|"Enter the Yellow Dragon"
|Combat Magazine, November
By Vicki Gamble and Martin Butler Pictures by Phillip Butler
and Simon Wong
Background of Simon Wong
"The way that can be spoken of is not the constant way,
the name that can be named is not the constant name"
- Tao Te Ching
All too often people in the western world merely relate to just
the material aspects of their world with little regard to its spiritual
dimension. Likewise, their conception of a martial art like Kung
Fu or Karate is purely physical, without any thought for any underlying
The Yellow Dragon Tai Chi Mantis style, as its name implies, combines
the physical "hard" style Southern mantis Kung Fu with
the Yang style Big Circle Tai Chi and seeks to teach an understanding
of the centuries of underlying Chinese culture that inspired its
founder - Sifu Simon Wong.
As a boy, Sifu Wong lived in Hong Kong. His health was poor and
as a consequence his body always felt weak. His only interests were
music and painting and he accomplished a lot in this field. Sifu
Wong realised it would be beneficial to his health if he was to
take up a martial art, and after the arrival of the Bruce Lee phenomenon
he was keen to start martial arts.
He began training in taekwondo and later boxing and karate, but
it did not take long for Sifu Wong to realise these styles were
not for him; through training in these martial arts he suffered
damage to his body and so decided to seek knowledge in another direction.
Sifu Wong came to England in 1978. By this time he had come to realise
there was a deeper side to Chinese martial arts. He began training
in southern praying mantis and was also interested in pak mei and
wing chun (also popular styles of Kung Fu) thus absorbing the deeper
meaning of Kung Fu and not just learning the superficial side.
Due to his business he needed to move to Peterborough and so he
gave up pak mei and wing chun.