RUNNING ON EMPTY
TAl KIC KUNG FU AND INNER POTENTIALITY
BY SIFU CHENG TIN HUNG
Taoist Mo Don Cheung Sam Fung is a man of culture. He had apprehended the philosophy Yum-Yeung in Yi King and later he developed further internal school of thought with principles applicable to combat situations. This school of Kung Fu is now called Tai Kic Kung Fu School Tai Kic School stresses the search for tranquillity in boisterousness and the cultivation of the Potential from within into an internal trained strength.The reality of this inner Potential exists beyond the appearance of softness. Thus, health, culture and self-defence fuse into, one. This integrity is analogous to, the harmonious coexistence of Yum and Yeung in Yic King. Assume an offensive and a defensive to, be Yum-Yeung which coexist in a circle. Then half the circle is an offensive while the other half is the defensive. The latter semi circle nullifies the former semi circle into a periodic circular pattern which is YumYeung itself. The whole structure is an equillibrium state.
Tai Kic Kung Fu puts forward five stages of training:
1. Inner Potentiality, 2. Sets of Kung Fu movements, 3. Conditions Reflex Tui Sau, 4. Practical Application of Sarn Sau, 5. Supplementary Equipment Exercises. This way, Tai Kic Kuen is just item 2, a part of the complete Tai Kic System.
Therefore the proper initial measure in learning Tai Kic Kung Fu is to, practice acquiring Inner Potentiality. This cultivates a healthy stamina, permits graceful actions of both arms and legs, allows more freedom of movements like swiftness of the waist, stability of stance and established an equillibrium.
It is after undergoing the above training that one may start practicing Tai Kic Kuen. The movements are all intended for combat purposes and in practicing this series, one must move steadily in a slow and relaxed attitude in order to attain relaxation and reduce nervousness which in turn leads to surety, speed and stability. An old Kung Fu saying is: 'Kung Fu can easily be annulled but speed can never be.' In order to be faster than the quickest offensive, one must practice movements in this relaxed and retarded pace.
Pok Lin Sau i.e. Face-slapping, of Tai Kic Kuen.
Practical application of Pak Lin Sau.
Doe Nin Hull (means "send away") in Tai Kic Kuen.
Doe Nim Hull in practical application.
Sifu Cheng Tin Hung
Tai Kic Kung is a profoundly subtle course of study. It specialises in annulling the strong with flexibility and can produce a body that cannot be injured.
Having undergone the above stage of training one enters a stage in which one is trained to disregard natural response and reflexes by constant practice to attain conditioned-reflex and an alert response. That is to say in combat, after making physical contact, voidness and substantiality can be detected. Thus the direction of force from the opponent, must be noticed and decision to solve it be prompt. The above mentioned conditioned-reflex is to serve this purpose. Tui Sau in Tai Kic School is a definite stage to, attain this skill. This takes two partners to practice Tui Sau and many analytical ideas of force and methods are taught during the exercises.
Following this stage comes the stage of Sarn Sau in which the instructor explains, analyses and stresses the precautions prior to practice. Then each movement from the set of Tai Kic Kuen is practiced from a slow pace to a fast pace with an actual combat speed. These movements are practiced until each becomes a natural action.
Then one may boldly enter the stage of supplementary equipment exercises. The Tai Kic Sabre, Tai Kic Sword and Tai Kic Lance are weapons and may be regarded as just more extension of the arms. After one has undergone the hardship of all these training schedule one may adequately be regarded as a representative of the school of Kung Fu one has followed. Lacking any or part of any stage, the product is just a cripple.
The founder of Tai Kic School of Kung Fu, Cheung Sam Fung said 'No, Matter how ideal Kung Fu techniques are, in combat there are still many chances that the situation is out of hand.' One example is the case of a mass attack. A chinese Kung Fu saying:
Two, arms cannot handle four.' So, the probability of being injured in a mass attack is great. Therefore, stamina is the most important factor in a Kung Fu practitioner. To understand this, the beasts that are known to, have longevity have been closely studied, they are deers, cranes and Tortoises.
Tai Kic Kung Fu centres around two, forms of practices:- The Yum Division dealing with stamina and the Yeung Division dealing with trained strength. Deep breathing is a very important exercise for strengthening the diaphragm, for regulating respiration and circulation, increasing the oxygen content in blood and in general, physiology and metabolism are greatly improved.
