When I was studying Hung Kyun in San Francisco under the guidance of Y.C. Wong Sifu in 1997 with my classmate Aleš, we used to walk from the train station to the Chinatown, for about half an hour.
On our way to the Mou Gwun there was a bookshop, with quite a few interesting martial arts books. We used to stop by and stay in the bookshop for a while, reading some them – we did not have a job at that time, and enough money for the fees, train and food, so we couldn’t buy any. All we did was practice and practice.
Out of the many books, I have found out one that was especially very interesting – it was written by Malaysian Southern Siu Lam Grand Master Wong Kiew Kit – Introduction to Shaolin Kung Fu. Interesting stuff happened – whatever I read about in the book in the afternoon, I have learned it in my Gung Fu lessons in the evening, be it technique, concept or fighting strategy! Was it a coincidence? I have decided to skip some meals so I can buy this interesting book.
After I came back from the USA, I have discovered Wong Sifu’s other books, as well as extensive website at www.shaolin.org. I enjoyed his monthly question and answers series, where Wong Sifu generously answered various question of the website visitors as well as his students. In 1999, I have decided to send Wong Sifu an email with few questions regarding the Hung Ga Kyun history.
Few weeks later, I have received a long, long email, with very detailed answers of all of my questions. I was very happy, and since then, I am in contact with Wong Sifu, for more than 15 years. However, I wanted to meet him personally, and learn from him his excellent “internal training” exercises and combat application methodology.
In 2004, Wong Sifu was teaching an Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course in Frankfurt, Germany. Although it was very expensive course for me (over 1000 EUR), I didn’t hesitate for a second – and it was one of the best investments of my life.
Having already some experience of Southern Chinese martial arts, I was able to pick up interesting details and training concepts for my own practice and teaching as well. The intensive course was systematical and covered in detail lot of important and interesting stuff. Although I have spent with him just about 10 days, I consider him as one of my teachers, and call him “Sifu” (and not “Wong Sifu”) since that time.
Sifu has currently published a new book, actually his own autobiography, called Way of the Master: almost 900 pages of interesting stories, martial art tips and explanation of various important concepts of Southern Chinese martial arts. The accompanying DVD of the Special Edition contains 70 sets from Shaolin Wahnam curriculum, including very rare sets like “Essence of Siu Lam Boxing” (Siu Lam Kyun Seut Jing Wa) and various weapons.
Here is the content of the Way of the Master:
The Formative Years
1. I’ll Teach You Free of Charge
2. My Master, Uncle Righteousness
3. The Journey Begins
4. The Way Opens
5. The Dance of Peace and Joy
6. Flowery Fists and Embroidery Kicks
7. Adventures at the Malayan Teachers’ College in Kuala Lumpur
8. Marrying the Most Beautiful Girl in the World
9. Dungun by the South China Sea
10. Learning Wuzuquan from the Living Treasure of the People’s Republic of China
11. A Story that Has Changed My Life, and Countless People’s Lives
12. Learning the Shaolin Arts from the Third Generation Successor of the Southern Shaolin Temple
13. The Treasure of Shaolin and the Great Majestic Set
14. Muay Thai Fighting and Internal Force Training
15. Four Gates, Hook-Spring Leg and Counters against Kicks
16. Sau Foong, the Beautiful Phoenix
17. How Shaolin Kungfu Was Transmitted from the Shaolin Temple to Our School
18. Questions over Tea and Meals, and Defeating a Muay Thai Champion
19. Tea Times, Meal Times, and Story Telling Times
20. Kungfu Sets, Chi Kung and Free Sparring
21. The Four Great Staffs of Kungfu
22. The Great Sage Equal to Heaven and Immortal Li
23. There Is a Piece of Jade in the House, Wherefore Search Outside?
24. You Don’t Have to Believe These Incredible Feats
25. Wei Foong Was an Active, Chubby Baby
26. Taijiquan Can Be Fast, Forceful and Combat Efficient
27. Tit-Ta or Treatment for Injuries Sustained from Felling and Being Hit
28. Learning Wing Choon Kungfu from Sifu Choe Hoong Choy
29. Learning a Variety of Kungfu Weapons
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Building the Foundation
30. Chun Nga Could Break a Brick at the Age of Eleven
31. Establishing Shaolin Wahnam Association in Sungai Petani
32. What Was Training Like at Shaolin Wahnam Association
33. The Lion, the Dragon and the Unicorn
34. Starting to Teach Chi Kung to the Public
35. Siew Foong’s Arrival Brought Love and Peace, and Financial Improvement
36. A Bitter Betrayal
37. Some Incredible Results of Chi Kung
38. Distant Chi Transmission Is Unbelievable but True
39. Chun Yian, a Child Who Composed His Own Songs and Language
40. The Kuala Lumpur Experience
41. Early Teaching and Adventures in Australia
42. Secrets of Combat Efficiency
43. Flying Crane, Art of Lightness and Dispersing Clouds
44. My Loving Mother and My Loving Father
45. My Childhood Memories
46. Understanding Classics and Writing Best-selling Books
47. From the Art of Chi Kung to the Way of the Master
Spreading Health and Happiness
48. Spain – My First Visit to the West
49. The Portuguese Experience with the General and Gourmet
50. Dim-Mark Is Not Lost; It Is Found in Our School
51. A Lovely, Happily Married Couple in Toronto
52. The Whole of Austria Is a Garden
53. Sabah, Land Below the Wind
54. World Qigong Congress and the Unity of the Sciences
55. Belgium’s Chocolate and Holland’s Windmills
56. The Italian Romance
57. Enchanting South American Experiences
58. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
59. Glorious Progress after a Storm
60. Beautiful Switzerland
61. Internal Force, Mental Flow and Sifu’s Parking
62. UK Summer Camp and Road Trip to Wales
63. Brighton, Four Gates and Dragon-Strength
64. Golden Bell and Transcendental Teaching
65. Zen and Recovery from What Doctors Considered Impossible
66. Returning to Australia
67. Melbourne Wedding and Memorable Happenings
68. Crystal Clear Water and Ayers Rock
69. Land of the Midnight Sun
70. The Magic of the Winter Camp
71. The Spread of Shaolin Wahnam to the United States
72. A Most Memorable Journey Across the United States
73. Whether It Is Commonplace or Magical Depends Much on Your Mind
74. Heart-to-Heart Transmission
75. Beautiful Like Cherry Blossom in Japan
76. India: A Land of Sounds and Colours
77. Today Is Going to be the Best Day of Your Life!
78. A Special State of No-Mind
79. Celebrating Life with Joy in Russia
80. The Magic of the Arabian World
81. Experiencing One Thousand and One Nights
82. Bringing the Chinese Treasures Back to the Chinese People
83. Good Health Is Our Birth-right
84. Miracles Do Happen
85. The Four Dimensions of Kungfu, Chi Kung or Any Art
86. The Spread and Depth of the Shaolin Wahnam Arts
87. Enriching Our Lives and the Lives of Other People
88. Becoming a Great Master
Congratulation to Sifu for publishing this excellent book – I can’t recommend it enough, it is some awesome reading and inspiration for all practitioners of traditional Chinese martial arts.
I wish Sifu good health, family happines and many good students! I hope I can meet him in the future and benefit from his experience and wisdom.
Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun
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