Your wedding day is a day to remember. Leung Bok Chau would definitely not forget his! Having got himself a little drunk he has already upset his new bride and is about to find out that is not the best thing to do, especially as she is a Kung Fu expert.
It happened so fast. When Leung Bok Chau's hands were almost touching Yim Wing Chun's body, she grasped his left arm and pulled him to the floor. Leung felt pain in his chest and suddenly the alcohol's effects were gone and his mind started to clear.
"Why did you push me to floor? It hurts!" he cried. Wing Chun reacted a little angrily and said, "What's the matter with you?" she demanded, "You come into the room and behave impolitely to me!"
Leung calmed down a bit, "I am sorry. I must have drunk a little too much but you should not have pushed me to the floor," he said. Yim Wing Chun was still angry, though, and said, "That was your fault, it was a natural reaction to what you did to me."
Leung was not satisfied, "There's no 'Wife beat the husband' rule - particularly on the first night - the wedding night! That's not right. Just because you know some Kung Fu does not mean that you can hurt someone." In Leung's mind he was the man so how could he be beaten up by a woman? Also, if they started out their marriage like this, how could he tell her what to do in the future?
In old days, in China, the husband was the leader of the family. All the other members of the family, including the wife, would listen to him without any argument. Certainly there was no fighting back. To do so would have been very shameful. Because of this Wing Chun knew she had done the wrong thing and so she tried to help him get up, but he pushed her hands away and got up by himself.
He stood there and looked at her. For the first time he could see her face as the red cloth covering it had moved when she had pushed him to the floor. Leung felt that he had to win some face back.
Leung had learnt some Shaolin Kung Fu and, although he was not really high level, he knew he was quite good at some basic stances, punches, kicks, grappling and defence. So he said, "My new bride, I know you have leant some Kung Fu, but I have learnt some Shaolin Fist as well. Why don't we have a competition? If you win, I will learn Kung Fu from you. But if you lose, then you will have to promise that you will always listen to me and treat me nicely. It was only because I
had been drinking that you had a chance to push me down before. Now I am sober and awake it will not be so easy. What do you think?"
Wing Chun did not want her wedding day to turn out like this and she had not wanted to use her Kung Fu skill before, but it had just happened so quickly that she just reacted. This was the power of the skill she had learnt from Ng Mui. Inside she really loved her new husband, however, she did not know him as a person that well. She did not want to fight her new groom, so she said, "I do not want to fight with you."
Leung was still a bit drunk and careless with his words, "We must compete with each other, but if you are afraid, then it's okay but you must accept that you have lost and from now on you will listen to me. You will treat me nicely and I will forgive you."
Of course, saying that did not help the situation and Wing Chun grew very angry and upset, "All right!" she said, "if you want to fight then we will. If you lose, then you will call me Sifu and you will listen to me! If you win, then I will be your obeying wife!"
Her eyes burned brightly and her face flushed a little redder. She shifted her weight slightly back on her back foot and raised both hands in front of her chest, one extended forwards and the other behind it.
Leung looked at her. She looked very determined and serious, but inwardly he thought to himself that she was still a girl. She was still small and weak compared to him. Though he was not a big man he was still bigger than the average woman and he imagined that there was no way she could be stronger than him.
He smiled to himself and thought about how easily he was going to be able to control her with his skill. He had some fighting experience as in his business sometimes he needed to be strong to make sure others did not take advantage of him. He smiled again because he knew he would win. It would be like an adult playing with a child so he did not need to take it too seriously.
Leung stepped forward and tried to grab Wing Chun's hands with his own. He thought that would be safest as he did not want to injure his new bride. Leung suddenly realised the she had moved to his right and her right hand had changed to "Tan Sau". Then instantly, Leung heard a bang and felt his chest jolt.
