November 23 – 26, 2018 The Philippine Kong Han Martial Arts Club hosted the 29th annual convention of the International South Shaolin Wu Chu Chuan Federation at the festive City of Manila show casing to all the 220 foreign delegates from Australia, China, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sweden, Taiwan, France, Singapore, USA, Vietnam and the home country Philippines in cooperation with the Philippine Department of Tourism in experiencing the holiday Christmas spirit in Manila, the Philippine culture, the food, the hospitality, the history and the folk dances.
The convention was held at Rizal Park Hotel with the official induction of the Federation new Chairman Abbott Shi Chang Ding he is also the Chief Abbott of Quanzhou Shaolin Temple. The convention was made more meaningful in conjunction with the celebration of the Philippine Kong Han Martial Arts Club’s 80th anniversary led by Mr. Eric Go Kaw Chairman of Philippine Kong Han, Grandmaster Henry Lo and all the officers and members of Philippine Kong Han and its international affiliates that made these two great events a memorable and successful one a one of its kind.
Grandmaster Henry Lo (3rd from left, Secretary General Mr. Ong Pong (center), Kong Han Chairman Mr. Eric Go Kaw (6th from left) together with Kong Han Sifus', officers and instructor.
These two events were climaxed with a full international kung fu demonstration of wu chu chuan (five ancestors’ fist) by all the foreign teams. The kung fu demonstration was held on Nov. 25 at the Chiang Kai Sek College multipurpose gym presented were several empty hand forms, weapon forms, drills, fighting set, brick breaking and the amazing kung fu skill the one finger hand stand by a South Shaolin monk a firsthand eyewitness to this incredible fit by all those that are present there, to see is to believe!
One finger hand stand
These two events was not just a convention or celebration of Kong Han’s 80th anniversary it was also an educational event understanding the history of the Philippines a visit to the historical Fort Santiago a fort build by the Spanish colonizers in 1592, the Tsinoy Museum a museum that house the history and documents the early Chinese immigrants their migration, struggle, integration, history, success and contribution to Philippine society , the Luneta Park an urban park in Manila City created in 1820 by the Spanish rulers its historical significance was that it was were the nation’s national hero Dr. Jose Rizal who is of ethnic Chinese ancestry that in December 30, 1896 was executed by firing squad for insurrection his execution triggered a successful united nationwide rebellion against Spain that resulted in the independence of the Philippines from Spanish rule in 1897 a short lived independence that in 1902 the USA will successfully take over the Philippine establishing the Commonwealth of the Philippines .
Monument of Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal at Luneta Park, Manila City
Next a visit to the Corregidor Island a rocky island that is strategically located at the entrance to Manila Bay entry to the City of Manila by sea it is a WWII memorial island it is where the combine forces of the USA and Filipino soldiers fought and held off the Japanese invasion for 90 days finally surrendering in May 6, 1942 the strong resistance significantly delaying Imperial Japan’s war time schedule, finally enjoying the music and the great hospitality that is reputable of the Filipino people sponsored by the Department of Tourism.
What makes these events more eventful was the visit to the Tsinoy (Chinese-Filipino) Museum learning the history of early ethnic Chinese migration to the Philippines their integration, their economic, cultural, martial arts contribution and knowing that the oldest Chinatown in the world is in Manila City in an area called Binondo established in 1594.
It was very nice to find the signature weapons of Kong Han’s founder the legendary Dr. Lo Yan Chiu in display at the museum donated by Kong Han to be preserved as a piece of historical artifact that was used by Dr. Lo against the Manchu during the dying years of the Manchu (Qing) dynasty sometime in 1900-1910. Dr. Lo’s twin short sword, his te pi (iron flog or sai) and his throwing daggers these are Dr. Lo’s weapons that will be used until it became obsolete against modern firearms when Japan invaded China in 1937.
Signature weapons of Dr. Lo Yan Chiu in display at Chinese-Filipino Museum.
