Grandmaster Chee Kim Thong - Five Ringed Broadsword

Grandmaster Chee Kim Thong - Five Ringed Broadsword

The Early Wartime Years

As the late 1930’s drew on, the cloud of war caused by the expansion of the operations of the invading Japanese forces, deepened over many parts of China, including the maritime province of Fujian (which faces Taiwan; in those times the Japanese colony of Formosa).

As mentioned earlier, in pre-war China, tuition in Gong Fu techniques formed an important part of military training.  Those with aptitude in the arts became important as natural leaders and fighters in the recruitment and strategic calculations of those responsible for China’s military forces.  This rule applied particularly at this point in her history, when threatened with conquest by a foreign power.

In Fujian, noted for its great contributions to the development and preservation of traditional Gong Fu, fighters like Master Chee – still in his late teens – were eagerly sought out to train others and to lead the defence against the invaders.  In these circumstances Master Chee rapidly rose to prominence as a hand to hand combat instructor: a situation that lead to many challenges from others.

Master Chee in after years related how severe were some of the impositions of live-saving vigilance for him as a Gong Fu fighter of renown.  It should be pointed out that should an opponent successfully surprise and defeat such a figure, he would gain a great reputation for himself.  Master Chee, therefore had to develop, figuratively speaking, the habit of sleeping with one eye open.