Wing Chun Newbie Overthrows the Monk!
"Fine. Half an hour." Lu Sheng glared fiercely at Xia Lei, then turned and walked towards the wooden dummy.
"Big Brother Sheng, teach him a lesson later," said a student.
"Yeah, you have to teach him a lesson. He's getting too full of himself," said another student.
Xia Lei pretended not to hear them and did not take their words to heart. He was new after all and Lu Sheng had been here for three years so he, of course, had many friends.
Lu Sheng got to the wooden dummy and started striking it. Every strike resounded loudly, terrifyingly. His muscles were like iron, his ligaments like steel ropes, his bones were steel bars - his whole body was so strong it strained to hold his strength.
This was obviously a show of strength for Xia Lei's benefit.
However, there was no fear in Xia Lei's heart. He walked to the wall and sat on a chair to rest. He closed his eyes and it seemed like he was asleep but images of Liang Zheng-Chun practicing Wing Chun flashed continuously in his mind. His left eye provided him with the most detailed analysis of how Liang Zheng-Chun's skeleton moved, how his muscles and ligaments channelled power. He absorbed all of that information like a sponge...
"Have something to drink," a pleasant voice suddenly said.
Xia Lei opened his eyes and saw Liang Si-Yao, and a cup of juice in her hand.
Liang Si-Yao put the cup in Xia Lei's hand, "This is carrot juice. Drink it. It'll help you to recover your strength more quickly."
"Thank you," Xia Lei thanked her, then drank the juice.
Liang Si-Yao sat next to Xia Lei, "Lu Sheng is powerful. Do you really want to spar with him? I can talk to him if you want to give up."
"No, I'll spar with him. I can also test out what I've learnt," said Xia Lei, then he laughed, "The most that'll happen is me getting beaten up. I'm not afraid of pain."
"Okay. You rest then." Liang Si-Yao took Xia Lei's empty cup and left.
Half an hour passed quickly. Lu Sheng went to an empty space and the students made way for him, then stood around in a circle and got ready to watch a show.
Lu Sheng gestured at Xia Lei, "Half an hour's up, punk. Are you all rested up?"
Xia Lei got up and walked over, then stood facing Lu Sheng. When he positioned himself, he got into Wing Chun's most famous beginning stance, 'Seeking Hand'. In this stance, one hand was the seeking hand and it attacked while the other was the protecting hand, which defended. The seeking hand and protecting hand were interchangeable, attacking and defending. This was what he had learnt from Liang Zheng-Chun half an hour earlier.
"You do look a little like an expert," mocked Lu Sheng, "but I don't even need to use Wing Chun to beat you. Mixed martial arts is enough."
As soon as he was done speaking, Lu Sheng suddenly raised his leg and attacked Xia Lei with a kick.
Xia Lei jumped half a step aside lightly, withdrew his seeking hand and turned his protecting hand into a fist, then slammed it into the ligaments between Lu Sheng's knee and thigh.
This one punch made Lu Sheng hobble two steps back and look at Xia Lei in surprise. The punch to the ligaments did not harm thick-skinned and thick-muscled Lu Sheng but it still hurt horribly. He did not show his pain, however, and bore the pain silently.
The surrounding students looked surprised too. When Lu Sheng kicked at Xia Lei, almost all of them thought that Xia Lei would be kicked to the ground but it all changed in an instant - Xia Lei had punched Lu Sheng backwards!
"Dad, it's strange." Liang Si-Yao, who was watching, turned to Liang Zheng-Chun next to her and said, "I felt like it was you sparring with Lu Sheng just now."
Liang Zheng-Chun sighed softly, "This young man is a puzzle. I thought he was just copying earlier but it seems like he has now mastered Long Bridge and Short Bridge power channelling techniques. He is a true person of Wing Chun. Don't you think it's too quick though?"
Long Bridge power channelling and Short Bridge power channelling are two methods of channelling power in Wing Chun. The former is a long-range attack and the latter a short-range attack. What Xia Lei had used to push Lu Sheng backwards with was Short Bridge power channelling. Him being able to hit a stronger, sturdier Lu Sheng backwards with one punch proved one thing - he had mastered the technique of Wing Chun power channelling, increasing his strength many-fold!
On the sparring grounds, Lu Sheng stopped taking Xia Lei lightly. He also got into a Wing Chun beginning stance.
Xia Lei suddenly zipped right in front of Lu Sheng, his fist speeding towards his heart.
Xia Lei was taking the initiative to attack! The surrounding students were surprised again.
Bam bam bam, bam bam bam...
Lu Sheng and Xia Lei sparred. They were both attacking and defending very quickly and watching them made one's vision blur. Their fight was like the final edit of a martial arts movie - very exhilarating.
"Impossible. The monk has practiced Wing Chun for three years and he's the best of us. Why can't he beat that guy?" said a student.
"Yeah, and that guy has only practiced for a few days? I don't believe it!" said a student.
"Scary. Is that guy actually hiding his real skills and he came here pretending to be weak so that he can defeat stronger opponents? But why?" someone puzzled.
In their discussion, they were all surprised by the strength Xia Lei displayed and found it incredible.
Liang Zheng-Chun suddenly spoke, "Not good. Lu Sheng is going to lose."
"No way..." Liang Si-Yao could not believe Liang Zheng-Chun's words.
As they sparred, Xia Lei suddenly cut short Lu Sheng's technique. His punch landed heavily on Lu Sheng's chest. This punch was quick, relentless and powerful. Lu Sheng's body of at least 90kg was lifted off the ground before he slammed heavily onto the floor.