Wing Chun had hit him with her palm but she did not hit only once. She quickly hit again and again with one hand and then the other. Once Leung was hit, his strength left him and he hands went weak. He was so shocked as her attack was completely unexpected. It had been so fast that by the time he really felt the pain, he was already on the floor
Wing Chun totally understood a man's thinking when she had beaten them. He did not believe that he, a big strong man could lose to her, a small and weak woman. Inside he felt that it must have been some trick. They all thought like this and it made her smile. She said to herself, "Of course there is a trick, but it is a good trick."
Leung was red in the face and felt embarrassed. He got up and tried to punch Wing Chun but he still held back and only used a "gentle" amount of strength as he still did not want to hurt her. He still only wanted to show her that a man is stronger than a woman.
"If you win, I will learn from you."
(grasping hand) and her Bong Sau shot forwards changing to a chop to his throat. However, just before her hand made contact with his throat, she stopped as she did not need to prove herself.
Now Leung became a little afraid. He had totally lost now and did not know what to do. Wing Chun dropped her hands, "It is alright. We are husband and wife. I will still listen to you and respect you but I think you should not look down on women."
Leung was a gentleman. He knew he had been wrong before and he also loved his new wife. "It is my fault," he said, "I should not drink that much. Drinking causes too many problems. Tonight is a good night, we should not have any confrontation. It is not lucky." He smiled at her and then said, "I'm tired. Let's go to bed."
Wing Chun smiled back and her face flushed red again. Instantly she turned back to a shy little girl and that made Leung feel very happy and all he wanted to do was protect her. But then he thought maybe she should protect him instead.
The couple were very happy together. Leung respected Wing Chun a lot and Wing Chun cared and looked after him well. Of course, she also kept practising her Kung Fu skill and slowly her husband began to learn from her Wing Chun actually needed someone to practise her Chi Sau with and Leung enjoyed d iscovering more about this amazing skill. He had never imag ined it could be so profound and after many years he realised why and how he had been defeated on their wedding night. It was not a trick at all. It was real skill.
Once they were married, Wing Chun stayed at home most of the time and eventually they had two children. Wing Chun enjoyed being a mother and looking after her family. Now she did not need to worry about fighting, but at night time when everyone was asleep, she would go to the garden and practise.
She often thought of her Sifu, Master Ng Mui, and she would Koutou to her in remembrance, putting her head to the ground to pay her respects. Her Sifu had saved her life, given her a skill which had allowed her to have a new life.
As time passed Leung Bok Chau's skill also began to grow and improve. Because he had to travel a lot, on some occasions he had to use his Kung Fu to defend himself and also save other people...
To be continued.
Story created by Michael Tse based on true story
No great achievement comes without sacrifice. In studying Qigong and ^ martial arts, the sacrifice varies person to person and may include efforts finding the right teacher and then becoming accepted, travelling great distances or struggling for fees among others, but it always requires commitment.
Sacrifice & Reward
Iy Sifu had to travel frequently from his native Hong Kong to mainland China in orderto learn his rare skills. There were times during my studies when I would have to travel over an hour each way to Qigong and Taijiquan classes. And yet, I have encountered people that are simply unwilling to travel more than twenty minutes from their homes! They consider the distance to the nearest class over the quality of the teacher and reputation of the style; failing to take into account that perhaps as much as 90 percent of teachers today are actually unqualified!
One time my former Taiji teacher offered to teach some chosen students push-hands privately. The first class was to be held during the depths of winter, but I had planned a trip with my ex-wife to be away in sunny Miami. To the astonishment and dismay of my ex-wife I cut my holiday short to return to New York in order to make the first lesson. I arrived at 6am, up to my knees in snow, having travelled over one thousand miles - I was the only one to turn up! | Not even my teacher ventured outdoors and he lived only a few blocks away. While being keen is good, I learned a va l u ab l e lesson in being over-zealous.
