SF HUNG GAR NEWS
2019 – HONORING GRAND MASTER LAM CHUN FAI
From every corner of the globe, martial artists and luminaries gathered on 24 November 2019 in Hong Kong, to honor Grandmaster Lam Chun Fai, and to celebrate his 80th birthday.
As part of the celebration, the 3rd Hung Kuen Competition was held on 23 November 2019, in Wanchai.
Sifu Michael Goodwin, Director of World SF Hung Gar, and Sifu Sidclei de Almeida, Branch Instructor, SF Hung Gar Brasil had the good fortune to attend the full celebration of Grandmaster Lam Chun Fai.
Video: Sifu Michael Goodwin performing Plum Blossom Double Chain Whips at Grandmaster Lam Chun Fai’s 80th Birthday Celebration, Fu Lam Palace Northpoint, Hong Kong, PRC. (24 November 2019). 林鎮輝宗師的誕辰80週年在富臨集團，舊金山洪拳協會的Michael Goodwin師傅表演梅花雙軟鞭
2018 – INTERESTING HAPPENINGS IN MASSACHUSETTS
by Sifu Michael Goodwin.
An earlier version was published in Lam Family Worldwide Hung Kuen Newsletter (September 2018)
BEGINNING WITH TANG KWOK WAH
Whenever thinking of Great Grandmaster Lam Cho’s outstanding students, the name of Grandmaster Tang Kwok Wah (1924-2011) is always prominent among them.
Grandmaster Lam Cho with his students (1959). Front row, second from left: Lam Fung Chan; next: Tam Ping; next: Lam Fung Chu. Second row, second from left: Lam Chun Fai; next: Grandmaster Lam Cho; next: Tang Kwok Wah; last (from left): Kwong Tit Fu. Third row, third from left: Wong Yew Ching.
Tang Kwok Wah began his study of Lam Family Hung Kuen with Great Grandmaster Lam Cho, and at the age of eight was adopted as a son. He learned the Lam Family martial arts, Dit Da herbal medicine, and was one of the principal instructors in Lam Kwoon, along with Great Grandmaster Lam Cho’s own sons.
In 1963 Tang Kwok Wah opened his own school in Hong Kong and, in 1973, emigrated to the United States, where he lived for the remainder of his years. His teaching students in the United States today include Grandmaster Winchell Woo (Boston, Massachusetts), and Grandmaster Yon Lee (Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts).
The lightning fast two-man set demonstrations of Grandmaster Tang Kwok Wah and Grandmaster Lam Chun Fai are well remembered, especially the double knives vs spear!
Sifu Tang Kwok Wah (seated) and his student Yon Lee (1973)
Seated (L-R), Sifu Yon Lee and Sifu Lam Chun Fai (1994)
Earlier in the year I had been both honored and delighted to be invited by Grandmaster Yon Lee to visit his Harvard Tai Chi Tiger Crane Kung Fu Club at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and to have a chance to experience and better understand the legacy left to Lam Family Hung Kuen by the late Grandmaster Tang Kwok Wah. I was asked, on behalf of Harvard Harvard University, to facilitate an introduction with the World Hung Kuen Association’s President, Grandmaster Checkley Sin Kwok Lam.
Within hours, Boston lobsters were being flown to Checkley Sin’s household in New Territories, courtesy of the Hon. Raymond L. Flynn, former Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts and former US Ambassador to the Vatican.
Checkley Sin & one of the Boston Lobsters (2018)
CHECKLEY SIN IN BOSTON
Upon arrival in Boston, Checkley Sin was first ushered into Boston City Council chambers, where the occasion of his visit was honored with a commemorative proclamation, presented by Councilor Ed Flynn, on behalf of the City of Boston.
(L-R) Sifu KK Yiu, Sifu Marvel Chow, Boston City Council Research & Policy Director Juan Aurelio Lopez, Boston City Councilor Edward Flynn holding proclamation, Grandmaster Checkley Sin Kwok Lam, Grandmaster Yon Lee, and Sifu Michael Goodwin (25 May 2018).
Next was a meeting with the City of Boston Office of Business Development, where Checkley Sin, one of China’s most successful Kungfu film producers, was presented with local film industry options and incentives. Options available in China were also explored. Some 20 years earlier, a “sister state” trade status between Massachusetts and Guangdong had been authored by Grandmaster Yon Lee, providing foundation, and further paving the way for this discussion.
