Xinhua News Agency, Hong Kong, August 9th Wire title: Mobile Wing Chun Gymnasium
Xinhua News Agency reporter Hong Xuehua
Over the past year, 69-year-old Wing Chun coach Lin Shucheng has rented three gyms. This time he moved from Portland Street, Mong Kok to Baiyang Street, Sham Shui Po.
Every rent exchange has the same reason: the rent is too expensive. Later, he thought of a way-short-term rent, and after the lease expires, he will move his apprentices to the next boxing gym.
Lin Shucheng's boxing gym has no name. The only mark is a short-sleeved shirt worth 100 Hong Kong dollars on the disciples. The clothes are written with four words: Liang Xiang Wing Chun. He started to learn Wing Chun from the age of 18 with Leung Sang, the great apprentice of Wing Chun master Ip Man. Over the next 50 years, despite changing many trades, he always appeared in the gym, one head taller than himself. In front of the wooden pile, he practiced and taught boxing day after day.
Rooftop "Kick Hall"
In 1969, he was introduced by an acquaintance, and Lin Shucheng joined Ip Man’s disciple Liang Xiang to learn Wing Chun. In 2010, he retired from the Hong Kong Driving School to focus on teaching Wing Chun.
Wing Chun is a martial art suitable for close combat, both offensive and defensive, including small thoughts, bridge searching, indexing, shou, wooden stakes, six-and-a-half sticks, eight-cut knives and other advanced fist techniques. Routine.
Lin Shucheng likes the martial arts novels of Jin Yong and Gu Long, and has fantasized about the supernatural power of the heroes of the novels. But back to reality, practicing Kungfu is like building a building. You must lay the foundation step by step, and there is no shortcut. From small thoughts to eight-cutting swordsmanship, he practiced every movement at least 10,000 times until it became an instinctive reaction of the body.
In the eyes of the fellow students, Lin Shucheng's Wing Chun boxing was made. If he hadn't taken the initiative to talk about it, it would be difficult for the apprentices to imagine that the old man with thin body and mild temper would often "kick the gym" when he was young.
"Kicking the gym" was in the 1970s. At that time, the competition was popular. Lin Shucheng still remembers the grand occasion of the rooftop competition. Every twilight, the brothers in the martial arts gymnasium are eager to win the competition. That is a unique landscape of old Hong Kong.
Learning Wing Chun for nearly three years, Lin Shucheng, who is in his early 20s, meets people from other martial arts schools to compete on the rooftop or in the park. In accordance with the rules, the two sides will decide the outcome after discussing each other, not holding each other's enemies.
Unlike martial arts novels, real martial arts competitions do not have many tricks, and the outcome depends on real talents. However, Lin Shucheng remembers the spirit of "hoeing the strong and helping the weak" in martial arts novels. Someone once bullied ordinary citizens on the street, he stepped forward to discourage him, and when the other party saw that he knew how to work, he gave up. "This is the original intention of the martial artist," he said.
Temporary Boxing Gym
In August last year, Lin Shucheng and his apprentices left the Wing Chun Gymnasium on Portland Street, Mong Kok, and moved to Wing Chun Gymnasium on Baiyang Street, Sham Shui Po. He rented the boxing gym short-term from his senior brother Liang Jintang. It can be used every Thursday night for 2 hours and 30 minutes and the monthly rent is 1,600 Hong Kong dollars.
In Hong Kong, where the living area is small, a formal Wing Chun gym is only 20 to 30 square meters and can accommodate up to 10 people to practice simultaneously. According to the Hong Kong property market, renting a boxing gym requires at least more than 10,000 Hong Kong dollars per month. Lin Shucheng has nine apprentices, and the tuition fee per person is 600 Hong Kong dollars per month, which is only enough for short-term rent.
Training tools such as wooden stakes, sandbags, and long wooden sticks are placed in the boxing gym. The reporter saw Lin Shucheng here, he shuttled between his apprentices, teaching boxing hand in hand. The new boxing gym is still small, and the students stand staggered. Those who first arrived at the gym have already practiced wooden stakes, and those who arrived later started with basic skills.
Lin Shucheng has his own insistence on accepting students and teaching professions. "Accepting apprentices depends on character and sincerity. I will not teach a villain to learn martial arts. This is the bottom line." He said.
Two years ago, through an acquaintance, Wu Jialin, a young man from Hong Kong, found Lin Shucheng. When he went to the boxing gym for the third time, Lin Shucheng asked him: "Want to learn Wing Chun?" Wu Jialin nodded. "If you want to learn, just follow me." There was no ceremony on the day of the formal apprenticeship.
Wu Jialin later discovered that Lin Shucheng had spent a month investigating him. In the past Liang Xiang taught Lin Shucheng, Wing Chun emphasized both virtue and art. It is not only a kung fu, but also a cultivation of character and martial virtue. If the apprentice is not well-trained, it is easy to hurt others with kung fu. Liang Xiang's teachings are now used by his apprentices.
"Light a lamp"
Among Lin Shucheng's apprentices, 43-year-old Zhu Zibin is the oldest. He started learning Wing Chun three years ago. Zhu Zibin is engaged in foreign trade work, and his fans on social networks are like clouds. He is the Internet celebrity "Uncle Ben" in the eyes of foreign trade practitioners.
But in Lin Shucheng's boxing gym, the vigor of the Internet celebrity "Uncle Ben" in the workplace disappeared. He was troubled by the lack of solid basic skills and repeated practice.
"Master will not talk about the inheritance, I will not teach boxing like him after retirement, but I can let more people know about Wing Chun." Zhu Zibin shared the short video of playing wooden piles to his circle of friends , Published articles about Wing Chun in business magazines, making Wing Chun frequently appear in his fan circle.
Unlike his apprentice Zhu Zibin, Lin Shucheng has his own way of passing on.
After Liang Xiang died in 1978, Lin Shucheng and his brothers rented a boxing gym, named Liang Xiangtang. In order to commemorate Liang Xiang, Lin Shucheng and other seniors established the Liang Xiang Department Wing Chun International Student Association in 2019, and he served as the vice chairman. Last year, the Leung Sang Wing Chun International Student Association held the 100th anniversary of Leung Sang's birthday. Lin Shucheng called on all the apprentices, and the apprentices put on the short-sleeved shirt printed with "Leung Sang Wing Chun".
The "Liang Xiang Family Genealogy" is recorded in the commemorative book of the Wing Chun International Student Association of Liang Xiang Department. Lin Shucheng is the first generation of Liang Xiang. He also has 22 senior brothers. It’s in the list of the second-generation descendants. Just like the family genealogy, they have a strict concept of "faction genealogy" and the distinction between elder and child. The apprentice respects the master, and the apprentice respects the senior.
There is a line in the movie "The Great Master": Light a lamp with one breath. You must know that if you never forget, there must be an echo, and there will be people with lights. There are many people in Hong Kong who pass on Wing Chun in silence like Lin Shucheng. They are the lamplighters, guiding the younger generations to pass on the traditional Chinese martial arts.
One year later, the temporary boxing gym lease will expire, and Lin Shucheng does not know where the boxing gym will move.
"Where the master goes, we will go wherever we go." The apprentices said in unison.