THE FIRST TIME I met Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin, known as the “King of Siu Nim Tao”, was in 2003. I had already been an instructor at a Wing Chun school in Sydney owned by Sifu Jim Fung, a senior student of Chu Shong Tin, for a few years, and had only heard stories about Chu Shong Tin’s alleged “effortless power”.
In those years, I was working as a bouncer at Sydney’s nightclubs including those in Kings Cross, which was the red light district of the city and well known for its roughness.
Also, in my late teens, I was weight lifting consistently and believed that the stronger my muscles, the more power I could generate with my body. Therefore, even though I went along with the legendary stories and was proud to be part of the lineage, I was certainly a sceptic regarding the Internal Power of Kung Fu.
Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin entered the room wearing a very genuine smile on his face. We all bowed in respect as he waved his hand, seemingly embarrassed to receive such respect. After a few minutes of social engagements, he stood in front of the room with a serious posture and looked around as if waiting for silence. He began the seminar by saying, “Wing Chun doesn’t turn you into Superman, but it enables you to utilise your body as powerfully and most efficiently as possible.” I was impressed with such a striking opening. He went on to talk about Siu Nim Tao and how the form was a tool for the Mind to tap into and control the joints of the body in an extraordinary way.