Commentary - Billy Lau (San Francisco Kwoon)


Hi, my name is Billy Lau.  I want to share with the public my experiences as a new member of the Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun School.  About myself, I am a hardcore spiritual cultivator of the True Buddha School on Tibetan Buddhism for over 10 and half years.  I’ve been studying Wing Chun on and off for the last 12 years pre-maturely for short periods of time.  12 years ago, I entered the door studying under Sifu David Lott for a short six month period.  Sifu Lott had to leave and relocate to Texas so I stopped for a seven year period of time.  I then had the opportunity to learn from Sifu Kenneth Chung for a short 3 month period four years ago.  Four years later today, I’m proud to be one of the newest members to join the Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun family. I’ve been really fortunate to learn the Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Martial Arts System under the teachings of Grandmaster Garrett Gee where I find the purest and most complete Wing Chun system there to exist, incomparable to all of the systems that I’ve learned in the past and I will explain why in detail. 

While it’s been only a short 2 months of learning Wing Chun from Grandmaster Garrett Gee, I find that my confidence has increased significantly in identifying my own time, space and energy where I have not ever found while training in other Wing Chun Schools.  This is the only Wing Chun system in my experience that traces directly to the Shaolin Temple with many parallel Buddhist teachings in it’s martial arts forms similar to my cultivation experience in Tibetan Buddhism.   

In short comparison, I will be summarizing my experiences with each school that I’ve learned in the past:

Under the teachings of Sifu David Lott, I learned many forms and techniques that lacked a true sense of structure.  Though at the time, it didn’t appear to be so since I could compensate my poor structure with some muscle and speed training.  Six months of training but yet nothing more than many drills of punches and kicks.  While facing amateurs, I could really take advantage of them since many what I call “San Sao” techniques were introduced and taught.  However, when faced against a more experienced fighter, I could not even stand long enough to apply such techniques.  This taught me that I didn’t really want to learn traditional Karate, Taikwondo, or other forms of martial arts, even Kung Fu, that relied on training strictly punching, kicking, forms and San Sao.  Why?  Because I realized that no-matter how much I train for power and no-matter how much I train for speed, given my size at only standing 5 feet 4 inches, someone will always be stronger and faster than I am. 

I then followed Sifu Kenneth Chung for a short 3 month period of time and  I focused primarily in these three months on my horse-stance and nothing more than the first form of the “Sew Nim Tao”.  Though I was doing a lot of “Chi Sao” (sticky hands), I didn’t feel that I had all of the tools to Chi Sao, with the senior students at the short period of time of learning from Sifu Kenneth Chung.  I thank Sifu Kenneth Chung because during these three months, I did however start to build my horse stance and realized how significantly this will become later in my training.  However, by comparing the horse stance I learned from Kenneth Chung to my current “Learng Yi Ma” stance, my current stance is far more superior and stable.  I started getting frustrated with the fact that our class did fourty five minute Sew Nim Tao’s and the overall style of relaxation to build sensitivity didn’t really work for me.  I felt I was not in a Wing Chun class, but rather a Tai Chi fighting class.  Maybe I wanted something with more flare into my martial arts. 

I finally had a chance to learn under the teachings of Sifu Garrett Gee, I finally realized what martial arts means to “ME”.  One example of such is it’s teachings of “Sup Jeet Sim Fung”.  Most Martial Arts and Kung Fu today focus on training muscle energy and power through “leen kroon”.  Leen Kroon is nothing more than training for punches and kicks through repetition and building power through muscle and speed.  However, Hung Fa Yi teaches us “Sow Kroon”, it is far more superior then leen kroon which is just ordinary punching and kicking.  It is to cultivate our every move to consist of the proper structure and proper energy with our mind.  Ordinary Kung Fu and other Wing Chun systems today lack this energy and mind focus.  In the short period of time learning with Grandmaster Garrett Gee, I can deeply relate to the teachings of this martial arts with my Tibetan Buddhist cultivations.  Just this phase resembles greatly with my 10 years of training “Gow Jeet Fut Fung”, the nine section breathing meditation.  This is truly an intelligent and most complete martial arts system where we utilize our mind to control chi  energy and a true sense of cultivating our punches with a mind behind our every move.

Coming from a background of experiencing three different schools, I see many differences to the way Sifu Garrett Gee teaches.  Many schools offer teachings by their senior students and interactions with the Master are minimal, however, in this school, each student has individualized progressions of teachings from Sifu Gee.  Sifu Gee has a way of explaining every little integrate detail on every specific move and answers “WHY” we do it the way it’s taught.  Every move in our “Sew Nim Tao” is truly significant and our wooden dummy form teaches us how to leverage our positioning of the proper structure.  We not only learn the art of the Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun System but we also learn the application, the form, the proper energy and the philosophy behind each teaching.  There are also many forms, structures, techniques and drills that are completely missing in other Wing Chun Systems today.  Such missing links include “Kew Sao”, “Sup Jeet Sim Fung”, and many others that I still have not yet been taught.  But even such, our teachings of “Gong Sao”, “Gor Sao”, “Kew Sao”, “Chi Sao”, “Da Sao” and many others are quite different than the prior schools that I’ve been with.  I’ve witnessed many differences in just the “Sew Nim Tao” and “Chum Kew” forms as performed by my si hings compared to other wing chun schools and realized that there are lots of forms and movements missing from outside modified Wing Chun Schools.  Though other schools may teach many techniques of San Sao dealing with specific punches and kicks, which offer immediate gratification, however,  it is completely useless during the time of application if the proper structure and energy isn’t there to apply it with, especially if another counter move is introduced to go against your San Sao from a more experienced fighter.  While in our Hung Fa Yi school, we do not teach you how to go against just a few specific punches and kicks, it teaches us how to deal with “ALL” punches and kicks through “Sow Kroon” and the concepts of “Centerline”, “Five Lines”, and “Six Gates”.

I strongly recommend that if you are serious about learning Kung Fu or any kind of significant martial arts system, that you check out Grandmaster Sifu Garrett Gee’s Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun School.  Come check us out and I’ll guarantee you’ll see the difference.

 Billy Lau














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