Finally, there are three zones in practicing Tai Kic Kung Fu:- The Primary Zone is: 'the internal harmonises with external: Thus respiration and circulation are the Internal while the movements are the external. The Secondary zone is that the Mind and the Body must function in a synchronised way. In other words, the limbs must do, what the mind suggests. The Teritary Zone is the person must function in compliance with Nature.
Lao, Tze said: 'The Heavens, the Land and I exist while all things and I survive.' When one reaches an impersonal zone of life. One's life and Kung Fu must be superb.
Secrets of Kung Fu Vol 3 No 10 1979
Sifu Cheng Tin Hung, celebrated exponent of the T'ai-chi Ch'uan Style, learned martial art from the great martial artist of North China, Mr. Ch'i. As Sifu Cheng attaches importance both to the improvement of physical fitness and to self-defence, the T'ai-chi Ch'uan and T'ai-chi Kung he teaches are highly valuable practical techniques and are reputed as the practical T'ai-chi Ch'uan.
At the "Hongkong-Macau-Taiwan Triangular Kung Fu Tournament" held in Taiwan in 1957, Sifu Cheng Tin Hung borught into play his superb techniques of T'ai-chi Ch'uan and defeated the three-time kung fu champion of Taiwan, Yu Wen-t'ung, to clinch the title and become an idol of martial arts enthusiasts.
Sifu Cheng has taught more than 10,000 students over the years. In 1971, his students made such brilliant showings at the Second Southeast Asian Kung Fu Tournament that they won the over-all group championship; In 1973, his students secured the title and the third place of the light "A" class at the Third Southeast Asian Kung Fu Tournament held in Kuala Lumpur; In 1976, a student of Sifu Cheng was the runner-up of the heavy "A" class at the Fourth Southeast Asian Kung Fu Tournament.
Sifu Cheng Tin Hung is presently Supervisor of the T'ai-chi Ch'uan Association of Hong Kong, President of the General Association of Kung Fu of Hong Kong and the Vice-President of the General Association of Chinese Martial Arts of Hong Kong.
Sifu Cheng Tin Hung.
SELF-DEFENCE PRINCIPLE OF TAl-CHI CH'UAN
BY SIFU CHENG TIN HUNG
The forms shown in the photos of this article are demonstrated by Suen Kong-wah, Peter Lee, Tong Chi Kin and Lai Cheuk Ng. They are all disciples of Sifu Cheng Tin Hung.
The following photos show a demonstration by Sifu Cheng Tin Hung's disciples of the self-defence techniques of T'ai-chi Ch'uan.
Tai-chi Ch'uan has two principles in self-defence, namely,
(1) to overcome motion by tranquility;
(2) to conquer hardness by softness.
The principle of overcoming motion by tranquility has the following meaning and requirement: One should be cool-headed; and when the enemy starts to move, one should move before him.
This is to say, in an engagement with an enemy, before the enemy launches an attack to start an exchange of blows with you, he has not made clear his intention and it is impossible for you to predict just which part of your body he is going to attack. Your best choice is to be on the defensive and calmly watch him. But once your opponent has begun to launch an attack, his intention will be known to you and you will be aware of which part in your body his attack is aimed at. You should then seize the initiative and intercept the attack in the midway. With your skilful method, you tackle the attack by going with it, neutralize it and launch a counterattack.
Therefore, the Tai-chi Ch'uan's Fighting Man's Song" says: "I'll be at a standstill if my opponent doesn't move, but I'll move first if he shows the slightest sign of going to move." The essence of the principle of overcoming motion by tranquility of Tai-chi Ch'uan is to be cool-headed. When you are cool-headed, you will be able to concentrate your mind and keep yourself alert. In a fight, you will be able to detect your opponent's movement preluding an attack. And since you have a clear vision of your opponent's movement, you will be able to neutralize your opponent's attack in time. But because you do not move before your opponent has started to move, it will be extremely difficult for him to observe your movements and determine your intention when he is already in motion. It will be next to impossible for him to neutralize your attack. In this way, you will be at an advantage.
Sun Tzu, a celebrated Chinese strategist 2,500 years ago, wrote in his famous work "The Art of War": "A knowledge of one's own situation and that of the enemy ensures victory in every battle." The principle of overcoming motion by tranquility is exactly aimed at securing that knowledge. Otherwise, if you do not have a correct assessment of your enemy's situation, and just block and attack arbitrarily, how can you ever win a fight? Therefore, it is essential to overcome motion by tranquility.
