The Traditions of Singapore Hay Pun Wing Chun - By Cheung Wah Boe and Eric Ling


Por Suk started his kung fu training with a relative at a tender age and only seeks out the late Saam Chum or “Mun Chum”; (mun” is Cantonese for blind because Saam Chum had real beady eyes that from afar, makes him looks “blind”), after deciding that he was not getting enough from his relative.

He trained under Saam Chum for 6 over years and subsequently moved on to start his own school.

For Por Suk, the history of is Hay Pun WC is uncomplicated. His teacher told him that it came from Shaolin’s Jhee Sim. It was simply known as Shaolin back then. Based on the crane and snake, there were others in Shaolin who mastered this style and fled with Jhee Sim during the burning of the temple. The others include an “Ng Mui” who fled to Canton.

Jhee Sim ended up with the red boat opera troops. Hay Pun means “opera group”. On board the boats, the original snake/crane art forms were adapted to conform to the new training space and conditions.

Many elders here talk about “land” and “sea” WCK to set apart Jhee Sim’s and Ng Mui’s legacies.

Por Suk even went as far as showing me equivalent techniques to back this. However, he did add that according to the late Saam Chum, there were 3 ½ Shaolin in China back then.

One in Henan, Wudang and Emei respectively. 2 more in Fukien and Canton but these 2 are, for some reasons, considered as half collectively

Yik Kam or “Cheng Tan Kam”, Jhee Sim’s student, was responsible for introducing this form to the Cho family in Phoon Yee and his most illustrious student was Cho Shun also known as “Dai Ngan Shun”.

Cho Shun taught many students and among them were Cho Dak Seng and Saam Chum whose real name was “Sum Chum Phoon”.

Saam Chum moved to Malaysia and taught Por Suk and Fu Cheng Hoi amongst others.

Por Suk is generally recognized as the head of Saam Chum line today.

So it is right that Por Suk is the fourth generation inheritor of the style counting from Yik Kam.

Playing with Por Suk, the snake/crane elements of Hay Pun becomes unmistakable.

The crane characteristics are apparent in the front portion of his SLT and there’s an entire segment devoted to the snake.


Sources:

  • Oral and written tradition Cheung Wah Boe
  • Oral traditions Sam Chan
  • Eric Ling
  • MAG 2007