Oct 26, 2017

Brothers in Arms

Tai Chi hero's birthday

Posted by: Dan

I have a Tai Chi older brother in Guatemala called Tong Chi-kin. His best friend was also Cheng Tin-hung's best student and best fighter. He won the SE Asia Chinese full contact heavyweight division despite only being a middleweight. He was the star of 'Shadow Boxer.'

He died on the brink of fame of gas poisoning while taking a bath, just after the film came out. To honour his friend, Kin, as I always called him, took up Tai Chi, determined to be a champion in tribute to his dead friend. He was my Tai Chi elder brother.

We were training partners every day for 100 days before the 5th SE Asian Championships in Malaysia in 1980. He weighed around 140lb [64k], I was around 193lb [88k].

He never complained, despite the weight difference, no matter how much I hurt him, and I didn't hold back. He took quite a bit of punishment in most of his fight, because he used mainly swing punches, but these sometimes left him open. He was unorthodox, because though tall and willowy, he had a knack with hip throws which he could use against anyone to great effect. Every fight was a war. He was the bravest man I ever knew. Out of a team of 30+ fighters from Hong Kong, Kin and I and a Wing Chun lady were the only champions. I write this on his 63rd birthday. Have a great day Kin. You deserve it, brother. 


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