Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Northern Shaolin Temple

Shaolin Temple – Mt Song Henan Province:

We have just caught the fast train from Beijing to Zhongzhou.
Zhongzhou has lots of pollution, heaps of bikes, cars and buses everywhere.
We take a quick tour of the Yellow river before relaxing for the night.
Tomorrow is our pilgrimage to the Shaolin Temple.
Can’t believe I will walk on the same paths as our great ancestors, Jee Shin, Ng Mui, Bak Mei.
What a privilege this is going to be.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be standing on this sacred ground at Mount Song.
We leave around 10am and arrive into the tourist area, shops selling tea and trinkets.
It’s not familiar, I’ve seen the Shaolin Temple so many times in photo’s.
Our first stop is a Kung Fu show, we follow the path, past the huge training grounds.
There are hundreds of students training a mixture of swords, pole, acrobats and empty hand
Amazing. What an awesome sight.
We get great seats for the show, right in front of the stage.
The Shaolin Monks perform some incredible feats during their performances.
They are so light, flexible and fast, oh so fast. It is so inspiring.
We watch transfixed as one monk throws a needle straight threw a piece of Perspex.
The Jee Shin Wing Chun Students were mesmerized.
Our guide suggests  we go to the local restaurant for lunch before checking out the temple.
We catch a couple of vans up the mountain to a small group of houses and the eatery.
It’s like something out of the documentary ‘Wild China’.
As we approach, ones senses are filled with the wondrous smell of Chinese cooking.
The local food was delicious, so many varied dishes.
With our bellies full we are now ready for our adventure to the Temple.
We walk over a small bridge and there it is, that familiar sight, The Shaolin Temple entrance.
I recognize it immediately.
The path under our feet leading up to the entrance is made of slate and is shinny from all the footsteps.
They have been placed upon them over hundreds of years. They look polished.
You can tell that the pine and fir trees are so old.
They have that beautiful ancient windswept look about them.
Wow so many tourists, there is no peace for the monks here now.
We try and get a group shot on the steps of the temple.
The Chinese tourists have realized we are a Kung Fu group by the calligraphy on our jackets.
They keep jumping into our photo so they can get a photo with us. It’s funny.
The Chinese just love there Kung Fu heritage.
We finally get our group photo and enter the grounds.
A small chill runs through me as I step over the threshold.
We walk past the great statues of the North, South, East and West guardians.
They look fierce.
The first thing you notice is this huge old tree.
It has a lot of small holes in it.
The guide explains they are bullet holes from the Japanese invasion.
The ingenious monks used these holes to jab their fingers into for strengthening.
The holes are smooth and deep from the repetitive finger jabbing.
To see this tree and more photo’s go to my face book page.
In this courtyard the trees seem older.
There are some incredibly beautiful marble statues of turtles and lions.
The turtles heads are very shinny.
They have been rubbed by thousands of hands over the years.
Sifu Garry and Sifu Linda practice some wing chun chi sao and perform wing chun form, Chum Kiu.
We become surrounded by Chinese tourists taking photo’s as we perform.
They love it. We get the group together and find a quiet spot to practice Sil Lim Tao.
Again we get a big crowd observing.
There are a few monks walking around and they stop and watch us for awhile.
I feel quite privileged.
We walked past the pagoda forest on our way to the cable car to the top of Mount Song.
They were beautiful, it seemed such a peaceful place.
A few of us ride the cable car to the top of the mountain.
There is snow on them there hills and its cold.
Wow what a view, we are on top of the world and it is freezing.
As we gaze across the mountain side we notice a temple etched into the side of the mountain.
It would take about 3 hours to walk there.
It looks like something from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Wow would I love to go there.
Unfortunately its a 2 and a half hour walk to get there and the Shaolin Temple closes at Five.
We have no time.
We meet back up with the rest of the group at the tea house around 4.30pm.
After buying some trinkets we catch our bus back to the Motel.

Wow, what a day.

Researching Wing Chun - Sifu Garry

Reflecting on Wing Chun Research:

While at home, contemplating my future, I decided to reflect back over the last 14 years of Wing Chun.
Jee Shin Wing Chun temporarily closed its doors on Sunday March 22nd 2020, due to the Pandemic.
Sigong Linda and I wanted to keep our Students safe and free from disease.

