live in this temple far away from other settlements?”
The nun explained, “My name when I was a layperson was Wen Yin Sang, but now I am known as White Crane Nun. I had an elder brother, but he was beaten to death by a local cruel chieftain called Tit Choui Cha. To avenge my brother’s death, I ascended a mountain to learn kungfu for five years.
“When I returned, Tit Choui Cha heard about me and escaped. I looked for him everywhere but could not find him.
Then I found this temple and became a nun. Once I entered the ‘gate of emptiness’ (i.e. became a Buddhist nun), my thought for revenge gradually eased. Perhaps it was due to my facing Buddha and reciting sutras everyday.”
Li Chooi Peng was pensive for some time.
“There was an interesting story why I called myself White Crane Nun,” the nun continued. “A lot of white cranes flew to my temple. A first I used to chase them away with a long stick. But they seemed to play with me. They avoided my hitting them and flew about. I had an inspiration. From their movements I devised some kungfu techniques which you had seen just now.”
Here was a person who learned kungfu to avenge her brother’s death. But after becoming a nun, she even let go of her revenge, and from the cranes’ movements devised some kungfu techniques that resembled those of cranes. After a long conversation with White Crane Nun, she bade her farewell and went her way.
After two days she was in a small town on her way back to the City of Wei Yang to see her mother. She had a drink in a tea shop.
There was a huge man sitting opposite her, with a parrot in a cage which he was holding. The man was feeding his parrot. It was quite obvious to Li Chooi Peng that other customers as well as the shop attendants were sacred of this man, and tried to be far from him.
Suddenly, the man left the cage, with his parrot in it, on his table and walked towards Li Chooi Peng.
“Why did you keep looking at me and my parrot? Haven’t you seen a parrot in your life?” the man roared.
“I thought your parrot was beautiful,” replied Li Chooi Peng.
But before she could complete the sentence, a punch was struck at her. Li Chooi Peng leaned back to avoid the punch, and when it had reached its maximum extend, she gripped the tendons of the upper arm of the punch with her three fingers, causing the man to yell frantically.
This was Combat Sequence 40 of the 50 Combat Sequences of Eagle Claw Kungfu, and was called “Yin Jow Lek Pat Fatt” or “Eagle Claw Strength Grip Techniques”.
“Oh! You’re hurting me, you’re hurting me,” he cried loudly. Li Chooi Peng gave him a gentle push, which made him fell backward many steps onto the ground.
“Wait here. I’ll tell my sifu, and he’ll beat you up!”
“Who’s your sifu?” Li Chooi Penag asked.
“He’s Tit Choui Cha, well known in all these areas,” the man replied.
Tit Choui Cha! The cruel chieftain who killed the brother of White Crane Nun!
A thought arose in Li Chooi Peng’s mind. She wanted to find out where the cruel chieftain lived. She was quick in her thinking.
“I thought Tit Choui Cha was dead.”
“Dead?” his student was very surprised. “He’s alive and kicking!”
“Where does he live?” Li Chooi Peng asked.
“Just down this street. There’s a chrysanthemum tree in front of his house. He’ll beat you up!”
Li Chooi Peng paid some money to the owner of the tea shop, and went down the street with a chrysanthemum tree in front.
She found it, and knocked at the door. A small boy came out.
“I’m here to see Sifu Tit Choui Cha,” she said. A boy ran in to inform Tit Choui Cha, who waved Li Chooi Peng to come in.
Li Chooi Peng found a huge man with dark complexion and round, shining eyes. “Are you Sifu Tit Choui Cha?” she asked.
“Here I am,” the huge man replied. “I don’t change my name whether I move or sit.”
“Do you remember killing a man many years ago whose surname was Wen?”
“I have killed many men,” Tit Choui Cha replied. “I don’t care whether his surname was Wen or Chen.”
“I’m here to avenge his death.”
Tit Choui Cha laughed out loudly. “You? You little fellow? Your head couldn’t even reach my shoulder. Know you limitation. How could you avenge his death?”
“Avenging his death doesn’t need brute strength,” Li Chooi Peng replied. “Show your techniques.”
Tit Choui Cha was furious. He rushed in with a right punch. Li Chooi Peng remembered what her sifu, the Venerable Chee Seen, had said. Meeting force with force against a person whose shoulder was higher than your head, was unwise. She “swallowed” the punch, i.e. retreated her body to avoid the full force of Tit Choui Cha. When his arm was fully extended, she used her left eagle-claw to grip at his elbow, and her right eagle claw to grip at his wrist.
Tit Choui Cha pulled back his right punch and executed his left punch. This time Li Chooi Peng was precise in her timing. She withdrew her right front leg from a Bow-Arrow Stance to a right False-Leg Stance, and simultaneously used her right eagle-claw to grip the left elbow of Tit Choui Cha from outside inwards, and her left eagle-claw to grip his left wrist, at the time when the punching arm was fully extended.
This was Combat Sequence 29 of the 50 Combat Sequences of Eagle Claw Kungfu, and was known as “Ngoi Poon Khuen“ or “Outward Grip”.
