2004 was one of my best training visits of Hong Kong and China. I have been living in my Sifu’s house in Shenzhen for couple of months and we have been really busy, training very hard.
Every morning we woke up at 6 o’clock AM and went to the park to practice the precious “Iron Thread Set” (Tit Sin Kyun) – every single day, for more than two hours.
After the practice we went to the neighbouring street restaurant for a bowl of rice porridge with eggs or fish and hot tofu milk. Discussing the origins of the “Iron Thread”, one of the “Three Treasures” of Hung Ga Kyun, my Sifu told me an old legend, handed down from the masters of previous generations to Grandmaster Lam Saiwing and his father, Grand Master Lam Jou.
The story goes like this:
In the Ching dynasty, there was a gungfu master, whose job was an armed exort service bodyguard. He was betrayed and killed by one of his best students. His daughter has run away, and went into the hidding, mourning her father, being depressed and sad, crying all the time.
One night, a white crane ascended from the sky, and turned himself into an old man, Immortal White Crane (Baak Hok Sin Si). He has taught her the secret art of Tit Sin Kyun to the girl. It is said that this set has still a lot of the emotions (sadness, fear and worry).
The girl later met a man, famous fighter, and promised to teach him Tit Sin Kyun, but only on the condition that he will avenge the murder of her father. He has agreed and eventually has killed the treacherous ex-student of her father. Tit Sin Kyun was later on transmitted to Tit Kiu Saam and following generations.
As some of you might have noticed, the story is very similar to the legend of Hung Hei Gun and “Third Lady” of Wing Cheun/Fong Chat Leung, as well as the legends of Fukgin White Crane and Wing Cheun system. Grand Master Lam Sai Wing is said to have a ancestral tablet of Immortal White Crane (Baak Hok Sin Si).
I am very happy to finally find an image of the altar with the same inscription, taken in the temple of Fong Chat Leung, founder of the Fukgin White Crane (see the photo on the left), as well as another Baak Hok Sin Si Altar (top right).
The question is: Do these systems share a common root?
We will examine the various legends in the future articles. White Crane, Hung Ga Kyun & Wing Chun practioners, let me know what you think and feel free to add your comments to the article.
Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun
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