Académie Sino-Canadienne de Kung Fu
 

Grandmaster Ku Yu Cheong (顾汝章)


Born in 1894, in the province of Kiangsi, Ku Yu Cheong grew up in Nanking and had been in contact with martial arts since childhood. His father Ku Lei Chi was Tcha Chuan and Tantui master, and was the owner of a prominent insurance company that offered escort and protection to caravans traveling throughout China.

Ku Yu Cheong trained with his father until the age of twelve, when his father was taken ill with an incurable disease and in the end died. On his death bed, Ku Lei Chi advised his son that if he wished to continue his martial art training he should seek master Yin Kai Yun, heir to one of the many Shaolin monastery styles.

Yin Kai Yun and Ku Lei Chi became friends during a bloody confrontation, when their caravans were attacked by bandits. Yin Kai Yun had lost most of his men when Ku Lei Chi intervened and saved his life. Ku Lei Chi was famous for his kicking techniques, which could hurl his adversaries long distances. The close friendship between the two great masters ensued from this encounter.

Ku Yu Cheong went to the Shantung province with a letter from his father and immediately Yin Kai Yun accepted him as a student and disciple. Ku Yu Cheong remained with Yin Kai Yun for more than ten years and became the heir of his knowledge and skills: "The Ten Precepts of Shaolin Fighters" – one of the many styles originated in the Honan monastery, a vast stock of traditional weapons, the technique of harvesting vital energy (Chi) "The Little Golden Bell" and the famous "Iron Palm".

When he heard of his mother's passing Ku Yu Cheong returned to Nanking; Yin Kai Yun said to him – "China is a very big country and there are many skillful masters, therefore, be prudent and careful with your knowledge and skill". Ku Yu Cheong answered that he would never disappoint his master and would make him proud.

Around 1928, Ku Yu Cheong, together with other famous masters, was invited by the government to take part in the faculty board as martial arts instructor of the famous Nanjing Central Martial Arts Academy, one of the most important schools responsible for spreading martial arts throughout China.

It was there that Ku Yu Cheong met great masters such as: general Li Kin Lam (Tai Chi Chuan, Pa Ki and Wudang Sword), Sun Lu Tang (Pa Kua), Yang Cheng Fu (Tai Chi Chuan), Wong Lai Shen (Luo Hap) and many others. A few years later, Ku Yu Cheong was invited to represent the Central Academy in Gonshao, Canton, together with four other masters who became known as the "The Five Tigers of the North".

Ku Yu Cheong was responsible for the introduction and diffusion of many of the Northern style in the South of China, and was the main character in many stories such as: the use of his vital energy to treat the ill, breaking a pile of twelve bricks with only one touch and the most famous of them all: when he killed an enormous horse that belonged to a traveling Russian circus – the circus owner offered money to whoever resisted a kick from the animal, which had already killed many people. Ku Yu Cheong accepted the challenge and after being kicked three times he remained unharmed. He asked to see the horse up close and hit the animalÂ’s back with the palm of his hand. The horse reared up, neighed and died. Although there was no apparent external damage, the autopsy revealed that all the internal organs had been dissolved.

Ku Yu Cheong was one of the many victims of the Cultural Revolution. He was imprisoned and shot in 1952.