Tit Choui Cha felt his body numb, and gave a loud yell. Still holding Tit Choui Cha’s left elbow with her right eagle-claw, Li Chooi Peng move forward her right leg from a False-Leg Stance to a Bow-Arrow Stance, and simultaneously jabbed the middle finger and the index finger of her left hand into his eyes, using the pattern “Two Dragons Fight for Pearl”. Tit Choui Cha could not defend. He fell down with a loud cry and his eyeballs were lying on the floor.
Li Chooi Peng went back to Silent Cultivation Nunnery and told White Crane Nun that she had avenged her brother’s death. She told the nun that she spared Tit Choui Cha’s life, but the bully was blind.
Li Siew Wan returned home. She thought she would be killed, and wondered why Miu Chooi Fa did not kill her.
Just then, she heard a familiar voice reciting a poem:
Hundreds of acres half grown with mosses;
Plum flowers end in extreme, vegetables blossom.
Where will be the Toaist who plants the plum?
In front of a pavilion I come with hope in bosom.
In walked an elderly man shining dark in complexion, with eyebrows that seemed to speak, eyes that shone like stars, and silvery white beard under his chin. He was Li Pa San, the most senior disciple of the kungfu genius, Pak Mei. Li Pa San was the First Patriarch of Li Ka Kungfu, or Kungfu of the Li Family.
(Another First Patriarch of Li Ka Kungfu was Li Pak Tat. There were different schools of Li Ka Kungfu. Li Pa San was one generation ahead of Li Pak Tat.)
“Papa!” Li Siew Wan called, then she cried like a baby.
After being asked what the matter was, Li Siew Wan explained what had happened.
“I must avenge the death of my son-in-law,” Li Pa San said.
Perhaps remembering the mercy shown by Miu Chooi Fa, Li Siew Wan said, “Papa, you have just arrived. Why not stay for a few days first? The lei-tai business can come later.”
“Alright. I shall give them ten days.” So Li Pak San wrote a challenge inviting Mui Chooi Fa to a lei-tai match in ten days’ time.
When Miu Chooi Fa received the challenge message, she was at a loss of what to do. She knew that Li Pa San’s kungfu was far ahead of hers. But to refuse a lei-tai challenge would be dishonorable. Meanwhile Fong Sai Yuk was slowly recovering from the injury.
While Miu Chooi Fa and the others were at a loss of what to do, Ng Mui suddenly appeared. Ng Mui was the most senior of the Five Shaolin Elders, the others were Pak Mei, Chee Seen, Fong Tou Tuck and Mui Hin in the order of seniority and also of kungfu excellence.
Ng Mui, who was a Shaolin nun, asked the group what the matter was. They explained thoroughly to her.
“There is no problem. I shall take the place of Mui Chooi Fa in the lei-tai challlenge,” she declared. “I shall also take Sai Yuk back to my nunnery so that I can nourish him to good health, and perhaps teach him some kungfu.”
Mui Chooi Fa and Fong Tuck were very happy. But Mui Chooi Fa protested, “Li Pa San challenged me. How could Sipak take my place?”
(“Sipak” means the elder of one’s teacher in a kungfu family. Although Ng Mui was a woman, in kungfu tradition she was regarded as male and addressed as “Sipak” instead of “Siguma”. The wife of the elder of one’s teacher in a kungfu family would be addressed as “Siguma”.)
“Chooi Fa, you were right to spare Li Siew Wan’s life. Let mercy runs from our hands. If revenge follows revenge, there will be no end. I shall reason to Li Pa San on the lei-tai day, and I hope he will listen.”
So on the day of the challenge, Ng Mui led Mui Chooi Fa, Fong Tuck, Chan Yuk Shi and other important members of Guangdong Association to meet Li Pa San and his daughter, Li Siew Wan, at the lei-tai. Li Pa San was surprised to see Ng Mui.
He knelt before Ng Mui and said, “Sipak, I never knew you were here. Otherwise I would have come a long way to welcome you.”
Ng Mui helped Li Pa San to stand up.
“Pa San,” Ng Mui said, “I’m here as a peace-maker. Miu Chooi Fa told me that she would be no match against you.”
“It started because Fong Sai Yuk killed my son-in-law,” Li Pa San protested.
“That was not how it started. It started because your son-in-law, Looi Hoong, set up a lei-tai and announced that his one punch would strike the whole of Guangdong, and his one leg would kick the districts of Suzhou and Hangzhou. This was a great insult to many people. Many masters who wanted to defend Guangdong, Suzhou and Hangzhou against the insult were killed by your son-in-law.“
Li Pa San did not know what to say after hearing Ng Mui’s explanation. But he managed to mumble “But today I want to challenge Mui Chooi Fa who defeated my daughter.”
“Do you know who Mui Chooi Fa is?” asked Ng Mui.
“No, I don’t.”
“She is the only daughter of Miu Hein, whom people call the Plucking-Star Lohan. According to kungfu hierarchy, she is of your same level, and one level above that of Siew Wan.”
“No wonder her kungfu was so good. She defeated my daughter, Siew Wan.”
