Monday, June 15, 2009


A group of not yet grown children who are naturally mischievous and naughty is like molten iron -- it has to be beaten. Accepted into Master Yu's school, Seven Little Fortunes are either mischievous children or little bullies at home. For them to proper train with all the gentle methods may not be effective. One can only use high pressure tactics and beat them until they blossom to be able to keep them under control.

In China Drama Academy's contract the seventh agreement stated, "If Party B's child is beyond mischievous, disobedient or makes a mistake, Party B voluntarily as the parent or a guardian agree to grant full permission for Party A to administrative disciplinary action, including scolding and physical punishment." Simply put, Master Yu's instructional method included physical punishment.

In the 60s Hong Kong, physical punishment was more than common. Master Yu is the power to teach and discipline all in one. According to the Opera rules, any disciple who makes a mistake gets a beating without question.

One Makes A Mistake, Everyone Gets Punished
Master Yu also believed in group education. Like the Qin Dynasty "accomplice law", if one person made a mistake everyone got punished. If any disciple made a big mistake then everyone suffered. The"violator" usually suffered 30 to 50 cane lashes, the innocent ones got one to two lashes. As Big Brother Sammo Hung Kam Bo and Master Yu's godson Jackie Chan, they usually had to take a few more lashes in a show of the Master's fairness.

Master Yu came from a martial art background, naturally he was agile. He wielded the cane as if it was his arm or finger, he never missed and had an endless variety. What looked real was not, what was not was; he looked left and hit right, the lashes were unpredictable so the disciples had no way to avoid them. No wonder even Yuen Wah sighed, "No one dared to duck. Instead of ducking and get a few more lashes, you might as well nicely stand there and take them."

In the school everyone was equal as female students did not have the benefits of "less beating". Third Sister Yuen Qiu said, "The Master liked to inspect the girls' sashes the most; as soon as he realized that he could put a finger in it, it meant it was not tied tight enough. Without another word the cane could come, absolutely without any mercy." Yuen Ju also recalled, "We would also check our wounds in the room after the beating. We would take off our pants to see who was the most injured. Usually it was a big, red and swollen mark!"

One Is Willing To Hit, One Is Willing To Take
Even though Master Yu hit everyday, he "beat" a future for the Seven Little Fortunes. First Big Brother Yuen Ting said, "Hitting absolutely was more effective than scolding. Once his cane hit, how would we dare to make a mistake again. Physical punishment used to be common!" Indeed, it was clearly written in the contract; Party B parent had to grant Yu Jim Yuen the permission to discipline. One was willing to hit, the one was willing to take it. The fact was indisputable. (5)

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