In the 1980s I read articles in Inside Kung-Fu on Five Ancestor Fist by Alex Co.To me this art was dynamic, its principles deep, and its curriculum comprehensive; I just had to learn it. I finally had the chance to meet and learn from Master Co in the early 1990s during my travels to Manila to research Filipino martial arts. Years later I became his disciple and the president of the International Beng Hong Athletic Association, the governing body for the Philippine-Chinese Beng Kiam Athletic Club, the oldest kung-fu club in the Philippines.
During my continuous travels to the Philippines I was introduced in 1995 to the Philippine Kong Han Athletic Club, and its headmaster Henry Lo. Kong Han is a brother club to Beng Kiam that is just a few years younger, but equally as famous. Sigong Tan, Kiong Beng (the founder of Beng Kiam) and Sigong Lo, Yan-Chiu (the founder of Hong Han) were well acquainted and friendly, as the clubs and their masters remain to this day.
One thing I noticed, however, was that while many forms shared by the clubs had the same name, their choreography was different. Their weapons sets were different, too. I soon discovered that there were 10 disciples of the founder, Chua, Giok-Beng, who each had their specialties and brought the art to different parts of Asia, most notably to SE Asian countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Ngo Cho Kun is made up of concepts and techniques from five distinct arts, so it only makes sense that a master may focus on one over the others. As I researched the art and met teachers from the various lines I discovered quite a difference in method. This makes Ngo Cho all the more intriguing.
I am honored and excited to publish this comprehensive book, Kong Han Ngo Cho Kun, by Sigong Henry Lo and Sifu Daniel Kun. It covers a lot of ground, including Kong Han’s curriculum up to O-Duan (Black Belt). It also offers a history of Southern Fist and links this to the creation of Five Ancestor Fist. I commend the authors for their research efforts and detailed explanations.
I find it baffling how the art of Five Ancestor Fist is so popular in South China and SE Asia, but remains relatively unknown in the West. Grandmaster Co and I have worked hard to promote it in the media through books, including Five Ancestor Fist Kung-Fu (Tuttle 2000), The Bible of Ngo Cho Kun (Tambuli 2013); articles in magazines such as Kung-Fu Tai Chi, Inside Kung-Fu, Martial Arts Illustrated (both US and UK versions), and Seni Bela Diri (in Malaysia); as well as via websites and blog posts, seminars and classes. Teachers of other Ngo Cho lines have done their part, too. Yet here we are decades later and Ngo Cho Kun is still a rare art in the West. It is our hope that this book, Kong Han Ngo Cho Kun, by Henry Lo and Daniel Kun, will make strides forward in introducing the West to Ngo Cho Kun, the Fukien art of Five Ancestor Fist Kung-fu.
This will be my next purchase on the Ngo Cho