A deeply spiritual trip

Posted By : vxnoigia
Date: Nov 30, 2011
Grave of the Vietnam Wing Chun founding father (Sư tổ) Nguyễn Tế Công


Over many years, with a deep gratitude to the Su-to Nguyen Te Cong (GM Yuen Chai Wan), who taught us - the Vietnamese - the essence of WingChun, I did try my hardest to find the place where his grave rests. Just to visit and put an incense stick to show our deepest respect, and to find his descendants just to express feelings and sentiment from my teacher - GM Tran Thuc Tien - towards his family, as my teacher told me during the last few months before my si-fu passed away.

Many years ago, I followed the old address where Su-to lived on The Dong-Khanh st. , Cho-lon district, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) (a.k.a Sai-gon), as well as put an ad in The Sai Gon Giai Phong newspapers in 3 consecutive  issues with a little hope that through readers, I can get some information. In 2005, when this website was first published, I again asked for information about our Su-to and his family (see the introduction).  Indeed, through this website, I've got some hope after few exchanges with a master from the Czech Republic, who belongs to GM Yuen Kay Shan (brother of our Su-to) branch.  We also sent a request by mail to several addresses in Canton, China. But did not get any reply.

As a saying in Vietnamese "Things from your heart will be known by Buddha" (Tam xuat Phat biet), my wish for many years was heard. By chance, I came to know a WingChun master - herbalist, Nguyen Dang Quang in HCMC, a disciple of GM Luc Vien Khai. in our conversation, master Quang told me that brother of GM Khai may know. With their help, we find the house of the Su-to's only son, and through him, the Su-to grave.

When master Quang called me about this, I was in a great happiness. In the past 24 years, right after my Si-fu passed away, I established our WingChun family's altar for Su-to Nguyen Te Cong and my Si-fu. Every time I put incense sticks on the altar, I always cannot stop myself from thinking that I still do not know where Su-to rests, to pray toward ... After so many years of searching, now my wish eventually was fulfilled. This almost brought tears to me.

This news came to me few days before the opening ceremony for the second class at our school. So I decided to fly immediately 3 hours right after the opening, at the 22 PM on that day (27 September 2005) to HCMC. My oldest disciple on behalf of all my disciples also went with me. On the next morning (28/9/2005), with the guidance of master Quang, two of us came to his office and then went with him to the house of Su-to's son. I was so touched when saw Mr. Nguyen Chi Thanh - the son of Su-to - as he and Su-to look so alike in everything - the face, the posture (see the picture, the third man from the left). After a warm conversation, knowing our wish, Mr. Thanh allowed us to pray before his ancestral altar to show our respect and to ask Su-to for a permission to go to his grave. At 13:30, Mr. Thanh led us to visit the grave of Su-to in the Lai-thieu graveyards, Binh duong province. Praying in the front of the grave, I was deeply touched by thoughts: Su-to lies down there, his grave is so unobtrusive, so simple like many other graves . Here is Su-to, the great man who taught us the essence, and left so many unique skills of WingChun Kungfu for many disciples and generations to come...

On the following day (29/9/2005), we express to Mr. Thanh our wish to renovate the Su-to grave. He allowed us to renovate the Su-to grave as well as the grave of Su-to-mau (the late wife of Su-to). Especially, he allowed us to attach the picture of Su-to to the gravestone. Hopefully, from now on, our kung-fu brothers - the Su-to kung-fu descendants - can easily find the Su-to grave to put incense sticks to show respect to Su-to. Hopefully, from now on, his grave is always warmed by our feelings and respect towards Su-to Nguyen Te Cong.

Sharing this with you - my kung-fu brothers, all these feelings are still so fresh inside myself. I wish that Su-to Nguyen Te Cong will help us at every step on the way to develop and to propagate WingChun - a treasure left by him for many generations to come.

Note: The address of the Su-to's grave :  The grave number: 1560, located in the 2nd section of The Binh duong Graveyard (30km from the Ho Chi Minh City).

Ha Noi, 6th October 2005