THE PRACTICE OF GRANDMASTER WONG IN THE PROGRESS OF BECOMING A MASTER
I respect your advice that one should be a good student before thinking of becoming a master, but I would like to ask you one question about your becoming a master, if I may. As many people look to you as the epitome of excellence in martial arts, I think we would benefit from knowing. How much do you practise and how much did you practise while you were in the process of becoming a master?
— Jon, USA
When I was a student I practised very hard, no less than an hour a day. And for many years I practised at least an hour in the morning and another hour at night, every day of the week.
Both my masters, Uncle Righteousness and Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, were very strict and they emphasized training rather than learning. They might teach me a few moves, and I had to practise those moves for at least a few days, but sometimes for a few weeks and even for a few months before teaching me some new moves.
On an average I took one year to complete learning a kungfu set from my masters, though on my own I could sometimes learn a set, especially a simple one, after watching it performed thrice. At the height of my training days with Uncle Righteousness, when I was regarded by many as his best student, he took more than two years to teach me every night his most cherished set, “Essence of Shaolin”.
Sifu Ho Fatt Nam did not normally teach me kungfu sets — most of the sets were “passed on” to me by my seniors. Instead he usually taught me combat sequences, and insisted on a lot on force training. Once he asked me, “How would a fragile-looking girl fight with a ferocious Thai boxer?” Then he showed me a few moves. “These are from the Seven Stars Set. Its patterns are excellent for combat against Thai boxers,” he said. I practised those few moves for many months before he taught me something new.
After becoming a master and despite my frequent travels, I maintain my daily practice. When I teach I do not merely talk; I join in the action. On an average I have an hour of practice a day.
The above is taken from Question 7 of December 2000 Part 2 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
Courses and Classes