Martial Arts Store

Gwok Seoi Hin Martial Arts Store has rooted in Sham Shui Po for forty years since Mr Cheung Wing Hung took over it from his father-in-law, Wongbak. It mainly sells various martial arts’ products like Tai Chi sword, hand fan and martial arts’ DVD. Wongbak started this store because he found that there are lack of martial arts’ products in Hong Kong. At the beginning, he went to Guangzhou to order and then store them in his house. If other Tai Chi masters need them, Wongbak will order those products for them. When more and more masters came to Wongbak, he decided to start the business and open a store.

在深水埗的這間國粹軒武術店,從張永雄會長的岳父黃伯經營到他接手已扎根在這裡四載,主要售賣各種武術用品包括太極劍、太極扇、武術光碟等等。最初會經營一間武術店是因為黃伯發現香港缺乏這類武術用品的資源,然後他自己去廣州找店舖訂貨,最開始只是買回來放在家,有其他師傅也有需要就幫他們訂,後來愈來愈多師傅找他訂就乾脆開一間武術店,存貨在店舖賣。

Sixty years old Mr Cheung was influenced by Bruce Lee and has learned martial art for forty years. ‘Honestly Chinese Kung Fu was spread by Bruce Lee. Before him, the foreigners thought Kung Fu is fist and footwork with fancy and impractical style. It is him spreading Kung Fu to foreign countries. He is the first one to open a Kung Fu school in foreign countries. He made it viral in his time and brought honour for Hong Kong and China. Only he achieved that so I really admire him.’

In 2002, Mr Cheung started to learn about Tai Chi because of taking over the martial arts store. Originally, he learned it because that kind of knowledge was needed in order to serve the customers. He started in learning Yan-style Tai Chi Chuan. Later, he was thinking how to make himself outstanding among those who learn Tai Chi because many old people practice Yang-style better than him. Under this reason, he decided to learn another style which was less popular in Hong Kong. In coincidence, he met Li Fa Jun Taoist priest who is the 29th head of the Taoist Dragon Gate Tai Chi Chuan. Then, in 2003, he began to learned Taoist Dragon Gate Tai Chi Chuan with him. ‘When I practice Tai Chi in a park, people asked me “Mr Cheung, what style of Tai Chi Chuan are you practicing? It’s special”. But if I practice Yang-style, they will not stop and watch me practice it. When more and more people know this style of Tai Chi, it is spread in Hong Kong. I am the first one who introduces this style of Tai Chi into Hong Kong. Other masters also contacted my teacher to learn this style.’

接觸太極,繼而引入龍門太極拳

現時六十歲的張會長,年輕時受李小龍的影響,因為而對武術有了興趣並進而習武。「說實話中國功夫是由李小龍發揚光大,因為之前外國人對中國功夫沒興趣,覺得是花拳繡腿,是由李小龍在外國開武館宣揚給外國人,他是第一個在外國開武館…他帶起了功夫的熱潮,而且為港、中國爭光,只有他做到,沒有第二個人能像他一樣,所以很崇拜他。」

02年,張會長接手岳父的這間武術店,因而令他開始接觸太極。剛開始是因為要幫助客人而要認識太極,最初他學習的是陽式太極,後來他思考要怎樣突出自己,因為很多公公婆婆玩的也是陽式太極,也玩的比他好,他就決定要學一些在香港比較冷門的門派。因緣際會之下,他認識了全真龍門拳第二十九代掌門李法均道長,並在03年跟他學習全真龍門太極拳,「我在公園打的時候,有些人就問我:『張生,你打的是什麼太極拳?很特別阿』,但如果我打的是陽式他們就不會停下看你打,然後後來更多人認識,就將這門功夫傳開去,我是香港第一個將這個門派帶入香港,後來有其他師傅也是透過我聯絡我師傅去學這個門派。」

‘Of course the business was running better in the past, like 10 years ago’ When we asked how is the business compared to the past and present, Mr Cheung mentioned that the store was originally at Yen Chow Street of Sham Shui Po. It was moved to here because the rent at Yen Chow Street was too high. Although the size of current store is larger, the business is not good as before. This new location makes some old customers do not know how to come and even counterparts in the same industry say the store is already closed.

In addition, more people tend to buy things on Taobao (the biggest Chinese version of Amazon) and some masters buy the martial arts products directly in mainland China. Therefore, the store only have purchases from individual customers. Given that ordering products directly in mainland China is cheaper, Mr Cheung pointed out that the products may not up to standard as required by the customers.