The weapons preserved and display at the museum for visitors, historians and academics to view and learn about the past and most of all for those martial artist to understand the functionality of Goh Cho Kun kung fu and for members of Kong Han to be proud to be part of Philippine Kong Han Martial Arts Club that included a visitation to Dr. Lo Yan Chiu’s memorial site at Chinese cemetery remembering not just Dr. Lo Yan Chiu, his two sons Grandmasters Lo King Hui and Lo King Chiok as well as members of Kong Han that fought against Imperial Japan in WWII 1942 – 1945 a great way in marking Kong Han’s 80th anniversary celebration.
In 1937 Dr. Lo will leave Quanzhou China to escape from the Japanese occupiers and settle in Manila Philippines his reputation as an expert traditional Chinese doctor, his Tai Cho Goh Cho Kun kung fu skills and his leadership quality was well known to every Fujian Chinese immigrant in Manila he will be encourage to take community leadership by opening a kung fu school that he will name Kong Han Kok Sut Kwoon in 1937 (Kong Han Martial Arts Club).
War will not spare the Philippines as Imperial Japan will invade and occupied the Philippines from 1942 to 1944 during that time Japanese occupiers would approach Dr. Lo demanding he teach his kung fu to the Japanese military and to cooperate in convincing the local community to submit to Japanese rule. Dr. Lo refused under the pretense of poor health he will excuse himself to the Japanese authorities still the Japanese wouldn’t leave him alone. Dr. Lo will be subjected to constant pressure and threaten with harm, his disciples would eventually smuggle Dr. Lo out of Manila City and escort him to northern Luzon province in Pangasinan to hide him away from the Japanese authorities. Dr. Lo Yan Chiu would past away in 1944 just after the liberation of Manila from Imperial Japan.
His legacy will be continued by his sons Dr. Lo King Hui and Lo King Chiok under their leadership Kong Han after WWII would further advance to new heights taking part in several community activities, martial arts events and competition in Singapore and Taiwan. In 1987 under the initiative of Dr. Lo King Hui’s reaching out to other Goh Cho Kun masters and lineages in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong
Kong, Japan, Taiwan and most of all at Goh Cho Kun’s birth place in Quanzhou Fujian China bringing them all together in a meeting that was held in Quanzhou China that would culminate in 1989 with the official set up of the International South Shaolin Wu Chu Chuan Federation with Dr. Lo King Hui as the first Chairman in recognition of his efforts and success in getting the different Goh Cho Kun lineages together in mutual respect.
In 1995 Dr. Lo King Hui will past away his son Master Henry Lo will take over as the Headmaster of Philippine Kong Han Martial Arts Club and become the Chairman of the International South Shaolin Wu Chu Chuan Federation from 2013 – 2016. Today both Kong Han Martial Arts Club and South Shaolin Wu Chu Chuan Federation has successfully achieved many of its goals just to name a few; formulation of a universal empty hand form for all lineages called Chong Hap Kun, making Goh Cho Kun as the official physical fitness / martial arts of the Quanzhou South Shaolin Temple and parts of local elementary school, the local government of Quanzhou has officially recognize Goh Cho Kun as part of its historical martial art tradition, Kong Han has introduced a sports sparring format that is suited to bring out the kung fu aspects of Goh Cho Kun, an annual interaction through convention with all Goh Cho Kun lineages and with continue propagation and expansion of Goh Cho Kun all over the world in the USA, Canada, France, Norway, Sweden , Germany, Brazil, UK, Ireland, Russia, Spain, Greece, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, and China.
Through the Federation with all the united efforts of the different Goh Cho Kun lineages around the world working hand in hand in promoting, sharing and teaching this great kung fu to everyone we can be sure that Goh Cho Kun will last for many, many centuries to come.
Grandmaster Henry Lo of Kong Han, Abbott Shi Chang Di of South Shaolin with Canada Kong Han group.
Philippine Kong Han Athletic Club main-mother school, USA Kong Han branch and Canada Kong Han branch, Norway Kong Han branch and Brazil Kong Han branch.