Grandmaster Yip Shui

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Grand master Yip-Shui


      Grandmaster Yip Shui(1912-2004)was born in a martial arts family, where the origin was Sun Wui County Tung Hang. His grandfather was Yip Shung with a nickname “Immortal Shung”. Yip Shung loved martial arts. When he was a teenager, he passed by a Shaolin Temple one day and during that period the temple had no formal kung fu teaching. Yip was disappointed. He stayed at the temple for a while and then met a monk who taught him all his incantation and medical knowledge. After one year, the monk asked Yip to bring all his belongings, close his eyes, and then he used some non-scientific and non-explainable techniques and send Yip home.

       It was just like a dream how Yip was sent home. He tried some of the incantation he learnt and it really worked. He decided to use the knowledge to make a living and help people. He left Sun Wui County and opened a school in Hung Hom. He became famous in Hung Hom by curing a lot of people with strange diseases. People called him “Immortal Shung” and in early 20th century, he was very well-known in Hung Hom.

     During the Japanese invasion at World World II, people in Hong Kong were anxious and struck with panic. A troop of Japanese soldiers were in Hung Hom one day, they were violent, cruel, and armed with weapon. They knocked the door of every family and would kick the door fiercely if the people responded late. Yip Shui’s two younger sisters were at home and they were so scared. Their grandfather Yip Shung asked everyone in the house to keep quiet, then calmly went to the door, mumbled, used a sword and drew a fine lines in the air. Amazingly, the Japanese troop knocked the door of every house but passed by theirs without knocking. Dai Mui – daughter-in-law of Great Grandmaster Lai Soei would occasionally narrate this incident to her children even after many years.

       Yip Shui was born to love martial arts. He studied in the same school and lived close with Master Shek Kin so they became very good mates. Shek Kin went to a Chin Woo sports school in Kowloon where "黎漢駒" and "歐斌禧" were the masters there. Au taught Shaolin kung fu and Lai taught Preying Mantis. Yip also wanted to go together with Shek Kin and learn martial arts at the same place with him. However, Yip San, Yip’s father had heard about the fame of Great Grandmaster LauSoei and many of this co-workers also went to Lau’s school, so he recommended his son to go to learn kung fu at Lau’s school too.

       Master Yip and Master Shek would go to the respective place to learn martial arts every day after school and doing their homework. As Master Yip learnt Preying Mantis and Master Shek also came across the Preying Mantis of GrandMaster Luo Guangyu at Chin Woo sports school, the masters discussed what they had learnt and could tell there were some differences between the two styles. Since the two Preying Mantis were originated in the north and south respectively, they called them “North Preying Mantis” and “South Preying Mantis”. Master Yip and Master Shek were close acquaintances when they were teenagers. They were called “Two Small Tigers in Hung Hom” as they always fought and challenged people as regards kung fu in areas from Hung Hom to Kowloon City.

       Master Yip Shui was a straightforward and tough guy. He was also very willing to help others and when he thought something was right, he would endeavour his best to fight for it even at the expense of his life. The phrase -“Tung Kong Chow Ka-Preying Mantis” was one of the many examples that his followers being so proud of him.。

       Master Yip became a disciple of Great Grandmaster Lau Soei starting in 1929 at 2/F 59 Bulkeley Street Hung Hom. During the Japanese invasion in Hong Kong, Master Lau was in coma with serious illness, Master Yip and his wife sincerely and wholeheartedly looked after Master Lau and finally Master Lau woke up. Master Lau praised the Yip’s couple highly and managed to summarize the essential points of the Chow Preying Mantis and passed to Master Yip.。

      Master Yip started teaching Chow Preying Mantis at 3/F 11 Mala Street Hung Hom from 1950. He was especially good at Preying Mantis set form, drills, strength exercise, weapon and mantis catch cicada staff etc.




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