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The Way of the Master

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  • The Way of the Master

    Dear Shaolin Wahnam brothers and sisters,

    I'm so excited now as Sifu is almost finishing his last chapter for his autobiography - The Way of the Master!!! Jim started a thread to ask about this biography few years ago and Robin was so kind to ask permission from Sifu to post and share the first six chapters on the forum. Now finally, the complete autobiography is almost publish and I'm glad that I can read the manuscript first before it is published.

    Can't wait to share some parts of chapter 7. The title of chapter 7 is.........

    "Adventures at the Malayan Teachers’ College in Kuala Lumpur"

    and it begins with.....(enjoy!!!)

    I started writing this autobiography about 30 years ago until Chapter 6, and for some reasons have not continued. It is only now, 13th May 2013, when I am 70, but feel like 45, overlooking the blue-green Mediterranean Sea in a most beautiful hotel, Punta Est, Finale Ligure in southern Italy owned by my student, AttilioPosesta, that I have decided to continue writing my autobiography.

    After completing my school education in 1964 at Penang Free School, reputed to be the best school east of Suez, I applied to be trained as a schoolteacher. While waiting for my application to be accepted, I took up a temporary teaching job at Sin Min Private School in Alor Setar, about 100 kilometres from Penang, my home town. I had a wonderful time teaching English to students who are about my same age.

    But just two weeks after teaching in this school, I had another teaching job offered to me by the Penang Chinese Girls’ High School, a famous girls’ school in the country. Thus I resigned from Sin Min Private School, despite strong appeals from my students who urged me to stay, to teach at the Penang Chinese Girls’ High School, not because all the students in the new school were girls also about my age, hence giving me a lot of opportunities to meet new girlfriends, fulfilling a wistful but not necessarily desirable feeling of a teacher-student relationship, but because the new school is located in Penang, my hometown which I love very much.

    It was actually at this time that I first met my wife, Goh Siew Ai (伍瑞爱). I was 21 and she was sweet 18 when we met. She was not a student of Penang Chinese Girls’ High School, but introduced to me by a mutual friend. What impressed me most were her sparkling eyes. She was, and still is, the most beautiful girl I have seen.

    Although I spent a lot of time practicing kungfu, I still had a lot of time to live life beautifully, like scouting, hiking, boating, painting, reading, playing table tennis, attending parties and dancing with beautiful girls. I am very happy and grateful that my wife, as soon as I met her, has turned out to be my last romance. I also discovered that I was, and am, her first love.

    While dating her, I still continue my dedicated practice of kungfu. I frequented book shops and bought a lot of kungfu books in Chinese, including some classics. One of the kungfu books I cherished was “Rapidly Successful Iron Palm in Hundred Days” (百日成铁掌) by a famous master named Li Yin Erng (李英). I was surprised to find this book which explained in details how to train Iron Palm and be successful in just a hundred days! Such kungfu skills were kept as top secrets.

  • #2
    Great news!

    Thank you, Sifu! This is great news. I'm very excited to read your biography. I read selections of the early chapters to my sons who are also eager for more.

    And thank you, Siheng Chun Yian, for helping to see Sifu's biography reach publication.

    Waiting won't be easy!

    Best wishes,


    • #3


      • #4
        Great News!

        Heartwarming chapter <3
        Sifu Andy Cusick

        Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
        Shaolin Qigong


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        "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
        - ancient wisdom


        • #5
          If only I could edit a 12 hour old post...

          While walking outside this morning to begin my practice, I realized that I posted lastnight about Sifu's "biography"! Of course I meant autobiography. My writing professors from 20 years ago are likely to throw over-ripe tomatoes in my direction.

          Thank you Sifu, for giving us your autobiography.



          • #6
            Originally posted by Zach View Post
            My writing professors from 20 years ago are likely to throw over-ripe tomatoes in my direction.
            I'm sure there are many Shaolin Wahnam Instructors and Students who would be happy to help your former professors

            This book is going to be amazing!
            Sifu Andrew Barnett
            Shaolin Wahnam Switzerland -

            Flowing Health GmbH (Facebook:
            Healing Sessions with Sifu Andrew Barnett - in Switzerland and internationally
            Heilbehandlungen mit Sifu Andrew Barnett - in der Schweiz und International


            • #7
              Wonderful - thank you for the beginning of chapter 7.
              I was always wondering how Sipo and Sigung met.

