Hi guys thought you might find this article interesting, I've also done articles on Kong Pai Wai, Mark Houghton, Jim Uglow and Lau Ka Yung, I'll dig them out if you're interested...
Interview with MARK HOUGHTON, JIM UGLOW, KEVIN PANG and ANGELO ZAPPONE on the new TEN TIGERS OF CANTON Association.
In the middle of my summer course with around 25 European students staying at my Dojo we were pleased to receive a visit from the Shi Kon Kung Fu Technical Director Jim Uglow, his friend Martial Arts actor, stuntman and fellow Hung Gar exponent Mark Houghton (who you will remember from the September issue of MAI) and their two students, actors Angelo Zappone and Kevin Pang. After the photo shoot for this article we were treated to a powerful and stunning demonstration of Hung Gar Kung Fu after which we could talk over the traditional cup of tea.
Their Hung Gar lineage is as follows:
Hung Hay Kwun
Luk Ah Choy
Wong Kei Ying
Wong Fei Hung
Lam Sai Wing
Chan Hon Chung Lau Chaam
Jim Uglow Lau Kar Leong
Angelo Zappone Mark Houghton
SR Hi everyone… Mark, can you explain what the Ten Tigers of Canton are all about?
MH The Ten Tigers of Canton is all about the Hung Gar style of Kung Fu. It’s making the point that it’s not about people or characters but the art itself. It’s an association being formed by Jim and myself, Jim representing the UK and myself representing Hong Kong and we’re looking for eight other country representatives who can trace their lineage back to Lam Sai Wing and Wong Fei Hung to follow in the footsteps of our ancestors and promote the art and not just themselves. The original Ten Tigers of Canton were the most famous Martial Artists in China and one of them was Wong Kei Ying, the father of Wong Fei Hung – both lineage holders of the Hung Gar style. This time we want to make it truly international representing ten countries. The two people we have here today Angelo and Kevin are the “Junior Tigers” being intensively schooled to follow us. The idea is that there will be a “Junior Ten” that will do demonstrations, Lion dances and so on internationally to promote the art.
Anyone interested can get in touch with us through Steve Rowe by email on email@example.com
SR Jim, is there anything you would like to add to what Mark just said there?
JU Not really I think Mark said it all, our interest is in the next generation and that’s why we have bought these two here today.
SR Okay so that brings us to the “new generation”… Angelo, how did you get to start Hung Gar with Jim?
AZ I first met and started training with Jim when he was teaching at my acting school. I developed an interest and started to train outside the school with Jim. To be honest, I didn’t train that well or hard at the beginning but as an actor I had some “resting” periods with not a lot to do and was able to spend a lot of time at the Kwoon, with a lot of help from my Kung Fu brothers and teachers I was able to improve.
They also taught me the Lion Dance and that has enabled me to travel extensively around the country with them performing and training. I have to say I found it difficult! The training gets harder all the time and I have found that the more I learn the more I realise I don’t know! I have discovered that if I do as I’m told and just follow my teacher - and I trust him one hundred per cent - then I don’t put a foot wrong.
SR Tell us about your trips to Hong Kong..
AZ I’ve been to Hong Kong 3 or 4 times with Jim to train with his Kung Fu family, his Sifu Chan Hon Chung has sadly passed away so he now goes to train with his older (Kung Fu) brother Kong Pai Wai and I’ve always found the training amazing and the “family” open and willing to pass on their knowledge due to the time and effort that Jim has put in with them. I can’t thank him enough for that!
SR Can you tell us a little about your background?
AZ I trained as an actor for three years professionally, and have worked (as many actors do) sporadically since. I found the Kung Fu has helped me considerably with my mental and physical balance and focus. I don’t like people with big egos, and this kind of training doesn’t allow your ego to grow. You have to go through the pain barriers and you constantly get your backside kicked. I found that this helped me considerably working in the theatre and in films.
SR Can talk a little about being selected as the “Junior Tiger” to Jim?
AZ Well, this is all new to me! I only recently found out about it and I’m speechless! I’m really flattered that Jim chose me, it’s quite an honour and I hope that I can do the position justice.
SR How have you enjoyed the training with Mark?
AZ Training with Mark is “full on”.. It’s painful but he has an extraordinary amount of knowledge, so I don’t mind going through the pain because I know that I’m gaining from it. I know what from Jim’s told me that he comes from the same family and that he’s my Kung Fu “uncle” and Kevin here is now my “brother”. We made vows in front of the ancestors at the altar and it’s a bond for life that can’t be broken.
SR Kevin, how long have been you been studying Hung Gar?
KP I’ve been studying under Mark Houghton in Hong Kong for about two and a half years, I work as a Lifeguard at the moment but am hoping to break into the Hong Kong movie industry this year from my Martial Arts background. When I return to Hong Kong I have a number of meetings with some TV and film producers.
SR I understand that you’ve been teaching?
KP That’s right. I’ve been helping Mark to teach at seminars world wide. In between my life guarding and movie career along with my Kung Fu brother Angelo here I want to do as many demonstrations and courses as possible to promote Hung Gar and Chinese Martial Arts world wide.
SR Mark can you explain a little more about how Angelo and Kevin became Kung Fu “brothers”?
MH Sure…. They burnt joss sticks at the altar to Kwankun (the god of war) and then at the Hung Gar altar to pictures of the Hung Gar lineage (Lam Sai Wing and Chan Hon Chung) they swore to help each other to promote Kung Fu and stay together as long as possible.
The “Ten Tigers” association is an important step forward because there are so many Instructors promoting themselves and their lineages and their Kung Fu just doesn’t come up to the mark. We want the art to come first. We don’t want the deeper teachings to die off just because some people are more commercial than others.
We’re passing the knowledge on from generation to generation in the traditional method but in an international way to promote Kung Fu world wide.
SR Thank you, Mark, Jim, Kevin and Angelo.