Wing Chun in China:

In 2006, I decided to start a “Roots of Wing Chun” China Tour.
I wanted to research my Wing Chun Lineage.
Many critics around the World stated that my lineage did not exist.
My lineage come from the Leung Bik Yip Man Wing Chun System.
People were saying that Leung Bik never existed.
My Sifus were William Cheung and David Cheung.
In 2020, my wife and I had travelled to China and Hong Kong 10 times.
Traveling to China would change our outlook on Wing Chun forever.
Categorical evidence about Leung Bik’s existence I found during my travels around China.

Dr. Leung Zhan Wing Chun Manuscripts:

Leung Zhan passed these manuscripts to his Son Leung Bik.
His Son, Leung Bik passed them down to Yip Man after teaching Yip Man for 3 years.
These manuscripts are in the Yip Man Museum in Foshan.

Foshan Museum:

There are newspaper extracts on the lives and exploits of Leung Zhan and Leung Bik.
Kwok Zhan, the Son of Kwok Fu whom was Yip Man’s second Student told me.

Yip Chun’s school in Hong Kong:

Yip Chun is the son of Yip Man.
While there in 2010, in conversation, he quoted “My Father had 1 Sifu and 2 Teachers”.
Their names were; Chan Wah Shun, Ng So and Leung Bik.

Lo Man Kam in Taiwan 2015:

At Lo Man Kam’s school in Taipei, he spoke about Leung Bik teaching his Uncle, Yip Man.

Yip Man’s House:

In 2018, we visited Yip Man’s original house in Foshan.
The walls show time lines of Yip Man’s life.
They include the period in Hong Kong when Leung Bik taught Yip Man.
Photos also depict the existence of Leung Bik with commentaries on Leung Zhan and Leung Bik.
I am now convinced that my Lineage is true and correct.
Yip Man taught William Cheung this unique Wing Chun System.
I have proven that all William Cheung’s stories about his lineage and life are true.
Many people in the wing chun world tried to prove William Cheung was a liar.

Pien Sun Wing Chun:

My most rewarding experience traveling around China was meeting GM Fung Chun.
My wife and I met him while visiting Leung Zhan’s school in Kulao Village.
We would visit Fung Chun yearly until his demise in 2012.
In 2007, we decided to learn his wing chun system from his Son, Fung Keun.
Learning Pien Sun gave Linda and I both lineages from Dr. Leung Zhan.
Leung Zhan was known as the “KING OF WING CHUN

Wing Chun Masters:

Over the past 14 years, Sigong Linda and I have met and interacted with many Wing Chun Masters.
Donald Mak
Yip Chun
Grand Master Fung Chun
Master Fung Keun
Brother of Fung Chun, Fung Leung
Sifu Fung King
Wong Nim Yi
Mak Yiu Ming
Lao Chi Kwong
Kwok Zhan
Lun Kai
Tam Woon Biu
Ho Han Liu
William Cheung
David Cheung
Shan Hui Xi
Putian Shaolin Temple Abbott
Sigong Garry and Sigong Linda are very privileged and honored to have met the above Wing Chun Masters.

A special thank you for their inspiration.

Teaching Wing Chun

Teaching as a Career:

Becoming a Martial Arts Teacher is one of the most rewarding careers.
Transforming people confidence, coordination and health, brings much pleasure.
You get paid to do what you love.
Also keep yourself healthy and happy doing what you are passionate about.
Unfortunately most people consider becoming a Wing Chun Kung Fu Teacher a daunting task.
Individuals may fear someone will challenge them to a fight to prove themselves.
They may also fear failure that the business may not work.
There is nothing to fear except yourself, open your mind and anything is possible.

Martial Arts Lifestyle

Individuals should think of Martial Arts as a lifestyle.
Movement is essential to maintaining good health.
Wing Chun is based on natural body movement.
This enables an individual to train for many years without damaging the body.
Wing Chun training enhances ones focus, balance, builds strength and bones.
It also uplifts internal strength, improves coordination, agility.
Giving you full range of motion in all limbs, uplifts action reaction time.

Kung Fu improves quality of Life

Being involved in Martial Arts ultimately improving ones quality of life.
Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity.
When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins.
These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
For example, the feeling that follows a workout is often described as “euphoric.”
That feeling, known as a “runner’s high,” can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.
Endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain.
They also act as sedatives.
Regular exercise has been proven to:
  • Reduce stress
  • Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve sleep
Exercise also has these added health benefits:
  • Strengthens your heart.
  • Increases energy levels.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Improves muscle tone and strength.
  • Enhance bone density.
  • Reduce body fat.
  • Look fit and healthy.