              I am very much looking forward to the book.

              Best regards
              Enjoy some Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan & Qi Gong!

              Evening Classes in Zürich
              Weekend Classes in other Swiss locations



              • #8
                Such a heartwarming chapter

                I'm so looking forward for this book

                All the best,
                Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)


                • #9
                  I, too, am looking forward to this great book

                  With Shaolin Salute,
                  Lee Wei Joo


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Andy
                    Heartwarming chapter <3
                    I second that. Can't wait for the entire book to be published!
                    Adam Bailey
                    Shaolin WahNam USA


                    • #11
                      Hi there,

                      As the entire autobiography is so long, I will try to post few parts from different chapters so that we can get the entire flow of the book. Another part in Chapter 7, which related to Praying Mantis Kungfu......

                      The next year, 1966, I attended teacher training at the Malayan Teachers’ College at Pantai Valley in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Most of my classmates went to universities. But I came from a poor family and could not afford university education. More significantly, I loved teaching and considered it a very noble profession.

                      But I never forgot my kungfu training. I even brought my bean bag along to the teachers’ college to continue my training of Iron Palm.

                      At first I practiced my Iron Palm early every morning at a laundry room in the dormitory I stayed so as not to disturb my dormitory mates. But even when the laundry room was some distance away from the sleeping quarters, the noise I created hitting the bag early every morning was very loud. So I moved to the edge of a field to practice my Iron Palm as well as other aspects of my kungfu. Sometimes I practiced in the evening.

                      One evening when I looked over the edge of Malayan Teacher’s College, I was surprised to see at a distance some young men practicing combat application of Praying Mantis Kungfu. They were undergraduates of University Malaya which was close by the Malayan Teachers’ College, and they were practicing in a university compound.

                      I watched silently from afar and was very impressed with their performance. One exponent stood leisurely, and an opponent would come from behind to grab his arm. The exponent neutralized the grip with an elegant Praying Mantis pattern. The opponent would then lock the exponent’s neck, and the exponent would counter with another elegant Praying Mantis pattern. It was actually the first time I saw such elegant kungfu application. “Aha, kungfu patterns can be used for combat,” I said to myself.

                      I took the trouble to meet them, told them that I practiced kungfu too, and asked if I could join them in their training. They were very surprised that I knew of their training, and said they had to consult their master. When I met them again to wait for their reply, they told me that as I was not an undergraduate of the university, their master did not accept my participation.

                      It was polite of them to give me such an answer. I knew they wanted to keep their training exclusive, which was the norm in top-level kungfu. I believe they would also not accept other undergraduates into their secret training, which of course was their privilege. After this, I could not see their training any more from the edge of my college; they moved to another secret training place.

                      Although I did not have a chance to learn from them, this accidental viewing of their kungfu application was very beneficial to me. I started to think of combat applications for the kungfu patterns that I knew, instead of merely performing kungfu sets as routine as I had done before. The initial combat applications I thought of were elementary and clumsy, but it constituted a very important first step in my long journey of practicing kungfu for combat instead of practicing kungfu for demonstration.

                      As always mention by Sifu that it is very important for us to think for the combat application and apply the kungfu patters that we have learned, and this incident stimulated Sifu to start thinking of the application. Another point that I notice from the above is that many kungfu masters would try to keep their arts and only taught to selected disciples or students secretly, which some still hold this custom until now. But Sifu is so generous and think that he should benefited as much people as possible with the arts he has, and transmit them to all of us regardless of races, cultures and religions.

                      With Shaolin salute,
                      Chun Yian


                      • #12
                        Dear Chun Yian Siheng,

                        Thank you for sharing these exciting excerpts! Can't wait to read more.

                        But Sifu is so generous and think that he should benefited as much people as possible with the arts he has, and transmit them to all of us regardless of races, cultures and religions.
                        Yes, I couldn't agree more - and I am very grateful.

