In The Name Of My Mother-The Kung-fu Boy


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Mother (the greatest person)

Yarn in the hands of a loving mother

Firm and close she sets the stitches

Knitting into the sweater of her departing boy

Boy grows and mother becomes old

Before he can repay the love of his mother, but she has gone

Making brave man ever since shed tears

I like to share a moving story about a skinny young boy who loved Kung-fu with all his heart. Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of the other peers, he had his share of bruises and pains.


Every year the Nine Dragon Kung-fu Association held four team sparring tournaments. Each team was formed by four fighters and only three selected to represent their respective schools. For all the team competitions, this optimistic fighter sat on the bench and never fought. This teenager lived alone with his mother, and the two of them had a very special bonding. Even though the son was always on the bench, his mother was always in the stands cheering. She never missed her son’s tournament.


Mother felt her son’s frustration and she continued to encourage him to try harder. But she also made it very clear that he did not have to practice kung fu if he didn't want to. But the young man loved kung fu and was determined to try his best at every practice, and perhaps he'd get to fight and represent his school.


Years after years, he neither missed a practice nor a tournament but remained a benchwarmer. His truthful mother was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him.

The teacher admitted that he kept him on the team because he always puts his heart and soul to every practice, and at the same time, provided his team members with the spirit and motivation they badly needed.


One year the news that he had selected to represent his school for the biggest yearly tournament. He rushed home and his mother shared her son's excitement and joy. In the following week, the team was sent to the Ocean-Misty village that was one thousand miles away from home for intensive training for the upcoming event.  


It was a week before the national tournament, and as he was practicing in the kwoon (dojo). The master met him with a telegram. The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard and tried in vain to hold off his tears, he mumbled to the master, “My… my… My mother died this morning. Is it alright if I miss practice today”? The master put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, “Take as much time off, son. My heart is with you!”


Tournament arrived, and the competition was intensified. In the final match, when the team was one match from the championship, a silent young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his sparring gears.


As he ran onto the sidelines, the teacher and his fighters were astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon. “Teacher, please let me fight the last match. I've just got to fight today,” said the young man. The teacher pretended not to hear him. There was no way he wanted him in this final match. But the young man persisted, and finally, feeling sorry for the kid, the teacher gave in. “All right,” he said. “You can fight the final match.”


Before long, the teacher, the fighters and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never fought in such a high profile tournament, was doing everything right. The opponent could not stop him. He punched, kicked, attacked, and counter-attacked like a tidal wave. His schoolmates began to triumph. He won the final match. The spectators broke loose. His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you never heard.

Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the teacher noticed that this young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The teacher came to him and said, “Son, I can't believe it. You were unbelievable! Tell me, what got into you? How did you do it?” The young man looked at the teacher, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Well, you knew my mother died, but did you know that my mother was blind?”

The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, “Mother came to all my tournaments, but today was the first time she could see me fight, and I wanted to show her I could do it.”

Ancient Chau

Year Of The Dragon

Month Of The Virgo