“She conceded that she was no match for you. She also did the right thing. As you know very well, she spared Siew Wan’s life, otherwise Siew Wan would not be here with you.”
After a short while, Ng Mui continued, “But if you insist on the lei-tai match, I would take the place of Chooi Fa to fight you.”
“Sipak, I am no match for you. Even my sifu (i.e. kungfu teacher) is no match for you.”
“Then, that is easy. We shall make peace. There is no end if duels and duels go on.”
Ng Mui smiled and led away the group that came with her.
It is interesting to mention the following which some readers may have missed.
Looi Hoong defeated many kungfu masters, but he was defeated by Fong Sai Yuk, a boy of 15 at the time. It showed that age and size were not an important consideration in kungfu combat.
Fong Sai Yuk was defeated by Li Siew Wan, a young woman around 30. This showed that gender was not an important consideration. Li Siew Wan was defeated by Miu Chooi Fa, who was about 40, indicating that age was not an important consideration.
Miu Chooi Fa knew that she would be no match against Li Pa San, who was about 50-60 at the time, indicating again that age was not important. Li Pa San was no match against Ng Mui, who was about 60-70, indicating that age and gender were not important.
In Western society where a young man of 30 is normally more combat efficient than a boy of 15, or a woman of 60-70, indicating that age, size and gender are important factors in combat, but it is not so in kungfu where, because of internal force and fighting experience, an exponent is usually better in combat when he or she grows older.
“White Crane Steps on Snow” in the Essence of Shaolin
When Fong Sai Yuk was brought back to Guangdong Association, his shirt was removed and people around found that the protection shield which protected Fong Sai Yuk was broken, yet Fong Sai Yuk sustained serious injury.
“If not for the protection shield,” Miu Chooi Fa commented, “Sai Yuk would have been killed by the ‘chuin sam thui’ (or through-the-heart kick) of Li Siew Wan. But Sai Yuk is still seriously injured. This can show how powerful was Li Siew Wan’s thrust kick!”
Miu Chooi Fa applied some medicine on Fong Sai Yuk, then asked him to rest. She regarded her son as her “precious heart” (which means “very dearly”). “I must avenge this kick on my son,” she declared. So she wrote a challenge to Li Siew Wan, asking her for a lei-tai match the next day.
“It is honorable for you to challenge Li Siew Wan on a lei-tai,” Chan Yuk Shi commented. “She is actually a pitiful woman. She just lost her husband, killed by Young Master Fong. Although Young Master Fong is seriously injured, he will recover in time. But duel after duel, when will this end?”
The next morning, Miu Chooi Fa led many supporters from Guangdong Association to Pure Ball Gate where the lei-tai was. Li Siew Wan was already waiting for them.
Miu Chooi Fa jumped up the stage and asked, “Are you Li Siew Wan?”
“That’s right. I’m Li Siew Wan. I suppose you are Miu Chooi Fa.”
“Your husband bullied the weak, created trouble for society, men and gods were angry at him. Yet, you hurt my son. Today I specially come to meet you, to experience your through-the-heart kick.”
“There is a saying that failed children come from devoted mothers. I suppose there is truth in the saying. Not only you do not teach your son, you protect his wrong. If I do not kill him, others will.”
“My son is not killed. He is only injured. He will be well soon,” answered Miu Chooi Fa.
Li Siew Wan was surprised. Her through-the-heart kick had always proven to be fatal if she used it. But she maintained her composure and said, “As you have come up the lei-tai to experience my through-the-heart kick, let’s begin.”
She moved forward and executed a thrust punch. This was a feign leading move. Amongst skillful kungfu exponents, the one who moved later had a slight advantage. But a skillful exponent could start with a feign leading move to tempt the opponent to react.
But Miu Chooi Fa was very skillful. Not only she did not ward off the attack, she adroitly moved to the opponent’s back, turned around and struck out her right palm, using the pattern “Return Horse Strike Palm”.
Hearing the sound of the palm, Li Siew Wan moved slightly forward to avoid the attack, and immediately turned around and struck out both palms, each aiming at Mui Chooi Fa’s vital points in the pattern “Fierce Tiger Pushes Mountain”.
Without moving her feet, Mui Chooi Fa sank back her body to avoid the attack, then thrust out her two fingers in between the palms to dot the opponent’s “tan zhong” vital point at the solar plexus, using a “dim-mark” (or dotting vital point) technique. (This dim-mark technique was from the Flower Set, a specialty of her father, Miu Hein.)
Li Siew Wan was taken aback. She quickly shifted her body to a side to avoid the dim-mark attack. Then she engaged Mui Chooi Fa’s hands on top while she insidiously swept the opponent’s front leg below. Miu Chooi Fa moved her front leg to become her back leg, but Li Siew Wan moved in and swept the opponent’s leg again, using the pattern “Continuous Leg Sweeps”.
Miu Chooi Fa jumped off and responded with “Return Head Hand Sweep”, sweeping the opponent’s body while in a horse-riding stance. Li Siew Wan jumped away using “Move Body Little Jump”.
