This is the first interview with SiFu Lin Xiang Fuk, made by Sergio Pascal Iadarola, in July 2010, at the Virginia HQ, Fredricksburg. I published the video of the interview with SiFu Lin, but no one has ever transcribed the text of the interview. Finally, after three years, one of our member, Sara Pilepich, helped me to transcribe this video interview, with the initial help of my Student, Pasquale Mazzotta. I thank you both with all my heart for the help rendered to the international community of Hek Ki Boen Eng Chun Pai.
SiFu Lin, how much have you been going studying Kung Fu?
Since 1985, officially.
Can you tell us a little bit about your SiFu and SiGung?
My SuKong, SiGung in cantonese, of course, his name is Kwee King Yang. I didn’t learn directly from him. When I have first learnt, he was still alive, but I didn’t have the opportunity to physically training with him. However he has passed the system to many people – officially they are about 11 people, 11 GrandMasters that teach the Hek Ki Boen system out there to the public. My SiFu, my first and main SiFu, is under GM The Kang Hai, which lived in the same city with me. I was introduced to him by my dad because they had a long relationship in the past. GM The Kang Hai also happened to be my dad’s SiFu too, as my SuKong, which is SuJo Kwee King Yang, was already very old, even when my dad’s started to learn. So this is how I came in the system. Later on, I also learnt form a couple of other Grandmasters, basically the one of the oldest disceples from him (indicating the picture of GM Kwee King Yang, ndr).
After 11, I learnt from several. One of them, he passed away. One of them, two of them actually are also students of my first main SiFu which is The Kang Hai, and the case is very similar to my dad although they, you know, came to his Bukoan to learn, but he was already very old in terms of phisically teaching, so for the most part GM The Kang Hai is the one there that conducted all the teaching.
So, you know, their name is like GM Tio Tek Kwee and Xing Yen, both of them have physically learnt from GM The Kang Hai because SuJo was already old. And aside from those 3 people I also learnt from the other 4 people in the same time.
What was you own training like, and where did you learn the system?
Of course the environment in Indonesia, among the Chinese society, that’s the teaching was very much done in a very traditional manner. So even the space that we used is very much in the living-room of the SiFu – none of the SiFu really have, you know, like a professional school per se. But even without main school, they have, or really they already created hundreds of people learning through the years. So even if we talk from SuJo Kwee King Yang generation, his house is nothing than the living-room that he used to teach all the people is no bigger then 3 by 4 meters, wherever there’s a square fit.
So it’s very traditional – no uniform, no sashes – and that’s fighting finally. Now personally when I learnt from GM The Kang Hai and the other 6 SiFu, it was very much done in a similar manner, they are all teaching very much in their living-room, you know, and GM The Kang Hai happened to have a rest-room upstairs, and he used to use it for warehouse to storage things. Among some of the place that he put the stuff that he didn’t use for storage, he defight them and within that small space we used to train.
Every time, I finished my school, I hurry up and go home, I did my lunch and went there as fast as I can. The old house where I used to live, it also happens to be very close with GM The Kang Hai Bukoan. So for the most part, I always ride my bycicle. We started sometimes in the afternoon, sometimes 2 o’ clock, 3 o’ clock, as earlier as I can get there, and GM trained all the day, and the training approach is not like on the modern day, so, you know, it’s quite different for basic stances, footwork, stuff like that and speed that for hours start from morning So usually for most part, I don’t really finish until 8 or 9 o’clock in the evening, and then, when the seniors even started to come, I do very always didn’t want to go home because I wanted to hear all the high level stuff. So by the time I finished everything there are many couples of nights that I stayed there and listen until 11 or 12 o’clock. Midnight. In the end hurry back home.
SiFu Lin, can you tell us how this system came from Fukien to Indonesia?
