Public Performance.

June 29, 2009

It’s common to hear me talk of TCKF performances and gatherings in my other blogsite ….

Back in the 60s/70s/80s and even 90s, my Sifus would get invited to at least half a dozen a year and it’s impolite not to attend – call it TCKF protocol if you will.

And this is typically done on a reciprocal basis, I support your dinner and you are expected to do the same for me.

I am not complaining; occasions like these are ideal for meeting new kung fu friends and renewing old ties with other schools.

Add full-courses Chinese dinner and performances on stage; I can think of worse things to do.

I tell you, much of what I know about TCKF comes from folks I meet in these gatherings.

The sad thing is that, just like many other practices, CKF dinners are slowly fading away.

Even if you do see one, it’s usually scaled down with fund raising becoming the main motivation.

Those days, every school would have their list of regular sponsors, well-wishers and other supporters providing aids all year round.

Dinners were more to show appreciation for all the assistance they are getting and not “soliciting” support.

Other schools are invited add “prestige” – you get to say thing like “half of Wu-lin showed up to give me face”….. you know, the Chinese thing.

Couple of pics from one of my school’s dinners in the 60s.

Top pic – you see my Sifu giving a opening speech.

Bottom pic – one of my sihings doing “Hua Paik”.




The mother Crane.

June 28, 2009

Here’s a view of what many think of as the “mother crane” – Yong Chun White Crane.

“Yong Chun” here points to a place in Fujian (Fukien) and is pronounced as “Eng Choon” in Fukien, “Weng Chun” in Cantonese and “In Choon” in mainstream Fuzhou.

Probably one of the reasons why there is so much confusion and debating going on in many forums out there regarding the connection between White Crane and Wing Chun Kuen – the style that the late Bruce Lee brought to the world’s attention.

Well, this entry is not about that.

For the longest time, White Crane elders everywhere would use “Shaolin Yong Chun Bai He Quan” when talking about Yong Chun White Crane attesting to the tight relationship between Shaolin and White Crane.

Many of those same elders would go on to say that Fang Chi Niang’s married her top student, Chen Si reputedly an expert in Shaolin Tiger Boxing.

And before any of you go, how could we know that for certain, well, you are right – we don’t.

But if you look at Yong Chun White Crane, the line closest to the source, you will see “Tiger” techniques interspersed in many of the forms and techniques.

Not forgetting that in my family’s Crane, every student must learn a “Tiger Crane Sanchin” simultaneously with Singing Crane’s own Sanjin.

Here’s a little info for you; in the “koon kor” or “fist song” in Fuqing for Tiger Crane Sanchin, there is a line that say:-

The Tiger is the husband and crane is the wife.

So there you go ….

Words get in the way.

June 27, 2009

No, this is not the Cranes that we do in Yong Chiaw.

Just want to use the clip to illustrate a point.

If you understand Mandarin, you’ll hear the commentary about “Zhong” and how in Fuqing, this means “shake, force,collide, push” all rolled into one.

Zhong He’s lineage originates in Cha San or “Tea Mountain” in Fuqing, Fujian China.

Video Clips.

June 26, 2009

Hey, you know what? I already posted some MingHe clips over on youtube, a few going back about 2 yrs ago …… hmmm… got to do something about me memory…..

My Sifu, Li Wen Shi, doing Tiger Crane Sanchin.

My Sihing doing Ngu Hin San Jin

Paik Po Lien / Happoren

Fuqing Paik Po Lien

Me and one of my students. I did an abridged version of Sanjin.

A good view of some of the forms that we do. The first to appear is my late Sifu Sia Mok Tai doing his “Flying Crane” with “7 Steps Needles”.

And then came forms.

June 26, 2009

Some of the major MingHe (Singing Crane) forms, from both Fuzhou & Fuqing lines, that we do in Yong Chiaw …..

Please note that I am spelling names the ways they are pronounce in Fuzhou/Fuqing.

You are going to find that almost all names are originally in those 2 dialects and later written phonetically in Mandarin.

In other words, reading the names in Mandarin and trying to make sense out of them is inaccurate.

Case in point: There is a form that we do call “Hua Paik” meaning “counteract or reverse 8”.

This is ,on occasions, written as “Hua Ba” in Mandarin which means “Flower Eight” and due to this, some are led to think that “flower” refers to some hands or feet movement. Both “Huas” sound alike with slighty differing tones.

Some of the other forms are:-

  • San Jin (Ngu Hin) – 5 Element 3 Advances.
  • Hu Hok San Cheen – Tiger Crane Sanchin.
  • Paik Po Lien – Eight Linking Steps. We do 2 separate versions. The Fuzhou version is the one adapted to become “Happoren” that you find in some Karate. The Fuqing version maintains the original “Lohan” flavor very noticeably.
  • Hua Paik – Counteract 8.
  • See Men – 4th doors. This is split in upper and lower forms.
  • Kerk Chien – Angle Battles. This is not the same as the one that Feeding Crane folks also do. Some elders did a 2nd distinct version, which, unfortunately, is lost in time.
  • Neik Seik Paik – or 28 Steps. Found its way into some Karate lines as “Nipapo”.
  • Lor Han – Lohan Fist.
  • Chong Khuang – Middle Gate or sometimes, middle guard.
  • Niek Seik Si – 24 Steps (Fuqing line)
  • Chi Kin or 7 Scenes.

Over the next few days, I’ll post some video clips of these forms.

There is also another form that is done only on the birthday of the patron saint of White Crane that is “spiritual” – a little like some Hakka styles with their “San Da”.

A form that my only remaining White Crane Sifu, Li Wen Shi, wanted to pass on to me during one of my recent trips back to Singapore.

Only issue is that I got to abstain from eating meat for 3 days prior and that made it kind of difficult for me. That entire trip only lasted 3 days in Singapore.

I even had a couple of big MACs ….so …….

Some pics from Yong Chiaw :-

white crane007awm

white crane004awm

white crane010awm

History of MingHe – a preview.

June 26, 2009

My family line of Whooping Crane pays homage both Lin Xi Xian and Pan Yu Ba as founders.

Pan is credited with integrating his Lohan Boxing and Crane Boxing, acquired from Lin to give rise to the Whooping Crane that we now know of.

And the most recognizable of all Pan’s student was Xia Zong Xiang because of his relation with Karate pioneers.

This article below gives a concise description of the origin of Fuzhou Whooping Crane from the founder of White Crane, Fang Chi Niang right up till Huang Xin Xian.

I will post the full translation at a later date.



Yong Chiaw Athletic Association

June 24, 2009

And this is where I got the most part of my Crane kung Fu – Yong Chiaw Athletic Association.

A pictorial walk-through first before I start describing:-white crane020a

The founders:-

Yong Chiaw started out as an exclusively Fuzhou Association accepting only Fuzhou students.

A meeting place for various Fuzhou linked CKF, the 2 predominant styles were Fuzhou and Fuqing lineages of MingHeQuan or Singing Crane.

In fact, the 2 founders were from Fuzhou and Fuqing and this could be the chief reason for 2 lines of MingHe to converge in Yong Chiaw.

white crane024a