Both combatants exchanged numerous encounters, fast and precise, and like fire from grinding stones. Li Siew Wan was known as “Vicious Techniques Marvelous Girl” in kungfu circles, and her art was above that of her husband, Tiger Looi. Miu Chooi Fa was a skillful Shaolin disciple, often practicing with her father, Plucking-Star Lohan Miu Hein.
Li Siew Wan decided to use her ultimate technique, her through-the-heart kick. With a few flowery moves to distract the opponent, she used her right thrust-kick at Mui Chooi Fa’s chest. But Miu Chooi Fa was ready for the kick. She adroitly moved her body to her left side and simultaneously step at Li Siew Wan’s standing left knee using the pattern “White Crane Steps on Snow”.
Li Siew Wan fell on the floor of the lei-tai, and Mui Chooi Fa immediately moved in with a finishing technique, a palm strike on the opponent’s head using the pattern “Tai San Ngat Ting” (or “Tai Mountain on Top”). Just as she was about to execute the palm strike, she remembered Chan Yuk Shi’s words, “duel after duel, when will this end?” She recalled that Li Siew Wan was actually a pitiful woman.
Miu Chooi Fa jumped away using the pattern “Move Body Little Jump”. Then she jumped down the lei-tai and walked away.
“Fierce Tiger Springs Claws” during the Essence of Shaolin course
When Fong Sai Yuk arrived at the lei-tai, or stage for kungfu combat, Li Siew Wan was already waiting.
“I am Fong Sai Yuk. Why did you invite me for a lei-tai match?”
“Fong Sai Yuk,” Li Siew Wan replied, “My husband and you had no hatred. Why did you ‘deliver you poison-hand’ (which means ‘kill him’)?”
Fong Sai Yuk laughed coldly. “How can you say this? Sifu Looi set up the lei-tai to challenge heroes of the world. If there are death or injury, it is the will of heaven. No one can blame another. Not only this, those who died under Sifu Looi’s hands, whom would their wives ask for revenge?”
Li Siew Wan was furious but could not answer. She went straight at Fong Sai Yuk with an eagle-claw. Fong Sai Yuk warded off the attack, and pierced a finger-thrust at her with the pattern “Soon Yang Thrusts Sword”.
(“Soon Yang” is one of the eight Taoist immortals. Another of his name was Zhong Pin, and his surname was “Lu”. Lu Soon Yang or Lu Zhong Pin was famous for his sword.)
Li Siew Wan jumped over Fong Sai Yuk with the pattern “La Char Flies in Heaven”. (La Char is a child-god, and the son of the Heavenly King, Li Ching, who carries a pagoda.) Before Fong Sai Yuk could turn around, she moved forward and struck his back with the pattern “Wu Song Opens Window”. (Wu Song was a warrior in the Song Dynasty famous for killing a fierce tiger.)
Fong Sai Yuk heard a sound from behind. He bent forward and executed with his left leg a sideway tiger-tail kick using the pattern, “Fierce Tiger Stretches Waist”. Most people would be hit by the tiger-tail kick, which was one of the no-shadow kicks. But Li Siew Wan was skillful in kungfu, without moving her feet, she slanted her body backward to avoid the tiger-tail kick, and simultaneously caught Fong Sai Yuk’s leg with the pattern “Two Tigers Subdue a Dragon”. She would have moved forward to execute a coup de grace.
But Fong Sai Yuk was not worried. He placed his hands on the ground and shot off his right foot at Li Siew Wan’s front leg in a pattern called “Crane Dances in Clouds”. (In our school this pattern is called “Fierce Tiger Springs Claws”.) Li Siew Wan was excellent in kungfu. She jumps back to avoid the second kick.
The two combatants had many exchanges on the lei-tai, each knowing the other was highly skilled in kungfu. They fought like comet chasing the moon, every technique was executed with precision like breeze flowing though clouds.
While using his hands to engage the opponent’s hands, Fong Sai Yuk lifted his left leg to kick at the lower body of Li Siew Wan using the pattern “White Crane Flaps Wings”. But Li Siew Wan did not defend against the kick. She shifted her body slightly to her left and with her right thrust-kick executed “White Horse Presents Hoof” at Fong Sai Yuk’s chest, using the tactic of “no defence direct counter”.
Fong Si Yuk could not avoid the attack. He was kicked at his chest and fell more than ten feet backward, lying motionlessly on the lei-tai. Members from the Guangdong Association rushed up the stage to carry Fong Sai Yuk away.
“You have sustained internal injury and will die,” Li Siew Wan called after him. “This ‘chuin sam thui’ (which means ‘through-the-heart kick”) is my ultimate technique.”
When Fong Sai Yuk arrived at Pure Ball Gate, where the erected lei-tai was, the place was quite deserted, as most of the warriors who dared to face Looi Hoong had been defeated by him.
Foong Sai Yuk saw the two banners which read
“A punch strikes the whole province of Guangdong”
“A leg kicks the two districts of Suzhou and Hangzhou”
Fong Sai Yuk jumped up and tore the two banners to pieces.
Hearing the commotion, Looi Hoong rushed out and shouted, “What are you doing? Oh, you’re only a small boy!”