I once read a story about a celebrated master who was beseeched by a man to be accepted as a student. The potential student invited the master to his house for dinner and said he would pay, offer, or do anything in order to learn. The master looked around the room and noticed a brand new state-of-the art television set, obviously the student's most prized possession, so the master simply said he would accept that as payment. The man was apoplectic - how could a spiritual man care for material goods? Actually the master did not want the television; he was just testing the student's sincerity, whether he really meant what he said. Many people want to learn Chinese skills but expect everything on their own terms, and not the teacher's.
There are numerous accounts about masters making apprentices 'jump through hoops', forcing them to wait for hours on end only to be sent away and told to come back, for weeks or months, before being accepted. If the student were to give up at the outset then the master w o u l d know that this student wasn't worthy to learn his skill.
In contrast, today y teachers offer free classes to attract students. This may be good business but it draws those always looking for 'the deal', to get something
for nothing and gain an advantage, rather than to give (sacrifice) first. Paying upfront teaches value, respect, and promotes good heart, being prepared to give in order to receive, instead of the other way around. Some students cannot even show respect to their teachers, which means they cannot sacrifice their own egos. Others cannot take criticism so they are unable to sacrifice their pride.
Everyone who has succeeded in their endeavours has endured and overcome pain, bitterness, criticism, failure, laziness, self-satisfaction, and periods of self-doubt. Sigong Chen Xiaowang (19th generation standard-bearer of Chen family Taijiquan) was actually unable to complete construction on his own house due to the hours of commitment he put into his practice, completing twenty repetitions of the form every day without fail. Grandmaster Yang Meijun (27th generation inheritorof Wild Goose Qigong) and students would wake at 3 a.m. for special training.
People often use time as an excuse for lack of practice or even joining a class. In truth, we all find little time for the things that are not important to us and somehow always manage to find time for those that are. It really is that simple. Time is a commodity you have to create, by sacrificing playtime, television time, family time, learning other skills, and if that is not possible then spend less time sleeping!
Others use the excuse of finances as the obstacle. Still, they do not think twice about going out for the evening, spending the same money on drinks, cinema, or nightclub, or on CDs and DVDs.
When someone says, "I wish I could be healthy/practise Qigong" etc. you can say, "Is that what you really want? What are you prepared to do (or give up) in order to achieve that?" When we want something badly enough we will always find a way. And when we begin to reap the rewards of our practice we find the sacrifices we originally made, in relation, were not so great after all!g by Adam Wallace. [email protected]
Tsum Kiu is the secondform of Wing Chun. In the first form, Siu Lim Tao, we do not move our feet as the essence of the form is about stillness. However, when we come to the second form we start to learn about moving our stance and footwork and this is a vital element.
m Kiu Part III
6. Fak Sau rn- Whipping Hand 7. Tok Sau j-L^- Push Up Hand i. Open both forearms to the sides. Do not move the upper arms or the rest of the body. Fig 19
Fak means whipping. Fak Sau is used mainly for blocking, for example if someone attacks you can use Fak Sau to block any attack, also if someone tries to control your elbow, for instance when you are doing Bong Sau, then you can Fak Sau towards their eyes to attack and confuse them.
Fak Sau is a defensive hand and is differentfrom a punch. If you use Fak Sau one after another, it will come out from underneath the forward arm, not like a punch which is opposite as it comes over the other arm.
i. Turn both palms up. Fig 20
Tok Sau is used to lift your opponent's hand up. Usually when you are in contact with them and they are stiff or coming forwards you will turn your palm, catch their elbow and lift them a little. This changes their energy and allows you to control them. Tok Sau is very useful and usually senior students will know how to use it.
Tok Sau is the brother of Lap Sau (Grasping Hand) as Tok Sau pushes up and Lap Sau grabs and pulls down. In the form, although both hands perform Tok Sau, we usually only apply one hand.