The principle of conquering hardness with softness, in a like manner, has the following meaning and requirement: In coping with force, but skilfully a void his strong points and take advantage of his weakness in your neutralization and counter attacks.
The lowered body stance of Tai-chi Ch'uan. This form which is aimed at neutralizing an enemy attack and dragging him, requires highly sensitive response.
The forms of Tai-chi Ch'uan follow this principle by adapting one's tactics to the enemy's situation rather than adhering to one's own wont. They neutralize force with softness. Therefore, we do not have such movements as blocking and impeding in the forms of tai-chi Ch'uan. To block or impede an enemy attack means the exertion of a large force, and this goes contrary to the principle of conquering hardness with softness. Just the opposite, one uses force-borrowing methods like yielding force and drawing aside to neutralize an attack. Applied in different angles, these two methods branch off into these eight movements: warding off, pulling back, pressing, pushing, pulling down, bending backward, elbow stroking, and shoulder stroking. Now suppose your opponent deals a punch toward your chest, you should lightly touch his wrist with your hand, bring his fist past your body in compliance with his force, thus rendering his attack harmless. In this manner, you use the smallest force to neutralize your opponent's heavy blow. This is called "pulling back" in Tai-chi Ch'uan terminology. That will leave your opponent defenceless, which you can take advantage of by launching a quick counterattack. "The fighting man's song" exactly means this when it says: "Four taels of pulling force can deviate a thousand catties."
The "as if shutting a door" form of T'ai-chi Ch'uan. This is to neutralize an opponent's heavy fist-blow with minimum strength and then quickly hit back, taking advantage of the fact that the enemy is instantaneously off his guard.
It is easy to talk about neutralizing by yielding force and drawing aside on paper, but not so easy to practise. They cannot be brought into play unless you have highly-sensitive reacting ability. If you really want to use these techiques as your mind wills, you must take a wide range of exercises with your sparring partner. Through the exercises, you will progress from being barely able to perform slow actions to dexterity, and then from dexterity to the point where you can apply the techniques at lightning speed. A long period of practical training is, of course, a necessity in this process. You also need careful lectures and patient guidance to learn the correct methods, which are just as important as, for a simile, a correct method in leading an ox. When you tie a rope to an ox's nose, he will obediently follow your order in spite of his heavy build. That is because you are apeing the correct method. But if you do not know the correct method and tie the rope to the ox's leg, will the beast obey your orders? Thus even in leading an ox, you have to use the correct method. So what greater importance will correct methods be in conquering a trained and experienced opponent.
There is another point to be noted with respect to the reasoning of conquering hardness with softness. That is, hardness means strenuous exertion of force, which causes the flotation of ch'i, which in turn makes the heart move. And the movement of heart tends to cause gasping and the sudden increase of blood circulation speed and, consequently, the acceleration ofthe thumping of the heart, resulting in nervousness, dull sensation and rashness. That will be an unfavourable situation that can be taken advantage of by your opponent. In contrast, softness avoids the use of awkward force, making one agile in the body, hands, waist and legs, freeing one from getting nervous, and making one keen in sensation. In an encounter, if you know your opponent's strength and weakness, while he does not know yours, you will have a great superiority. That is the reasoning behind the use of softness to conquer hardness.
The "brush knee and twist step" form of T'ai-chi Ch'uan. In coping with an enemy attack, one should not meet force with force, instead, one should avoid where the enemy is strong, and neutralize and counterattack where he is weak.
THE FELLING TECHNIQUES OF TAI-CHI CH'UAN
Among the forms of Tai-chi Ch'uan, there are not a few felling techinques. Thus we have, for example, Step Back and Repulse Monkey, Snake Creeps Down, White Crane Flaps Its Wings, and Lotus Sweeping Kick.
If, in a self-defence, you are very close to your opponent, it will not be wise to get entangled with him. The better tactic is to use felling techniques to throw him down by borrowing his momentum.
On top of a skilful mastery of the forms, keen sensation and quick action, the key to the felling techniques is to be tranquil, avoid answering force with force, go with the opponent's movement, and use your skill to render his force ineffectual before felling him to the ground.
The "high pat the horse" form of T'ai-chi Ch'uan. When you have learned which part in your body the opponent wants to attack, you should take the initiative, and intercept and neutralize the enemy attack in the midway, and then hit back.
In practising felling, one must first understand that if an opponent is strong in the upper section, his lower section will certainly be weak; if he is strong in the right, he will surely be weak in the left; if both his upper and lower sections are strong, then his middle section will surely be a weak point. An understanding of this principle helps one secure superiority.
