Cosmos Palm

In needed, our student or instructor would smash the head of a challenger like what Sifu Matt did in a Cosmos Palm course without leaving any mark on the surface.


In your story, Sigung said that if an action brings harm to others and not ourselves, we will not do it. And then points out that the challenge match will bring harm to both sides.

When looked at from this perspective, a challenge does seem like a very trivial action to take. Yet, to sit idly by while a visitor insults my Sifu... that is very hard to do. Sifu, could you please offer me some insight to the issue of insults and challenge matches?

— Sifu Matt Fenton, USA


We are trained to be scholar-warriors. As scholar-warriors we do not rashly issue or accept challenges. We study each case carefully and only when we are very sure of winning, do we accept a challenge, or issue one in an exceptional situation. A scholar-warrior does not fight and then hopes to win. He already has won, the fighting is just to confirm his victory.

Our acceptance of challenges as well as Mahmood's issuing a challenge is in line with my Sifu's teaching of doing good. “Good” is whatever that brings benefit to ourselves and to others, and “evil” is whatever that brings harm.

In the case of WongYing, for example, not accepting his challenge will bring harm because many people, including some of our own students, may wrongly perceive that like many kungfu schools today we merely talk and are unable to put our words in action. This will seriously hamper our effort in restoring the greatness of genuine kungfu as a martial art.

By accepting his challenge, we walk our talk as we have always done and will always do. This will contribute to our effort in preserving genuine kungfu not only as an effective martial art but also as a training of courage and wisdom.

We do not glamorize fighting, but if we have to fight, not only we will fight well but also ensure we will definitely win. We have more than sufficient resources to do so. You would have noticed that as soon as we give a signal to accept a challenge, at once a dozen Shaolin Wahnam scholar-warriors volunteer to defend our school.

If we make a call-up, we should have no difficulty getting 50 Shaolin Wahnam scholar-warriors world-wide to meet the challenger. We are very proud of our scholar-warriors who are ever ready to defend our school.

If we arrange to have a match with a challenger once a week, we have enough fighters to keep him busy for a whole year. But we won't be busy for a year. As scholar-warriors we won't fight unless we are sure of winning. Hence, we are confident of beating the challenger convincingly in the very first encounter.


It is very humbling to know a world-renowned Shaolin Grandmaster will give you an answer when you call him Sifu. It makes smiling from the heart a very easy thing to do!


With this background, you can readily derive answers for your questions. But to be more specific, if you wish to accept WongYing's challenge, you are justified in doing so.

Please note that it is not you issuing a challenge, you are just righteously responding to his challenge. He challenged us when he called the kungfu of the grandmaster of the school “flowery fists embroidery kicks”. You, like many others, are rising to the occasion to prove him wrong in action.

I am also very confident that you can beat WongYing easily, otherwise I would not approve of your accepting his challenge. It will be interesting to see how a “complete novice”, as WongYing arrogantly called you despite your having shown deep understanding of kungfu combat, beat someone who has 26 years of kungfu training.

How can I know WongYing's level of combat efficiency when I have not met him in person? I can easily and correctly access him from what and how he has written in our forum. If I can't do that, I can't be a grandmaster of Shaolin Kungfu.

Those who have expressed their acceptance of WongYing's challenge, and who also have my approval, can also access WongYing's level and they are also confident of beating him. Otherwise they can't be scholar-warriors and I won't approve them of their accepting the challenge.

The above is taken from Question 4 of April 2009 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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