Patriarch Ho Fatt Nam

Patriarch Ho Fatt Nam


The arts were kept as top secrets in the past. Why are they taught to the public now?

— Mani, Switzerland


It is because of us in Shaolin Wahnam. Indeed, when I first taught high-level chi kung to the public, some Chinese masters were angry. Firstly, they were angry that I taught high-level chi kung openly. Secondly, they were angry that I taught to non-Chinese.

Why do we not only teach to the public, but also do so generously? There are two main reasons.

We want to preserve the art. If we do not teach the secrets we cannot preserve the art.

Secondly, it is because of the policy of our school. The tenth Shaolin Law dictates that we should teach to deserving students irrespective of race, culture and religion.

I was much inspired by my master, Sifu Ho Fatt Nam. At one time a well-known rival school challenged us. We prepared for a public fight where three students of our school would fight three students of their school, three masters from our school would fight their three masters, and I would fight their grandmaster.

But before we could publicly announce this proposal after much harassment from the rival school, my sifu came all the way from his retirement and asked me to stop the fight. It was telling how my sifu knew about this plan. He must have picked it up in his meditation.

The plan was a top secret. Only those involved in the planning knew, and my sifu was not involved. As scholar-warriors we did not want to enter a fight and hope to win. Only when we were sure of winning we would enter a fight. So we were in the midst of preparation when my sifu came.

I told my sifu that we would win. His reply was a classic of wisdom. He said, "I knew you would win. That is exactly the reason why you should call off the fight. If you lose, that is fine as it will be the end of the quarrel. But if you win, your opponent will not stop there. The feud will never end. Don't waste time on quarrels. Spend your time to spread our wonderful art to deserving people irrespective of race, culture and religion."

As a dutiful disciple, I followed my sifu's advice. It was much later I realized how wise his words were. I am forever grateful to my sifu for his teaching.

The above is taken from Question 1 March 2013 Part 3 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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