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Sijo Poon Sing 80th Birthday Celebrated With Honor in Hong Kong- By Sihing David Law


January 2nd, 2006 was the big 80th Birthday celebration for renowned Sijo Poon Sing. Sijo Poon Sing is the Master Tat-Mau Wong's grandmaster and the teacher of Master Wong's sifu, Master Lee Koon Hung.

Representing Master Wong at the celebration in Hong Kong was Sifu Jeff Chow, Sifu Darrell Levack from the Connecticut Tat Wong Academy, Sijeh Ka-Yan Wong, and myself; Sihing David Law. The celebration took place at the 'Federal Palace Restaurant'. It started off with a luncheon where we could formally show our respect to Sijo Poon Sing. It was followed in the evening with a grand performance and birthday banquet.

The whole trip to Hong Kong was amazing. The luncheon was great. When we first arrived at the restaurant SiBak Mak Hin Fai from Seattle greeted us. He brought us to a table and almost immediately, other sifus started greeting us and introducing themselves after hearing we were Master Wong's students. When SiJo (Poon Sing) arrived, all the tables got up to welcome him. It was amazing to see him at 80 years of age to walk around greeting everyone, shaking hands like he was 20 something. We sat with Sijo during lunch. He was extremely personable and did what all Chinese people did, told us to eat.

The banquet was larger than anything I had expected. Over 600 guests attended, from Sijo's family to Kung-Fu masters from all around the world. There were over 50 performers. The performance was over 3 hours long. The event kicked off with a lion dance from Sijo's school. It was very traditional and very strong. It was followed immediately by another lion dance from a 7-star praying mantis school. After the lion dance, Sijo's name as well as other guests were announced. Then Sibak Mak Hin Fai, who is famous for his lion dance skills, did a unique lion dance performed with an enormous lion head. I had never seen a lion head that huge or move with such power. Then all the Kung Fu performances began. The first half of the performances was from Sijo's school. During a break in the performances, the room was filled with eight Chinese Lions. The eight Lions of course stood for the good luck and prosperity represented by the number eight. The second half of the performance consisted of masters from different schools, different countries, and even different styles.

We also had the honor of performing for Sijo Poon Sing. I performed 'Ping Jang Kuen', while Ka-Yan performed 'Ping Kuen', and Sifu Chow performed 'Sup Gi Kau Da Kuen'. And thankfully Master Wong was pleased when he heard reports that both Sijo Poon Sing and our Sibak Mak Hin Fai were impressed with the power and quality we displayed throughout our forms.

During the banquet, we were also surprised and very honored to receive a flag that Poon Sing had made especially for Master Wong. It is a big traditional triangle flag that I know we will be proud to display during our parades and special events.

It was an honor to represent Master Wong at such a big event. Even though Master Wong left Hong Kong nearly 25 years ago, it was amazing to see the level of respect that the other masters have for him. We'd just like to thank Master Wong for giving us such a great opportunity to represent the school.

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