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The Origins & Lineage Of

Siu Lum Hak Fu Mun


During the 1830’s a Shaolin monk called Siu Dak / Zhao De (also known as Sam Dak) was travelling around Guangzhou begging for alms and also visiting associates whilst on his travels. At the village of Shunde, Nanxiang, a local gentleman named Mr So offered to accommodate the monk for a few days. While the monk, Siu Dak was staying at Mr So’s home he noticed a teenager practicing martial arts. Through the practice of martial arts this young man had developed strength and a good physic. The monk noticed that although the teenager’s striking power was strong, his technique had many mistakes and that his training was obviously improving his health, but it was of little use for self-defence.

Several days later, when Siu Dak had completed his work and was preparing to say goodbye to Mr. So, he saw the teenager training again. He told the teenager of his opinions, but the young man didn’t believe him. Therefore Siu Dak asked the teenager to take a test, which the young man was happy to accept and immediately punched at Siu Dak’s stomach. Siu Dak blocked the young man's punch with his left hand and slightly pushed teenager’s shoulder with right hand palm. The teenager lost balance and fell to the ground. Siu Dak immediately picked him up and asked his name. The young man told Siu Dak his name was So Hak Fu and that he was a nephew of Mr. So who the monk had been staying with.

So Hak Fu didn’t complain and immediately beseeched Siu Dak to teach him. Siu Dak refused because he needed to return to the Shaolin Temple. So, didn’t give up and stated that he was willing to follow Siu Dak to Shaolin. Siu Dak felt his passion for learning and knew that he had potential for Kung Fu and so finally agreed to take him with him.

So trained hard at Shaolin conditioning himself in the throwing stone lock, spring stone wheel and the striking dummy. Both arms (bridge) were as strong as steel and his stances had very good balance. After three years, Siu Dak also taught him the Sap Yin Kuen (10 animals form), Chue Ba Sin (Drunken form), Hak Fu Dao (Black Tiger Saber), and Kam Kong Kun (Kam Kong Pole). 

So’s favourite form was the Sap Yin Kuen (10 animals form). The ten animals were Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, Crane, Elephant, Lion, Horse, Monkey, and Marten. Every animal in the form included approximately 30 movements and the form was divided into three parts. The three parts are, Chin Chong (front), Chung Chong (middle), and Hau Chong (rear), which includes both hard and soft movements. After six years training, So, learned all the secret martial arts from Siu Dak. The young So then went onto develop and formulate his own style from the various aspects taught to him at Shaolin.

At the age of 24, with Siu Dak’s approval So Hark Fu left Shaolin and returned to his home village to visit his parents. Once back in the village his clan were soon very impressed by his standard of Kung Fu and he was invited to teach martial arts there. For three years So taught Kung Fu in the village in an area at the local fruit wholesalers company. His clan brothers then invited him to go to Guangzhou and set up a gym there teaching his Kung Fu. So Hak Fu considered that his prospect was limited if he stayed in the village and so he accepted the offer. So Hak Fu then handed over his classes at the village to one of his students and moved to Canton (Guangzhou).

So Hak Fu set up his own gym in Canton (Guangzhou), Wong Sa Road  (located near the White Swan Hotel at present date). So Hak Fu quickly built up a reputation and soon he had many students.  Due to his success some other Sifu’s became jealous. One of these was a Wudang Sifu called Liu Wing. Liu Wing brought around thirty students with him to So Hak Fu’s gym and challenged him to a fight. So Hak Fu had no alternative but to accept this challenge and fight with them. Finally, after a very fierce battle So Hark Fu defeated Liu Wing and his students. After this battle, So Hak Fu was famous in Canton (Guangzhou). Legend states that because So Hak Fu was a martial arts expert and was never defeated, people honored him as a member of Canton Ten Tigers. So Hak Fu martial arts were unique and originated from Shaolin, successors therefore called this martial arts style Shaolin Black Tiger (Siu Lum Hak Fu Mun).

A Monk named Fung Ping Wai had studied under So Hak Fu and had returned to a worldly life. Master Fung had found employment with a British family living in Bowen Road at the Peak on Hong Kong Island, sometime before 1920. In 1920 Master Wong Chueng also found employment as a gardener with the same British family. Early in the mornings and during breaks the young Wong Cheung would practice his Tie Sin Kuen, Chai Mei Kun, and Lung Yin Ba Gua Cheong, which he had previously learnt during his early life. One day a fellow co-worker saw the young Wong practicing with his staff and, borrowing it, imitated Wong's technique, breaking the staff in two. It turned out that this co-worker, was Master Fung Ping-Wai. Wong and Fung became good friends and during their time together Master Fung taught the young Wong Cheung Siu Lum Hak Fu (Shaolin Black Tiger) Kung Fu.


(A more detailed history of both Siu / Sam Dak & So Hak Fu are available in the book called, The Ten Tiger of Canton, written by Paul Burkinshaw.)