and Jing Mo
Long ago, Jing Mo was started in Shanghai, China in March 1909, and the credit is given to the My Jong master and Chinese hero Fawk Yuen Gap (Ho Yuan Chia in Mandarin), who unfortunately passed away soon after in October 1909 from an illness. Many schools using the Jing Mo name have proliferated across the entire world, some connected with the main organization in Shanghai, others not.
Note that the name 'Jing Mo' is the Cantonese rendering, and it might also be spelled 'Ching Mo'. If people were to give the school a mandarin name, then they might called it 'Jing Wu', or 'Ching Wu'. The spelling in the English language does not seem to be totally consistent, so we mention this just to dispel confusion.
Other renderings of the words 'Tai Yook Woey' in English might be gymnastic association, sports club, physical culture association, and the like.
The Jing Mo Athletic Association was first brought to San Francisco in the early 1960's by Grandmaster Wong Jack Man. The school was also called 'The Chinese Physical Culture Association'. Grandmaster Wong is widely known among martial artists all over the world. From the early 1960's to 1978, Grandmaster Wong taught martial arts in San Francisco's Chinatown, his main gung-fu school located for many years at 880 Pacific Avenue. A large black sign with white Chinese calligraphy saying 'Jing Mo Tai Yook Woey' hung above the entrance. The characters were written from right to left in the old Chinese style. He instructed students in the arts of Hsing-I, Tai Chi, Northern Shaolin, and various other styles of northern martial arts.
When the Ching soldier burned the Shaolin Temple in the 1700s, thirteen monks escaped, with five traveling south and eight traveling north. Monk Chi Yuan went to Shantung province
Documented by Hsu Szu Ya in New Martial Hero #1, HK, 1972 and by Yim Shan Wu and Hwang Ken Wang in Martial Arts Association Limited, August 1970, Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Association Limited
(Wong Jack Man),
by Robert Fouie
Wong Chia Man was born in Tai Shan (Toyshan), Kwangtung Province, China in 1941. He started learning Northern Shaolin Chuan in Central Park Canton, China, at the age of 8 years old from Yim Shan Wu who was Kuo Yu Chang’s top disciple. In 1957, Wong Chia Man continued his lessons with Great Grandmaster Yim in Hong Kong. His talents were recognized by his Sifu and was one of the few selected to learn Northern Shaolin Lo Han from Great Grandmaster Ma Ching Fung, who learn from Kuo Yu Chang and Sun Yu Fung, King of Sabers. After years of learning both styles simultaneously, he received another letter of introduction (as the first letter of introduction was from Great Grandmaster Yim to Great Grandmaster Ma) from Great Grandmaster Ma to Great Grandmaster Yip Yee Ting of Mi Tsung Lo Han Chuan. After fifteen years of day and night study, Wong Sifu was highly trained and was the first person to complete the program studies in the Northern Shaolin Arts since World War II.
In the early 1960’s Wong Sifu came to the United States of America in hopes of opening America first Jing Mo Association. During the early years in America, he was practicing in the G & U Association where he would demonstrate his skills that he learnt in the old country. As one elderly witness in the association states,
“I witness Wong Sifu break a two inch wooden board against the grain with one light slap of his open palm. This demonstration illustrated how incredible his instrinsic energy really is.”
After practicing a number of years at G & U Association, Wong Sifu opened the first Jing Mo Association in San Francisco in 1964. Wong Sifu’s curriculum was a combination blend of the Standard Jing Mo School sets, Northern Shaolin, Northern Shaolin Lo Han, Northern Shaolin Lui Ho for the external styles and Sun’s Hsing I, and Yang’s Tai Chi and Li’s Wu tang Swords for the internal styles. In 1969, his school became the largest martial arts school with students numbering in the hundreds in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Grandmaster Yim Sheung Mo
Born in 1882, in the city of Linxi, in the Guanzhou province, Yim Sheung Mo at the age of 35 was already a respected and well known Hung Gar master. At about this time destiny would make the two masters cross the same path in an unusual situation.
A common practice in those days, Yim Sheung Mo heard of the reputation of a young master from the North and decided to challenge Ku Yu Cheong to a friendly combat. Yim Sheung Mo made several attempts to kick and punch Ku Yu Cheong, which he defended using only one of his hands. When counter attacking Ku Yu Cheong touched Yim Sheung Mo's body at will and Yim Sheung Mo was not able to defend himself or avoid the attacks. Noticing he was facing a superior adversary, Yim Sheung Mo apologized, abandoned his style and became a disciple of Ku Yu Cheong.
Becoming one of the three heirs to the skills and knowledge of Ku Yu Cheong, Yim Sheung Mo had the opportunity to learn other styles, due to his professor's reputation. He learned Choy Li Fat Bak Sing with Tam Sam, Luo Hap and Chi Yi Mun with Mong Lai Sin.
On the advice of Ku Yu Cheong, Yim Sheung Mo moved to Hong Kong in 1952, because of the political instability of China. There he was taken in by the Chan family, where he began teaching classes. His reputation rapidly increased and he soon became a well known master in Hong Kong.
Famous for his martial arts abilities, Yim Sheung Mo was also the main character in several curious stories. One of them tells that, at a restaurant, Yim Sheung Mo perforated a porcelain cup with his index finger without moving it. His nickname was Yim "Iron-Head". Once, while visiting old Hung Gar colleagues, Yim Sheung Mo was introduced to new students in a jesting manner as "the Hung Gar master who had turned a Northern Shaolin student"; when the visit was over, he said good-bye to all, opened a hole in the wall with his head and left.
Yim Sheung Mo had many students in Hong Kong, and left some representatives of his teachings throughout the world. Chan Ming Ling, Choy Ning, Au Wing I, Wong Chia Man (Wong Jack Man), Kwok Wing Lam and many others were some of his pupils.
Yim Sheung Mo dedicated his entire life to the teaching of Chinese martial arts and gave classes until the last day of his life. He died in 1971, in Hong Kong.