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patfromlogan
1/22/2011 10:51pm,
On the road up the mountain to Tsing Shan Monastery (on the edge of Castle Peak - the lower part of a popular 1500 ft elevation gain trail that is used by a lot of fit or wanna be fit types), by the town of Tuen Mun, a Hong Kong suburb of maybe 7 or 800,000 souls, 99.9% living in high rise apts) we met a 70ish Chinese man who was very friendly and talkative. I noticed his knuckles right away; he had those big bumps like you see on serious makiwara pounders or iron fist practitioners. He told us the following story, what occured 40 years ago.

I was hiking up to the monastery with my very pregnant first wife and I was twice the size I'm now. Even big with carrying the baby she was beating me up the trail and got very upset about how fat and bad I was and so I ended up promising that I would get in better shape. Every day after work I'd hike this trail, eventually getting to jog up. One day I saw the head monk and I asked him to teach my kung fu. He got mad and told me to go away. I ended up begging him on my knees and told him about my wife and my health and so he relented and told me to run up the hill as fast as I could and pick out some big trees and punch them and kick them every day. And after six months he'd give me a second lesson.

Six months went by and I asked to see the head monk and they refused to let me see him. I waited and eventually he came out and I asked for my second lesson. He told me I had graduated and to leave him alone. Again I begged him to teach me the second lesson. He again told me that I had graduated but I told him more about my work as a Dr. at the mental hospital and after a while he ( a much smaller skinny little guy) grabbed me by the shoulder and hauled me to the edge of the rocks. He said see Victoria Peak? They have guns there that can shoot us and blow up this monastery. What is the point of learning martial arts? It is worthless since there are guns. More important is to be a good person and have compassion. Do you fight the patients in your hospital? Have no enemies and you can forget about locking your door.

That was the end of my lessons, but I have run now for 40 years and still punch and kick, but now I hit metal posts.

It was an interesting encounter and he certainly looked to be in great shape.

Permalost
1/22/2011 11:13pm,
Neat story.

Stu-Jitsu
1/23/2011 4:38am,
Bro, that was a cool story.

Larus marinus
1/23/2011 7:14am,
Wut, they don't have gangs of junkies and homeless and sexual perverts and unemployed and ethnic minorities hanging around on every street corner and in every alleyway in HK, just waiting to kill you for fun?

atomicpoet
1/23/2011 5:44pm,
I find this story amusing. Cantonese people often have a habit of pronouncing things "worthless" when they actually do have a use for it themselves, but think you wouldn't benefit from it.

Perfect example: five years ago, I wanted to learn Cantonese. Whenever I tried to enrol in classes, I was told, "Why would you want to learn Cantonese? It is worthless. People in Hong Kong will speak English to you. If you want to learn a Chinese language, learn Mandarin instead -- it's good for business."

Of course, now that I have a Cantonese wife, I must learn Cantonese.

maofas
1/23/2011 5:52pm,
Fug are you sure this old man really existed and absolutely no peyote was involved?

Larus marinus
1/23/2011 6:01pm,
Fug are you sure this old man really existed and absolutely no peyote was involved?

You never heard of the Chinese Ministry of Tourism paying elderly men an hourly wage to hang around in popular locations and strike up vaguely profound-sounding conversations with whitey? :toothy10:

Edit: and encourage them to buy tickets for stuff.

Gezere
1/23/2011 6:27pm,
What a wise monk.

W. Rabbit
1/23/2011 6:27pm,
Fug are you sure this old man really existed and absolutely no peyote was involved?

Wait....was the old man naked and wearing a loincloth only? Was Jim Morrison sitting nearby?

/subscribe

WhiteShark
1/23/2011 6:56pm,
Let me get this straight? Kung Fu has no technique at all and causes irreparable joint damage? Sign me up!

Odacon
1/23/2011 7:06pm,
He should still get an iron pipe or something just in case.

Ciderbone
1/23/2011 11:55pm,
I learned the art of making love through similar method.

TaeBo_Master
1/24/2011 1:36am,
Huh. And here I was sure that Iron Shirt training would protect against artillery.

TaeBo_Master
1/24/2011 1:37am,
Great story though. It's even got a moral and everything.

Tenebrous
1/24/2011 2:33am,
Great story though. It's even got a moral and everything.

Beginning, middle and end too. Just how I like 'em.

OZZ
1/24/2011 8:47am,
Cool story.

As long as we're telling old kung fu stories....................

There was this boy in China who after a long waiting period finally got accepted into the monastery he had been trying to gain entrance to for many years. Once he finally got in and was introduced to his teacher he was very excited.
The teacher took the boy into a room with a huge cauldron filled with water and instructed him to strike the water in a slapping motion with his right hand. He was to do nothing else but this for days on end..at first he was excited but soon became frustrated because each and every day the teacher would come in and instruct him to do the exact same thing. This continued for several months until finally the boy was told to return home for a short visit to check on his family.
When he returned home his father asked him how his lessons had been going and what he had learned.
The frustrated boy replied angrily " I feel I am a fool, father! I have been there for many months and I have learned NOTHING !"
As he shouted the final word of his sentence he slapped his hand across the family's dinner table, a very thick wooden table that had been in the home for many years - and broke it in two.

That was one I heard when I was a teenager.Whether it has any basis in fact or not, I have no idea.
But I like yours better Pat.