Southern Shaolin Temple - Grandmaster Chee contributed to its reconstruction

Southern Shaolin Temple - Grandmaster Chee contributed to its reconstruction

The Shaolin Temple

It must be stressed that the renowned Shaolin Temple at Putian in Fujian province, Home to Southern Shaolin Gong Fu, had very different rules of entry and exit to the Temple of today (which was later rebuilt partly due to private contributors, one of whom was Grandmaster Chee Kim Thong himself).

Grandmaster Chee demonstrating Iron Head Qi-Gong

Grandmaster Chee demonstrating Iron Head Qi-Gong

In the pre-war Shaolin Temple, aspiring entrants would have to demonstrate enormous Patience and endure much hardship to be considered worthy to be accepted.  Those who succeeded were not allowed to leave again, until they had passed through various tests of their skill and character. For one to be actually ‘invited’ into the Temple, as Shizu Chee was, was indeed exceptional: and upon him no restriction on leaving was ever imposed.

One of the more exceptional abilities Master Chee developed, as a result of special and arduous training techniques while at the Temple, was that of being able to resist chops and blows to the head, earning him the nick-name 'Iron Head'.

His final Master-Teacher was therefore no less a person than the renowned Blind Abbot of the Shaolin Temple at Putian: the rigours he was subjected to in order to learn the knowledge this teacher imparted were severe indeed.  In spite of his training and instruction commitments with the military, young Chee would daily run some six miles to the Abbot’s abode (at a location on a substantial incline at some distance from the main temple complex).

His Gong Fu development and training, proceeding well, to the satisfaction of his strict master, Master Chee one day felt emboldened to ask the Blind Abbot to teach him the secret arts of the most advanced techniques of the ‘death touch.’

The Abbot, not speaking, took hold of Chee’s forefingers, snapped and broke them, and then reset them in a special fashion, with the aid of splints, enabling Master Chee to learn and develop this special striking power  (according to the Gong Fu historian, Jin Jing Zhong:
‘If this mastership [Yi Zhi Chan Gong] is directed against a man, there will be no wounds seen, but the internal organs will be seriously injured.)’ 

It was the Very Reverend Abbot, who taught Grandmaster Chee what he always regarded as the most precious of all the Systems he came to know and master: the Wujiquan, Luohan Ru-Yi Quan, and Eighteen Arhat Boxing.