Thus if your opponent's hand strength is focussed above, the lower part will be drifting. But if he is exerting force from below, the upper part will surely be a void. You should give a wide berth to his strong points and attack his weak, void points, and do that rapidly. If you spot even a small opening, you should take the initiative and attack him where he is unprepared. But you must judge accurately and watch out for any trap possibly laid by your opponent. Getting trapped can place you at a disadvantage, or even get you felled to the ground. It is best to move only after he has started to move so that you will have full knowledge of where are his strong points and where are his weak points. You will then be able to neutralize his attack according to the way he exerts his force, and, in the meantime, launch a counter attack. But what if he refuses to make any advance? In that case you should lure him
into a movement by pretending that there is a loophole which you have neglected to guard. It will lead him into a trap. But creating favourable situation in this way is possible only to persons with a comparatively high level of achievement behind him.
The exercise of felling is done through practice. The experiences secured in practice have to be combined with theory to attain a thorough understanding and to effect a rapid progress.
In tackling an enemy attack, put into practice the T'ai-chi Ch'uan principle of conquering movement with tranquility and checking hardness with softness, and use the methods of neutralizing and dragging.
A YUGOSLAV JOURNALIST COMES TO HONG KONG IN SEARCH OF KUNG FU
BY T'E MO
Mr. Toma poses before Bruce Lee's residence in Hongkong.
WITH THE CHINESE KUNG FU CRAZE SPREADING TO VARIOUS PLACE IN THE WORLD, MANY PEOPLE HAVE MADE SPECIAL JOURNEYS TO HONG KONG TO SEE, UNDERSTAND AND LEARN KUNG FU, BUT IF ONE DOES NOT KNOW THE RIGHT PATH TO APPROACH KUNG FU, HE WILL CERTAINLY BE DISAPPOINTED. ONE YEAR BEFORE, AN EDITOR AND A REPORTER OF A FRENCH KARATE MAGAZINE TRAVELLED TO HONGKONG TO COVER KUNG FU. BUT THE REPORT THEY WROTE AFTER GOING HOME WAS SHEER NONSENSE. IT WAS THE RESULT OF THEIR FAILURE TO MAKE AN INVESTIGATION BY THE RIGHT PATH.
He Is at a Loss As For Where to Look For Kung Fu
Mr. Toma, concurrently reporter and editor-in-chief of a very large Yugoslavian publishing company, came to Hongkong trying to find out the truth about kung fu. But he got nothing after having arrived in his destiny for three days.
'Before my coming to Hongkong, I visualized that I would see kung fu studios in every street and that kung fu performances would be on show in every theatre. I even imagined that everywhere in the streets of Hongkong should be scenes of people in kung fu suits hitting out with their fists and kicking up with their feet. But I just do not see any evidence of kung fu after staying in Hongkong for three days.' The slightly fat and big-paunched Toma shrugged, laid flat his hands and pulled down the corners of his mouth when he said to the author. 'I didn't find any place related to kung fu even when I looked up the telephone directory. I was quite surprised as it was said that Hongkong is a place where kung fu is concentrated, the place where Bruce Lee was reared, the place whence a large number of instructors teaching kung fu everywhere came. And many kung fu movies are shot in Hongkong, too. But when you come here, you find everything about kung fu concealed from you.'
Thanks to the kung fu movies, many people think that Hongkong is like what is depicted in the martial arts movies shown all over the world: People in kung fu suits fight in the streets at the trifling pretexts, a superior kung fu exponent with unrivalled style hits in the upper section and kicks in the lower section until he, single-handed, fells many of his enemies all about and sends the rest of them fleeing.
Though Toma had not been in Hongkong before, but, being a journalist, he could not be ignorant of the fact that Hongkong is a modernized city and its residents just cannot wear the kind of costume that prevailed in China tens, or even hundreds, of years ago. But in East Europe, the Kung fu craze has just made its appearance. Bruce Lee's 'Fist of Fury' and 'The Big Boss' were shown there only a year ago, They created such a sensation that they were shown for three or four months in a row. Bruce Lee's cyclic kicks, his quick-as-lightning punch and his deterrent yells all were a new physical pleasure to the East Europeans, catching them enthralled by the power and wonders of Chinese kung fu. Toma was also enthralled by the Chinese kung fu. He said:
'Struck by kung fu movies, many Yugoslavs want to learn kung fu. But not one gym of Chinese kung fu is in operation in Yugoslavia. So many speculative Yugoslavs who have learned karate and judo are teaching kung fu, pretending that they are exponents of Chinese kung fu.'
