HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF
An organ-seeking kick of the Seven-Star Set
The Seven-Star Set is from Northern Shaolin. It was an old set, dating back to the Song Dynasty (10th to 13th century), and was mentioned in the famous collection of Shaolin Classics. Because of its long history there are many different versions of the set. Its modern version would have included many additions to meet expedient needs of fighting other martial arts today. However, today the Seven-Star Set is not widely practiced.
I learned the Seven-Star Set from my third sifu, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, who was the third generation successor from the Shaolin Monastery at Quanzhou. But this set was not from the lineage of Venerable Jiang Nan of the Quanzhou Shaolin Monastery. My sifu learned it from his simu, the wife of a Northern Shaolin master expert in jing-gong, or the art of lightness. To compensate for failing to complete his jing-gong training, due to his ignorance as my sifu told me, my sipo taught my sifu her specialized set, the Seven-Star Set.
I can clearly remember that at the start of teaching this Seven-Star Set, my sifu asked me a rhetoric question, "How would a fragile lady block a ferocious Muay Thai sweeping kick?" Muay Thai was very popular at that time. [Before I could say anything, my sifu continued, "Don't block, avoid it. Then counter with an effective technique. You can find many such techniques in this set I am going to teach you."
What I remember most about my learning the Seven-Star Set was not learning the routine of the set, but practicing the seven-star jump. I was then an assistant instructor helping my sifu teach at the Kwangtung Association. Kuala Trengganu, Malaysia every night (except Friday night). I was fast in learning any kungfu set. I could have learned the Seven-Star Set well in a few nights. But all I did in my Seven-Star training was to perform the seven-star jump every night for a few months! As a good student, I never complained (even to myself). I just followed what my sifu taught.
It was much later that I realized the seven-star jump, not the routine of the Seven-Star Set, not even its sophisticated combat application, gave me the best benefit. It made me very agile physically. In fact many people told me that if they saw me from behind, they might think I was a teenager, not someone over 70! My physical agility also contributed to my mental agility.
I am glad I taught this mavellous Seven-Star Set in Bern, Switzerland in September 2015. I could not remember the routine of the Seven-Star Set I learned from my sifu. Actually, the routine is not so important, as long as we know its principles and combat application, and more importantly derive its benefits, not just for combat but for daily living. So I composed a new Seven-Star Set, but based on the principles and nature of the Seven-Star Set I learned from my sifu.
Wong Kiew Kit
23rd December 2015
Seven-Star Set in Pictures
Seven-Star Course in Bern 2015