SHAOLIN WAHNAM POLICY ON CHALLENGES
Matt Fenton of Shaolin Wahnam USA asked Grandmaster Wong some questions on challenges, and the answers were posted in the Question-Answer Series of the April 2009 Part 1 issue. Though the answers are meant for Matt's questions, they also represent our Shaolin Wahnam policy on challenges, and are reproduced below.
Our position on challenges is also very clear. We do not challenge others but if others challenge us, we take it seriously. We study the challenger and his challenge carefully and respond accordingly. So far, we have accepted every one of the challenges our distractors throw at us, and we are glad that without a single exception every challenger withdrew his challenge.
Mahmood issuing a challenge to Sanda Warrior, whom Mahmood rightly calls a Keyboard Warrior, is an exception, which we approve. Mahmood's action is due to his sense of righteousness and loyalty to our school. Not many people know that Mahmood was already a national Taekwondo champion before he learned from me, and since learning from me his combat efficiency has improved remarkably. I believe Mahmood would easily beat a keyboard warrior who dared not even give his real name.
We are trained to be scholar-warriors. As scholar-warriors we do not rashly issue or accept challenges. We study each case carefully and only when we are very sure of winning, do we accept a challenge, or issue one in an exceptional situation. A scholar-warrior does not fight and then hopes to win. He already has won, the fighting is just to confirm his victory.
Our acceptance of challenges as well as Mahmood's issuing a challenge is in line with my Sifu's teaching of doing good. “Good” is whatever that brings benefit to ourselves and to others, and “evil” is whatever that brings harm.
In the case of WongYing, for example, not accepting his challenge will bring harm because many people, including some of our own students, may wrongly perceive that like many kungfu schools today we merely talk and are unable to put our words in action. This will seriously hamper our effort in restoring the greatness of genuine kungfu as a martial art.
By accepting his challenge, we walk our talk as we have always done and will always do. This will contribute to our effort in preserving genuine kungfu not only as an effective martial art but also as a training of courage and wisdom.
We do not glamorize fighting, but if we have to fight, not only we will fight well but also ensure we will definitely win. We have more than sufficient resources to do so. You would have noticed that as soon as we give a signal to accept a challenge, at once a dozen Shaolin Wahnam scholar-warriors volunteer to defend our school.
If we make a call-up, we should have no difficulty getting 50 Shaolin Wahnam scholar-warriors world-wide to meet the challenger. We are very proud of our scholar-warriors who are ever ready to defend our school.
If we arrange to have a match with a challenger once a week, we have enough fighters to keep him busy for a whole year. But we won't be busy for a year. As scholar-warriors we won't fight unless we are sure of winning. Hence, we are confident of beating the challenger convincingly in the very first encounter.
Please e-mail your questions to Sifu Wong Kiew Kit stating your name, country and this webpage for reference. E-mails without these particulars may not be answered.