Do they really know Chinese kung fu?
'Certainly not,' Toma shrugged. 'They just collected some English kung fu books and taught students by following the illustrations in them. They say that what they teach is kung fu.'
Toma is visiting a morning T'ai-chi Ch'uan exercise class. In the middle is the instructor, on the right is Sifu Cheng Tin Hung.
Trainees of the T'ai-chi Association are demonstrating the superior T'ai-chi Kung fu, which enables one to stand the simultaneous collisions by two men from the front and from behind.
The author asked Toma if he realized that it was false kung fu?
'I knew that it was not real kung fu,' he said. He touched his balding head with his hand, then spread his hands apart. 'But I just did not have the slightest notion of what real kung fu was. So I read some books on kung fu published in England. It enlightened me that Bruce Lee's kung fu was only one style out of many others. Some things described in those books astounded me. For example, in order to learn kung fu., one has to experience all kinds of hardship in the deep of a deserted mountain. And one implement for exercising quick punches is a guillotine-like sharp knife. The trainee must be sure that he hits out and takes back his punches faster than the sharp knife drops, or he would be unable to to take back his hand in time and get it cut off and lots of such things. To the way of thinking of an average Yugoslav, kung fu is a very powerful fighting technique, and is profound and mysterious.'
What is his impression of kung fu?
'I do not completely believe the descriptions in the books: said Toma. But Yugoslavs coming home from other European countries always make mythical accounts of the Chinese martial arts.
To find out the truth about kung fu, I decided to come to Hongkong. My idea of kung fu before I embarked on the journey was that it was a commercialized sport, a merchandise operated by big business, that it could be seen in theatres and on other occasions, and could even be seen everywhere at street corners and ends of alleys. But after coming to Hongkong for three days, I failed to see kung fu after looking for it everywhere. I just don't know how to get into contact with it.'
Male and Female, Young and Old, All Exercise T'ai-chi Ch'uan
At half past six in the morning of the fourth day of Toma's stay in Hongkong, Mr. Bill Wong, Public Relations Superintendent of the Cathay Airlines, and the author brought Toma to see kung fu.
The author brought him to several morning T'ai-chi Ch'uan classes conducted by the Recreation and Athletics Office of the Government of Hong Kong. All. the instructors of these classes were disciples of Sifu Cheng Tin Hung, Superintendent of the T'ai-chi Association of Hong Kong. Each class had an enrolment of between two hundred to three hundred. The trainees, who ranged in age from five or six-year-old children to octogenarians and nonagenarians of either sex, were all uniformly exercising T'ai-chi Ch'uan in an orderly way. Toma was happy and surprised at the same time to see the scene.
The author told him that morning T'ai chi Ch'uan classes like the ones he saw were operated everywhere in Hongkong, including the Hongkong Island proper, Kowloon and the New Territories, and the number of persons exercising T'ai chi Ch'uan should exceed 100,000.
A performance of the use of T'ai-chi Ch'uan in self-defence combat. It is a kung fu that overpowers hardness by softness.
The purpose the author had in his mind in bringing Toma to see the morning T'ai-chi Ch'uan classes was to change his idea of kung fu. Before his arrival in Hongkong, he thought kung fu was no more than a truculent fighting technique preferred by young men. But now appearing before his eyes was a health physical exercise suitable for the young and the old alike.
At the morning T'ai-chi class held on the athletics field of the Wah Yan College, a high school with a long standing in Hongkong, the author introduced Toma to Sifu Cheng Tin Hung, who happened to be there. Toma said that he had heard of T'ai-chi Ch'uan before he left Yugoslavia. Now that he saw so many people exercising the style, he would like to know its merits.
'Tai-chi Ch'uan is a kind of beneficial athletic item,' Sifu Cheng Tin Hung told the visitor. 'You know exercise promotes man's physical fitness. A proverb of your people is "Health is wealth", while a Chinese proverb is "Being free from mishaps and diseases is bliss", so Easterners and Westerners all attach importance to physical fitness. T'ai-chi Ch'uan already has a history of several hundred years. It keeps up the physical fitness and spirit of the trainee, so that he is mentally alert and able to judge things methodically in his handling of routine affairs. It indirectly helps us win success in our cause.'
