Lau Soei was a student of several Shaolin animal systems, and by the time he had reached his early twenties, he had already acquired a reputation. The woodlands surrounding his home village were known to be riddled with wolves, and locals lived in fear as these hungry animals had taken to attacking villagers during the night.
One dark evening, Lau Soei was making his way along the perimeter of the village, when he was set upon by a vicious wolf. The animal lashed at Lau Soei, and, snarling, leapt for his throat. The speed of the wolf was no match for the reflexes of the young Kung Fu student. He sidestepped the oncoming attack and, as the wolf turned and leapt again, Lau Soei delivered an unforgiving kick to the animal’s throat, knocking it to the ground. Before the predator had an opportunity to rise and attack once more, Lau Soei moved in with a heavy stamp, finishing his adversary off for good. When villagers heard of this incident, they were keen to learn the skills Lau Soei had employed to defend himself. His name spread throughout the region and soon many people were coming to him for tuition. The monk told Lau Soei that he was welcome to test his skill, and offered the young man initial strike. Lau Soei accepted, advancing with a powerful straight punch. The monk appeared to move ever so slightly. Even so, young Lao was hurled some distance away. Lau Soei realised that the Monk had just demonstrated something that was far beyond his abilities. He recognised the Monk’s martial skill was far superior. Kneeling before the Monk, he asked if he would accept him as his student, and the kindly Wong Fook Go agreed.
Lau Soei invited Wong Fook Go back to his home for tea. Once seated he asked ‘I felt as if I had been shocked by lightning when I made contact with you. How is it that you move so fast?’ The Monk laughed and said ‘you possess great strength, but I was able to redirect it back to you. Therefore it was your own strength which you felt. The technique I used takes its force from internal energy, known as ‘Chi’, except that my system refines this energy into something known as Geng Khan (Shock Power).
Consider the mantis. This small insect has an explosive power, which enables it to overcome opponents many times its own size. Follow my teachings diligently, and you too can achieve this kind of power’. Lau Soei had proved that his character was indeed worthy of learning this high level of Kung Fu.
The afternoon of the demonstration, the Wong Fook Go had been watching Lau Soei perform, and knew that the young man had great potential as a Kung Fu master. When Wong Fook Go had stepped into the arena that afternoon, his words had been a test. Luckily, Lau Soei had shown humility, which is why the monk had decided to accept him as his student. Six years later, the Monk had passed all of his knowledge on to Lau Soei, and the Master and student parted company. Wong Fook Go continued to travel and seek his enlightenment. Lau Soei, as a gesture of respect to his Sifu and Si Gung, named his fighting system ‘Chows Family Praying Mantis’. He founded schools in China where many thousands of students came to learn from the great Master.