Swords to Shoes

By Sifu Alan Hubbard
Head Instructor of The Eastern Ways Kung Fu Schools
Sacramento, California

In an effort to continue gaining more training and martial arts experience by being around Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong, I, along with some of my Instructors traveled to Reno, Nevada for his seminar at Tiger Kung Fu Academy in 2000. After a long day of training at the studio we went to Sifu Zai?s house for a short but relaxing break. Grandmaster Wong took off his shoes, sat down and talked to us about Choy Li Fut and philosophy. The discussion eventually led to that time of ?entertaining the Grandmaster?. So we went out side to the back yard where Grandmaster relaxed on the wood deck and then asked if someone had a form they would like to demonstrate. One of my Instructors eagerly responded with ?I?ll demonstrate the Mui Fa Dan-do set (Plum Blossom Broadsword form)? Grandmaster gave him the go ahead sign and the form began. I watched my student as he started, and then I watched Grandmaster?s face. Grandmaster watched and didn?t give any corrections so far, I thought to myself, this is really good or really bad. It is not uncommon to start a form and maybe get to the Li portion of the salute before being stopped for corrections and this time Grandmaster isn?t saying anything. As the form concluded Grandmaster said only three words, ?Get my shoes?. He continued by explaining that the Mui Fa Dan-do is a very important form in Choy Li Fut and should be done correctly with great importance on the details. He told everyone in the backyard to get a dan-do or whatever they could get in their hands and follow along as he did the form. There were dan-do?s, short sticks, and other non recognized items being wielded in the spirit of the Mui Fa Dan-do. Although one Instructor was a sacrificial lamb, everyone learned a lot and we will always remember what it means when Grandmaster says ?get my shoes?

Next Story
Next Story