Toma liked to have a more detailed explanation of the beneficial effects of T'ai-chi Ch'uan on the human body.
'The consecutive actions of T'ai-chi Ch'uan helps develop the muscles and joints in various locations in the human body in a balanced way: said Sifu Cheng Tin Hung. 'T'ai-chi Ch'uan makes the breath smooth and unobstructed, thus strengthening the power of activity of the diaphragm. And more than that, if you pay attention to the calmness of your spirit and concentrate your mind when you perform every action, the exercise will greatly benefit your central nervous system, which affects other vital organs prominently.'
Sifu Cheng told him that, in the same way, T'ai-chi Ch'uan exercises are beneficial to the internal organs, artery and the respiratory system. The smooth and undisturbed breathing has the effect of strengthening the power of activity of the diaphragm, which in turn promotes blood circulation and improves the health of the lymphatic glands. Also, all the actions improve the pressure in the vein, prompting the flow of the blood toward the heart. Besides, during the deep breathing, the muscles in the diaphragm massage the internal organs and improve their efficiency. It improves one's appetite and prevents constipation, which effects are especially conspicuous with old people. T'ai-chi Ch'uan also prevents the occurrence of arteriosclerosis and other diseases.
'Another feature of T'ai-chi Ch'uan is that it "emphasizes the mind rather than physical strength",' said Sifu Cheng Tin Hung. ' ''To emphasize the mind is that one should be good at the use of his intelligence, that, in doing anything, he should deliberate carefully before he takes actions, he should never act impul-sively, so that he is always alert and flexible. Not to emphasize physical strength means that he does not rely on sheer strength. His every action must be a use of techniques, so that his movements are nimble. Once a man is healthy, intelligent and nimble, he will certainly be competent in handling his routine affairs and happy in his life.'
Toma asked why are the actions of T'ai-chi Ch'uan so slow?
'T'ai-chi requires that one's actions must coordinate with his mind. Slow exercises do not cause stresses. After exercising for a long period, one's mind will be at one with his form and he will be comfortable both mentally and physical. It will promote physical fitness.' Sifu Cheng said.
Toma asked if T'ai-chi Ch'uan can be used in a fight?
Of course, it can, said Sifu Cheng Tin Hung. The primary purpose for exercising Chinese kung fu is to .improve one's physical fitness, but the secondary purpose is to defend oneself. Then Sifu Cheng invited Toma to visit the training ground of the T'ai-chi Association. There Sifu Cheng Tin Hung let his disciples display the self-defence techniques and basic exercises of. T'ai-chi Ch'uan. It quite surprised Toma.He had never thought that such a slow-moving pugilistic style could be so effective in combats and so useful in fending off provocations and providing self-defence.
'There are two principles with T'ai-chi Ch'uan when used for self-defence purposes: Sifu Cheng told him, 'namely, to check movement with tranquility, and to overcome hardness with softness. '
Toma visits two elder fellow disciples of Bruce Lee. Right: Sifu Wong Shum Leung. Left: Sifu Victor Kan.
An Interview with Bruce Lee's Elder Fellow Disciple
I was very excited to visit the T'ai-chi Ch'uan classes: said Toma to the author. 'It completely changed my idea of Chinese kung fu. Bearing in mind that T'ai-chi Ch'uan is only one of the numerous styles of Chinese kung fu, I can see that kung fu is not a technique meant to trl:.lin pugnacity, rather, it is a physical exercise that promotes the physical fitness of the mankind. It is not a merchandise transacted by enterprises, on the contrary, it belongs to the public. Male and female, young and old, come together to train in an equitable manner with a view to improving physical fitness and forging friendship. It is a new form of combination compared with the many athletic forms I knew before.'
Toma is a famous Yugoslavian athletics reporter.
The author is gratified that this East European reporter has got a new impression of Chinese kung fu. Certainly T'ai-chi Ch'uan is not equal to the whole of Chinese kung fu, but no one would raise any objection to the idea that the chief purpose of kung fu training is to strengthen and defend oneself.
Admittedly, Bruce Lee's kung fu movies are a factor that contributed to the emergene of the kung fu craze all over the world. They also gave him the image of a hero. Many foreigners repute him as "the King of Kung Fu." Toma asked the author if Bruce Lee was the greatest Chinese martial artist? He wished to meet people who best know the true aspect of Bruce Lee's kung fu.