Effective Exercise

Research has shown that exercise is an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.
With all these benefits it would seem irresponsible for an individual to stop training.
Once an individual has reached their peak in their respective art, what is there left to do?
Most individuals will leave.
Within 12 months an individual will be putting on weight,.
Skill level will have dropped.
The body will be starting to get stiff and tight, agility is slowing.
The mind will start to become more stressed and blood pressure will begin rise.
It is not a great prospect.
Most individuals do not want to open their own martial arts school.
An option is helping to teach at your school, from experience the more instructors the better.
Teaching gives an individual a sense of purpose.
It will raise your verbal understanding of your system dramatically.
Clients are always asking questions especially beginners.
You will be amazed at the new level of understanding you will gain through giving instruction.
A student does not need to be Government Accredited for this option.

Starting to Teach

Another option is to hire a hall and teach once or twice a week after work.
It’s a great way to earn some extra cash for the Xmas holidays.
By hiring a hall, there is no commitment, if business does not take off, you are able to move on.
This is a very safe investment.
A third option  is to set up a studio on your property.
There are a multitude of people working in home studios due to the costs of overheads,
Personal trainers, boxing gyms, karate, yoga and Pilates etc. etc.
This is the best option so far.
Walk out your back door and start working, what could be better than that.
The choices are yours, all you have to do is make one.
The most important thing is to paint your picture.
Have your heart in it and it will work, all one has to do is give it a go.
Just remember all things take time and effort.

Wing Chun Accreditation

Make the choice today to begin a Government Accredited Sports Coaching Course.
Take that step that just might change your life forever.
This qualification facilitates the development of the following knowledge and skills:
  • Observing athletes performance to determine the level of instruction required;
  • Teaching techniques for athletes to acquire additional skills or improve existing skills;
  • Supervise practice sessions;
  • Planning, conducting, evaluating and modifying individualized training programs;
  • Implementing sports first aid procedures and sports first aid;
  • Supervising the physical development of athletes
  • Aiding in the psychological preparation of athletes for training and competition;
  • Providing information about the fundamental principles of eating for peak performance
  • and much more.
Check out this page for more details:

Always remember  ‘today could be the beginning of a new life’. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Kulao Village - Wing Chun Village

Wing Chun Village:

Kulao Village is the home of legendary Dr. Leung Jan whom created Pien Sun Wing Chun
In 2006, my husband Sifu Garry and I decided to go China to meet Wing Chun Masters.
I found the idea very exciting and intriguing.
It is every Martial Artists dream to go back to the grass roots of their specific system.
Wing Chun was developed by a woman.
I was honored to be one of the few Females around the World to be involved in Wing Chun.
It would be a great chance to show the inheritors of Wing Chun what a woman could do.
It would also be the chance of a lifetime.
We could test our skills against the Chinese, being the best Kung Fu practitioners in the world.
Kulao village is ancient and very small and is renowned as a wing chun village.
We wanted to find Kulao and contact the famous Fung family.
They are inheritors of Leung Jan’s final legacy.

Pien Sun Wing Chun

Pien Sun is said to be the purist, most unadulterated Wing Chun in the world.
After much research on the Internet, Garry had compiled much information on our trip.
He was unable to find anything on Kulao.
To his dismay his computer crashed and he lost everything on the trip.
Disappointed at having to start again he got back on line.
This time to his absolute joy,  he was amazed to find all the Kulao information he needed.
He found a  contact in Hong Kong who knew the Fung family well.
I felt it was our destiny to travel to Kulao to meet the inheritors of Leung Jan’s final legacy.

Kulao Pracitioners

Sifu linda will never forget the sound of the drums, and symbols that greeted our Group.
The noise smashed the silence as we arrived at the Kulao Red Fortune restaurant.
There were about fifty to sixty Kulao Practitioners gathered to meet with us.
Kulao is a Wing Chun village.
The majority of the men in this village train wing chun under different Sifus.
They had all come here on this day for some interaction with our group.
Everyone was very excited as very few westerners have been to KuLo.
We were the first Australians.

Fung Keun

Sifu Fung Keun was unable to be there/
His brother Fung Leung takes his place, alias the Tank.
After eating, the elders of the village decided they wanted to start doing demos outside.
So a big circle was formed and we began exchanging forms, weapons and Qi Sao drills.
We had been travelling for six days and were totally exhausted.
We had visited two schools a day so we were very tired.
But the excitement and Adrenalin spurred our spirits on.

