I decided to include this page to help those deciding to take the leap and study monkey kung fu. I am not writing this out of malice but in all sincerity. I DO NOT WANT YOU TO WASTE YEARS OF YOUR LIFE, studying from someone who claims to be an expert in the art and in reality, they only know a handful of movements and a few forms. I have done this art for 45 years and I know all the people who said they trained with my instructor. I know who knows the art and who doesn’t; I was there. This is the main reason I created the DVDs. But let me go over a few things to be wary of.
EXTREME FLEXIBILITY IN MONKEY
Kou Sze created the art to be a powerful, full-contact style art using grabbing, pulling and striking techniques. Extreme flexibility such as placing your foot behind your head, doing the splits or putting your face to your private parts was never part of monkey kung fu. Those movements are from Taoist yoga. These stretches leave the practitioner in a very vulnerable position and that’s not what Tai Shing monkey is about. Did you ever see the “monkey king” Grandmaster Chan Sau Chung do any of those movements? No. THERE IS NO EXTREME FLEXIBILITY IN TRADITIONAL MONKEY KUNG FU.
A BAD TEACHER MEANS INJURIES
You can get permanently hurt doing monkey kung fu incorrectly. I cannot stress this enough. Monkey kung fu is taught mostly low to the ground and if your knees are still hurting after a few months, you may be causing knee damage. There are a lot of rolls and low movements and if you don’t do them right, you will injure your shoulder and back. Please, please be careful and don’t be taught by someone who doesn’t know the art and in turn, injures you.
MILKING THE ART
Don’t be taught by someone who is milking the art. Let me explain. I have seen this particular instructor teach his students about three pek kwar forms and one monkey form and that’s it. Teaching them the same thing over and over, year after year, because he doesn’t know anything more. Monkey kung fu is not a difficult art to learn. There are five monkey forms, three monkey staffs, one tei tong form, 20 plus pek kwar forms and several pek kwar weapons including the staff, straight sword, darn do (curved) sword. By year three, you should know all five monkey forms. Note: there is no monkey ring form, no judges pen form, no pek kwar choppers form.
TAI SHING HAS ONLY FIVE MONKEYS
People say a lot of things, but it doesn’t mean they are true. Traditional Tai Shing has only five (5) monkey forms, period. He created the five characteristics based on a colony of monkeys. They include 1) Tall; 2) Lost; 3) Wooden; 4) Drunken and 5) Stone. There are no six monkeys in Tai Shing.
FAKE TAI SHING FAMILY TREE INFORMATION
Someone recently posted a fake Monkey Family Tree. It says their instructor studied with Grandmaster Cho Chat Ling. This is incorrect and false. Please allow me to clarify. Grandmaster Cho Chat Ling had only one student, Paulie Zink, no one else. How do I know, because I was there. I was the successor of the art and the only one to learn the entire system. I didn’t just study once a week like everyone else, but since we were friends, I studied all the time we went out.
My instructor and I were the closest of friends. When I was doing Hung Gar kung fu I taught him to catch up with me. When he learned monkey, he taught me monkey as he learned the art. I became his first student. I didn’t just attend the once-a-week Saturday 3-hour class, he and I were friends and we trained together all the time. I learned from him for 35 years. Its been now 45 years of learning and teaching monkey kung fu. I am the only individual to learn the entire artform, no one can say that. I was there when everyone was taught so I know exactly how long they studied and what they know.
To ensure monkey kung fu is out there, correctly, I have put the art on 18 DVDs. I am very proud to have a handful of students who are now qualified as teachers. They include:
Sifu C.J. Martinez
Sifu Jacquelyn Egger
Sifu Phoebe Wong
Sifu Drew Smith
Sifu Josh Freedman
Sifu Josh Villen