A Brief History of Penang Yue Fei Martial Art Centre
By Master Zhang Han Xiong (Dato Designate)
The brief history of Yue Fei Martial Art Centre should logically begin with Master Zhang Fu who was the founder of Yue Fei Martial Art Health Building Centre. He learned martial art from Master Liu Guan Bao and proved himself a talented disciple as he had a superb memory. Later he learned Yue Fei’s martial art from Master Ye Guan Hua.
Legend has it that in the middle of Song dynasty, there was a chivalrous gentleman in Shaan Xi Province called Han De. He was a skilled martial art master and was very chivalrous and brave. He passed on his martial art skills and knowledge to Zhou Tong. Zhou Tong again coached Lu Jun Yi and Lin Chong, both of them later became the heroes of Liang Shan Bo or the Water Margin. It was during his old age that Zhou Tong met Yue Fei in Shan Xi Province. Zhou Tong found Yue Fei very tall, strong, robust and intelligent. Knowing that Yue Fei was the right material for martial art, Zhou Tong taught Yue Fei all he knew. Yue Fei later became an army General in the Song army and defeated the invading soldiers of Jin from the north, thus earning himself a great reputation. Very sadly however, Yue Fei was framed by Qing Kwai, a senior councilor of the Song Emperor’s court, and was murdered at Feng Bo Pavilion together with is son. As a result, Yue Fei’s martial art seemed to have vanished for a long time. It was not until the Qing Dynasty, during Emperor Qian Long’s reign, that a Taoist priest called Bai Mei (white eye-brows) acquired and mastered Yue Fei’s martial art and decided to spread it widely around China.
Yue Fei’s martial art series is not very long the most basic had strokes only consist of 10 continuous movements. The style of combat is always moving forward, never backward; continuous attacks in quick and short strokes with fingers or wrists and if that fails, with arms, shoulders or even forehead to hit the opponent’s nose ridge. This non-stop, close body contact combat tactic makes the opponent confused and thus is unable to counteract.
Master Yue’s Martial Art consists of the following series:
- 18 hanging movements
- Jin Gang Gong (Warrior Guards’ Basic Steps)
Hand to Hand Combat Skills:
- Chain Strokes
- Jin Gang Foot Strokes (Warrior Guards’ Foot Strokes)
- Sword-Gate and Water Splashing Strokes
- Fierce Tiger’s Strokes
- Lion’s strokes
- Owl’s Claw strokes
- Double Dragon stick
- Big Flag stick
- Five Sharp stick
- 18 Lo Han Stick (18 Buddhist Guards’ stick)
- Pu Stick (Crude stick)
- Zhong Lan stick (Medium Size stick)
- Mao Zi stick (Cat’s stick)
- Ten Doors stick
Master Yue’s combat style is mainly fast and deadly; each stroke is simple and practical, so it is very good for self-defense. The Stick Skills also have the same characteristic: each strike with the stick is like a snake coming out of the box, lively and nimble. Master Zhang has said that to practice martial art without learning the basic strokes is all but a waste of time; to learn the basic strokes without practicing ‘qi’ will be in vain even training until old age; further more, one must learn how to strike hard, without which all those flowery strokes are useless.
Master Zhang himself is a good model of a skilled and accomplished grand master. Despite his old age, he could continuously strike the wall with his left and right shoulders, which was so powerful that each strike would cause a loud vibrating sound. There is a Chinese saying: “While it is common to find a thousand-year-old tree in the mountain, it is rare to find a man over one hundred years old in the world.” It implies that life indeed is very short, but to the martial art master who is forever diligent in practicing and keeping himself healthy and fit, it may be a different story.
Zhang Fu Health Building Centre was established in 1967. He was later invited to teach the skills in Sabah and Pahang. He was once the Trainer and Coach of Perak Lo Han Centre. He was honoured as the “Tuan Bao” (Jewel of the Team).