GRANDMASTER WONG JACK-MAN
( Wong Chia-Man ) initiated me into the five elements of Xing Yi Quan (Hsing-I Chuan).
Hsing-I Chuan is a sister art to Tai Chi Chuan ( Taiji Quan), which rests its' power in "Internal Training" but applies it using a different method.
Through Sifu Wong Jack-Man I also learned the original Tai Chi Chuan 2-person San Shou set... instructed mainly by his Senior Students, as is the traditional method.
The "Grandmaster" to Wong Jack-Man was the famous Northern Shaolin Kung Fu Master Kuo Yu Cheong ( Ku Yu Chang -- pictured at left from a promotional poster of the times ).
Kuo Yu Cheong was one of the "Five Tigers" who revived Chinese Martial Arts in China as part of the Chinese Nationalist movement in the early part of the 20th Century.
Master Yim Shan Wu was a close disciple and Apprentice of Grandmaster Kuo Yu Cheong ( Ku Yu Chang: shown at left with block of cement on his head). Master Yim (shown at left with sledgehammer) was Wong Jack-Man's instructor and Sifu from a very young age.
As a young man Yim Shan Wu travelled around China, as an Apprentice to his Sifu, Master Kuo Yu Cheong, performing demonstrations and promoting the Chinese Martial Arts to the Chinese people.
Wong Jack-Man studied with Yim Shan Wu until moving to the South of China in his late teens to study at the Jing Mo Athletic Associaton.
In the early 1960s Grandmaster Wong Jack-Man founded the San Francisco chapter of the Jing Mo (Ching Wu) Athletic Association, the first here in the US. The Ching Wu ( Jing Mo ) Athletic Association was recently made famous here and around the world, in the movie "Fearless", starring Jet Li, relating legends about its' founding father.
Around this time Wong Jack-Man engaged in, and won, a brutal challenge match with the soon to be famous motion picture star Bruce Lee. This match was fictionalized and made a fundamental part of the Hollywood movie "Dragon: the Bruce Lee Story" about Bruce Lee's life.
In the movie it was conceded that Wong Jack-Man had won the match. But then, to make it look better for Bruce Lee, the storie's writers invented that the victory happened after the match was all over with Wong kicking Bruce in the back, leaving him hospitalized (check it out... there is no such hospital record).
The truth is that when Wong Jack-Man reached to shake Bruce's hand (as is customary before a bout) Bruce Lee tried to poke out Wong's eyes using a technique from his Wing Chun lineage, and that after that all hell broke loose... and for twenty minutes one of the fights of the century took place nonstop, witnessed by about 20 non-paying observers (eat your heart out...).
The further truth is that both men went to get checked out by doctors the next day, and neither had any major damage: a major demonstration of the importance of "internal training".
A more important truth is that both men learned extremely important lessons from an encounter with an evenly matched, high level, truly tough opponent... and both went back to the drawing board: Wong Jack-Man deepened his study of the Internal Martial Arts in earnest: Hsing I Chuan ( Xing Yi Quan ) and Tai Chi Chuan (Taijiquan )and Bruce Lee abandoned (and later repudiated) Wing Chun and turned in earnest into developing his own style of fighting/training which became "Jeet Kune Do (JKD)" which is now taught worldwide.