Tuesday, 12 January, 2016
Now, I have some sad news: Henry’s father, Master 何金銘 Ho Kam Ming, has suffered a stroke, I believe last October (I will correct the date if I find it to be wrong). He is currently staying in a hospital in Toronto, Canada, where his other son lives.
This event has caused some commotion in the Ho Kam Ming lineage. Henry Ho is in the process of promoting 銘念詠春 Ming Concept Wing Chun, a new organization meant to bring together the branches Ho Kong Ming lineage, to preserve it and to promote it. I do not want to say too much on this topic now, as I do not know the details too well. So I will move on.
I met Henry Ho and two of his students in his garage school in 珠海 Zhuhai. The space is quite small, large enough to fit a car, or a small shop. A roll-up metal door is lowered when the school is closed. The room is mostly empty, except for the wooden dummy on the far wall, and a poster of Ho Kam Ming above it. Outside, above the roll-up door, is the sign for the school, indicating the name 銘念 Ming Concept. The Chinese for Ming Concept is 銘念 Ming Lim – the Ming from Ho Kam Ming, and the Lim from Siu Lim Tau. Obviously, this is meant to say that it is the Ho Kam Ming system, or lineage.
Zhuhai is a quite town compared to the other cities I had visited up until now. It is on the coast, next to 深圳 Shenzhen and Macau. I enjoyed the quieter atmosphere as I found my way to Henry’s school. The thought crossed my mind, of perhaps staying in this area.
At the school we practiced some 黐手 chi sau, Henry Ho gave a lesson, and we talked. The chi sau was brief, but interesting. I certainly felt out of practice. The energy was similar, but unique to the student. Honestly, if felt a little tense, but that is common. There were few “breaks,” and the focused seemed to be on holding the center. Henry covered many topics quickly. First we looked at how to correctly use elbow power, primarily in strikes, but really in everything. He also applied the same principle to the legs, which are to be appropriately backed by the knee. We also talked about stance and movement. At the time I felt most of this fairly rudimentary, but Henry was being critical and forced me to question how I was practicing. I didn’t try too hard to understand, but let the discussion settle in. Also, as a side note, Henry mentioned a teacher of the Ming Concept lineage teaching in 佛山 Foshan, which is very close to where I live in 广州 Guangzhou. He said his name is Rocky Lui.
We then went to lunch, a delicious broth (not oil) hot pot, bid farewell to his Zhuhai students, and began making our way to Macau. Henry teaches twice a week in Macau, sharing a class with a senior instructor, in a school which was founded by Ho Kam Ming himself – a school which was visited at least once by Grandmaster 葉問 Yip Man (Ho Kam Ming’s teacher). We drove to the boarder of Zhuhai and Macau and parked the car. We then waisted a lot of time making our way through customs – exiting China boarder, and entering Macau boarder – and finally made it into Macau on foot. All of that is a lot easier with a China passport, and Henry usually just walks through without much waiting. We moved fast to Henry Ho’s motorcycle and sped off through the alleyway-sized city streets. The Macau streets are dominated by motorcycles, much more so than any Chinese city I’ve seen, including Hong Kong (which has surprisingly few motorcycles). And, yes, he had an extra helmet for me.