Maître Ha CHau
On March 25, 1924, the world of martial arts lost Grand Master Wong Fei Hung, and on August 19, 1924 in Hong Kong, Master Hà Châu was born. He is the descendant of a family with a long martial tradition, his father, Võ Su Hà Chung, being a Master of Hong Gia Quyen Cho Lon. Very young, he followed his father to Vietnam and lived in Ba Xuyen (Soc Trang). At the age of five, he was taught by his father.
Master Hà Chung owned a forest exploitation which was burned by the French because he lodged resistance fighters from Ho Chi Minh there. Not for political reasons, but simply for the sake of helping, his family having to flee China, it had created a form of solidarity for these fighters.
At the age of nine, Master Hà Châu left for Hong Kong to study with Master Trinh Luân, thus becoming the one and only disciple of the latter. Master Trinh luân was one of the 4 or 5 disciples of Master Trinh Hoa, Su tuc (brother of) Master Wong Fei Hung.
After fifteen years spent in Hong Kong, in addition to his mastery of unarmed and armed hand techniques, Master Hà Châu became one of the only Master of Shaolin Hung Gar to have reached the last level of energy techniques. internal and external.
One of his most famous techniques was Thien Can Truy (or Thien Can Ta), which is considered one of the 72 most important Shaolin techniques.
Master Trinh Luan followed Master Hà Châu when the latter returned to South Vietnam, he spent the last years of his life there. With the help of Master Minh Canh, English boxing champion in Southeast Asia in the 1950s, Master Hà Châu set up a troop which moved to Vietnam.
While Master Minh Canh in a ring was performing boxing matches, he was also demonstrating martial techniques by agreeing to face bulls selected from among the most powerful. During the Thi Nghe fair at the end of 1957, he demonstrated a rare and unique technique: “Không chê song xa” (Mastering two chariots). Each of his hands held a metal chain, which was connected at the other end to a bus. The two vehicles then started simultaneously to each take off in an opposite direction, and the two chains in strong tension then threatened to quarter his body, ... but several minutes passed without anything happening, the wheels of the two buses skated empty on the ground without being able to move forward a millimeter.
In 1958, on the shores of Xuân Huong Lake in Da Lat, he lay down on the ground and let ten buses pass one after the other over his body, each of the buses carrying 50 passengers. The day after this demonstration, he took up the challenge launched by a Cambodian martial arts master. The latter was famous and had received the nickname of "Thiêt Cuoc" (Steel Foot), for having repeatedly broken with a single kick the neck of buffaloes or bulls ... During the fight, "Pied d ' Steel ”had his leg fractured while confronting the“ Thiêt Sa Chuong ”(Palm of Steel). In 1961, in the Trà Vinh stadium, he demonstrated internal energy by rolling a 12-ton steamroller over his body. As the truck was in the middle of the race just above him, the driver stalled the engine in an assassination attempt sponsored by a Cambodian Master. It took more than five minutes for a gendarme, gun in hand, threatening the driver to restart the vehicle and get him to pass to the other side. "Twenty seconds more and I had no more breath, my body would then have been flattened like a sheet of paper," said Maître Hà Châu.
From that day until 1975, he repeatedly asked permission to repeat this demonstration, but the authorities at the time never dared to grant it.
At the beginning of the 70s, Master Hà Châu had almost withdrawn from the world of Martial Arts. In 1974, one of his close acquaintances happened to be the Principal of Tan Dan High School in My Tho, and hired him as a teacher of Calligraphy and at the beginning of 1975 he placed him as Principal of the School. Dan Tri school in Cai Be.
But after April 1975, he returned to My Tho and began to work in a textile factory in Hong Gam, and the following year he was in Ho Chi Minh City and worked as a mechanic in the textile factory. by Ben Nghe, Binh Thanh.
