Wing Chun stories from the 1980's
When asked for Mike's experiences training with Sigung Chu Shong Tin, Hong Kong in the 80's, he shared with us the below memories.
Thank you for sharing Mike!
'I could write on this for days, but I'll try and comment on the highlights.
In October of 1985, my teacher in Sacramento, Alex Wong, who had trained from Si Gung Chu Shong Tin through the 2nd set back in the 60's, invited us to accompany him on a trip to Hong Kong. He had gotten permission from Si Gung to bring us by his house/school. So six of us jumped at the opportunity! When we arrived, we noticed that the emphasis on the sets and chi sao were different than what we had been training.
I was approached by the small gentleman in the video (I don't recall his name) to do chi sau. Now, back in the U.S. I considered myself quite accomplished at chi sao, and could only be bested by my Sifu Alex. But this little guy shut me down completely and went through me like butter! I'm 6'2 and weighed about 180 pounds back then, but this guy handled me with ease.
The next guy I touched hands with was Kenney, who's nickname, they told us, was Superman. This guy looked like a lean version of Bolo from Enter the Dragon! After touching hands with him, my confidence was completely shattered. Everyone there handled us pretty easily. We showed up every day for two weeks.
They started us from the first set, which to my Western ego, was a big hit however the training from that point became one of the major epiphanies of my life. All of a sudden every single facet and detail of Siu Nim Tao made sense and took on dramatic meaning. All the students there continued to dominate us for the first week, but after that, I guess that was kind of an initiation, the students started sharing their teaching and knowledge with us as well. We were even invited us to have beer and peanuts them after practice, and we even went out for noodles with some of the guys.
We returned with a thoroughly new understanding and a burning inspiration to explore more of our training. 5 years later in September of 1990, Si Gung and Wong Shong Lung, accompanied by Joseph to translate, traveled to North America to do a series of seminars in the U.S. and Canada. Since they knew us, they made Sacramento, California their base. They even did a private seminar for my students and attending my 30th birthday party (one of the biggest honors of my life). This picture is from the Sacramento seminar in September of 1990.'
- Mike Del Campo, Sacramento, California