Members of the martial arts world who met Master Yue felt that his skill was of the highest standard. Before he came to Malaysia there was no one who could use their internal strength to withstand flying kicks, sweeping legs and thundering punches. All that was until Yue Shu Ting came to Penang to teach. Up to that time even those who had these skills kept them secret and hidden; it took Master Yue to bring this skill out into the open and demonstrate it for all to see. Iron shirt, however, was not Master Yue's only skill; it was for his "folding arm skill" that Master Yue was most renowned, indeed this was his speciality. With such skills it is little wonder that Master Yue's disciples spread his awesome reputation throughout South East Asia. Indeed it is widely known that many of today's experts in taijiquan come from Penang.

The Expert from Taiwan who became famous in Penang

Yue Shu Ting's fame has spread even beyond the world of taijiquan. Recently two well-known taijiquan experts, Huang Hsing Hsian and Wu Guo Zhong have been publicly quarrelling. In the course of this quarrel Wu has spoken of his shixiong, Master Yue Shu Ting and his exploits.

This reporter went to Penang to interview Master Zhu Shen Jing, Yue Shu Ting's special disciple, to find out more about Yue Shu Ting himself.

Yue Shu Ting was a high level disciple of the Master of Five Excellences, Cheng Man Ching. Both master and disciple hailed from Wenzhou in Zhejiang, China. Master Yue came to Penang in 1957 to teach at the Penang Jing Wu Association. Yue Shu Ting came from a martial arts family. His father Yue Lian Fang was the head of Fujian Province's martial arts association. As a consequence of his background Yues Shu Ting had studied external martial arts but because he had a hole in his heart and suffered from digestive problems he became a disciple of Cheng Man Ching in order to study taijiquan. From this beginning he went on to become an expert in taijiquan.

During the time that Yue Shu Ting spent in Taiwan he proved to be a very popular teacher and many people sought to become his disciple. The fact that Penang's richest businessmen were also counted among his students did much to increase his popularity.

Yue Shu Ting taught taijiquan as a therapy and cure for heart disease, tuberculosis and other serious illnesses and he achieved remarkable results curing many people of serious illnesses. This resulted in even more people coming to study with him. Amongst his disciples were several who studied hard and gleaned a real understanding of the true transmission. These included the late Yu Chang Hua, Chen Jian Fong, Wang Zhi De, Zhu Shen Jin, the late Lu Tong Bao, the late Deng Fang, and the late Yang Ching He.

Yue Shu Ting moves to Bangkok where he dies

Because of immigration problems Yue Shu Ting had to divide his time between Taiwan and Penang. He not only taught in Penang's Jing Wu but also in many other places.

In 1964 he went back to Taiwan from where he moved to Bangkok. There he also taught taijiquan. His top disciple there was the Doctor of Chinese medicine Xu Jun Hu. In 1975 on the 16th of June, Master Yue Shu Ting died in Thailand. After cremation his ashes were returned to Taiwan. In Penang his disciples organised a memorial service which was held on August 3rd at 11am at the Guan Yin Temple.

After four defeats a disciple finally bows to his master

In recent years one of Master Yue's disciples who received the true transmission, has been teaching in Penang. That man is Zhu Shen Jin, also known as the Tiger of Penang, because of his fighting experience gained by beating opponents one after another. His skill is in his fists not in his mouth, indeed it is his fighting ability that stands as his certificate of mastery.

When Yue Shu Ting came to Penang, Zhu Sheng Jin challenged him four times and was beaten severely each time; in this way he was convinced, body and soul, that Yue Shu Ting had real gong fu. As a result of Master Zhu becoming Yue Shu Ting's disciple and learning Cheng Man Ching taijiquan, the art's reputation as real fighting style became established.

Veteran reporter Han Jie Fu who studied taijiquan and qigong with Yue Shu Ting described his teacher, in an article, as the man who having already taught Government officials (in his native China and Taiwan) came to Malaysia to spread his art in 1958. As Han describes it the first time Master Yue came to Penang he didn't have many students but on the second and third occasions more and more students came to learn. It was on the third visit that Master Yue formally took disciples.

