Dark Alley in Hong Kong

Sifu Alan Hubbard
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In the winter of 1976, Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong went to Hong Kong to study with Great-Grandmaster Hu Yuen Chou for his advanced instructor program. One evening around 6 PM it was dark already, he was walking in a small alley as a short cut to meet his teacher for a private lesson. During this time in Hong Kong the Koo Kiang Tong (Arm Hooking Neck Gangs) was very active. That was the Culture Revolution period in China, so many refugees escaped from Mainland China into Hong Kong illegally by swimming to get there. Those that made it were very tough and very desperate. Due to the employment deficiency in Hong Kong, the Koo Kiang Tong members became well known for intimidating and robbing people by choking the person from behind with an arm lock using a piece of metal rod to make the person pass out and then they would take their money.

Grandmaster Wong was very aware of that. He was walking in the dark alley when suddenly someone came out from a stairway of a house and quickly walked up behind him. Grandmaster was aware of his approaching and pace. In a split second of time, Grandmaster Wong turned the tables on the potential attacker. Instead of walking faster to try to get away, he retreated one step backward and suddenly stopped. This action took the attacker totally by surprise. No one would ever challenge or fight this gang. The attacker tried to reach his right arm over grandmaster’s neck, but grandmaster was well prepared. He immediately used the back of his head to butt backward smashing the man’s face; he then grabbed the opponent’s right arm and threw him over the shoulder using a hip throw. The attacker screamed in pain upon impact creating so much noise the residents in the alley homes rushed to see what had happened. Those that did, felt a personal liberation of the fears they had and began shouting “let’s take him to the police.” The man was bleeding very badly on his face and begged grandmaster not to hit him or send him to the police. Grandmaster knew these people were poor and desperate, therefore out of the kindness of his heart he decided to let him go.

One of the friends of Grandmaster’s teacher Hu Yuen Chou was Dr. Wang who happened to be passing by at that time and saw the whole event unfold. Later that evening when grandmaster arrived at his teacher’s office, Dr. Wang told Grandmaster’s teacher what had happened, his teacher was very proud of Grandmaster for his skill and compassion and he told him that he didn’t choose a wrong disciple.


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