“So you are Looi Hoong,” Fong Sai Yuk replied. “People call you Tiger Looi, but you are only a paper tiger.”
Looi Hoong’s anger subsided on seeing a small boy. “You’re just a boy. I don’t want to fight with a small boy. If you prostrate to me and knock you head on the floor three times, I shall let you go.”
“Are you afraid? There is no mention that a young boy cannot fight so long as he appears on the lei-tai. Paper Tiger, I’ll send you to the underworld.”
The statements made Looi Hoong angry. He moved forward and attacked Fong Sai Yuk’s temples with “Dark Wind Enters Cave”.
Fong Sai Yuk lowered his body, placed his right leg between the opponent’s feet, and lifted the elbows of the opponent’s attack, using the pattern “Double Lift Palms”.
The two combatants exchanged numerous encounters, rising like arrows and coming down like wind, rising without form, and coming down without traces, like wild wind sweeping the ground.
Fong Sai Yuk knew that Looi Hoong’s kungfu was good. So he purposely tore the banners to make him angry. He knew that when the energy of fire rushed at the heart, the opponent’s techniques would be floating and rough. He could then use the strong points of his small agile body to attack.
After a few more exchanges, Fong Sai Yuk employed “Reverse Striking of Purple Bell” to attack Looi Hoong’s lower body. Looi Hoong used his waving hand to brush away the attack. But it was a feign move. Foong Sai Yuk immediately moved forward with a phoenix-eye fist at Looi Hoong’s ribs with “Swallow Flying through Clouds”.
Looi Hoong was taken aback. He swiftly jumped back.
Fong Sai Yuk smilingly instigated, “Why should Sifu Looi jump back. Aren’t you afraid of a small boy. Come forward and engage some techniques.”
Tiger Looi became angrier. He realized that although the opponent was small in age, he was very formidable. His intention to kill arose. His eyes shone with hatred. He decided to use his ultimate technique, yin-yang kicks.
Fong Sai Yuk understood Looi Hoong’s intention. He knew that when an opponent became angry, when anger attacked his heart, when fire confused his eyes, his techniques would be confused. Fong Sai Yuk remained calm and careful, knowing that Looi Hoong would use his ultimate technique. He jumped about agilely, keeping himself save from Looi Hoong’s attack, and ready for his ultimate technique.
Looi Hoong made a few feign moves hoping to confuse his opponent. Then he jumped up to kick Fong Sai Yuk’s groin. Fong Sai Yuk retreated his front leg to avoid the kick. But the kick was a feign move if the opponent could defend against it. The real kick followed, while still in the air kicking Fong Sai Yuk’s groin a second time but with the other leg.
Without moving his feet, Fong Sai Yuk shifted his body back to avoid the second kick, using the pattern “Tame a Tiger with a String of Beads”. As soon as the two kicks missed their targets, and Looi Hoong landed on his feet, Fong Sai Yuk drove his right punch into the opponent’s ribs in a pattern called “Precious Duck Swims through Lotus”.
Tiger Looi was very surprised. His ultimate technique of the double kick had never failed him, but now a small boy could avoid it. More urgently a punch was driving into his ribs. He quickly moved back his front leg into a false leg stance and swept his hand against the coming punch in a pattern called “False Leg Hand Sweep”.
But the punch to the ribs was a feign. As soon as Tiger Looi’s hand-sweep came down, Fong Sai Yuk retreated his punch, then moved forward to drive a cup fist into the Looi Hoong’s heart, using the pattern “Black Tiger Steals Heart”.
Looi Hoong could not avoid this fatal attack. Like a top without thread, Looi Hoong was flung back a few feet by the punch, and landed on the lei-tai dead.
Everyone present was stunned. Fong Sai Yuk calmly jumped down the stage and walked away.
The deadly yin-yang kicks, known in our school as “Single Leg Flying Crane”
The next morning Wang Chen Thong with a few students, who were all abled-body youths, went to Guangdong Association. All those present in the association came forward to greet them respectfully.
Wang Chen Thong waved his hand and said, “Not necessary. Now is the time. Let me go to the lei-tai and kill Looi Hoong. Then I shall return to celebrate.”
He walked down the steps, then turned his head back to say. “Please prepare a few katis of wine for me. When I return, we shall drink heartily.”
When they arrived at Pure Ball Gate where the lei-tai was located, the place was already full of spectators.
On the platform, thunderous drums sounded. Looi Hoong stood in front of the stage and greeted the spectators. He said a few words then sat on a chair to wait for anyone to come up the lei-tai.
Wang Chen Thong turned to say to association members who followed him to the lei-tai, “Please wait awhile. Let me take the dog’s life of Looi Hoong so that you all can laugh.” After this, his feet gently tapped on the ground, and he flew up the stage like a swallow.
Looi Hoong saw that the challenger was strong like a bull, but had such art of lightness, and he knew that his kungfu is not shallow.
Looi Hoong grasped his hands in greeting, and asked, “May I know Warrior’s name?”
Wang Chen Thong smiled and replied, “You want to know my name? I am Wang Chen Thong, well known far and near, and today I come to avenge the dead.”
