Lam from Pingshan Town Becomes Monkey in New York City
When Lam Sifu, being Hakka himself, first arrived in New York City circa mid 1940's, he went straight to the "Sun Jing Hui" Hakka Chinese Association.
As was customary at the Association, people played chinese checkers and mah jong passing the days away sipping tea and socializing. Lam was a small man, barely five foot tall, and sitting on a bar stool with legs crossed smoking a big cigar, he was approached by Uncle Chen, the Hakka Association kungfu teacher.
Uncle Chen, already aged a bit, said to Lam Sang, "You look like a little monkey sitting here with your legs crossed smoking that big cigar." Lam Sang replied, "Would you care to give me a try?" Uncle Chen (perhaps thinking it would be a piece of cake) said, "If I can't pass your hand then I will carry your suitcases for the rest of my life."
A bout ensued and Uncle Chen was squarely defeated then and there on the spot. And true to his word, Uncle Chen until the day he died, did follow Lam Sang carrying his bags.
He (Uncle Chen) even trained a bit of Kwongsai Mantis. Lam Sifu's first generation of disciples who lived in the same apartment with him said that Uncle Chen learned only Mor Sao but could using that easily throw them up against the wall. It was only after Lam's disciples spent a longer time and learned more that Uncle Chen could no longer control them.
And that is how Lam Sang became known as Monkey. (Notice the big cigar he is smoking.)
Even today, most over 60 in NYC Chinatown have stories of a reserved man of small stature able to perform supernormal feats of strength. Few are the masters of old today!
Note: Lam Sifu's t-shirt states "qun ying hui" which means "a gathering of heroes."
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