THE WARRIOR NGOW FA KOW OF WUDANG KUNGFU
When the cloth-making workers returned to their association, they rapidly held a meeting. Workers from the western factory were agitated, and recommended gathering more workers to attack Wu Wei Thien. Workers from the eastern factory were more sober. Pak On Fook, the chief executive officer of the western factory, proposed to report the case to the magistrate, and his proposal was accepted by the gathering.
The magistrate of Nam Hoi District, which ruled the area, was a clean official. After examining the dead, he ordered Wu Wei Thien to be arrested.
Wu Wei Thien explained his action before the magistrate.
He described the history of his revenge, and the bullying of the cloth-making workers against the public.
Eventually he said, “Not a single member of the public can tolerate the bullying of the cloth-making workers. But the public dare not report to the government. This little person here does not mean to test the government. But because my grudges are difficult to explain, therefore I have to take this step. Your honour is clear sighted for a million miles, and naturally can know that what this little person here says is not untrue.”
The magistrate, Chow Hoong Pin, was moved by Wu Wei Thien’s explanation. He realized that what Wu Wei Thien said was true. He also heard about the actions and activities of the cloth-making workers.
So, he first ordered Wu Wei Thien to be locked up, then he changed into ordinary dress like a scholar to investigate.
He found out the truth like what Wu Wei Thien had said, and was angry at the bullying of the cloth-making workers. He concluded that what the cloth-making workers got today was the result of their past actions. So he submitted a report to higher authorities, and released Wu Wei Thien. The magistrate also posted notices on the walls of West Zen Temple and the factories of cloth-making to forbid bullying and fighting.
The cloth-making workers realized that their court case against Wu Wei Thien was unsuccessful. They were also scared of Wu Wei Thien’s kungfu. So their bullying ceased. They did not “walk diagonally” (i.e. disregard public order) and became soft-spoken in public. The public, of course, was happy, and thought the cloth-making public had turned over a new leaf.
However, until he saw Chiew Thien, his arch enemy, Wu Wei Thien did not let go of the cloth-making workers. He ordered lanterns with the words “Wu Wei Thien Particularly Strike Cloth-Making Workers” to be made, and requested his sihengs like Leong Zong and Cheah Fook to carry the lanterns at popular places such as the riversides, Garden of Evening Scenery, Dragon’s Saliva Bridge, Spiritual Medicine Temple, and Avocado Lane. The words “Wu Wei Thien Particularly Strike Cloth-Making Workers” clearly shone on passers-by’ eyes, and they regarded this as an amusing topic, often talked about after tea and wine.
Cloth-making workers were already “full of fire in their stomach” (i.e. very angry). Such situations could not enter their eyes. So they assembled again in their association, and said to the association director, Cheong Harng Ming.
“Wu Wei Thien again excessively bullies our cloth-making workers. If we do not think of ways to counter it, the reputation of our cloth-making workers will never be able to return.”
Cheong Harng Ming bitterly regretted that Wu Wei Thien “gained an inch and advanced a foot” (which means “made big advances after getting some small benefits”). So he requested the chief executive officer of the western factory, Pak On Fook, and the chief executive officer of the eastern factory, Chen Tuck Ming, to meet him at the association to discuss this matter.
Pak On Fook said, “Earlier we submitted the case to the magistrate, and was unsuccessful. If we report again, it is unlikely to be useful. According to my view, we have to respond with martial strength. But this little person, Wu Wei Thian, is surely more valence and more martial than most people. He also had the robber monk, Sam Tuck, “to stretch his waist” (i.e. to support him). We must not underrate them. We have to find a warrior sufficient enough to hurt their energy.”
Chan Tuck Ming commented, “These words are not wrong. But ‘human and sea are spread everywhere’ (which means 'in the present situation where everything is uncertain'), where can we find such a warrior? Haven’t you seen that in society those who are called warriors declare themselves to have the ability to subdue dragons and tame tigers, but once they cross-hand with others, in an instant they cover their head and run for life, neglecting even their shoes. Now to find a warrior to subdue Wu Wei Thien, even if we count all the warriors in Guangdong, we cannot find one with this ability.”
Pak On Fook was unhappy. He said, “If so, you have raise this little person, Wu Wei Thien, too high. According to what you have said, isn’t he unparallel in the world? Let me tell you. Here in Guangzhou is a person called Ngow Fa Kow. He is a disciple of the Taoist priest Fung Tou Tuck. His marvelous kungfu is mentioned by everyone. Now he has set up a school to teach students at West Cannon Hall. If we can get his help, not only there is one Wu Wei Thien, even if there were three, or five Wu Wei Thiens, they are not his match.”
Cheong Harng Ming was very glad to hear Pak On Fook’s speech. So the three of them decided to request the help of Ngow Fa Kow.
Wong Kiew Kit,
10th January 2018, Sungai Petani
Editorial Note: The Wudang Kungfu of Fung Tou Tuck was different from the Wudang Kungfu of Zhang San Feng. Fung Tou Tuck lived more than 700 years after Zhang San Feng.