Looi Hoong also smiled. “Really fast person, fast action. I just stand here. You can do whatever you like. But you said that you came to avenge the dead. The ghosts of the dead will be waiting for you beneath the lei-tai. Humans and ghosts do not go the same way. I better send you there to meet them.”
Wang Chen Thong shouted, “Don’t talk non-sense. Quickly advance with your techniques.”
Immediately, he placed his two tiger-claws in front of his chest, with their back facing each other, and presented a Shaolin greeting.
Seeing this, Looi Hoong knew Wang Chen Thong was a rebel. The Shaolin greeting indicated that Wang Chen Thong was against the Qing Dynasty. Looi Hoong was secretly happy, and he advanced towards his opponent.
Looi Hoong used the tactic of arrow punch, with his punch following his step. Right step left punch, and left step right punch, left and right flowing and fast, attacking techniques are agile like rabbits, surprising and marvelous.
Wang Chen Thong saw the attacks were ferocious. So he moved step and changed stance, using a thread hand to guard himself, retreating accordingly and warding off accordingly. Although Looi Hoong’s techniques were vicious, he did not have any advantage.
Eventually, anger rose from his heart, and evil rose from his gall bladder. Looi Hoong twisted his stance and employed a pattern called “Black Crow Flaps Wings”, diagonally striking Wang Chen Thong with his elbow.
Wang Chen Thong sank down his stance and met the elbow attack head-on, using the pattern “Fierce Tiger Pushes Mountain.” There was a loud noise and Looi Hoong was bounced off many feet away.
Wang Chen Thong changed his hand techniques according to his steps. He moved forward and changed into a Bow-Arrow Stance, changed his palms into fists, and drove a right punch into the opponent’s chest.
Looi Hoong quietly called out “No good”, and jumped back about ten feet. His intention to kill arose, his eyes shone with hatred, he employed leg techniques and looked out for any weakness of his opponent.
At first Wang Chen Thong thought it was easy to take Looi Hoong’s life, but now he knew it was difficult. He became anxious, which affected his mind set. Thus his techniques became floating and confused. On the other hand, Looi Hoong’s techniques of yin-yang kicks concealed fatal attacks.
When Wang Chen Thong pressed near, Looi Hoong jumped up, and while he was still in the air, his right leg kicked at Wang Chen Thong’s “gate of the brain” (which was located at the back of the head). With an “Aha” sound, Wang Chen Thong was like a fish out of water, and fell down the stage.
People from Guangdong Association rushed forward to help. They found Wang Chen Thong amidst some dust, but was breathless.
After Wang Chen Thong’s death, Cantonese people were more angry. A lot of people came forward to the lei-tai to meet Looi Hoong, but were all defeated by him. In many days of the lei-tai match, there were more than 20 deaths, and countless people were injured.
Besides seeking doctors to aid the injured, Guangdong Association employed monks to recite sutras for the dead. Incense were burnt and the sound of sutra recitation was constantly heard.
That night a lot of people gathered at Guangdong Association. Everyone agreed that there would be no end if Looi Hoong was not killed on the lei-tai.
After a while, the director of the association, Chan Yuk Shi, said, “It is reasonable what everyone has said. But Looi Hoong’s kungfu is extraordinary. He is not known as Tiger Looi for no reasons. Seeing today’s matches, one can tell his valour. If we go to the lei-tai tomorrow without a high level challenger, it won’t be helpful. Hence, from what you have heard of capable persons, please inform me.”
Everyone was silent and started thinking. Then someone stood forward and said, “I propose a person. With his kungfu, killing Looi Hoong is more than sufficient.”
Chan Yuk Shi immediately asked who this capable person was.
The person replied, “He is Wang Chen Thong. His livelihood is fist and staff. His kungfu is excellent. Once, he hit a wall, and caused a big hole. I propose him. I am sure he won’t disappoint us.”
Chen Yuk Shi was very happy. Immediately he dispatched some persons with gifts to invite Wang Chen Thong.
After about two hours, Wang Chen Thong arrived. Everyone had a good look at him. He was like a Vajra King. His eyes shone like comets. The white and black of his eyes were well differentiated. Everyone venerated him respectfully, and went forward to greet him.
After the preliminaries, Chan Yuk Shi announced.
“Tonight, we specially invite Sifu Wang Chen Thong here, and our invitation shows that we admire and respect you extremely. Nevertheless, we have an intention. Without me saying, I believe sifu knows it. Looi Hoong, based on raw courage, insults all Cantonese people to this time. As long as anyone is a Cantonese person, he suffers great hurt, and view it as a great insult.
(Although Chan Yuk Shi did not learn kungfu, he addressed Wang Chen Thong as “Sifu Wang” out of courtesy.)
“Sifu Wang is also Cantonese. What you feel is like what we feel. But we are all traders. We don’t have the strength ‘to lift up an iron cockerel’ (which means ‘to have any noticeable strength’). Hence, after thorough discussion, we intend to invite glorious masters to avenge the dead, and remove the big insult on Guangdong.
