Many of us have watched in anticipation the last match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. We glue our eyes to the television, with one hand in our popcorn bucket, to watch the Fight of the Century. However, have we ever stepped back from the world of violent boxing and maybe think of something more… eastern? Our knowledge about martial arts is very limited to the number of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies we watch during our childhood days and that too, we are more focused on the perfectly choreographed moves and sound effects. Today, we explore the world of Hakka Kung Fu, one of the most distinctive and important martial arts systems in South China.
The Hakka clan first emerged out of the “misty mountains” where Fujian and Guangdong joined, during China’s chaotic period in the early Qing. The Hakka martial arts developed along with the development of Hakka as a clan. When the Hakka masters moved from villages to cities, Hakka kung fu also developed into being more ‘modern’.
Held every Monday at 8 pm in March, you could simply walk to the Skygarden to learn this form of Kung fu. It was open for every level and everyone was learning together, so don’t worry about being an awkward small potato. Listening to the grunts of the other participants, I was intrigued to try out this new martial art as well.
It was honestly quite the experience! Master WONG was particularly meticulous about our stance, and we had to hold in a half squat position for at least 5 minutes. Way to work on those glutes! The air punches proved to be a good stress reliever as well. With the wind blowing in my face, it felt more like a refreshment instead of a workout.
There were quite a lot of participants too! Here’s what they have to say about the workshop:
“I was honestly quite scared at first! I usually do yoga so being exposed to martial arts—with the grunts and air punches—was quite shocking for me! However, it was a new experience. I could never experience this in my home country.”
– Sophie BRANDSTRUP, Hall 10, Exchange Student, Business Communication
“This is a really good workout session for me. The timing fits with my schedule well and I was really inspired by the teacher’s passion towards the sport. He’s in his own bubble!”
– Camille PIOT, HSBC Prosperity Hall, Exchange Student, Finance
“I will definitely come again if there were upcoming events like this! I have always been interested in martial arts but never had the opportunity to try it. Now that I tried it, I’m hooked!”
– Minxin ZHU, Lee Shau Kee Hall, Year 2, Energy Science & Engineering
Writer: Natasya Viona CHANDRA (Jockey Club Harmony Hall)
Photographer: REN Ling (Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall)
── Sophie BRANDSTRUP（舍堂十 / 商務傳播系交流生）
── Camille PIOT（滙豐業昕堂 / 金融系交流生）
── 朱敏華（李兆基堂 / 能源科學及工程學系二年級）
文: Natasya Viona CHANDRA (賽馬會群萃堂)
譯: 王琪 (舍堂十)
圖: 任伶 (胡應湘爵士伉儷堂)