WHAT GRANDMASTER HO FATT FATT PRACTICED
Can you share with us what Sigung Ho Fatt Nam himself practiced and how he practiced, both as a young man with Sitaigung Yang Fatt Khun and later in his life?
Sifu Markus Kahila
I don’t know in details what and how my sifu. Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, practiced as a young man with my sigung or later in his life, but I shall answer to the best of my ability based on what he told me.
My sifu practiced many types of kungfu as well Muay Thai and Silat. I am not sure whether he practiced other martial arts like Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing and Wrestling, but I don’t think so.
My sifu had seven teachers, but I don’t know how many were kungfu masters and how many were masters of other styles. I also don’t know whether he practiced kungfu, Muay Thai or Silat first, but I know he was a professional Muay Thai champion.
There was, and still is, a big difference in fighting skills between a professional and an amateur. Being a professional champion, my sifu's fighting skills in Muay Thai must be very good. He depended on fighting in a Muay Thai ring for his livelihood.
I don’t think my sifu’s attainment in Silat was high. He hardly talked about it.
My sifu told me that he wanted to learn Shaolin Kungfu from my sigung, Yang Fatt Khun, the second generation successor from the southern Shaolin Monastery at Quanzhou of South China, so as to improve his Muay Thai fighting skills. But he found Shaolin Kungfu so far superior to Muay Thai that he gave up Muay Thai and focused on Shaolin Kungfu.
I don’t know much of my sifu’s other teachers except the one who had mastered the Art of Lightness. To compensate for missing the chance to continue learning
the Art of Lightness due to his youthful ignorance, his simu, i.e. the wife of the master of the Art of Lightness, taught my sifu the Seven-Star set.
My sifu’s training was the traditional “ku-lian” or “bitter-training” type. When he was an apendice to the master of the Art of Lightness, he had to carry his master’s luggage and walked for miles from town to town as his master was a traveling medicine man. Every morning when he brushed his teeth, he had to sit at the Horse-Riding Stance with a basin of water on his thigh. If he dropped the basin, he would have to go some distance to fetch water for his washing.
My sifu told me that at that time he did not realize the essence of kungfu traioning was internal force and combat application. Like most other practitioners, he thought, wrongly, that kungfu learning was a process of learning more and more kungfu sets.
After learning his unforgettable lesson when he missed the chance of accomplishing the Art of Lightness, my sifu promised himself that if had an opportunity to learn from a great master again, he would just follow his instructions.
Hence, when my sifu found my sigung, he just did what my sigung said. My sifu told me that my sigung taught him One-Finger Shooting Zen, and except for some occasional paterns, my sigung did not teach him anything else. My sifu had to attend my sigung’s class every night and practice One-Finger Shooting Zen for more than two years.
He said, “Someone prcticing Taekwondo would have obtained his black belt by this time, but I had to practice just One-Finger Shooting Zen every night for more than two years. My friends teased me saying that again every night I had to go to piss.” (The shss sound in One-Finger Shooting Zen is like persuading a child to pee.)
My sifu was richly rewarded in his diligent practice. Not only he had developed tremendous internal force, but also had inherited the almost-lost art of dim mak.
My sifu’s kungfu was abundantly tested. You can read about his many combat experiences in my autobiograpny, “The Way of the Master”.
The one that had the deepest impression on me was when more than 35 armed attackers wanted to burn his house and kill his family. He fought them off single-handedly with a spear. It was like a kungfu movie, but was recorded in offical police archive.
The above discussion is reproduced from the thread Legacy of Ho Fatt Nam -- 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
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