Saturday, March 26, 2011

The mountain has grown... again...

I always wonder and always remind myself there are no end to the levels of skill in martial arts (especially traditional ones) . I recently met Sifu Yap Boh Heong of Goh Chor Kuen (5 ancestor fist) the late great Datuk Chee Kim Thong. We started sharing our ideas and views about martial arts and later went into some live sharing.

My GOD! MY GOD! That encounter has become one of my most memorable moments in martial arts. I am quite confident with my stances but he blew me and threw me around like a rag doll. The only person who could do better is my Sifu (Sifu Yip Fook Choy) and maybe Sifu Yap's father who is Sifu Yap Cheng Hai (whom I've not met yet). It also changed my perception that Goh Chor is hard kungfu.

What I was interested in however was Wu Mei Kung Fu (or Ng Mui Kungfu). Ng Mui as many knows is the person who created White Crane Kungfu and also the person who led to the creation of Wing Chun. Some people say Ng Mui doesn't exist. But I believe otherwise. After looking at the demo, the movements and a bit of the details, I believe that this Ng Mui fist can be the ancestor of Wing Chun. Wing Chun claims to be simple, direct and practical but the style and the movements of Ng Mui fist are even simpler than that of Wing Chun or White Crane.

But simplicity is not usually simple. The amount of details contained within the movements is horrendous (same as Wing Chun). A simple strike forward will have many components but when you somehow have all the components in place the results are instantaneous. For that one moment in time, you will feel invincible.

Traditional Chinese Martial Arts is wonderful! Let's try our best to preserve them!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How true!!!

Have a look a this video on youtube.

I especially like what that old long bearded uncle said,
"Learning kungfu is like studying. You will experience it slowly, you will gather the knowledge slowly, and you will understand it slowly, then you can achieve greatness".

And also the chubby brother,
"Chinese kungfu is very unique. Its a total art form. its not just about fighting its a way of life, its philosophical, its spiritual, its physical, its everything!"

I believe these to be really2 true.

In the face of McDojo type certification and training, young people are very much inclined to think of their greatness. I've read many times and met many people saying that they are the best, they're unbeatable, they've found weaknesses in their chosen art so they're coming up with their own style, they've become sifu/master in record time etc. They want to be Bruce Lee in double quick time (They forget Bruce Lee practices 8 to 10 hours a day when he's not acting).

Many do not know that, in the old days, for you to be a martial arts sifu (father) you have to have a few things.
1. Empty hand skills
2. Weapon skills (North China says you must know 18 weapons, while the south says you must know at least 9 weapons)
3. Lion Dance
4. Medicine and Healing

If you a lack even one, you can be an instructor but not a father (the original meaning of Sifu). It is like a check and balance system telling people who are the 'masters' and who are the 'practitioners'.

Some might say it is not relevant these days but I beg to differ. Scroll down this blog so I may remind you that, each time we learn a new weapon, we will experience different sensations/energies in our hands. We learn a totally different and unrelated type of weapon, then our own kungfu will be screwed up.

So when we complete the whole course (empty hands, 9 weapons, lion dance, medicine), imagine the myriad of energies you'll acquire at your disposal. Not only they make some of us invincible, what's more important than that is, they give deeper understanding to what you are learning and practicing, and thus you'll be able to apply those same principles in life to give you total success and thus, make us a true "father" (if we were to teach... that is). Maybe this is the reason why old masters are revered almost like gods (some like Guan Yu actually became a god).

What I'm trying to say here is, "There's always a higher mountain (some even say the mountains are growing! True also!) so LOOK FOR THEM, and climb some more! If we feel we are the best, we only have 2 directions left, sideways or down. Neither works for me. And I feel both shouldn't work for you too.

It's not about being the best now. Its about getting better and better and better and better tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and everyday after that.

Thank you Allah for showing me this path!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Environmental Training

Where is the most exotic place you have ever practiced? What is the most interesting condition that you have put yourself and your martial arts in?

For me, I’ve practiced in very very heavy rain (Last one was 10 minutes ago... hehehe!), In a snow blizzard, on top of mountains, during earthquakes, inside jungles (the mosquitoes make interesting partners), back alleys (where drug addicts roam), on ships, on small suspension bridges, on steps, beaches (sandy and otherwise) and so many other places and adverse conditions.

It’s one training component some people neglect because they might feel shy, not wanting people to see, want to keep his/her art secret and many many different reasons.

