Temple Courtyard Brawl
Clint Van Dyke
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I heard this story was told by Mr. S. K. Leung, a friend and
classmate of Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong in Lau Bun’s Hung Sing Studio of
San Francisco. Mr. Leung said, “During the month of August 1967, Doc-Fai
didn’t go to the Hung Sing Studio to study because that’s the only month
he didn’t have a job and had no money to pay tuition to Lau Bun“. Mr.
Leung said he had only learned from Lau Bun for 6 months because he was
too busy working and going to school at the same time, so he stopped
going to the Hung Sing Studio. Young Doc-Fai Wong needed a place to
practice and so did he, so they trained in the old Kong Chow Temple’s
courtyard on Pine Street near Kearny Street in San Francisco. Now the
Kong Chow Temple is no longer there, it has since moved to Stockton and
Clay streets, on top of the Chinatown U.S. post office.
One day, Grandmaster Wong was helping him on his Sup-Ji Kau-Dah hand form when a big African American man about 6 feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds came into the courtyard. He started making fun of their hand forms and said it looked like they were dancing. He also said he was a Golden Gloves champion and kept bragging about himself. This guy kept bothering them and Mr. Leung was the one who had no patience. He yelled at him and told him to get out of their way and leave them alone or else they would kick his ass. Mr. Leung really made this guy mad with what he said; now he wanted to fight both Mr. Leung and Grandmaster Wong. Mr. Leung stepped back and said, “Doc, let him have it.“ Before the young Doc-Fai Wong was ready, the guy reached forward with his right hand to grab his hair and tried to hit him with his left fist. In a split second, Grandmaster Wong used his left hand to perform a lah-sau grab on the opponent’s wrist which made him slightly off balance so that his left punch slowed down and was off target. Doc-Fai Wong then used his right hand to do a fast tiger claw thrust into the man’s face and with his left hand a dan-lan palm strike to the guy’s neck, which knocked the man down to the floor. The guy’s nose was bleeding and tears were pouring out from his eyes. Mr. Leung was so frightened and scared, he pulled Grandmaster Wong’s arm and said, “Let’s get out of here before anyone comes“. Mr. Leung continued, “One week later, Doc went to visit Lau Bun to tell him about this story, however Lau Bun was so ill that day it ended up Doc was riding on the ambulance with him to the Chinese Hospital in Chinatown.“ About 7 PM on the same day, Grandmaster Wong called Mr. Leung by phone and told him that Lau Bun had passed away.