HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF
HUMAN CHARACTER DOUBLE SOUTHERN KNIVES

southern knives

Grandmaster Wong demonstrated the Human Character Double Southern Knives


I learned two sets of southern knives, usually called Butterfly Knives in English. One set was called Cross-Road Double Southern Knives from Uncle Righeousness, the Patriarch of Southern Shaolin Kungfu, and the other set was called Human Character Double Southern Knives from Sifu Choe Hoong Choy, the Patriarch of Choe Family Wing Choon. "Human Character", or "jen tzi" in Chinese (Cantonese) refer to the characters or words meaning "human".

Both these two sets of southern knives were different in how the knives were executed on opponents. In Cross-Road Double Southern Knives, the two knives strike an opponent at the same time. In Human Character Double Southern Knives the two knives strike an opponent one immediately after another.

The difference became apparent when a kungfu master, known as "Four-Eye Cheong" because he wore spectacles, wanted to teach me a Monkey set known as Eighteen Felling Techniques of Spiritual Monkey. Before he taught me the Monkey set, he first taught me a pair of Double Sabres from Northern Shaolin to test if I was fit to learn the Monkey set.

This was before I learned from Sifu Choe Hoong Choy. I had negative inference from my Cross-Road Double Southern Knives. I was supposed to use the double sabres one after another, but I used them together as in the southern knives set. Four-Eye Cheong later discovered this and told me so, but I failed the test. Later I learned the Eighteen Felling Techniques of Sopiritual Monkey from another person whom the kungfu master taught the set to.

Both southern knives sets have their special features. When I taught southern knives, or Btterfly Knives, in a UK Summer Camp in 2007, I combined the two sets into one. I remember clearly what a student at the course said. He said, "I am worried how I can handle an opponent with a long weapon, like a spear, with my Butterfly Knives. But after just 15 minutes of Sifu's explanation, I really pity the opponent holding a long weapon."

Wong Kiew Kit
26th December 2018

LINKS

Human Character Double Southern Knives -- Video
Human Character Double Southern Knives -- Pattern Names

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