Please take us on a virtual tour of your Initial travels, in China, for a moment with this next question. When you arrived in China and began interacting with regional Mantis teachers, what were some of the most immediate differences you encountered between the Hakka Mantis taught in the USA and that of China Mantis?
Read the FULL INTERVIEW HERE: https://hakka-mantis.com/rdh-interview-001-by-tyler-rea-a-southern-mantis-retrospective-july-28-2018/
In the mid 1970s, I lived in Korea and studied North Mantis, with Teacher, Pak Chi Mun. I spoke with him this week – he is a lot of fun, at 87 now, in Korea. And also I was in, Japan, in the 70s. 1983-1985, I took my Southern Mantis and moved to Taiwan, China, and dabbled in many Arts, including Bak Mei, Fukien Crane, Wing Chun. I had many “red” challenge matches during those years. Southern Mantis served me well, and it was during that time period that I discarded all other styles to specialize, in Hakka Southern Mantis.
In the late 1980s, sometimes for months at a time, I traveled back many times to all compass points, of Mainland China. It was during this period that I published theMARTIAL ARTS OF CHINA magazines, with the Beijing Sports Commission. Again, I had many exchanges with some very famous Teachers, of many different styles, as well as village teachers. People such as Cai Longyun, who represented China’s Martial Arts, in the 1936 Olympics, hosted by Adolph Hitler, in Berlin Germany. And Wu Bin, the teacher of Jet Li. I was fortunate to cooperate, on a Ministry level, and gain access to the China Martial Art Archives and the Teachers who created today’s Wushu, in China.
Circa 1988, I visited some times with Yip Sui and his “Chow Gar” in Hong Kong. We were friendly some years. But, there is no Chow Gar, nor has there ever been any “Chow Gar”, in China. Chow Gar is only Yip Sui’s version, of his teacher, Lao Sui’s, Chu Gar.
In 1992, I traveled to Pingshan, where I am today, with Henry Poo Yee and Chan Tung, a disciple of Gin Foon Mark. We visited the Hometown and Wong Yuk Kong family, of China’s Kwongsai Mantis. We also visited with some China Kwongsai Sifu, in Hong Kong. It was during this trip that I disassociated Henry Poo Yee. Yee was not truthful.
Then in 2002, I moved back to this area, the Hometowns of Hakka Mantis, Kwongsai, Chu Gar, and Iron Ox. I have been here 16 years now and haven’t left China. And I have shared, exchanged, and taught, with all the Clans here, Kwongsai, Chu Gar, and Iron Ox. In 2013, in conjunction with Lao Sui’s descendants, Chen Jianming and I opened the first public Chu Gar School, in Lao Sui’s Hometown. We were featured on local television. I plan to post upcoming several videos, about this.
There are differences, in the China / Hong Kong Hakka Mantis, as compared to Lam Sang’s USA Kwongsai Mantis. Gene Chen’s Chu Gar, in 1980s San Francisco, was nearly the same as old style Chu Gar today. This is a big question that needs further addressing, without my virtual China tour here!
One primary difference is that foreigners, Occidentals, seem more interested and some times more dedicated, than their China counterparts. I sometimes think that local people, here in China, simply take Martial Arts for granted, whereas, we “round-eyes” must exert special effort to acquire it.
Martial Arts clubs, in China today, are sometimes more of a social club, than a traditional Wuguan. That being said, there is a strong martial tradition that remains, in most Hakka villages. I am only speaking from my personal experience. And this is only a broad outline. There are many more small details, of interest, regarding exchanges with other styles, “challenge matches”, training methods, spiritualism, and much more, in Hakka Mantis that still exists, in China. It is impossible to speak of 50+ years experience, in a short time! Ha ha!