To make the explaining a short version of it, basically the system came from the Shaolin Temple. Again it was right after the Manchurian take off of China. So, according to the oral history, get passed down to our Family line, the system was thought or it was definitely built from the Eng Chun Tim. Again when Shaolin temple set down, the early Secret Societies were born. So, you know, some of the lineages spread out, I believe, because of the effort of a couple of forefathers of the system that made it in Hong Kong, but all speak about one lineage. Ours has come from what we call in English either Black Flag or Black Bandana, one or the other. That’s how the system passed down because of the secrecies they keep in the Secret Societies. One of the chief-instructors of the Black Flag Secret Society, back then, fled to Indonesia because there was an incident. He chose Indonesia because, back then, rumour was his cousin was already sailed down in Indonesia, exactly in Malang City, and that’s it was, exactly he was heavy of course there is no phone or anything to verify that thing. Everything has been done by people who came with ship and all physically returning itself from China to Indonesia back then for a couple of weeks, three, four weeks. So when he arrived to Malang City, he found out that the rumour was not true, he couldn’t find his cousin and during one incident he was attacked by a large number of people armed with an axe, and he was able to take them down without hurting them, so soon after that the news spread around to even Salang City in a couple of weeks.
My GM which is SuJu Kwee King Yang, heard about what happened, so he went there to approach him, because he had no place to stay and he was homeless for a couple of days after he arrived, so he took him home, take care of him, basically treat him like his parent, put him upstairs where he lived and then after twoyears to repeat his kindness, Cia Fun Tjiao, the last known chief instructor of the Black Flag decided to pass down the system to him under cover. That’s how he get to my GM, and from him it was passed down to many people and eleven of them decided to teach and I learned from six of them.
Originally because of the secrecy he was under the cover, plus the political situation that what’s happening in Indonesia with the entire Chinese law or banned by the English government, he didn’t reveal the complete or the full history of the System of the origin but this, all of this actually changed after the 1970s, that’s when he decided to remove the oath, and, you know, the newer generation after that, they start to get this information, but unfortunately some of the old generation were still under cover, but it’s a fortune especially for myself that I had the opportunity to learn the System completely.
What are the forms in the Eng Chun (Wing Chun) Hek Ki Boen systems?
The foundation and the core form it starts with the Sam Chian Po, it means three battle steps, and the Sam Chian Po although it’s basis, but it’s also the core of the system, this is where the student starts their journey and finishes their journey. And all points are about detachment and then they can also start learning the Siauw Liam Dou, the translation would be low training, first training, we also have a form called Sat Si Mui meaning attacking or killing in 4 directions, the we have Im Yang Jiu also known as Hua Kun which means Flower Fist and the we also have the second Sam Chian form as well as the third Sam Chian form and they work on different area and then we have next form called Tim Kiao meaning sinking the bridge and then we have the Piauw Ki and the last hempty hand form would be Bok Jin, the wooden man. As such of this, we also have a lot of Tui Phak Kiao Jiu, meaning is two men bridging hands approaching. They work on Sam Sing, Go Sing, Chit Sing, three stars, five stars, seven stars, eight stars, nine stars bridging hands. And then we have two men set, we have cross sticky hands, parallel sticky hands, this is that we call Niam Jiu. We also have weapon form, such as Sang To, meaning double butterfly sword, and then we also have a pole form, but the high is not higher than a fist over your head. The pole form is called Pat Mui Kun Huat, means eight directional staff method.
What in your opinion makes the Hek Ki Boen System unique from other Wing Chun systems?
I think every style, every system, including every Wing Chun, they are all unique, so I can point out some of the uniqueness of the Hek Ki Boen Eng Chun, some as the concept of detachment or separation, which is the main fundamental of the Chan Buddhism . So we have what we call the three stages of learning so that is the concept that we call Sam Chin Sam Tue. So basically they are the stages of Siauw Im Siauw Yang, the separation of the small universe and then the Dai Kek Im Yang, of the big universe, that’s the paradigm of Heaven Earth Man or Time Space Energy is all complete. The final core of the Hek Ki Boen is reaching the Bu Kek which is translated as emptiness. Some of the terminology that I’ve just said, they are all in Fukinese, as just like we call our system Hek Ki Boen Eng Chun. Eng Chun Kun is the fukinese word of the Wing Chun Kyun which I believe is the origin of term or the system origin. But of course Wing Chun has become English, so that’s why I also refer to as Black Flag Wing Chun so people can understand what is HKB Eng Chun.
SiFu Lin what is your goal with the Hek Ki Boen System in the future?
I believe Hek Ki Boen Eng Chun has his own universe and I believe this would bring a lot of benefits to many people in the world. Aside from that is one of the few ancient chinese system that still survive. So my main mission is to really preserve and spread it to the next generation and what I’m working on right now is to create more tricks for it.