However, it’s the most wonderful and fun way to practice! You get to know about yourself and your art. You get to see yourself in action in different settings. You get to learn what to do in different environment. Your senses become heightened because you might not want people to see what you are doing or you do not want trip over an obstacle. You get to practice using your art while wearing different types of shoes or even barefoot on different ground conditions. You might feel great calm due to the beautiful setting (Mountains and sunsets do that to you). A bit of stress in a dangerous surrounding (practicing at a beach with 2 meter waves did that to me. It is scary because I can’t swim at that time!)

MOST IMPORTANTLY! You get to enjoy your chosen art! Have fun with it and let your creativity rule! When we are having fun we will stick to what we are doing and practice more! That’s the key to becoming good at what we do. Practice more!

So, go grab your swimming trunks (or whatever you find comfortable or uncomfortable) go outside and practice! Grab a partner and go outside this holiday! Enjoy you art! ENJOY YOURSELF!!

For all Muslims, Happy Eid Mubarak! For all that reads this blog, forgive me if my words are harsh, insensitive, useless and not caring. Those with intent are done so we can all go forward and improve ourselves. There might be some that unintentionally hurt somebody’s feelings out there, please forgive me. Do leave a comment and tell if it is so.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Its always fun talking to people and making friends. Today I met a 71 years old uncle at my class in SS2. We started talking and he started telling me stories his grandfather told him when he was small. There were stories about Hung Hei Kwun (the founder of Hung Kuen), Fung Sai Yuk, the five ancestors of Shaolin (Ng Mui, Jee Sim, Miu Hin, Pak Mei and the other guy who's name I can never remember), the five families (Hung, Lau, Choy, Li and Mok) and a host of names I cannot remember due to my very little knowledge in Cantonese.

But, one story caught my attention. The uncle told me he grew up in Kuala Pilah and he had many friends and relatives in Bahau. He said in Bahau there is an interesting style which they named "Nam Pai Tai Kik" or simply put "Southern Taijiquan". The master was a person named Lee. The style's lineage can be traced to Leung Yi Tai, Wong Wah Boh and the Red Boat, the 2 most important persons under Yip Man's Lineage!!!

This uncle knows about Hong Kong Wing Chun and he thought that I'm teaching that style. He said that the Southern Taiji's Chi Sau is very different from Hong Kong and their primary weapon is called "Mui Fa Kuan". Their forms are called Siu Lim Tao and some other Chinese name that I cannot remember.

Man am I EXCITED!!!! If we can trace this style we might be able to see the Wong Wah Boh and Leung Yee Tai Lineage before it came to Hong Kong and called Hong Kong Wing Chun.

If any of you who read this blog ever came across this style, please contact me. I'm told that some of the practitioners are living in Cheras while the family of Sifu Lee might still be in Bahau. Please allow me to look for you. Please share the art you have so it can be preserved and transfered to the next generation. Thank you!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where to find Wing Chun Class in Malaysia!

Recently I read a forum in PJNet titled "Looking for Wing Chun class". A group advertised themselves as "The only Ip Man Ving Chun in Malaysia" and that started a big argument on the net which later became a big game of I accuse you of this and that. Even my organization was accused! Hahaha...

First things first. You are ALL giving martial artist a bad name. Everybody accusing everybody else and no one listening to each other. That's not the martial artist way!

For those wanting to find Wing Chun classes, my dear friends Chow Wai Yip ( and Jon Dep (A student of Ken Lau. Ken Lau is a certified instructor of Grandmaster Ip Chun's Wing Chun in Singapore. Check out conducts a Wing Chun meetup session in either Taman Rimba Kiara in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, PJ. or in Jalan Klang Lama almost every Saturday. There, wing chun practitioners of almost every school in Kuala Lumpur goes to practice with each other without prejudice. No politics (nobody saying theirs is the best) and no animosity.

Currently, among others, we have students from Grandmasters Stephen Chan, Wong Shun Leong, Leung Shung, Ip Chun lineages come by. All these grandmasters are respected Ip Man students. This is why, I try to join as much as my time and resources allow. The students are great, friendly and very good at what they do.

However, there have not been students from "The only Ip Man Ving Chun" group come yet. My only hope is they come soon to practice, share and if there are people who come to look for wing chun classes, they can market themselves there.

For information, checkout the following sites: Both groups are on facebook.

The Malaysia Wing Chun/Ving Tsun Kuen Study Group/大馬,馬來西亞詠春网络

Fellowship Of Malaysia Wing Chun 马来西亚永春拳术研究会

So Malaysians don't despair! There are many Yip Man students practicing and teaching here in Malaysia! Join the groups and come to the meet ups! You won't regret it!

P/S: I'm not doing myself much good here promoting other wing chun. Hope sifu don't mind. But, I love my friends and I love ALL martial arts (wing chun especially! and among wing chun, Yip Kin wing chun especially! hehe).