Southern Shaolin Monastery

Southern Shaolin Monastery at Fuqing, picture taken from https://www.southernshaolintemple.org/

A young man of 18 ran crying to where Wu Chi San lied. “Papa, Papa,” he cried, finding Wu Chi San dead. He was Wu Chi San’s son, called Wu Wei Thien. He worked as an apprentice at a nearby shop. When Wu Chi San was being beaten by Chiew Thien and his gang, someone ran to the shop to tell him.

Wu Wei Thien ran after the murderers. “Stop,” he cried, “You all stop!”

Chiew Thien turned around and said, “Did you call us? What’s the matter?”

“You killed my father, yet as if nothing had happened. You are not human. I’ll risk my life to fight you.”

“Here is a filial son,” Chiew Thien said, “The old man is dead. I’ll oblige you and send you to meet your father.”

Chiew Thien and his gang walloped Wu Wei Thien. Poor Wu Wei Thien. He was a weakling, without strength “to lift an iron cockerel” (which means without any strength). He just sustained punches from the gang.

Just then three brothers passed by. They were Fong How Yuk, Fong Mei Yuk and Fong Sai Yuk.

“Stop!” Fong How Yuk cried. “A gang beating one person. Let me show you how to fight.”

With his Shaolin Kungfu, he easily beat the gang, who ran for life.

Fong How Yuk said to his two brothers, “The living is more important than the dead. Two of you take the young man home so that mother can treat him. I’ll stay back to look after the funeral of the old man.”

When Fong Mei Yuk and Fong Sai Yuk reached home, Fong Sai Yuk shouted, “Mama, mama, please come quickly.”

Miu Chooi Fa was in her room chit-chatting with her husband, Fong Tuck. When she came out and saw Fong Sai Yuk carrying a severely wounded person, she knew what the problem was.

“Quickly carry the person to a bed,” she told Fong Sai Yuk.

Wu Wei Thien was still conscious. Fong Sai Yuk carefully took off Wu Wei Thien’s shirt, and Miu Chooi Fa gently touched him, causing Wu Wei Thien to yell.

Miu Chooi Fa asked Fong Mei Yuk to get “Seven Precious Vijra King Powder” and “Jade Elixir Pills”, two important medicine for treating injuries.

Miu Chooi Fa mixed some Seven Precious Vijra King Powder with some child’s urine and let Wu Wei Thien drink it. She boiled some yellow wine and mixed with some Jade Elixir Pills to apply to the injuries. Then she tore some clean cloth and bandaged Wu Wei Thien.

When she was about to ask the Fong brothers what had happened, an old woman came crying at the door. “My son, my son,” she cried.

The woman knelt before Mui Chooi Fa. At once Mui Chooi Fa knew the old woman was Wu Wei Thien’s mother. She quickly helped the woman to stand up, then sit down.

“You son is seriously injured, but luckily he is treated immediately,” Mui Choo Fa said, “ I don’t think it will be serious. In a few days’ time, he will recover completely. Please let go of your heart” (which means “please do not worry”.)

“I’m a woman. I just lost my husband, and now my son is injured. If not because of the great charity and great virtue of Lady and your “honorable sons”, I would have followed the road of my old man. I am already old and useless. I just hope Lady will again show mercy and compassion, and keep my son, so that he may have a chance in future to repay your kindness.” After saying this, she prostrated, i.e. knelt down and knocked her head on the floor.

Mui Chooi Fa quickly lifted up the woman, and said, “Old lady, why do you say such words.” Then she turned to Fong Sai Yuk and remarked, “Sai Yuk, you help auntie into the house to rest.”

The next day, Fong How Yuk returned home. He said that he had arranged the funeral for Wu Chi San and wanted to report to his wife. When the three brothers entered the room where the old woman was supposed to stay, they were surprised. The room was empty.

Some servants reported that they found a body floating in a nearby river. The Fong brothers went to investigate, and true enough it was the body of the woman. Her husband died suddenly, causing her to lose all will to carry on living. Fortunately her son had someone to support and lean on, so she had no worries. Thus she committed suicide by jumping into the river.

The Fong family arranged for her funeral. After a few days Wu Wei Thien recovered totally. Following Miu Chooi Fa’s order, the whole of Fong family did not mention a word of the woman’s death to Wu Wei Thien, but said that he needed not think of home but stayed in the Fong family to recover.

One day, Wu Wei Thien saw Miu Chooi Fa led her three sons to practice Shaolin Kungfu in the garden. Wu Wei Thien knelt down before Miu Chooi Fa, knocked his head on the ground, and said, “This little boy, if not because of the graciousness of your Lady, would have his soul travel in the underworld. This great charity and great virtue, even if I become a dog or a horse, I cannot repay even a bit.

“But on my body is borne the revenge of my father. If I don’t revenge this wrong, I cannot be called a man on this land. But I know my body is weak and my strength is little, and have no strength to take revenge. Thinking now and thinking then, my heart is full of remorse.

“Luckily these few days, I learn that the family of Lady is a house of capable martial artists. If Lady does not mind me stupid and rough, I willingly remain as a servant in the Fong family, and practice martial art. Hopefully there will come a day I can avenge the killing of my father, and clear away this great insult.”

Hearing this speech from Wu Wei Thien, Fong Sai Yuk was very happy. Smilingly he said, “Good. If you have such an intention, you are a real man. Because of this, I must help you. My mother is busy with housework, and my kungfu is bad, not capable of transmitting kungfu to you. What about this? I’ll introduce you to my sifu. My sifu (or kungfu teacher) is the Venerable Chee Seen of the Shaolin Monastery.

“But my sifu’s character is different from that of other people. You must serve him respectfully. Otherwise, you may not learn genuine Shaolin Kungfu. You must remember this point. Don’t ever forget it.”

Mui Chooi Fa continuously nodded her head. She asked some servants to get 20 tahils of silver to give to Wu Wei Thein as money to cover his trip to the Shaolin Monastery.

“Tomorrow you can go straight to the Shaolin Monastery,” she said. “There is no need to return home. We will take good care of your mother. When you have reached the Shaolin Monastery, serve sifu well, and learn martial art. Don’t worry about your family.”

Wong Kiew Kit,
9th January 2018, Sungai Petani



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