Friday Nite Fu with Shifu…March

29 03 2009

After having been done the SG late nite training, and driving for 45 min each way over the last few days I was not really all that jazzed about making the trip down to Campbell to practice. However I Shaolined up and made the trip. It is less of a journey now, only a little less than 1 hour rather than 1.5 , since we have moved to the island. I also missed last month session due to the move I did not to miss another, time is limited to spend with Eng Shifu and my Shixong’s.

Merry Christmas from the Tai Mantis Kung Fu Asooc.

After my greetings, I found a spot in the parking lot and just practiced my Tai Chi Palm ( short version) , the Tai Mantis’s Tai Chi ( Tai Ji ) form . I did the empty hand set 3 times, then I did the sword form 4 times. That took over an hour. After that I went inside and sat with the group. It was close to eating time and there were some discussions going on about You Tube. One of the Elders from Hong Kong had put pretty much all the Tai Chi Mantis sets on You Tube. That is good and bad. Good for us who practice to have access to the form for review and comparison. Bad in that any one can copy the forms and say they know Tai Chi Mantis Kung Fu. Jokingly we said they can say they learned from Master You Tu bu.  Yeah funny, however I bet some will do it.

Once we sat to eat Shifu brought up about something about wild animals and fear since we were speaking steps in overcoming fear when training, building courage.  He said how when he was a kid this grandfather had wild bob cats in cages for sale. He said he would tease the cats, and they would scare the bejibees out of him. The sounds would make him freeze for a second or two.  He said that back in the early days of Shaolin, the monks would copy this sound as a defense against the wild animals that were abundant in the area.  At some point someone used it in a man to man fight and it became a weapon. The sound would freeze the person just for a second and that gave the opponent a chance to attack through the other’s defence.  Through time others tried to copy this, but lost the “feeling”  or true skill of it. This is what the Japanese Kai is suppose to be/do.  It was used in China but has lost the power of proper use.

Another topic raised by Shifu was the Kung fu of Hsing Yi. He says he has taken a renewed interest in it since he has gotten older. Even though it can be a use as a strong Martial Art, he is interested in the health aspects. The Five Elements, working the organs.  He said that his Shifu Wong Jack Man used to speak of retiring and just practicing Hsing Yi, now he says he thinks he understands why. Eng  Shifu  says when he has been practicing it, he feels recharged  and his back feels like he has gotten a massage. He says he is planning on doing more research into Hing Yi and Ba Qua. Not so much for the combat parts but the health. He says learning Kung Fu for fighting is ok, but how many times do yo need to go out and do hand to hand combat these days. How many times in your life unless you are trying to be a tuff guy. Health is a treasure worth fighting for, training for. That is something you need everyday. Coming from a man who was all about combat with his Mantis , Tiger Claw Shaolin, Hung Gar this is a strong statement. I have felt that way for quite awhile and have told that to my students. I never expected to hear it from Eng Shifu. It was nice , it just gives me more validation for my choice of path. It also gives me reason to restudy the Hing Yi I learned years ago. I did not think of it from the health side I only thought of it as a direct line fighting style. I understand what Shifu was referring to more now, that I have been studying Feng Shui and other parts of the Five Element theory. Now that I know about it’s five elements connections and health properties, it is a good tool to have in my medicine bag. Time to revisit the form again. I sort of recall part of it. I can have Shifu and Sihing help me with it. It is from Grandmaster Wong Jac Man’s teaching, one of the thigns that Kam Shifu showed me years ago. At the time I was not that impressed with it. I did prefer BaQua. I also found it there is a two man version of the Hsing Yi form. Very Cool! I love two man form, they give more life to the forms.

It was another worthwhile visit.




One response

30 03 2009
Rick Matz

If I had the time, money, and a solid teacher, I’d love to learn xingyiquan.

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