The Wandering Fist

Here’s a performance of the Tibetan White Crane (白鶴派) art, Needle in Cotton.

The set is performed by Luk Chi Fu at one of the demonstrations that Chee Kim Thong adjudicated in Singapore in the 1960s. As such, it offers an insight into the richness of Singapore’s martial-arts heritage at that time. At a guess, Luk was probably not actually a contestant: the masters present were also asked to demonstrate for the audience.

Tibetan White Crane is a very different art from the Fujian White Crane styles such as Wuzuquan. In fact, it’s difficult to identify any significant commonalities, suggesting either a relationship in the distant past, or a completely separate art with its own adoption of certain crane characteristics.

At least two groups still practise this art in Singapore. Tibetan White Crane (Baihepai) is an art one hears mentioned frequently in gongfu circles. It’s worth…

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