Wednesday, July 8, 2009


On the Beijing opera stage, a table and two chairs can according to the story turn into a palace, a battlefield, a farm house, and various endless possibilities; yet under Yu Jim Yuen's whip policy, Seven Little Fortunes' potential can in the same way be inspired, break through limitations as they turn the impossible into possible.

Yuen Hung Feared Beating, Leap In One Try

Yuen Qiu recalls back then as long as Master Yu's cane appeared, no matter how students lacked confidence in a performance they were able to overcome it one by one. She says, "Back then training included something called 'table jump', we performed a somersault from one side of the table to the other side. When we were little we saw how long and wide the table was, we really didn't dare to jump. Then Master wanted us to jump one by one, after which we went back to the end of the line to jump again. Back then every time it was Yuen Hung's turn, she would run run run run and slam on the brakes right before the table, then she would tell the Master in Shanghainese 'I don't know how to', the Master would tell her to return to the back of the line."

Master suddenly became so easygoing, Yuen Hung thought she passed and tried again. Yuen Qiu continues, "Yuen Hung tried it again the second time, Master let her pass, the third time she wanted to try the trick again, Master already caught on and released the cane. Yuen Hung wanted to dodge it and unconsciously jumped over the table. After the jump she turned back to the Master and said 'I know how to do it'! I am telling you, if the cane didn't come out the kids couldn't be forced to be serious. Didn't the Master have to use the cane?"

Such Beijing opera basic foundation, Yu Jim Yuen never believed that his disciples would not be able to perform. Jackie Chan in his autobiography I AM JACKIE CHAN recalled, "Master only believed in three things: punishment, training and obedience. Punishment is executed with the cane, training was the standard of life, obedience was strictly demanded in school."

The Line Between Life and Death, Turns Danger into Safety

Perhaps such cane education was effective and triggered students' potential, which turned the "Yuen" clan at the brink of death often would be able to find life in the last moment of danger.

Yuen Bun said, "After Seven Little Fortunes' training was completed, many brethren entered the film industry to make a living. Many became stunt professionals, but over the years we never heard about any Yu Jim Yuen's disciples falling to their deaths. With other stunt professionals occasionally one of two would suffer. The Master deserved the credit for that. He forced us to training from morning to night. After all the somersaults, we naturally knew how to protect ourselves when we landed on the ground without getting hurt. Thus so far every one of the Seven Little Fortunes are still 'alive' and continue to risk our lives in the film industry, all thanks to Master's cane back then." (22)

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