Xia Lei took advantage of the opportunity to use his knees to press the fallen Lu Sheng to the ground, then used his fist to strike at Lu Sheng's head.
Lu Sheng closed his eyes.
Xia Lei's fist stopped before his face. He did not follow through with the punch.
The entire practice hall was silent; so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
A man who was a retired special forces, had practiced Wing Chun for three years and was a professional bodyguard was actually beaten by a guy who had learnt Wing Chun for three days. Who would be willing to believe this result?
Xia Lei stood and held out a hand to Lu Sheng.
Lu Sheng hesitated, but still grabbed Xia Lei's hand and pulled himself to his feet.
"You let me win," said Xia Lei politely.
"Why be so polite? I lost. I didn't let you win," said Lu Sheng.
Xia Lei smiled and stretched out a hand to Lu Sheng, "Let's be friends."
Lu Sheng did not hesitate this time. He reached to shake Xia Lei's hand, then grinned, "I seldom admit defeat but you are one I shall admit to."
Lu Sheng was actually quite a straightforward person and didn't hide his feelings. When he didn't like someone, he would target that person. If he liked a person or respected a person, that person would have his friendship.
'An exchange of blows may lead to friendship' - this old saying applied to Lu Sheng and Xia Lei.
While Lu Sheng and Xia Lei were getting along, Liang Zheng-Chun pulled Liang Si-Yao to a quiet corner and spoke softly, "Your suggestion earlier of Xia Lei being my last disciple is not a bad one. Go talk to him and find out what he intends and what he means to do."
Liang Si-Yao giggled, "Dad, I told you you've struck gold. You just didn't discover it. If you want to talk, do it yourself. I'm not going."
Liang Zheng-Chun glared at Liang Si-Yao, "Wretch. Trying to anger me? Where shall I hide my old face if I go ask him? Your old man is the true descendant of Wing Chun and has a certain dignity to upkeep. If I ask personally and get rejected, and news of it spreads in the community... How can I show my face in front of others then?"
Liang Si-Yao laughed, "Okay, okay, let your daughter handle this matter. But you have to get me sweet and sour pork ribs."
Liang Zheng-Chun snapped, "You glutton. You don't put on weight though."
"I am naturally blessed. I don't get fat no matter how much I eat. Hee hee. Okay, I'll go see what his intentions are. Wait for my good news." Liang Si-Yao walked towards Xia Lei.
Liang Zheng-Chun stroked his chin and a slight smile appeared on his lips, "This guy is like the martial arts prodigy they describe in those Xianxia novels. If I accept him as my last disciple, our Wing Chun will have a very good successor. Who knows, it may not be strange for him to become another Master Ip Man."
Though it was the twenty-first century, a national essence such as kungfu still followed ancient traditions and formally becoming a disciple to a Master was an indispensable step. Xia Lei had already displayed astonishing talent. Liang Zheng-Chun was moved and would like Xia Lei to be his successor but Xia Lei would have to first formally become his disciple.
"Xia Lei, can you do me a favour?" Liang Si-Yao interrupted Xia Lei and Lu Sheng's conversation.
"Of course," Xia Lei asked, "What can I do for you?"
"Um, come with me." Liang Si-Yao did not say what she wanted help with but walked towards a door.
Xia Lei followed her through the door. Behind the door was Liang Zheng-Chun's office. He would sometimes stay there so there was also a kitchen and bedroom.
Liang Si-Yao brought Xia Lei into Liang Zheng-Chun's office and smiled as she said, "Please take a seat."
"Weren't you asking me..."
"Yeah, I want to ask you to change the water tank for me," said Liang Si-Yao.
Xia Lei looked at the water dispenser in the corner - the water tank was still full. He looked back at Liang Si-Yao, speechless.
Liang Si-Yao laughed dryly, "Oh my, it's been changed. So sorry. I was too careless. That's good, no need to change the water tank anymore. Let's have a chat. Sit, sit. I'll get you some water."
"No, it's okay. Let's just sit." Xia Lei sat on a chair, thinking curiously, 'What does she want to talk about? She's being all secretive.'
Liang Si-Yao moved a chair to sit facing Xia Lei and stared right at him. "Can I be so bold as to ask what your profession is?"
"I have a workshop where I process parts for businesses. It's a small business," said Xia Lei.
"You've never learnt any martial arts?"
"Who are the people in your family?"
"A sister. She's gone to Jing-Du for her university studies." After answering this question, Xia Lei suddenly laughed, "Miss Liang, what are these questions for? Just speak frankly and stop beating about the bush."
"Then... Would you be willing to put your heart and soul into learning martial arts and give up your workshop?" asked Liang Si-Yao probingly.
"How can I do that? Learning martial arts is just a hobby for me. I've never thought of establishing myself here. My goal in learning martial arts is just to have the ability to defend myself."
"I see..." Liang Si-Yao looked disappointed.
At that moment, Xia Lei's phone suddenly rang. He took out his phone and glanced at it - it was Ma Xiao-An.
Xia Lei picked up, "Yes, it's me."
"Lei! Come back quick!" Ma Xiao-An's voice was very anxious.
Xia Lei was struck by a twinge of misgiving, "What happened?"
"Someone came and trashed our shop. You..." The sound was suddenly cut off.
Xia Lei got up to leave. "Miss Liang, something urgent came up. Let's chat next time."
"Hey, need help?" asked Liang Si-Yao.
Xia Lei had already run out the door.