Category Archives: The Way of the Master

SIEW FOONG’S ARRIVAL BROUGHT LOVE AND PEACE, AND FINANCIAL IMPROVEMENT

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:

SIEW FOONG’S ARRIVAL BROUGHT LOVE AND PEACE, AND FINANCIAL IMPROVEMENT

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/way-of-master/way23.html)

Wong Siew Foong

My youngest daughter, Wong Siew Foong



The year 1987 was very special for me and my wife. That was the year my youngest daughter, Wong Siew Foong (黄小凤) was born. My wife often said Siew Foong was a harbinger of good luck. Since her birth everything was propitious.

One indication of good times to come was the appearance of pigeons in the compound of my house. One morning, after my daily kungfu practice, I was surprised to find many pigeons flocking to my house. The pigeons had been coming, but that particular morning, there were many. They made a lot of noise and were obviously having a good time, though neither my wife nor I, unprepared for their arrival, bought any grains to feed them.

I was surprised not at the pigeons, or their number, or the noise they made, but at why they came to my house. According to Chinese beliefs, pigeons only go to houses of rich people. Although my financial position had improved, I did not consider myself rich, i.e. financially rich, though I was actually very rich in other aspects, like good health, happy family and appreciative students both in the school I taught as a school teacher and in my kungfu and chi kung classes.

Nevertheless, my financial position continued to improve. I did not know, neither was I concerned, whether it was due to my improving financial position that pigeons came to my house, or the other way round, due to pigeons coming to my house that my financial position improved. But I found it poetical to believe that because of Siew Foong’s arrival, both my financial position improved and pigeons, symbols of love and peace, came to my house.

With our improved financial position, both my wife and I could help other less fortunate people, like my wife buying meals for poor children in school, and I giving money to people in need.

Indeed, it was just the other day at the time of writing, that Swee Zhi, the girlfriend of my youngest son, Chun Yian, told us she was so pleasantly surprised when she and Chun Yian caught up with Chun Yian’s friends during the Chinese New Year festive session, that one of Chun Yian’s friends, who is now a lawyer, told her that he knew my wife.

“How did you know auntie?” Swee Zhi asked.

“Not only I know her, I am very grateful to her.”

“Did you meet her before?”

“Yes, every day during my primary school days. She bought meals for us during school recess.”

My youngest daughter, Siew Foong, was very attached to me. Initially, whenever I went overseas to teach chi kung and kungfu, she would be sick. At first, I was not aware of the relationship between her sickness and me going overseas, but my wife, with her motherly instinct, discovered that her sickness was due to her thinking of me when I was not at home.

So, following my wife’s discovery, when I was about to fly overseas, I would console my youngest daughter, telling her that I would soon be home again and asking her not to be sick. It worked very well. Since then, she was not sick when I went overseas.

Whenever I was at home, I would spend a lot of time playing with her and her younger brother, Chun Yian, who arrived two years later. They would run into my arms, and I would swing them overhead, sometimes with them somersaulting in the air, but with me holding them carefully. My wife would be concerned.

“Be very careful not to let them fall,” my wife would call out with some apprehension.

“They are perfectly safe,” I would reply.

My youngest daughter and youngest son, Siew Foong and Chun Yian, were specially close, especially when my other three children were much older than them, and therefore may have different likings. Nevertheless, all the five brothers and sisters were close and loving to one another.

Wong Siew Foong

Myself and Siew Foong at the China Town in Terengganu


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.

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CHIN-NA IN ONE-FINGER SHOOTING ZEN

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:

CHIN-NA IN ONE-FINGER SHOOTING ZEN

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/way-of-master/way09.html)

The One-Finger Zen hand form in One-Finger Shooting Zen



Dim-mark and chin-na (擒拿) are the two advanced Shaolin arts trained in One-Finger Shooting Zen. Dim-mark uses One-Finger Zen, and chin-na uses Tiger-Claw.

My sifu also told me a story of how he used chin-na from One-Finger Shooting Zen to defeat a Taekwondo master.

My sifu was teaching One-Finger Shooting Zen to a class when a Taekwondo master came in. He watched my sifu teach for a while, and asked my sifu.

“What’s it that you are teaching?”

“It’s called One-Finger Shooting Zen.” Answered my sifu.

“Can it be used for fighting?” He asked.

“Of course,” my sifu said. “Every technique in Shaolin Kungfu can be used for fighting.”

The Taekwondo master looked puzzled. “Can you show me?” He asked.