“Everyone admires the miraculous valiance of Sifu Wang, and regards Sifu Wang as unparallel in the world. Hence, without intruding, we hope Sifu Wang can help us, to erase the insult of over thousands and millions of Cantonese people. We wonder what is Sifu Wang’s view?”
Wang Chen Thong laughingly replied in a clear, loud voice.
“This is a small matter. You need not be so full of courtesy. I don’t mean to be boastful, but even if my students come out, it is more than sufficient. Tomorrow, I shall represent all of you to kill this disgrace of martial circles.”
Everyone was jumping with joy. Chan Yuk Shi ordered a sumptuous dinner in honour of Wang Chen Thong. He personally toasted for Wang Chen Thong’s success.
After a few rounds of toasts, Wang Chen Thong loudly proclaimed, “Tomorrow I shall certainly kill Looi Hoong on the lei-tai to thank the feeling of our clansmen.”
Attacks can come in countless ways, but to facilitate learning, masters have group them into four major categories, namely:
Sequences 1 to 8 deal with striking attacks. While Combat Sequences 1 to 4 use the left leg mode with “Black Tiger Steals Heart” as the leading pattern, Combat Sequences 5 to 8 use the right leg mode leading with “Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley”. And while Sequences 1 to 4 focus on developing skills, Sequences 5 to 8 focus on expanding techniques.
Numerous fundamental skills have been developed, and they include:
Flowing movement and force
Numerous tactics are also introduced, and they include:
First defence then counter
Defence cum counter
No defence direct counter
Alert the east attack the west
Feint moves and exposure
In order that you can develop the skills to using typical kungfu techniques spontaneously in combat, these combat sequences are practiced in progressive stages, as follows:
“Bar the Big Boss” was introduced in the previous combat sequence in place of “Single Tiger” against the opponent’s thrust punch. In this sequence we learn a new technique that develops from “Bar the Big Boss”. Instead of blocking the opponent’s arm, we can chop at it, using the pattern ”Attending Meeting with Single Knife”.
The opening attack “Fierce Tiger Speeds through Valley” in this sequence, as in the other sequences, is used as a feint move to tempt the opponent to counter-attack. That is why the left guard hand, which is normally held near the right shoulder in this pattern, is purposely left exposed.
As the opponent falls into our trap and counter-attacks, we can respond in numerous prepared ways, such as executing another “Fierce Tiger” in Sequence 5, “Dark Dragon” in Sequence 6, and “White Snake” in Sequence 7. In this sequence, we use “Single Knife” to fracture his attacking arm or dislocate his attacking elbow, followed immediately with “Horizontally Sweep a Thousand Armies” at his neck. Hence, if you are well trained, like having practiced selected techniques at least 50 times daily for a few months, you may defeat your opponent the moment he responds to your feint moves.
But if you opponent is well trained too, he can of course neutralize your rehearsed attacks. In this sequence, for example, he intercepts your “Horizontal Sweep” with a “Single Knife”, and irrespectively of whether you could shift your arm away in time, he follows immediately with a “Golden Leopard Speeds through Jungle” into your ribs.
As you strike his attacking arm with “False Leg Hand Sweep”, he “flows” over your attacking hand and swings a “Reverse Hanging of Lotus” on your right temple, guarding your right leg with his right leg. You may neutralize his “Hanging Lotus” with “Golden Dragon”. At this point, both you and your opponent have a good opportunity to continue combat. You may, for example, move forward with a “Black Tiger” or a “White Snake”, thus continuing with any of the Sequences 1 to 4. Later, when you have learned kicking techniques, you may continue with a right thrust kick or a left side kick.
Here is a quick review of what you have learnt. Combat Sequences 1 to 4 are meant to train fundamental combat skills like right timing, right spacing, flowing movements, safe coverage, foot adjustment, and instantaneous changes. The four fundamental hand attacks to the top, middle, bottom and sides, and their corresponding defences are used. The stances used are mainly in the left mode. These four sequences constitute the kungfu set “Black Tiger Steals Heart”.
Sequences 5 to 8, which constitutes the kungfu set “Fierce Tiger Speeds Through Valley” introduce the right leg mode as well as many hand techniques for attack and defence. Sequence 5 introduces the tactic of pressing attacks, where a skilful exponent may press an opponent against a wall almost irrespective of the latter’s defensive moves! Sequence 6 introduce the left palm strike, applying internal force. It also illustrates the progression from 3 movements to only I movement in apply the pattern “Dark Dragon Draws Water”.
Needless to say, all techniques, skills, tactics, principles and so on are trained progressively, not exclusively. In other words, although fundamental skills like right timing and right spacing are emphasized in Sequences 1 to 4, these skills are constantly improved in all other sequences. Although tactics like pressing attacks and “alert the east, attack the west” in Sequences 5 and 6, they can be used in any other sequences.
So far we use “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave” to defence against “Black Tiger Steals Heart”. In Sequences 1 to 4 the left “Single Tiger” is used, and in Sequences 5 and 6 the right “Single Tiger”. In this sequence, a new defence technique is used against the “Black Tiger”, namely “Bar the Big Boss“.
