UNCLE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ESSENCE OF SHAOLIN
Sifu has most generously agreed to teach the Essence of Shaolin set, a secret set that was normally only transmitted to a master's successor.
Sifu has said that Uncle Righteousness' eldest daughter said to Sifu that “Uncle Righteousness treats you better than he treats his own sons”.
Sifu treats us like we are Sifu's own sons and daughters, and we are so grateful for this.
Why is Sifu so generous to allow everyone who attends the course to learn this secret set when in the past it was reserved only for the most tested disciple?
Sifu Mark Blohm
The Essence of Shaolin is a highly secretive set. Uncle Righteouesness taught this set only to me, he did not teach it to anyone else. Understandably, many people, including some masters, asked me to teach this set to them. But I declined, saying that I would teach this set only to my chosen successor.
The Essence of Shaolin is what its name suggests. It incorporates the best techniques in Shaolin Kungfu. Masters can use whatever skills or force they specialize in, to execute the techniques.
It is worthwhile to note that different masters many specialize in different skills or force. For example, one master may specialize in tiger-claw and applies the force of triple-sttretch for his tiger-claw, whereas another master may specialize in Wuzuquan, and applies the force of Cotton Palm for Wuzuquan. Other masters may have other specialization. Hence it is not practical to compose the best skills. Nevertheless, the training of these different skills or force can be found in the Shaolin 72 Arts.
Techniques are quite different. They are more specific. Hence it is practical to collect the best techniques in an art, or a kungfu style. The Essence of Shaolin contains the best techniques in Shaolin Kungfu. As Shaolin Kungfu is regarded by many masters as the greatest martial art, it can be extended that Essence of Shaolin contains the best techniques of all martial arts.
Uncle Righteousness’ eldest daughter, Sister Kam, told me that her father treated me better than he treated his own sons and daughters, for which I am very grateful. All his students, friends and other people also commented that I was his best student. Uncle Righteousness’ real name was Lai Chin Wah. He was nick-named “Old Righteousness”, or “Lou Yi” in Chinese (Cantonese), in his young days for his sense of righteousness and his fighting abilities to ensure it.
Please take not that “Old” here has no reference to age or time, it is an endearing term. When my sifu was more elderly, which was the time when I learned kungfu from him, the public called him “Uncle Righteousness”, or “Yi Sook” in Chinese. The honorable nickname had become so popular that his students also called him “Uncle Righteousness” instead of “sifu”. As far as I know, and following my father’s advice, I was his only student to call him “Sifu”, for which he was very happy.
The word “sifu” means “teacher-father”. I regard all my students as my own sons and daughters. This, in fact, is what a sifu should regard his students. The term “sifu” carries a heavy responsibility. In modern China today, wushu students call their teachers “lau shi”, which means “old teacher”. “Lau shi” does not have the connotation as “sifu”.
There are a few reasons why I am generous to teach this secret set, “Essence of Shaolin”.
This set was taught to a master’s successor. Now I have many successors, not just one. A main reason why I established Shaolin Wahnam Institute was my real concern that the Shaolin arts would be lost. But now, if I were to retire tomorrow, there will be many teachers, including you, who will continue with our Shaolin Wahnam arts and tradition.
Not all Shaolin Wahnam family members will be successors. Hence, the Essence of Shaolin course will be by invitation only. Those invited to the course can be my successors, or qualify to be successors. Two chief requirements are to practice the Ten Shaolin Laws and to have attained a high level in kungfu performance.
This course will be offered only once. It will be conducted at the end of 2017 in two separate sessions in Penang, from 4th to 10th December and from 14th to 20th December. Course oparticipants need to attend any one of the two sessions. From 10th to 14th December, there will be a course on the Small and Big Universe so that those attending the Essence of Shaolin course may also attend the Small and Big Universe course if they want.
This question and answer are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on Essence of Shaolin in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.