I fell in love with Chinese martial art since early childhood . I loved Hong Kong movies and enjoyed reading stories about heroes of the ancient times and modern fighters . To my disappointment ,kung fu school in my country could not be found . Much later I’ve found “wing chun” school and some time after I have started to learn “original wing chun” , but that is another story . For a long time I wanted to learn White Crane and White Eyebrow styles , unfortunately ,at the time in my country and whole Europe ,only wing chun style could be found so I practiced what I could for a long time.
I came to Taiwan not knowing how lucky I was , there is no better place for kung fu addict like my self . At first all my time was dedicated to Wing Chun training , I had to start everything from the beginning and 3 years later I finally achieved what I always wanted , I have completed and fully understood the style .
At the time I’ve moved to Tainan from Taipei and my childhood wish appeared again. Since there is no White Eyebrow school in Tainan my focus was on finding White Crane school . That was no easy task , I have contacted some people , visited some schools but it just didn’t feel right . For more than a year I’ve practiced Baji quan. Baji is a great art and people there are even better , I really enjoyed my time there but my working hours changed so I had to quit .
One day I was reading about Mantis style school I wanted to visit and accidently found a name of White Crane teacher. His location is near my place so I asked my wife to make a call and ask can I visit him . He agreed and we went one Saturday . After 20 minutes ride we stopped in front of the hardware store. My father had a hardware store and this place reminded me at home. Behind the counter there was a man with a big smile who escorted us to the 4 th floor where the training hall is. That man was Hong Guo Rong , White Crane teacher who had my sympathies from the moment I saw him. We talked for a while and I saw all of his students were adults , people close to my age so I asked will he accept as a student . to accept me as student.He agreed and my training started.
Soon I realized this place was right place for me . There is only couple of students and they are all nice. Training atmosphere is relaxed and totally positive. It is obvious how much they love White Crane. They treat each other like a family .
Hong Guo Rong
Teacher Hong is totally different from all other kung fu teachers I’ve met. He is just an ordinary man, modest ,humble and quiet. He doesn’t attract attention, his behavior is just the opposite, he doesn’t want any. No one would ever guess he is one of the best kung fu teachers I’ve ever met, and I met a lot of them. He is a true master of the art. I am a beginner and I do not know much about white crane, but my Wing Chun is not bad and I have some skill. We touched hands and I felt his skill, he is so much better than me, his skill left me speechless .Like I said ,he is true master of the art .
As a teacher, master Hong is very strict, every little detail must be perfect. I know some teachers who insist on details but this is very different. While people who insist on details and precision usually try to hide their own incompetence and lack of knowledge , teacher Hong explains why is so important to do things in a certain way. Every detail has its purpose and martial usage, every detail is a piece of the puzzle or more precisely, piece of the White Crane fighting engine. Piece by piece , teacher Hong methodically builds students skill . Deepest foundation of the skill is knowledge understanding, everything is perfectly logical and can be explained and demonstrated to the smallest detail. Everything fits together perfectly , from completely physical part of training to Qi gong practice , all those things build a complete art , efficient and effective , not only in a combat sense but also in a sense of keeping a good shape and maintaining good health.
Teacher Hong has 40 years of martial experience , as a young man , he started to practice Tai Chi and followed his teacher for 10 years. At the age of 30 he started to practice Zonghe quan. Today he has more than 30 years experience in White Crane.
Teacher Hong with his teacher and kung fu brothers
When I asked teacher Hong why he accepted me as a student he said , you want to learn ,so I will teach you , simple as that. Teacher Hong believes kung fu belongs to everyone. Well , not to everyone ,he is very strict in selection of students. Only people with highest moral and ethical standards standards can be accepted as his students.
Teacher Hong's lineage tree and a table with his students names
Over the years teacher Hong had only a handful of students. When I asked him why he said ,people toady have no patience , they want to learn some fancy moves quickly , no one is prepared to spend several hours practicing basics every day until these movements become person’s second nature . Real kung fu requires dedication , hard work and deep understanding.
Teacher Hong’s school cannot be found on internet , there is no advertising , actually no one in Tainan knows about his school. He is happy to teach small group of dedicated people who really love the art and enjoy in every second of training .I needed a lot of time and help from my club classmate to convince teacher Hong to allow me to write about him. Zonghe quan is a rare and beautiful art , and teacher Hong is a rare pearl among kung fu teachers, a person who really deserves to be known for his vast knowledge and even more for his extraordinary personality.