In the process of making the documentary: Kung Fu . Seeking the Tao, Mr. Li Youfu told us stories of Kung Fu masters in the past. Here we share some with our audience –
During Master Chen Jisheng’s latter years, I sometimes visited him.
He liked to brew good tea and chat with me
He told me an interesting episode from his earlier days.
Once, he was having tea in a teahouse. The waiter was an old man.
He’d fill customers’ teapots with boiled water.
As he walked up to Master Chen for no reason, the old man threw a punch at him.
There was no way to dodge. It came straight for the spot between Master Chen’s eyes.
Master Chen made a split-second decision. He remained still without even blinking.
He didn’t explain further to me. He just said: “As I remained still, he stopped.”
The punch stopped right in front of his eyes. Master Chen said: “This is the norm in martial arts circles.”
If he were to punch back, a fight would ensue.
Whereas if he remained still the person who had thrown the punch lost the fight.
Why? Later, Master Chen told his servant to pay the bill.
The servant went, and then came back and said “They said it’s on the teahouse.”
The servant didn’t understand why. But Master Chen laughed and told him to keep the money.
He said, “I knew it.”
As he was getting ready to leave, the old waiter walked up to him and he asked him to stay for the night.
It was an invitation for a friendly exchange.
They both knew that the other person was a skilled master.
The old waiter said: “I’d like to invite you to stay the night at my place.”
Master Chen accepted the invitation very gladly.
He said: “I’ve met a very skilled master! We will learn from each other.”
So he agreed to stay.
That night the old man asked Master Chen to come out to the courtyard.
He said: “I have this broadsword, take a look.”
It was a fine broadsword of the rarest quality…
It was very light and weighed just about 200 grams.
When a strand of hair was placed against the sword’s edge it was cut in half with just the puff of a breath.
Really, most people would never get to see such a valuable sword.
It was very special. You can’t find it nowadays. I had never seen one myself.
The old man said that the broadsword was very precious and it was easy to carry around.
He displayed a set of broadsword techniques with very fast movements.
His movementswere silky-flowing and quite enjoyable. A real grandmaster.
As they exchanged martial arts, dogs outside started barking.
They were in the countryside. Back then, it’s common to encounter highwaymen.
Basically those people were bandits or robbers who would ransack folks’ homes.
The two of them decided to check it out. The old man walked out. He had his back tightly against the wall. He remained absolutely still and observed his surroundings.
Master Chen too stood against the wall. They found out it was just some family member in the neighborhood who had returned home from afar. That’s why the dogs had become alarmed.
They were sure it weren’t bandits so they came back inside and continued discussing martial arts and learning from each other.
Master Chen then sighed and said: “The studies of martial arts know no limits.”
They demonstrated their techniques to each other.
The old man talked about the techniques for practicing the lightness skill.
He then took out an iron object, like an iron fish.
Its dorsal fin was tiny, but its base was exceedingly heavy.
He could pick it up by pinching the fin. It’s not something ordinary people could do.
Master Chen said that he showed the old man some Taichi techniques.
It was very good. They had a great time. It was all about learning from each other without any confrontations.
It was an opportunity to learn from each other.