The Empty Hand Forms:
2.) Chum Kiu - Seeking A Bridge
3.) Biu Jee - Thrusting Fingers
4.) Che Tsin Kuen 108 Set (aka Chong Kuen) as handed down from Leung Fook Cho
I was born 1929, from the Shi To Chuen county, Foshan city.
As a young man, I enjoyed exercise and learned from an early member of the Chin Wu Association, Sau Tai Sun (Cho Tai Sen), who taught the Tan Tui 12 Ways basic form. I learned to love martial arts following the Bai Mei Pai martial art family. Later, accidentally, I followed and learned Wing Chun from Leung Fok Cho. In those days, under Sifu Leung Fok Cho, Chun Wah Shun, Ng Jung So, Yuen Kei San, Yiu Choi, Tam Seung Gee, and Lei Gong Hoi these were all fellow students. Leung Fok Cho was the cashier/financial administrator for the Ping Sum Cha Lau restaurant. When he was ~70 years of age, he was becoming weaker and pre-arranged for Yiu Choi to take me to be his student. On the day of the event we went to the Fok Wah Cha Lau restaurant, I felt that something important was happening, but was not able to place the feeling. So Yiu Choi openly accepted me as his student and disciple.
At that time, master Yiu Choi had only accepted 2 disciples, the brothers Go Bing and Go Mun. So I became Yiu Choi's 3rd student. After this time, others disciples were introduced into the school: Lum Sui Mun, Sui Bo, and Chan Gue. Leung Fok Cho retired fully around 1950, and passed away.
Time passed quickly, after 3 to 4 years, I learned all the secrets of which Yiu Choi has taught me. I learned the mysteries of Wing Chun through the openness of Yiu Choi and the willingness to explain of the depths of Wing Chun. We would often go to morning market at Mei Mei Heung and Choi Mei Lau restaurants. With Yuen Kei San and Sum Nung they were happily discussing many of the fine points and intricacies of their martial arts. At the Log Gong location, Yuen Kei San and others had a demo. As it turned out, Yiu Choi was approached by a martial artist of unknown school who challenged him. Within a few minutes, that artist was beaten by Yiu Choi. This started during a cricket fight, where at that time, Foshan markets are filled by well to do youths with no worry nor work. They spent their time but arranging to meet in the market place to compete with family crickets. Sometimes gambling with gold pieces or gold crackers as reward for the winner. On the side, others also gambled during these cricket matches. Yiu Choi's cricket was fully black and was nick named Hak Ma (Black Horse or Jeung Fei, the black face hero of the Three Kingdom history). The opposition was called the Red Horse. Before the match, the opposition knew there was no winning, so he riled up the Red Horse causing his to stand up spreading his wings and fight to the end. But he too excitedly waved the guiding pin, struck down the Black Horse in a sudden move. Yiu Choi in anger, seeing his favorite cricket killed, grabbed with one hand and heaved the opposition cricket jockey and threw him off a meter. The man apologized profusely and said he was only following what the Red Horse martial artist told him to do this. Yiu Choi took the cricket jockey to the opposition's kwoon asking for reparation. The opposition master did not accept responsibility, resulting in the argument. Yiu Choi then challenged and within 2 minutes beat the opposition. Later the opposition master, accepted defeat and invited Yiu Choi to table, apologizing over a tea ceremony at the Yin Lok Cha Lau restaurant. This story became the story to tell before and after most banquets in Foshan for years to come.
Now back to Yiu Choi, the grand master, several years later when he passed, I left Foshan to work in Hong Kong. With my close relation to Sihing Yiu Kay, those were troublesome and difficult days in Hong Kong. I had agreed that blessings will be enjoyed together, if there is food, they will share sustenance. As long as I am able, I will share half of my income from my work in Hong Kong with Yiu Choi's family back in Foshan. This became a prime story in the martial arts. Yiu Kay's son Wing Keung, Hon Keung, Zhong Keung, all three received this honorable lesson in friendship and loyalty and now share with all they come in contact with. Yiu family heritage of Wing Chun, spread far and wide like leaves in the wind, starting from Foshan, it spread throughout the world. Then in 1950's in Hong Kong I taught a few private students in homes. I decided not to open public or open schools, particularly with the practice in Hong Kong of "kicking kwoon doors", challenging fights with schools. Since many knew of my lineage and associations, and me being one of the Five Tigers of the Lion Mountain, I often became target for such challenge. I often show-cased his forms at the Wong Dai Seen park where many pedestrians frequent. 2 minute challenges are often taken. The papers often write about the Wong Dai Seen mystery, Wing Chun martial artist of well renown.
Actually, I do not want to fight but rather to live peacefully, make friends, and research and learn the mystery of Wing Chun. However, in Hong Kong of that time, there was a propensity to fight, to show bravery through challenges, trying to be heroes in the martial arts. It is actually a vain practice, being a hero with no substance. Within this environment, I was often challenged to fight. Later he refused these and started working with the government. At night, when he had time, he taught 3-5 people at a time. Suddenly, decades passed, it should not be said that I have a lot of disciples, yet my students have spread out across the world, all corners of the world. Now, I often travel to places in Guangdong teaching by-now well-known students, trying to spread the word and seed of Wing Chun to all those interested. Yiu Choi Wing Chun is now like the spreading spring plum flower, leaving forever to those who followed. This simple writing reminds us of those that passed before. Timing is now such that the Yiu Kay family Wing Chun heritage requested a little of my remembrance of our past.
Yiu Choi, Yiu Kay Wing Chun Kuen Kwoon, 10th Anniversary
From now 'til forevermore, may the Martial Arts be forever bright!
Thank you for reading this short letter,
Grandmaster Fok Chiu, Hong Kong June 2011
Grandmaster Fok Chiu at 11 years old playing the Kwan Do
Grandmaster Fok Chiu - Siu Lin Tao Video