Chi Sao

It is not every day that one gets to perform Chi Sao with other practitioners in China.
Finally the first challenge was put out for random Chi Sao, and then another and another.
We were like dueling warriors.
We were holding our own against some of the best in China.
I was extremely proud of our school.
The men did not challenge me to Chi Sao.
No one wanted to risk being beaten by a woman.
In the end I made my own challenge.
It was thrilling and a lot of fun to touch hands and compete with the unknown.
The villagers found it very interesting and amusing that I had held my own.

Leung Jan

After two hours of dueling we headed off to see Leung Jan’s house.
This was a spectacle in itself as most of the villagers proceeded to follow us there.
To walk through the ancient streets of Gulao Village took us back in time.
Dr. Leung Jan would have walked, practiced wing chun, eaten, rested and slept here.
It was a very humbling experience, we were back in Wing Chun time.
Later that day we would get to actually hold Leung Jan’s 200 year old Dragon Pole.
It was absolutely mind blowing to actually be holding this legendary Master’s dragon pole.
Leung Jan’s Pole was over 200 years old.
Wow, what a privilege. Could things get any better?
Well yes, and they did.

Fung Chun

We got a surprise visit at Leung Jan’s house from Grandmaster Fung Chun.
This 86 years young grand master had come especially to meet us.
He sat down with us and talked of Yim Wing Chun being the smartest women in the world.
He explained how she developed Wing Chun.
He also discussed other topics of wing chun history.
This made my day to hear him speak of Yim Wing Chun.
Many people are trying to denounce the very existence of this women warrior.
To hear him speak of her was very rewarding.

Fung Chun’s Stories

The following year, after visiting Leung Jan’s house again, we visited Fung Chun’s house.
He remembered us from the previous year.
He was thrilled to see us.
We all sat around his court yard and he spoke about Yim Wing Chun  and Wing Chun history.
He said the system was developed by Yim Wing Chun,
She had to be the smartest woman alive to have such ideas.
He went on to tell us how her husband Leung Bok Cho was a master in a Southern Style.
She tried to convince her husband that he did not need muscles to win in combat.
He only needed the special techniques of position and movement of Wing Chun.
He did not believe her technique could be more powerful than his.
She was far too small and of slight build.
Frustrated by his arrogance she grabbed a pile of tiles broke them all with one strike.
He was so astonished and impressed with how his tiny wife could generate so much power.
He began learning the Wing Chun system from her.
GM Fung Chun explained how her fighting and weaponry enabled her to become a legend.
It was awesome to hear him speak of her.
I found it hard to believe.
We were sitting in this famous masters courtyard listening to him tell us stories.
He is truly a living Wing Chun legend.
From there he unexpectedly joined us for lunch at an eating house.
He sat down with Garry and I and conversed with us and our students for nearly two hours.
His eyes glistened with the memories that must have flooded his mind as he spoke.
He laughed loud and heartily.
It was easy to see he was enjoying every minute of the interaction with us.
When showing technique it was quite clear that he had not lost any of his finesse.
His hands were still so very fast.

At Lunch with Fung Chun

It was here that he asked everyone how long they had been training.
He was impressed with the time our students had dedicated to the art.
Especially Sifu Garry with 22 years of training, at that time.
He went on to say that even three years was a long time to put into training.
This is from a man who trained from a very young age, until he was 72 years young.
Now that is inspiring.
When I explained that I was a Sifu in my 17th year of training he was very impressed
He looked me straight in the eye very intently and gave me the thumbs up.
He asked for my photo to be taken.
Sifu Linda was the first Wing Chun woman Sifu, to visit the wing chun village of KuLao.
I was so honored to be recognized by this man.
Every ounce of sweat and pain during 16 years of training had just paid off.
He was very humbled by our visit and touched that we were there.
With a tear in his eye he said he couldn’t believe we had come so far from another Country.
We expressed that we were honored and we would look forward to seeing him again next year.
Finally the time to leave had come and we all got up.
GM Fung Chun was still talking.
We could have stayed for hours.
As we were walking out GM started showing more technique.

Sifu Garry and Fung Chun

He turned to Garry and faced up, touched hands and began doing Fuk Fu with him.
I could see the look on Sifu Garry’s face, he had a smile from ear to ear, he was over the moon.
They then moved on to Huen Sao chi sao, Sifu Garry could not believe his luck,
He was in Wing Chun heaven.
Very few westerners have ever had the privilege of touching hands with GM Fung Chun.
Another great honour that had been bestowed upon us on this trip.
The universe was definitely looking after our interests.
Wow what a trip!