It was therefore in 1976 that Maître Hà Châu deposited the technology of the “diamond-shaped milling machine”. It is thanks to this experience that Master Hà Châu was able to create and manufacture his unique training tools that you can find today at school. At the beginning of the 80s, the Vietnamese government reduced the restrictions imposed on the practice of Martial Arts, some schools were then authorized to open in a concern to “preserve a vestige of Feudalism”. Many Masters had already started giving demonstrations in villages since 1975, and Maitre Hà Châu was no exception to the rule. In 1985 in Thu Thua, Long An, then again in 1987 in An Phu commune in Thu Duc, he was forced to leave after barely a month of demonstrations because the local population considered that his "superhuman" resistance had arisen. black magic.
In 1988 I returned to An Khanh to demonstrate and reconnect with his former Disciples. With their help, he ended up staying there and settling for the rest of his life. Although he had encountered many difficulties in promoting Martial Arts in the past, he did not give up and contributed a lot to the development of the Association of Traditional Martial Arts in Ho Chi Minh City. He was among the founders of the Association of Martial Arts of Ho Chi Minh City (Hôi Vo Thuât TP. HCM) and received multiple medals awarded by the State.
During the years 1989 and 1992 he was invited to Russia and Italy for demonstrations. He was nicknamed "Ummo". This term designates a being from another planet, possessing extraordinary capacities with which no inhabitant of the Earth could compete.
In the book “People with Extraordinary Powers” (printed by Dorling Kindersley in London, then reprinted at the end of 1992 in California), Maître Hà Châu was ranked among the three greatest figures in the world for his mastery of the extraordinary techniques described. upper. The other two characters were an Indian master yogi, who agreed to be buried alive under the sand to come out a month later in good shape, and Master Hoken Soken, a member of the White Crane school on the Japanese island of 'Okiwana, who demonstrated martial arts while standing on a thin wooden plank floating in the water. In 1997, Maître Hà Châu retired and began to forge weapons while monitoring the legacy he left.
However, he continued to train and work from morning to night, forging weapons, making training tools for school, and continuing to practice Chinese poetry and Calligraphy.
Having previously been a technician for the Hông Gâm spinning and weaving company, he carried out work to design and manufacture a training machine for the practice of "Thiên Cân Ta" (lifting a thousand tons) Master Hà Châu explained that: "Formerly when I was training for "Thiên Cân Ta", my master would ask me to lie on my back, and take a board eight cm thick, sixty cm wide and twelve meters long, and winding it up with several chains of metal, put it on my body. I then used the internal energy to resist. When I managed to hold out for three minutes in a row for several weeks in a row, my master then placed additional pieces of iron and blocks of stone to increase the total weight. It took more than ten years of practice for my resistance capacity to exceed 15 tons. "
Master Hà Châu is famous for several extraordinary martial techniques such as: "Thiêt Sa Chuong" (Steel Palm): using the palm of the hand to crush dry coconuts, or to hammer 20 cm nails into a board. 3cm thick and then tear them off with two fingers; "Thiêt Trao công" (Steel Fingers): wind iron bars around your neck with your bare hands and twist them into a U-shape, tear a deck of 52 cards in one motion, use two fingers to crush a betel fruit, etc. "Thiêt Dâu công" (Head of Steel), he uses the head to break down a brick wall; or, resting his head on a pile of bricks, he has a stone slab weighing more than 40 kg placed on his forehead or on his plexus, which is then broken with a sledgehammer; the pile of bricks placed behind his head then also shatters. “Thiêt Kiêu công”, he lies down on his back and places a chair on his shoulder, another on his thigh, as well as a six-meter-long plank on his stomach. More than twenty standing people then take place (a weight equivalent to nearly 1.5 tons). “Khinh công”, he lies down on two terracotta pots, has three stone slabs weighing about 150 kg placed on his chest which are then shattered by an assistant with a mace, while he- even and the two earthenware pots still remain intact.
Despite his great age, in 2006 he moved to France to make demonstrations organized by his Disciple Master Philippe GAUDIN. He also participated, in September 2006, in a demonstration with his Disciples during the “Meeting of Dalat”, which brought together Masters from Vietnam and some foreign countries, for performances of Martial Arts and Dragon Dance at the Stade de military zone 7 in Ho Chi Minh City. Young School Disciple: “I remember the week before his death, he was still training and working as if nothing had happened. "
In memory of Grand Master Hà Châu,
who left us on August 20, 2011 following his illness.