It came to the author's mind that Sifu Victor Kan had just arrived in Hongkong from England. An elder fellow disciple; of Bruce Lee, he is now teaching the Wing Chun Style in England. So the author brought Toma to Sifu Kan's aboding place. It happened that Sifu Wong Shun Leung, another elder fellow disciple of Bruce Lee, was also there. Though Bruce Lee knelt to Grandmaster Yip Man, but the man who actually taught him kung fu was this Sifu Wong Shun Leung.
Toma asked Sifu Kan and Sifu Wong if Bruce Lee's kung fu was as powerful as is seen in the movies.
'Certainly the kung fu actions shown in the movies are exaggerated: said Sifu Wong Shun Leung. 'Bruce was a master
of kung fu in his own right. But the kung fu he actually mastered should not be confused with what you see in the movies. There are Wing Chun disciples whose achievements in martial arts are not even second to that of Bruce Lee. But the latter shot a number of movies. Therefore movie fans know only of Bruce Lee, because his movies are shown I all over the world.' The two elder disciples of Bruce Lee displayed the kung fu of the Wing Chun Style on the lawn to treat their visitor.
This Yugoslavian journalist. had stayed in Hongkong for only five days when he had to return to the Eastern Europe. The author and Mr. Bill Wong saw him off at the airport. Before leaving, Toma said: 'I can say that I've discovered the truth of kung fu. The Chinese kung fu is not the mysterious and strange juggling craft as is seen in the movies. It is an athletic form that promotes physical fitness and embodies the principles of philosophy. Its variety and colourfulness formed over several thousand years are beyond compare by any martial art in the world.'
A DOZEN STYLES IN HONG KONG ARE PREPARING FOR THE FOUNDING OF THE GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF KUNG FU
[This article from "Secrets of Kung Fu" is on the founding of the General Association of Kung Fu of Hong Kong]
Lately, a group of enterprising, strong minded and talented people are making preparations for the forming of the General Association of Kung Fu of Hong Kong. Despite that several kung fu organisations have already been in existence in Hong Kong, the General Association of Kung Fu mentioned above will have its features and novelty. The preparatory work is going on exceedingly rapidly. One of its features is that, as is stipulated by its rules, all its members must be legal kung fu organisations registered with the Government of Hongkong and no individual members will be accepted. It will ensure justice in its execution of affairs, guarantee speedy and efficient effects, and avoid the abuse resulting from the monopoly of power by certain groups or cliques. It shows that the planned association is reasonably founded.
It is certainly a good thing that a new and large-sized organisation is to appear in the kung fu circle. There can be no progress if there is no competition. To create a competitor is to increase an incentive to stimulate you into better work. Therefore the new kung fu association will surely strengthen the kung fu circle and stir up a new enthusiasm. It will be greatly beneficial to the kung fu circle. It is learned that among the sponsors are: Sifu Lee Hsien of the Southern Praying Mantis Style, Sifu Ch'en Hsiu, chung of the Ta Sheng P'i Kua Men Style, Sifu Cheng Tin Hung of the T'ai-chi Ch'uan Style, Sifu Lee Kuanhsiung of the Ts'ai Li Fo Style, Sifu Wong Ch'un-liang of the Yung-ch'un Style, Sifu Wu Wen-piao of the White Crane Style, Sifu Lo Wei-ch'iang of the Lama School, Sifu Lee Chin-jung of the Seven-Star Praying-Mantis Style, Sifu Chang Yung-hui of the Mo Style, Sifu Hsu Hai of the Northeastern Chinese Ti T'ang Men Style, Sifu Sin Man Ho of the Lien Style, Sifu Kan Kuo-hsiung of the Tsou Style, etc. Many other styles are joining into the ranks ofthe dozen styles already mentioned. They will invite celebrities of the society to take up the posts of Honorary President and advisors. The above-mentioned sifus are all representative figures of their respective styles. Once they co-operate amiably and single-minded, there will be no obstacles impossible to overcome before their joint efforts. It can be anticipated that the association will get more and more prosperous and powerful. It is our wish that all enthusiasts of Chinese martial arts will give them encouragement so that kung fu will radiate greater and unusual splendours. Kung Fu organisations all over the world are welcome to join the General Association as its members. Please write to: Sifu Ch'en Hsiu-chung First Floor, Block C, 174, Tung Lo Wan Road, Hongkong; or Sifu Cheng Tin Hung-11th Floor, 60, Argyle Road, Kowloon, Hongkong.