8. Jut Sau tj- Jerking Hand
NB, An error occurred in the last issue with movements 6,7 and 8. These have been corrected and are repeated here.
i. Keep the right hand still as it was after the Tok Sau.
ii. Bring the left hand over the right so the palm faces down to the right wrist. Jerk the left hand down from the right wrist to the right elbow. Fig 21
iii. Repeat the same movement but on left arm, Fig 22
iv. Repeat again on the right arm. Fig 23
Jut Sau means Jerking Hand. The movement moves from up to down and from far to close to the body. Using Jut Sau and Tok Sau together is a very damaging skill, It is used to break someone's elbow and so we should not use it. This is why my Sigong, Grandmaster Ip Man, would only show it as Tok Sau and Paak Sau. Doing it this way was not so obvious and only when he explained it would you understand.
In the application we use Tok Sau to lift the opponent's elbow up and at the same time use Jut Sau to jerk their hand downwards. This causes their elbow to be broken. It is very important not to use when practising Chi Sau. This sort of skill carries a high price and so you should only use it when you literally need to save your life, accepting even then that their may be consequences on your part.
I am sure that people will ask, "If it is so dangerous, why do I show it in a magazine? " This skill is quite open and I am not the only person who knows it, many do. So I talk about it and also tell you how serious it is so you will know how to handle it. Also my aim is to make a written account of all the knowledge in Tsum Kiu. Besides, if your Wing Chun and understanding is not good, you will not be able to make the technique work.
9. Yan Jeung, Wu Sau
i The left hand changes to strike forwards as a Yan Jeung (Palm Strike) and the right hand moves behind to a Wu Sau (Protecting Hand). Fig 24
ii The hands then change over so the right strikes as Yan Jeung and the left moves back to make a Wu Sau. Fig 25
iii Repeat one more time so you finish with the left palm forward and the right is a Wu Sau. Fig 26
If you understand how to perform the Wing Chun straight punch, then you will understand how to do the palm strike as it is more or less the same. The palm should attack in a straight line and the power should release out at the last moment. Once the power is finished you should then relax your joints immediately. Remember do not hold back straightening your arm when you strike, you must straighten your elbow all the way to generate the correct power. If you find that it might hurt your elbow, then you should do it more gently.
If it hurts the elbow , then it is not directly because of the palm strike, it is because the legs are weak and so the bones and joints are not strong enough. In the old days no one suffered from joint problems because they had to practise and train their stance for a solid three years before they even began learning a form.
In Wing Chun training, the punch and the palm are practised continuously. When one strike is finished the other comes along. The forward attacking hand will rotate down and back towards the chest to make a Wu Sau and the other hand will strike directly forwards to replace it. They then continue and repeat.
Remember, Bruce Lee said, "Boards do not hit back. " This is very true. No one stays still and lets you just attack them, so you must expectyour opponent will move away and so you cannotjust keep attacking. If you do this, then one, you will waste your strength and then second you will lose your sensitivity and so will not be able to react to the next movement. For these reasons,
I am never impressed with people showing how seriously and how damaging their attack is. The high level skill is not how much you can damage your opponent, but how you get your opponent into a situation where you can use whatever skill you want.
10. Juen Ma, Wan Lan Sau - Turning Stance and Horizontal Blocking Arm
i. Turn 180 degree to the left side. Make sure you turn on your heels. At the same time, change your left hand into
Wan Lan Sau and hold you right first at your side. Fig 27
We have already examined Juen Ma and know that it is a very important part of Wing Chun training. So now we need to look at Wan Lan Sau. Wan means horizontal, Lan means block or bar and Sau means hand. So it means your hand is a bar across your chest to block your opponent. A bar must be strong and hard, so Wan Lan Sau is a strong technique, but it cannot block any straight punch or palm strike. It is only used against a hand (arm) that is vertical. If this is the case, then that hand is either going to attack or will be used to try and push us backwards. Therefore Wan Lan Sau is used to block and jam these types ofattacks and push the hands close to the opponent's body. Then you can either push them away or hit them with your free hand. Wan Lan Sau is not used very often, but when you do use it you are close to winning.