The Hu Xing Qigong is taught to disciples

When Yue Shu ting was in Penang he taught the thirty seven posture form, meditation, Golden Bell cover, Iron Cloth skill, and the Tun na qigong. His disciples could demonstrate their iron cloth skill on demand, allowing anyone to use their fists or feet to hit them in what were incredible demonstrations of martial skill.

Mr. Han (the reporter quoted above) said that Master Yue had one skill called the Hu Xing qigong. This meditation method could only be passed on to disciples. This skill was also called "Ying Man Ren Shi". This is partly a method for circulating the qi, partly for gathering the qi and partly for spreading the qi.

Fifty eight year old Master Zhu Sheng Jin said that Wu and Yang style taijiquan were popular in Penang before Master Yue came to the island. Master Zhu himself had studied Yang style as well as other kinds of wushu, such as that of the Green Mountain School, xingyiquan, hongjiaquan and Fongyangshi.

Master Zhu remembers that the first person who came to Penang to promote Cheng Man Ching's taijiquan was Huang Hsing Hsian. Master Huang first taught at the Jing Wu school in 1956. At that time Zhu Sheng Jin was a young man who was "not afraid of tigers" and he went along to push hands with Huang Hsing Hsian. Huang carelessly allowed Zhu to rip his shirt during the encounter. At that time Zhu was twenty seven years old and Huang was already famous throughout Malaysia as a master of taijiquan. Now Master Zhu is also very famous.

After Huang had visited Penang, he invited Yue Shu Ting to come to Penang to teach. Thus it was that in 1957, the skinny, small Yue Shu Ting came to Penang. Such was his lack of physical stature that everyone who saw him disbelieved that he could have any martial skill. Zhu Shen Jin was among those who felt this way and so went to call on him in order to test his gong fu. In a few seconds he suffered defeat. Zhu was not happy so he came back again with the same result. In all he challenged Master Yue four times and each time he lost.

Yue Shu Ting's "folding hand" like thunder and lightning

Zhu Sheng Jin recalls that he couldn't work out why he kept losing to Yue Shu Ting. Only after studying taijiquan with him did he realise that Yue Shu Ting on each occasion had used the two techniques, elbow and shoulder, to knock him away with spring force. Yue Shu Ting was a skilled teacher who was able to teach his students not only the therapeutic aspects of the art but also how it could be used for self-defence.

From 1958-59 the Penang Jing Wu taijiquan team were often asked to go to Singapore to demonstrate their iron cloth skills which shook the world of martial arts.

During that period, Yue Shu Ting took disciples in Penang. It cost 300 - 500 dollars to become a disciple at that time. The first batch of disciples, including Zhu Sheng Jin became disciples free of charge and so they sought to make their teacher famous.

Yue Shu Ting's main skill was his "folding hand" which contained six martial techniques, executed continuously without any breaking of power. Anybody who was on the receiving end of these techniques did not know what had hit them.

A lot of people in Penang knew of taijiquan because of the much-publicised challenge match between Chen Ke Fu and Wu Kwong Yi, which took place in Macao. After this Wu came to Penang. It was after this time that Yue came to Penang.

According to Master Zhu's experience if you want to have good taiji skills you must understand the four squares, peng, lu, ji and an, and the four corners, cai, lieh, zhou and kao.

Master Zhu himself started martial arts when he was twelve years old. At that time Malaya was occupied by the Japanese and there was nowhere for a small child to play and nothing else for him to do.

Zhu Sheng Jin helped Yue Shu Ting teach in Ipoh and other places. He has many disciples in Ipoh. Master Zhu recommends that if you are tired you should do the Cheng style form twice and you will feel refreshed but you'll feel even better if you do it four times.

Yue Shu Ting added on the "lower eighteen hands" to the thirty seven posture form because he felt that some of the moves that Cheng man Ching had cut out were essential, especially Part the Wild Horse's Mane.

Yue Shu Ting's speciality was "folding hands", Hu Xing qigong and his Iron Cloth skill. In addition he had one taijiquan killing method called gold and steel qigong. Only a few of his disciples received this secret.

 

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