Most Oriental martial arts trace their roots to the Shaolin Temple of Honan Province, China. This legendary hub of Buddhist fighting monks produced many distinctive systems and styles nowadays collectively called Chinese kung fu. A lot of them are famous; Hung Gar, Choy Li Fut, Chang Chuan, Praying Mantis and Wing Chun to name a few.
Little-known, however, is a style that used to have no name; Yau Kung Mun. Yau Kung Mun, translated as “soft-style sect” or “soft-style door” finally got its name from Ha Hon Hung, the recognized 4th-generation Grandmaster (1892-1962). Long before him, during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), a Shaolin monk named Ding Yang originated what was to be “the style with no name”. It was never taught to outsiders, at least not until the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.).
According to one story, Ding Yang’s student, Doe Sung, was the Shaolin Temple’s champion who ably defeated all challengers. When the Manchu emperor of the Chings had the Shaolin Temple destroyed, Doe Sung was able to escape. He passed on his skills to Sing Loi and Kit Loi who, in turn, taught Gai Bing and Teat Yun (“iron body”) respectively. Then, as fate would have it, both Gai Bing and Teat Yun tutored the one who gave Yau Kung Mun its name.
Grandmaster Ha Hon Hung then had two foremost protégées; his son Master Ha Kwok Cheung and Master Leung Cheung. Master Leung Cheung migrated from Hong Kong to Australia in 1977 and there set up a school. He has since produced outstanding Australian Yau Kung Mun practitioners. Among them are authors Sifu Jen Sam and Sifu Garry Hearfield.
Sifu Jen Sam also studied under Master Ha Kwok Cheung in Hong Kong while at the same time being tutored by the famous Professor Loo Kam Kwan Loming in Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. He has since spent most of his time teaching and treating people in the Philippines. Sifu Hearfield, on the other hand, is into Reiki healing and remedial massage while active in the affairs of the Australian Yau Kung Mun community.