Lunch at posh Durgin Park, a restaurant located in Boston’s historic Quincy Market district, was followed by a meeting with Checkley Sin, Dr. Sean Palfrey of Adams House, and representatives from Harvard’s Office of Development, where scholarships, endowments, and program funding were the subject of discussion.
The result so far has been Grandmaster Checkley Sin’s preliminary offer of fully funded internships for ten Harvard students each summer, beginning in 2019.
At Harvard, (L-R) Sifu Michael Goodwin, Sifu Marvel Chow, Dr. Sean Palfrey of Harvard’s Adams House, Grandmaster Yon Lee of Harvard Tai Chi/Tiger Crane, former Ambassador to the Vatican and Boston Mayor, The Honorable Ray Flynn, Keynote Speaker Grandmaster Checkley Sin, Sifu Mai Du, Sifu KK Yiu, and Sifu Mimi Chan (25 May 2018). Photo courtesy of Sifu Timothy J. LaVallee.
CHECKLEY SIN AT HARVARD
On 25 May 2018, Grandmaster Checkley Sin was keynote speaker for the Ilya Chalik Memorial Lecture on Shaolin Culture, organized by Harvard Tai Chi Club Shaolin Cultural Foundation, in association with the U.S. Dragon and Lion Dance Federation, and held at the Science Center at Harvard. His subject was “Preservation and Promotion of Chinese Culture and Arts through Film Making: Producing and Directing the Ip Man Series,” complete with live demonstrations of martial arts, ably assisted by Ip Man action directors Sifu KK Yiu and Sifu Marvel Chow. The show concluded with my own performance of Plum Blossom Double Chain Whips, in honor of Chinese culture and martial arts preservation, Lam Family Hung Kuen, and the late Great Grandmaster, Tang Kwok Wah.
Sifu Michael Goodwin performing the double whip chains at Harvard (25 May 2018)
GRANDMASTER YON LEE
Sifu Michael Goodwin, founder and director of SF Hung Gar, Grandmaster Yon Lee, senior adviser and chief instructor to the Harvard Tai Chi Tiger Crane Club, and Wing Chun Grandmaster Checkley Sin Kwok Lam, director and producer of the Ip Man films, at Harvard (25 May 2018)
I greatly enjoyed the hospitality Grandmaster Yon Lee’s student, Sifu Michael Showstack, and of Grandmaster Winchell Woo’s students, who assist Grandmaster Yon Lee, Sifu Tim Lavallee, and Sifu Deb Sukeforth.
Grandmaster Yon Lee and these students shared with me an understanding of Tang Kwok Wah Hung Kuen, Qigong, and the “Five Elements Tai Chi,” a collaborative development between Grandmaster Yon Lee and Grandmaster Winchell Woo. This is not to be confused with the better known Taijiquan, “Five Elements Tai Chi”, a formula also based in Hung Kuen principles, also polarized in five phases, but focusing on the soft bridge, and unique to Grandmaster Tang Kwok Wah’s research in his later years.
As Grandmaster Winchell Woo was on business in Hawaii, I was unfortunately unable to meet with him during this visit. Grandmaster Yon Lee remembers fondly the Harvard visit of Great Grandmaster Lam Chun Fai in 1994, and hopes to invite him again, as well as other Hung Kuen masters interested in cultural preservation and exchange, for the first Harvard University Hung Kuen Summit, to be scheduled for Autumn 2019.
FIRST NATIONAL LION AND DRAGON DANCE FEDERATION CHAMPIONSHIPS
On 25-27 May 2018, the First National Lion and Dragon Dance Federation Championships were held in both Quincy and Boston, Massachusetts. Hosted by Sifu Nelson Ferreira, Sifu Mai Du, and Sifu Phong Vo, Grandmaster Checkley Sin was a guest of honor. Lion dance teams from all over the USA were present for this gala event. I was likewise pleased to meet Lam Family Hung Kuen brothers, Sifu Lucien Zoll and Sifu Alex Woo, both of Boston’s Grandmaster Kwong Tit Fu linage, through Grandmaster Calvin Chin.
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