                        Shaolin salute - with love and respect,

                        Emiko Hsuen

                        INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
                        Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
                        4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
                        Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
                        Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
                        Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
                        Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
                        To apply, send email to:


                        • #13
                          Hi there,

                          A little bit more about Sifu's and Simu's name which described in Chapter 8 - Marrying the most Beautiful Girls in the World......

                          I first met my wife, Goh Siew Ai (伍瑞爱), in Penang in 1965 when she was sweet 18 and I was 21. “Goh” is her surname, or the name in her family line, and “Siew Ai” is her name. Chinese names are meaningful. “Goh” means a team, “Siew” means blessing, and “Ai” means love. Poetically I would interpret my wife’s name as she teams up with me to bring blessings of love.

                          My name, Wong Kiew Kit (黄侨杰), is very meaningful too. “Wong” is my surname, meaning yellow, as my family is reputed to descend from the famous Yellow Emperor of China. “Kiew” means overseas, and “Kit” means genius. Many people have kindly said that I am an overseas genius.

                          Although I am Chinese, I live in Malaysia and am a Malaysian citizen as my parents migrated to Malaysia, called Malaya at that time, before I was born. So I am an overseas Chinese. I also travel overseas very often to more than 35 countries in the world to teach chi kung, Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan.

                          My parents’ names are also meaningful. My father was Wong York Sang (黄育生) and my mother Mok Pik Yoke (莫碧玉). “York Sang” means “born of education”, and my father was a scholar, from whom I benefited greatly. My mother’s name, “Pik Yoke”, means “crystalline jade”, and she was certainly crystalline jade to me.

                          My wife’s name, Goh Siew Ai, is spelt according to the Hokkien dialect as my wife’s ancestors came from the province of Hokkien in China. In Mandarin my wife’s name is pronounced and written in Romanized Chinese as Wu Rui Ai. I am sure that if someone showed the Romanized Chinese writing, “Wu Rui Ai”, to my wife, she might not recognize it as her name, though she will probably know if someone pronounces the sounds “Wu Rui Ai” in Mandarin.

                          My name, Wong Kiew Kit, is spelt according to the Cantonese pronunciation, as my ancestors came from the province of Kongtung, and the provincial dialect is Cantonese, Canton being the provincial capital. In Mandarin my name is pronounced and written in Romanized Chinese as Huang Qiao Jie. When I was reviewing my manuscript, “The Art of Chi Kung”, and came across the name “Huang Qiao Jie”, I had to read it twice before I recognized that it was my name in Mandarin pronunciation written in Romanized Chinese.

                          The words “Hokkien” and “Kongtung” above are pronounced in the local dialects, i.e. in the Hokkien dialect and in Cantonese. In Mandarin pronunciation written in Romanized Chinese, they are “Fujian” and “Guangdong” respectively.

                          It is worthy of note that my name is “Wong Kiew Kit”, and not “Kiew Kit Wong” as some people unfamiliar with Chinese names may use. People would call me “Mr Wong”, “Sifu Wong” or “Grandmaster Wong”, and not “Mr Kit”, “Sifu Kit” or “Grandmaster Kit”.

                          You would have some fun, if not confusion, when checking books written by me in a biography list. If John Smith has written a book, “The Funny Things About Names”, it would be classified under “Smith, John; Funny Things About Names”.
                          My book, “The Art of Chi Kung”, should be listed under “Wong Kiew Kit; Art of Chi Kung”, but often it is not. Perhaps those who listed books wished to have some fun with names, it is often placed under “Kit, Wong Kiew; Art of Chi Kung”.

                          It is also not just for fun that Chinese place their surnames or family names before their own names. It is because of respect. They feel that their family comes first, and only then themselves, not just in biography lists or when filling in forms, but whenever they use their names. Thus, my wife would call herself Goh Siew Ai, and not Siew Ai Goh.

                          Chun Yian


                          • #14
                            Thank you Sifu for sharing this highly interesting information, one can learn a lot from something as seemingly ordinary as a name.


                            • #15
                              Thank you Sifu for sharing the poetic and inspiring importance that Chinese have for names.

                              With Shaolin Salute,
                              Lee Wei Joo