“Yes,” my sifu said. He asked his students to move aside, and then told the Taekwondo master, “Now you can attack me in any way you want.”

The Taekwondo master gave my sifu a fast side kick.

My sifu retreated a small step to avoid the kick, and used his right forearm of Single Tiger-Claw to support the kicking leg. Then, he circled his arm in the Single Tiger-Claw pattern so that his forearm and upper arm locked the opponent’s foot, his Tiger-Claw gripped the opponent’s knee with his thumb pressing on the opponent’s vital point causing him much pain. The opponent, standing on one leg and being off-balanced, was quite helpless.

“This is not a choice pattern in his situation but I want to use the same Tiger-Claw pattern in the One-Finger Shooting Zen sequence to show him there is combat application in what we are training,” my sifu added.

“Fierce Tiger Cleanses Claws”, an internal art for training Tiger-Claw


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.

THE JOY OF HAVING MY FIRST CHILD

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:

THE JOY OF HAVING MY FIRST CHILD

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/way-of-master/way11.html)

My wife and our first baby, Wong Sau Foong



It was a great joy teaching these school children. But the joy was greater for my parents, my wife and me when our first child, Wong Sau Foong, arrived in 1972.

Her name, which means “Beautiful Phoenix”, was bestowed upon her by Immortal Li, a patron immortal in Sifu Ho Fatt Nam’s school , which also acted as a temple.

Sau Foong is our first bundle of joy who brought a lot of happiness to our family. When she was small, she stayed with my parents in Penang and was a special pet of my mother. I remember that my mother used to tie Sau Foong’s hair on top of her head like a little tree when she was a baby girl.

Like me, she loves reading. And like me too, she chooses teaching as her profession. She won a scholarship to study the Teaching of English as a Second Language in Bognor Regis in southern England. I did not teach chi kung in England then but in other countries in Europe like Spain and Portugal, but I made a special trip to England to see her. She stayed with a lovely couple called John and Bernie, and their son and daughter. Sau Foong became part of the family.

Bognor Regis is a beautiful little seaside town along the south coast of England facing France. I landed in London and took a train to West Sussex passing through some of the most beautiful countryside I had seen. When I arrived at Bognor Regis, the time was 5 o’clock in the evening but it was already dark as it was winter. Sau Foong waited for me at the railway station and we took a cab to her house.

The next day, we walked to the town, and through a park to the university college where she studied. We also went to the beach and looked across to France. John also took me in his car for sightseeing in the surrounding area.

When Sau Foong returned to Malaysia after completing her studies in England, she was very lucky to be posted to Penang, which was the hope of many teachers. She taught in Convent Light Street, which is a premier girl school in the country. Despite being new, she was made a discipline teacher of the school.

Although she loves teaching very much, at my suggestion she resigned from the school to help me with some business venture. But teaching is her love, besides her husband, of course. Sau Foong and Teoh Swee Fatt, an accountant, were happily married in 2004. Sau Foong returned to the teaching profession, teaching English in a university college in Penang.

She returns to our house in Sungai Petani every weekend to be with us. And when she returns to her condominium in Penang, my wife will always cook a lot of dishes for her and her husband to take back with them.

“At least they can have some home cooking,” my wife is fond of saying.

“This,” I muse to myself, “is a mother’s love for her daughter.”

Sau Foong and me


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.

AN UNFORGETTABLE LESSON

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/way-of-master/way02.html)

This is a little taste of what’s in store in Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit’s book, The Way of the Master

A public performance with Uncle Righteousness as the Lion Head and me as the Lion Tail in the 1960s



There was, however, one occasion in my long learning process that I deviated from my father’s advice. Our kungfu class was preparing for a charity performance at New World Amusement Park. My master himself would perform the lion head, and everyone had expected me to perform the tail. Performing the lion tail is an extremely demanding role, for the performer has to arch his back throughout the whole performance, which in those days might last longer than an hour, and to extend both his arms in a continuous wing-flapping movement to support the covering tail-cloth.

I tried to be smart. Just a few minutes before the training session began, I went out from the training hall, pretending to buy titbits for my seniors, a bluff that I could easily do because running errands was my common unofficial task. I knew my master couldn’t wait. If I could stay away for just a few minutes, I thought, some unlucky fellow would take over my job as the inevitable tail performer, even for that training session only. And true enough, when I returned after the lion dance practice had started – something that I could time easily as the loud accompanying lion dance music could be heard from far away – I found my master and my junior classmate, Ah Weng, doing the lion head and tail. “Kit Chye,” my classmates asked in bewilderment, “where on earth have you been? Uncle Righteousness was looking all over the world for you.” “What for?” I pretended to ask. “What for! To be the tail, of course.”

