Yue Fei

Ngok Fei


岳飞 Yue Fei (1103-1142AD), Xinyi, Xingyi & Baji

            Yue Fei or Ngok Fei in Cantonese pronounciation was a famous Song Dynasty marshal, deitified by later generations as a god of martial art. His martial art training was Shaolin. He was the founder or first patriarch of Hsing Yi Kungfu, Eagle Claw Kungfu and Yiejiaquan (Yue Family Kungfu).

When he was a child, his mother tattooed on his back the following Chinese words, "jing zhong bao guo", which means "extreme loyalty to repay the kingdom". Being filal to his mother (even long after her death), Yue Fei followed his mother's tattooed words to a fault. (Anyone who thinks that being filail to one's parents is cizzy should draw some inspiration from this god of martial art.) When Yue Fei successfully prevented the Tartars at the border from invading China, the emperor instigated by a treacherous prime minister who had been bribed by the Tartars, sent out imperial decrees to recall him to the capital.

Imperial decrees were engraved in gold plates. Decrees after decrees were sent out but the gold plates were intercepted on the way by kungfu masters because they knew of an imperial plot to kill Yue Fei as soon as he arrived at the palace. But, alas, the twelfth gold plate reached Yue Fei. He also knew he would die if he returned to the capital, and despite the army begging him not to go, he returned, for being true to his mother's words, not obeying the emperor's order would be disloyal. True enough, when Yue Fei returned to the capital, the emperor framing a crime on him, ordered his head chopped off. Soon, without Yue Fei defending the border, the Tartars overran north China.

Huo Yuan Jia (Fok Yun Kap) was a Northern Shaolin master known for Mizongyi, or the Art of Deceptive Footwork. He lived in the times of the early Chinese republic when China was like a piece of cake eyed by many foreign powers, and when foreigners called the Chinese the sick men of East Asia. But Huo Yuan Jia was nicknamed the Yellow-Face Tiger because of his martial art prowess.

To help his countrymen become strong and healthy, Huo Yuan Jia founded Chin Wu Athletic Association in Shanghai, which was dedicated to the spread of genuine kungfu. Chin Wu, which literally means "Essence of Martial Art", has branches in many countries, especially in South East Asia. Huo Yuan Jia also formulated a beautiful code of philosophy to help Chin Wu members attain all-round development.

But today, and this is strictly my opinion, not many Chin Wu members could measure up to the aspirations of their great founder; much of the kungfu taught in numerous Chin Wu branches today is meant for demonstration rather than for combat, and the expression "we practise kungfu for health, not for fighting" is common among many members. This is perhaps quite inevitable as many members of the executive committees that manage Chin Wu branches today are successful businessmen rather than kungfu masters, who while generous in their financial donation for the upkeep of the various Chin Wu branches may not differentiate between demonstrative and combat kungfu.

Many Japanese martial art masters travelled to China to challenge the Chinese masters. Huo Huan Jia defeated them quite easily. According to a popular belief, Huo Huan Jia was poisoned by his cook who had been bribed by some foreigners. He was taken to a foreign hospital in Shanghai where he soon died.