INTERESTING STORIES OF WONG FEI HOONG
1. Since we have the advantage of chi flow and being able to develop internal force from the first day, how long and what manner of practice would enable a Shaolin Wahnam student to reach the level of internal force of Wong Fei Hoong?
2. In Grandmaster Lam's Iron Wire book it says that it is possible to become 9 times your strength by practicing Iron Wire. What does this mean and how long and often do you think he practiced Iron Wire to attain that result?
3. What is your favourite story about Wong Fei Hoong?
Wong Fei Hoong’s tiger-claw was very powerful. He trained everyday. He would have trained daily for 20 years to have his powerful tiger-claw. 20 years is 240 months. Let us say Wong Fei Foong developed 1000 units of internal force per month. (We can allot any figure, and 1000 is an easy figure for calculation.). So in 20 years, presuming that the rate of progress was uniform, he would have 240,000 units of internal force for his tiger-claw.
Wong Fei Hoong developed 1000 units of internal force every month, but that did not mean he developed 33.3 units of internal force every day. This was because Wong Fei Foong did not understand the philosophy of internal force training as we now do.
This, of course, is no slight to Wong Fei Hoong. Most masters, now and in the past, do not know the philosophy of internal force training. They just practice their techniques dedicatedly. This was also how I developed my internal force. It was after 17 years before I could feel some internal force. Our students now, with understanding of the philosophy of internal force building, can feel internal force on the very first day!
Wong Fei Hoong also did not feel internal force initially. It would be after many years before he could feel some internal force. Since the start of the accumulation of his internal force, his accumulation was also not uniform on a monthly basis. In his initial years, the amount of internal force developed would be little, and far in between. As he became proficient in his tiger-claw training, the amount of internal force generated would be greater, and happened more frequently.
But for the sake of easy assessment, we presume his accumulation of internal force was uniform on a monthly basis. He developed 1000 units per month, but he did not develop 33.3 units every day because development did not occur every day; it occurred haphazardly whenever his practice became perfect, without his conscious knowing. Suppose such haphazard but perfect practice occurred 5 times a month, which is a reasonable estimate. So each time Wong Fei Hoong was successful, he developed 200 units of internal force, and it took him 20 years to develop his powerful tiger-claw with 240,000 units of internal force.
Because our Shaolin Wahnam student is able to generate a chi flow, which is a requirement to develop internal force, he can develop internal force every day. Suppose he is only half as clever as Wong Fei Hoong, and can develop 100 units of internal force a day instead of 200 unit. He will then develop 3000 units of internal force a month, or 240,000 units of internal force in 80 months. Thus he can reach the level of internal force of Wong Fei Hoong in about 6 to 7 years.
Becoming 9 times your strength by practicing Iron Wire means that when you are successful in training Iron Wire, you will be 9 times stronger than what you were before you started your training. If you have 10,000 units of internal force now, you will have 90,000 units of internal force after your successful Iron Wire training.
Like Wong Fei Hoong and all other masters, Lam Sai Weng’s development in his force training using Iron Wire did not start on the first day, and the progress was not continuous when the development had started. For the first few years, there was probably no internal force. Later when he could generate a chi flow, but without his conscious knowing, he could accumulate his internal force, but even then it was still haphazard, but becoming more frequent as he progressed. I guess he would need about 10 years to be 9 times stronger than when he first started Iron Wire training.
Our students, with a clear understanding of internal force philosophy, will need less time. Basing on the same estimation we used for Wong Fei Hoong, our students will need about 3 to 4 years training Iron Wire successfully everyday to be 9 times stronger than they were before they started training.
Interestingly, my favourite story of Wong Fei Hoong is not about his kungfu, but about his use of language.
Wong Fei Hoong came back to his school holding a letter in his hand. Showing much excitement, his favourite student, Leong Fhun, asked his master in Cantonese.
“Sifu, hai mn hai yow kow ta?”
In English, it means, “Teacher-Father, are we going to have some fighting?”, thinking that the letter Wong Fei Hoong was holding in his hand was a challenge letter.
Wong Fei Hoong replied, “Ta ta ta lei kor tau”, which means “Fight, fight, fight your head.”
“Lei kor tau” or “your head” is usually used by women in an endearing manner.
It is interesting that a great kungfu master also spoke such feminine, and amusing, language.
My favourite story of Wong Fei Hoong concerning kungfu was when he fought with another master, while the elder brother of the other master was watching. The other master executed a tiger-tail kick at Wong Fei Hoong, which incidentally was Wong Fei Hoong’s specialty.
Wong Fei Hoong dodged the kick, and the other master rolled away. It appeared to be a draw.
Later, when Wong Fei Hoong had left, the other master said to his elder brother, who was also a kungfu master.
“I thought Wong Fei Hoong was a great fighter. But his kungfu was just so so.”
“Not just so so,” his brother replied. “Wong Fei Hoong let mercy roll from his hand!”
“What do you mean, Brother?”
“Have a look at the underside of your pant,” his elder brother replied.
The other master looked at the underside of his pant and was very surprised to find a big hole.
“How did this happen? Why was I not aware of his attack?”
“You’re still mong-sang-sang,” his elder brother said. “Mong-sang-sang” is an endearing term used to tell someone that he is foolishly ignorant.
“His tiger-claw tore off your pant as you rolled away,” his brother explained. “Had Wong Fei Hoong not been merciful, you clan-house would have disappeared.”
“Clan-house” is a Cantonese idiomatic expression meaning genitals. Without his genitals, the other master would not be able to produce children to carry on the lineage of his clan.
The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread Legacy of Wong Fei Hung Q-A Series by Sifu in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.