“Ha, ha!” I laughed inside myself. “Why pick on me all the time? Luckily I’m not stupid, and now I can have a break from this wearisome task. Now this poor Ah Weng can have a nice taste of back ache.”

But Ah Weng had the louder laugh. “Ha, ha!” He probably said to himself, “now at last I have a break into this lion dance role which I have been longing for, for so long.”

And he performed the tail so enthusiastically and so well that he was not only asked to continue in subsequent practices, but was ultimately chosen to partner my master in that charity performance, and later in other performances. Hence my monopoly as my master’s partner in lion dance was now broken – all because of my clever trick.

Ah Weng continued to learn and practise hard, and progressed tremendously, often at my expense for what my master might have taught me, he taught Ah Weng instead. Ah Weng also became one of my master’s favourite disciples, and was the one who had learned the most lion dance skills and techniques from my master. He later became a famous lion dance artist, bringing name and glory to our school. I am very proud of Ah Weng’s achievement. I also learned a very good lesson from that occasion when I tried to be too clever — a lesson that has greatly helped me in my later kungfu development. From then on, I always learn humbly and practise diligently, never be deterred by hardship or obstacles in the way.

During a charity performance in the 1960s, I went up a long pole to collect Sky Green


Please click here if you wish to order the book through Amazon or write a review.

Click here to read some of the stories.

You can read more stories at our Discussion Forum.

Please click here if you wish to order the special edition directly.

WHY WAS I NOT A GOOD FIGHTER?

(reproduced from http://shaolin.org/general-2/way-of-master/way03.html)

This is a little taste of what’s in store in Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit’s book, The Way of the Master

Kungfu form is beautiful to watch. This beautiful pattern from the Tiger-Crane Set is called Sun Moon Shadow Hand. I knew of its sophisticated combat application only much later.



There is no doubt that my late master himself was a great and much respected kungfu fighter. There is also no doubt that he taught me the best he could. Why, then, was I not a good fighter? The reason is because of the norms of the time – because of the way kungfu was (and still is) normally taught, because society at my time was comparatively peaceful, and because of the concepts people generally assigned to kungfu at that time. No kungfu schools I knew of at that time taught controlled or free sparring. Arranged sparring sequences were meant more for demonstration, rather than as a means to learning how to fight. The following two examples illustrate this fact clearly.

In one particular sparring sequence, I was to kick at the groin of a partner. But I was specifically told by my senior who instructed me, to kick far off the intended target, and in a manner easy for my partner to block. In another sequence, the exponent holding a sabre in a slashing attack was told to hold it in such a manner, as well as to stop the momentum in time, so that it would not injure his partner even if the latter had not bother to defend! The exponent would be warned never to execute the sabre slashing technique in the way it should be executed in a real fight, as this could accidentally hurt the sparring partner. Obviously, the advice or warning was well intended. But what was not realised is that not only fighting skills (which are more decisive than techniques in real fights) were not trained, but insidiously more harmful, the students were unwittingly groomed to be complacent.

My master lived at the end of an era when the fist more often than the law ruled the day, while I live at the beginning of a more law-abiding period when fighting (though more cruel and cold-blooded if it ever happens) is less common. Hence, the chances of actually testing one’s kungfu in fights are infrequent. Maybe the unpleasant memory of rough kungfu fighters of older days still lingered on, so that at one time it was fashionable for many people to stress that they learned kungfu for health, and not just for fighting. But in time, this modest declaration, initially made to prevent the abuse of kungfu for petty quarrels, became overstressed and backfired, so much so that the combative function of kungfu was almost missing.

At one time, if you were so bold or naive to suggest that you wanted to learn kungfu for fighting (which actually has been the primary aim of kungfu for all ages), decorum of society would consider you an outcast. Then, when Karate and later Taekwondo came with their open, unbashful conviction that their martial arts were for fighting, many kungfu exponents were rudely awakened to the fact that they were no match for the Karate and Taekwondo exponents.

Kungfu is for fighting. Wong Weng Tuck, my early kungfu student, avoided a powerful kick from Ah Bah, another early student of mine.


Please click here if you wish to order the book through Amazon or write a review.

Click here to read some of the stories.

You can read more stories at our Discussion Forum.

Please click here if you wish to order the special edition directly.