Wing Chun Blog - Sifu Linda
Roots of Wing Chun Tour
November, December 2015
After leaving Singapore, our next stop was Taipei. We arrived at 5pm, it was 30 degrees, hot and sticky, I was definitely not use to the humidity.
We settled in to our rooms and headed off for a group dinner at the Qu Plaza in Chang De Road. It was a Thai restaurant called ‘The Silver Spoon’. The food was absolutely brilliant.
We had a market just up from our motel. It was a food market full of snacks, fruits and juices. The food is a variety of, strange and odd looking dishes and delicacies, some I had never seen before. All the exotic fruit looked amazing, so many different colours and textures. It’s a real feast for the senses.
Asian cultures love to come out at night, meet with friends, share a meal and catch up on the local gossip. The streets and market were absolutely teaming with people and the noise was phenomenal.
We had an early night so we would be fresh for our visit to Lo Man Kam’s school in the morning.
Lo Man Kam’s Wing Chun is Yip Man lineage. He was Yip Mans nephew and when he was a young man around 16 he trained with Yip Man in Hong Kong after the Communists took control over China in 1949.
Lo Man Kam later moved to Taiwan in the 60’s.
My lineage is Traditional Wing Chun and has its roots with Leung Bik/Yip Man which has different forms, science and footwork to the Yip Man system.
It was quite a hot morning, so it was definitely going to be another hot and sticky day.
Lo Man Kam’s house is on the top floor and his training area is the undercover rooftop outside, awesome.
I have trained on a few rooftops on my travels to Hong Kong and China.
It always reminds me of Bruce Lee training and challenging on the rooftops in Hong Kong. There are very few rooftop kwons left now, so it is a real rarity.
There were a few students there already, some were doing Sil Lim Tao, some were doing hand movements in the air, there was a lady practicing Larn Karn on the Dummy.
We walked around and introduced ourselves to the students, not many spoke English. There were also some International students from Canada, Hungary and Burma.
Lo Man Kam entered and introduced himself; he had a big smile and was extremely friendly and forthcoming with his knowledge on Wing Chun. He is still quiet spritely for an 83 year old.
He indicated that his Uncle Yip Man, did train under Leung Bik, but stressed that Yip Man had three teachers but only one Sifu, being Chan Wah Shun. The two other teachers being Chung So and Leung Bik.
I presented him with some gifts from Australia; a traditional boomerang, some beautiful fragrant honey and a Koala bear. He was very taken with the Koala bear.
I was touched when GM Lo Man Kam gave me one of his books on his Wing Chun and a banner for my Kwon.
I asked him could I perform my Chun Kiu for him, because it is different I was interested in his reaction.
He stood in front and watched me start, and then realizes that it is different. Half way through my performance he turned to the side as if he had stopped watching, but continues to observe me out of the corner of his eye. He makes a few comments but doesn’t really elaborate on anything.
I observed their stances to be 50/50 weight distribution, with the lead leg turned right in to protect the groin. It looked and felt quite unnatural to me. I didn’t feel I would have a lot of mobility in that stance. We have a lot of footwork in my system, so stances need to be natural. We like to land on the ball of the foot for interrupt ability and mobility in and out. We keep both feet 45 degrees to the front, in both the side stance and the front stance which feels very natural. Where Lo Man Kams Wing Chun would pivot on the spot and even sometimes lean, my system would always stay balanced and use stepping.
More students had arrived and the training area was filling up. The students were doing a lot of Qi Sao together. Some were doing random and others seemed to be working on specific hand drills to sharpen them up.
I was lucky to do some Qi Sao with two of Lo Man Kam’s students. I had a very energetic qi sao exchange with one of the guys; it is always lots of fun touching hands with an unknown quantity, you never know quite what to expect or how you are going to fair. I was very happy with my skill.
We get a group photo and say our goodbyes.
What a great day.
We had a couple more days of tourism and then we headed off to Fuzhou in Southern China to visit the Southern Shaolin Temple in Putian.
Stay tuned for my next post on the Southern Shaolin Temple. Photos and video on my trip are posted on You Tube and Face book