THE GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF KUNG FU OF HONG KONG A CHARITY MARTIAL ARTS BODY
BY T'IEH SHAN SHU SHENG
[This article from "Secrets of Kung Fu" covers a charity event held by the General Association of Kung Fu. With some impressive pictures from the martial arts displays]
The General Association of Kung Fu of Hong Kong is, up to 1978, the latest formed organisation of Chinese martial arts. Though the organisation had registered with the Government of Hong Kong only recently and its staff were also newly elected, it has already embarked on services for social welfare and charity. It shows that the organisation is not only a body dedicated to the glorification of Chinese kung fu, but also a philanthropic group purely devoted to serving the society.
Above: Sifu Cheng Tin Hung, the President of the General Association of Kung Fu.
Above: At a corner of a members' meeting of the General Association.
The charity performance conducted by the Association in Hongkong drew a capacity audience of two thousand, bearing testimony to its popularity. One can anticipate an unlimited future for the organisation in adding glory to the Chinese kung fu.
Ever since its founding on June 2nd, 1978, individuals and organisations of the martial arts circle have vied with each other to join the Association. Now its members are spread not only all over Hongkong, but also over-seas. It shows that the purposes of the General Association are welcomed by the people of the Chinese martial arts circle. The Association maintains a high standard in the acceptance of new members and those admitted membership are proud of themselves.
Above: The President, Situ Cheng Tin Hung (left) and the Chairman, Sifu Ch'en Hsiu-chung (middle), as well as Sifu Li Kuan-hsiung (rlqht).
It is learned that the General Association has accepted an invitation to visit Malaysia and make two charity performances at the National Gymnasium of Kuala Lumpur on the 23rd and 24th of September, 1978. A 30-strong delegation including such famous kung fu movie stars as Ku Lung, Chan Siu Pang, Hsi Lin-yu and Kao Hsiung, and headed by the President of the Association Cheng Tin Hung and Chairman of the same Ch'en Shiu-chung will board a Malaysia bound airliner on the 21st of September. The trip will not only show the charity of Chinese martial arts circle in Hongkong, but also strengthen the bond between the martial artists of the two places. An alliance between the Hongkong Association and the recently formed Martial Arts General Association of Chinese Malaysians will no doubt contribute to the success of the 5th Southeast Asian Martial Arts Invitational Tournament.
Out of charity, all the members of the Kung Fu General Association of Hong Kong took part in a Kung Fu Charity
Performance held at the Southorn Indoors Stadium at 6:30 pm, August 26. The performance aimed at raising bursary fund for school-children from straitened families was met with favour-able comments by social personalities.
The Kung Fu Charity Performance was very colourful. On the programme, were lion-dance of the Northern and Southern styles, ch'i-lin dance (ch'i lin is a fabulous animal supposed to be auspicious). p'i-hsiu dance (p'i-hsiu is a fierce animal recorded in ancient Chinese books and is used to allude armies), as well as seventy-odd other performances by a hundred famous masters of over fifty styles.
The Right Ways of Six-Harmony Style performed by the famous kung fu movie star Ku Lung, the Floral Staff Technique
played by Lin Chiao, the Ta Mo Sword Technique played by Yang P'an-p'an and the Mandarin Duck Style played by Hsi, Lin-yu were all rare talents difficult to see nowadays.
Scenes from the Kung Fu Performance.
1. The T'ai-chi ch'i kung.
2. A performance by Sifu Kan Kuo-hsiung.
The crowded indoor stadium at the time when the Kung Fu Performance was held.
3. The Ch'a Style.
4. An armed confrontation between three men.
5. Sifu Lu Chih-fu makes a performance.
6. Sifu Sin Man Ho demonstrates the iron-umbrella kung fu.
7. Sifu Ch'en Hsiu-chung demonstrates the Monkey Style.
8. Sifu Wu Wen-piao demonstrates Wu's staff-techniques.
9. Sifu Hsia Chien-p'ing demonstraTes the kung fu of the fan.
10. Sifu Li Kuan-hsiung demonstrates the use of the tri-sectional rods.
Sifu Un Chiao demonstrates the brow-length staff-technique. Sifu Un, an old pugilist and movie actor, has many disciples among the kung fu movie actors of today.
Sifu Yu Ch'ung-ying demonstrates the Wing Chun Style.
The ch'i-lin dance played by Ou Shao-yung's Athletics Association.
A performance between the Big-Head Buddha and a p'i-hsiu.