11. Bong Sau, Wu Sau, Juen Ma ¡M- •■ f t? - Wing Arm, Protecting Hand, Turning Stance
i. Bring your right Tan Sau over your left Wan Lan Sau, so the wrists cross. Fig 28.
ii. Turn your stance so your body faces 45 degrees to the right side, making sure to turn on your heels. Meanwhile, your left hand should change to a Bong Sau and your right changes to Wu Sau. Fig 29.
This is one of the most important parts in all the Tsum Kiu. It is about Juen Ma and Tsum Kiu is training footwork. In Wing Chun, Juen Ma is the first part offootwork training.
I have come across many people who study Wing Chun who perform Juen Ma and turn on their toes. This is wrong. In all Chinese martial arts we turn on our heels and this is so important because it grounds us while we turn. If the root is strong then we can be powerful, so the power comes from the root. Only turning on our heels can we keep on the ground, also we stay on the same point on the ground and so our bodies do not shift from side to side. If you turn on your toes, then the body will have to lift up slightly to turn and so the contact of the heels and the ground will be lost. Also, when you turn on your toes, you will only have a very small area in contact with the ground, then it is easy to lose your balance when you are being attacked.
Whenyou practise Juen Ma, if you findyou are not remaining on the same spot on the ground, then it means you are turning on your toes and not on your heels. As a teacher I always watch how a student does Juen Ma to decide how good their Wing Chun skill is. Remember Wing Chun is not based on the hands, but on footwork.
For the upper body, Bong Sau and Wu Sau always go together (most of the time). Bong Sau is a hand that diverts an attack to the side, therefore when we use Bong Sau we must shift our weight more to one side. In this case it is the left side because we have turned the body to face 45 degrees to the right. If we were using the right Bong Sau, then we would put our weight on the right side and turn the body 45 degree to the left.
To position the Bong Sau, the upper arm should be either level with your shoulder, or slightly higher depending on how tall your opponent is. The lower arm should be loose and relaxed. When you get the correct position of the arm and stance then you can divert the attack to the side. However, if you make the arm hard then your opponent will be able to take advantage ofthis as you will use too much energy to block but remember that high level Wing Chun uses less energy to defend yourself with.
The forearm should be lower than the upper arm and the wrist should be at the centre of the body. However, you should remember that because we have turned 45 degrees, the Centreline is now more to one side of the chest. So if you have turned left and use the right Bong Sau, then the Centreline is on the right side of the chest and if your turn and use the left Bong Sau, the Centreline is on the left side.
The same is true for the Wu Sau. If you face the front, then the Wu Sau will be directly at the middle of your chest, but if you turn 45 degrees and are using the right Bong Sau, then the Wu Sau will be on the right side of the chest. It is the same if you use the left Bong Sau. The Wu Sau should be at least two fists away from your chest. This is a good distance as it is safer. It is like a goalkeeper:- he or she will stand further away from the goal to make it easier to catch the ball. I have seen many people place their Wu Sau too close to their chest and so it become slow and weak. This means they get hit easily when they Chi Sau. I have also seen people use Bong Sau to block and this is why they get tired. Once they are tired they can get hit easily later on.
The head should be positioned slightly off centre. If we use the left Bong Sau, then the weight is on the left leg and so the body is more to the left side. The head and left leg should be in a vertical line, thus the head is slightly of centre (when looking directly from the front).
All the movements should also be done together. Juen Ma, Bong Sau and Wu Sau should all be done at the same time with no separation from start to finish.
Turn the body to face the left. The left hand changes from Bong Sau to Wan Lan Sau and the right hand drops to s fist at the side of the body. Fig 30.
The explanation is the same as movement 10
Repeat Movement 11.
14. Juen Ma, Wan Lan Sau
Repeat Movement 12.
Repeat Movement 11.
16. Juen Ma, Wan Lan Sau
Repeat Movement 12.
to be continued... by Michael Tse
People often say that life begins at forty but who are the people who say this and where did they get their information? Maybe somebody told them or it is just what they heard. Like in the old tune, "They heard it through the grapevine" - that most reliable and factual source of communication.
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