In this situation and if all other things were equal, “Bar the Big Boss” has a technical advantage over “Single Tiger Emerges from Cave”. In applying the “Single Tiger” you have to bring back your front right leg from the right Bow-Arrow Stance to change into the right False Leg Stance, and bring back your right hand from “Fierce Tiger Speeds through Valley” in a big arc to change into the “Single Tiger”. But in applying “Bar the Big Boss”, you merely need to shift from a Bow-Arrow Stance to a sideway Horse-Riding Stance, and change your horizontal arm to a vertical arm position, which is technically faster.
Then, why bother to learn “Single Tiger” when “Bar the Big Boss” is better? The answer is that other things are not equal. There are other situations where the “Single Tiger” is technically better than “Bar the Big Boss”. Even in this combat situation, there may be other factors which make “Single Tiger” a better choice. For example, we may not merely want to deflect the attacker’s punch, but use the tiger-claw in the “Single Tiger” to grip the attacker’s elbow or wrist.
Bar Big Boss
In the previous sequence, we learned the progression from 3 moves to just 1 move when applying “Dark Dragon Draws Water”, hence increasing our speed but without actually trying to be faster! This sequence also provides us with a good opportunity to learn and develop this skill of minimizing movements, as follows.
When you have become skilful in applying “Bar the Big Boss” followed by “White Snake Shoots Venom” as two separate patterns (with a short pause between the patterns), you can perform the two patterns continuously as if they were one pattern (i.e. without any pause between them). Gradually you will discover from your own experience that instead of first applying a vertical block as in “Bar the Big Boss”, then followed with a taming hand as part of “White Snake”, you can achieve the same effect by using a smooth curve of your right hand in one movement instead of two.
Then you will also discover that you do not even need to change from Bow-Arrow Stance to sideway Horse-Riding Stance. All you need to do is to swerve your body in a smooth curve as you apply “White Snake Shoots Venom”, even without the need to apply “Bar the Big Boss”. In other words, from the previous “Fierce Tiger Speeds through Valley”, you can proceed straight to “White Snake Shoots Venom”, thus reducing three patterns to two.
If you execute this “White Snake” well, not only you can be very fast — striking the opponent’s throat almost the same time he thinks he can hit you with his thrust punch — but you will also have “tamed” his hands in such a way that, apparently, he could not defence against your counter-attack. Yet, by withdrawing his front left leg a small step back into a front False Leg Stance, he could free his hands to counter your palm thrust with a “Golden Dragon”. This should reminds us that in real life, even when the situation appears hopeless, by taking a step back, one can often find a viable solution.
Your opponent counterattacks with a low punch. He must adjust his foot position before moving in with a low sideway Horse-Riding Stance, otherwise without you having to do anything he offers you a free advantage that you can exploit. You response to his low attack with a hand-sweep, breaking or dislocating his elbow or wrist.
As he moves his arm away to avoid your hand-sweep, you move in with a palm chop using the pattern “Chop the Hua Mountain”. Remember to cover yourself as you move in, otherwise he may jab his right palm into your ribs or abdomen.
You may notice that this is a progression or developmental lesson from “Precious Duck”. Previously, you learned that if your opponent struck your low punch with a hand-sweep, your brushed away his attack and counter-attacked with “Golden Star” or “Chop the Hua Mountain”. Now you reverse the role. If your opponent attacks you with a low punch, you strike him with a hand-sweep, but before he can counter-attack with “Golden Star” or “Chop the Hua Mountain” (like we have learned), you follow up with “Golden Star” or “Chop the Hua Mountain” instead. This is giving your opponent what he intends to give you.
Your opponent has an excellent counter — “Tame Tiger with Double Bows”. Here he applies the tactic of “no defence direct counter”, like what you did when you applied “False-Leg Hand Sweep” to his low punch. But this “Double Bows” attack is even faster. In “Hand Sweep” you counter-attack when his attack is just spent. In “Double Bows” he counter-attacks when you attack is still on its way.
Chop Hua Mountain
This “Double Bows” counter-attack provides an excellent opportunity for you to practice and develop your flexibility. To defend against this counter-attack, you move your front right leg backward from the right Bow-Arrow Stance to a right False Leg Stance, and simultaneously deflect his strike with a right tiger-claw. This movement demands much skill because you have to shift back your forward moving leg immediately it touches the ground in its forward movement.
This skill, which is essential for sound defence, has been introduced right at the start of the combat sequences. It involves the left leg mode in Sequences 1 to 4 (from “Black Tiger” to left “Single Tiger”), and the right leg mode in Sequences 5 and 6 (from “Fierce Tiger” to right “Single Tiger”). Speed was not as urgent in these combat situations because the opponent used the tactic of “first defence then counter”. Here the opponent not only uses “no defence direct counter”, but also his counter comes at a time when your attack has not even been completed. If you are trained to defend against this counter-attack well, defence in other situations will be relatively easier.
All these wonderful techniques and tactics are possible if our stances are both solid and flexible, showing how important stances are in combat even at this level, which is actually at the beginning stage of our kungfu training programme. In other words, those who prefer to bounce about, mistakenly thinking that stances are ineffective in fighting, have not been exposed to even the basics of kungfu philosophy and practice.