Image for post
Image for post

Wing Chun kung fu was never about breaking bricks. In the 1970’s I made a decision to defy this tradition, so In my shows, I went to demonstrate breaking concrete blocks, bricks and pavement slabs.

Most of the kung fu masters were so horrified to see that. They said that I was practising karate and destroying the good name of kung fu!

Their argument was that Chinese martial arts does not include breaking. So I raised the point that how can one show the power of Wing Chun if one does not show it through breaking ability?

If you do not possess the power to break a concrete slab, how can you expect to knock out an opponent? Chinese martial arts is based on skill, techniques and deep philosophy, and then power and strength. Jumping up and down or doing complicated moves and somersaulting with a pole or sword is just a performance, it is not practical in a real self defence situation. …

Image for post
Image for post
My Kung Fu teacher Lee Shing (left)

My Master was a very private person. One evening during our usual tea time he looked very sad; I could see it in his eyes. He told me that life for him was also tough before coming to London. The problem for him was not being able to speak English and not knowing what to do after losing everything: his business and his home in China.

During the Japanese Invasion, he had to flee China without his wife, son, or daughter. He decided to come to England to seek his fortune and a better life for all of them. It was really tough for him because he had to leave his family behind and on his own.So …

Most of the students who trained with my Master were all from Hong Kong. What I did not understand as a fellow Chinese student was that I was being subjected to prejudice.

Image for post
Image for post
Eating with my Master and fellow students

At times, they told my Master that I was not a pure Chinese because as I was born in Malaysia and did not deserve to be taught by him. Luckily my Master did not listen to them.

Some of his students still denied the fact that I have become my Master’s rightful successor, which I had not expected, but it was meant to be. …


Austin Goh

I teach people Wing Chun Kung Fu in London

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store