HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF
ESSENCE OF SHAOLIN
Grandmaster Wong performing a pattern, "Show Dragon Hide Tiger", from Essence of Shaolin
Essence of Shaolin, or "Quan Shu Jin Hua" in Chinese, comprises the best techniques in Shaolin Kungfu, and by extention the best techniques in all martial arts. (Please see Why Shaolin Kungfu is the Greatest Martial Art.)
It took me more than 2 years practicing every night at the garden behind the house of my beloved first sifu, Uncle Righteousness, to learn the set starting in about 1964. This gave me a record of the longest time I learned a kungfu set. I also held a record of the shortest time I learned a kungfu set, which was about 3 weeks in learning "Continous Daggers", and it gave me, with other reasons, an enviable nickname, "kungfu genius".
Understandably, many people eyed this Essence of Shaolin zealously. But I told them that I would teach it as a final gift to my appointed successor.
Later I learned from other masters. All my masters were patriarchs of their arts, and I am forever grateful to them. They were Uncle Righteousness, the patrirach of Southern Shaolin; Sifu Chee Kim Thong, the living treasure of the Chinese People's Republic; Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, the 3rd generation successor of the southern Shaolin Monastery at Quanzhou; and Sifu Choe Hoong Choy, the patriarch of Wing Choon Kungfu.
After learning from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, my internal force and combat efficiency improved tremedously. I was able to beat other masters, international champions and professional fighters. I incorporated much of the combat application from Sifu Ho Fatt Nam into the Essence of Shaolin.
In Decemeber 2017 I conducted a course on Essence of Shaolin, and announced that it was "once in a life-time opportunity". There were too many applicants than the training hall could accomodate, so I had to conduct 2 separate sessions, one from 4-10 December, and the other from 14-20 December.
By then I have established Shaolin Wahnam Institute, in honour of my two most influential sifus, Sifu Lai Chin Wah whose honorific nickname was Uncle Righteousness, and Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, to spread the Shaolin arts irrespective of race, culture and religion. There are many capable instructors in Shaolin Wahnam and it would be unfair to these capable instructors to select only one appointed instructors, as all of them can spread the Shaolin arts to deserving students.
In the separate sessions of the Essence of Shaolin course, I composed 108 sequences, with each sequence to each of the 108 patterns of the Essence of Shaolin set, and brought the sequences to a marvelous level. I was much inspired by a colloquial saying that "if one could memorize the 108 Tang poems, he could become poetic". In other words, each of the 108 sequences of Essence of Shaolin could be used in a marvelous way, bringing the exponent to a marvelous level.
Wong Kiew Kit
25th December 2018
Essence of Shaolin -- Pattern Names
Course -- 4-10 Dec 2017
Course -- 14-20 Dec 2017