環境轉變,經營變得困難

「那早期當然會比較好,最好大概是十年前。」問及生意那些時候最好,張會長提到原來店舖原本在欽洲街,但因租金太貴要搬來現時的位置,雖然地方較大,但生意已不如從前。甚至新位置令一些老顧客不知道店舖在哪裡,更有行家說國粹軒不再營業了,令有些人去別處買武術用品。

加上愈來愈多人會使用淘寶買貨品,甚至有些師傅自己在內地有門路訂貨,所以現在店舖也只是做零零碎碎的生意。雖然在內地訂貨較香港便宜,但張會長也指出很多時在國內訂貨會出現貨不對板的情況。

img_0179

Asking whether martial art is an industry or art, Mr Cheung hit the nail on the head by pointing out ‘It is an industry and an art at the same time. First, a martial art school has to attract more students in order to survive. It becomes a business when number of students grow and the martial art will spread. It is a win-win situation and also the best scenario. The master needs to train the next generation well so that they can help him and nurture and attract their own students. There are even some foreigners coming to learn it. Then, students can translate English for the master and teach what the master teach them to the foreigners. They will call the students master and their teacher master’s master. The Kung Fu is inherited and sustained.

He mentioned that if one only practices Kung Fu but not teach it, one will easily forget it. The way to keep the level of one’s Kung Fu is to teach it. ‘It is good to teach other your Kung Fu by charging really small amount of fee and keep the level of it for yourself at the same time.’ Sixty years old Mr Cheung is still strong and persists to teach others the Dragon Gate Tai Chi Chuan.

武術是一門行業,也是一門藝術

問到武術是行業還是藝術,張會長一針見血指出「武術既一門藝術,也是一門行業。首先一間武館要吸納更多學生去學才能生存,那麼學生多就是一門行業,也能將門派的功夫發揚光大,是兩存其美,這當然時最好。它(師傅)要訓練下一代年輕人去學好功夫,然後他們能幫師傅忙,可以自己去栽培、吸納其他人去跟他們/師傅去學功夫。甚至有些外國人來學,師傅不懂英文,就靠學生去溝通,將師傅所教的教給他們,他們就叫你做師傅,叫你的師傅師公,就可以將功夫傳承。」

他說到假如習武如果不教人的話,很容易就會忘記,但教別人就可以保持自己的功夫,「能有一個業餘的興趣,在收別人微薄的學費的同時,又可以教人又可以保存自己的功夫,也是好的。」六旬的張會長老而彌堅,堅持繼續將龍門太極拳教授別人。

Normally we think Tai Chi is easy because its movements are so slow but it is actually not the case. ‘Actually the slower the better. It is because it is training/strengthening your internal organs. That is why we said “internal works manifest through external forms”. There are inside and outside parts. It is still superficially but there are activities inside the body. It is practicing a “internal Qi (energy)”. Only masters with long time of practicing can have this “Qi”. You can see it if you understand and you can’t when you don’t.’ Mr Cheung further mentioned that people learn Tai Chi because there are some problems with their bodies and those problems do not improve after going to doctors. Their health improve after practicing Tai Chi and it helps “tune” the bodies. Therefore, he thinks Tai Chi should be popularized among the ordinaries.

At last, Mr Cheung advised Hong Kong people ‘No matter what, we Hong Kong people are too busy with work and face great pressure. How can we address it? We need to spend times on sports. It does not matter which type of sports as long as it suits you the most. Actually Tai Chi is really a good choice as it can “tune” your body to a healthier state. How can you participate in intense sports if your bodies are not well-prepared? How can you improve your body when you even wheeze for walking a distance of two steps? Tai Chi can do that.’

都市人繁忙,太極助養身

平常我們看太極的動作很慢,可能以為打的很輕鬆,但原來內裡大有學問!「其實(太極)愈慢愈好,因為它玩的是身體裡面五臟六腑,所以說內功外行,有內有外。靜依內,表面上看是靜的,但它內裡是有活動的,形依外,外面是有動作的。它是在打一種內氣,比較資深的師傅才能打到這種內涵,懂得看就能看到,不懂就看不到。」張會長也提到一般人都是身體出了問題才來學太極,看了很多次醫生也沒有改善,後來透過學太極身體漸漸變好,打太極幫助調理身體,所以太極是值得推廣給普羅大眾。

最後張會長勤勉香港人:「 無論如何,我們香港人的工作真的太繁忙,壓力又多,我們怎樣去減壓? 能夠抽時間出來運動,什麼運動都不要緊,最好找到適合自己的運動。其實太極是好的,它真真正正調理你的身體,這是最好的。甚至有時候你想玩激烈的運動,但你的身體出了問題,你怎麼能玩呢? 走兩步也氣喘的話,那你怎麼能調理好呢? 太極可以做到這件事。 」

Written by Kelvin Wong

 

 

Archive

 

External Links

  1. Martial Art:                                                               https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_arts
  2. (Reading)Ultimate Hong Kong kung fu tour:  http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/18/travel/hong-kong-kung-fu/

  3. The four periods of martial arts development in Hong Kong(Chinese version):  http://www.hkobserver.com/index.php/2016-08-03-09-22-55/564-2016-09-16-07-36-46
  4. (Archive) Hong Kong Martial Arts Living:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBE2A8WDjvs
  5. (Archive) Tang Lang Quan (The Mantis Art):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jpTp7yJdUA

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *