Kung Fu San Soo: History and Myths
The most complete written documentation of the history and facts about the Art of Kung Fu San Soo.
A “must have” for every student of Kung Fu San Soo and anyone interested in martial arts history! 177 pages of interesting information – including the true lineage of San Soo!
IN THIS BOOK, YOU WILL LEARN:
- The REAL HISTORY and lineage of the Art known as Kung Fu San Soo
- What we can prove as FACT as opposed to simply “stories”
- Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo’s development of Kung Fu San Soo, the early years of the El Monte School, stories and facts that have been shared for generations
WHY THIS BOOK IS SO IMPORTANT
I feel it is time that all San Soo people understand our true lineage and the history of the Art we have learned and love. As an investigator, there were many stories that did not seem to add up or make sense. For many years I believed them all, many were true however some were embellished, not to deceive but as a way to make our history a better marketing tool so it would attract more students helping the Art would flourish. As students started searching for history and traveling to China Grand Master Woo decided to change some of them himself. Example: He always told us that the Uncle that was killed by the Japanese was Chan Siu Hung but he changed part of the story to the person called “Little Uncle because he was younger than Grandmaster Woo”. He knew his Uncles son Chan Si Mo was still alive and teaching and there was a chance we would find him and I did. He said his father died a natural death, little Uncle killed a Japanese soldier and was killed. We have found the continuing school were he trained (different building), we have found the location of the Temple where he trained, measured the foundation, found out who really destroyed it. I also discovered his father was alive in the 70’s and lived close to the El Monte school, many facts may shock you!
My goal with this research was in no way to discredit Grandmaster Woo, I wanted to believe everything however I felt the responsibility to find the truth so the future instructors would not be laughed at when confronted with the facts. It is a disgrace how the US family has not joined the effort, they want our money but our real history or lineage they do not want to know and seem to care less. Since few seemed willing to search for the truth it became my duty as a 12 year Master to find it, which I did.
The family, many first generation, many school owners bad mouth me behind my back because they do not want to know our true history, the stories are much easier to pass on and they bring in new students.
Here is my challenge to them, we can meet in an open debate, invite all the San Soo people we can, you tell your stories and I will produce facts, photos, interviews with the Chinese family both in China and some in San Francisco. I believe I will convince anyone one who comes with an open mind but of course I know anyone who belongs to the “flat earth society” will never believe no matter what they see. Don’t think I am kidding, DO IT.
The research took many years, much work but I am pleased because now we have a real lineage not just telling of a secret mystical history. It is a very good Art, I am proud of it, proud of Grandmaster Woo and the many hours I spent learning from him.
Remember, the goal of the book is that the future students will be able to decide for themselves who they believe, our Art has outgrown some of the fables, I think if Grandmaster lived longer he would have told us himself. Toward the end of his life he told us on film that we were a 3 family system (not 5), he told us it was “Tsoi Li Ho”, there was really “Dim Mak”. I wonder what else he would have told us had he lived longer, read the facts for yourself in the book I have written, ” Kung Fu San Soo History and Myths”.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THE BOOK:
Master Ron Gatewood went where very few in the art of Kung Fu San Soo dared to go…into the past of Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo, and at considerable expense and thousands of hours of research probed some tender areas of his past, no one ever questioned.
Master Gatewood explored all available sources to shed light into the dark corners and hidden recesses of Jimmy Woo’s family, his martial lineage and training, and his arrival in the US. Most of us in this art were reared on numerous stories and sometimes conflicting accounts of the origin of the art. As students, we never questioned him; he was beyond reproach.
We’re fortunate that Master Gatewood has the level of love and respect for the man, that he could explore, interview, and investigate our lineage and Jimmy’s past without incurring suspicions and anger of family members. In the end…the alphabet I learned in kindergarten in my youth, is the same as someone else anywhere in the country several hundred years ago. In essence…the teaching is sound, solid, and beyond question. It’s just that, a little more creative license was used in the storytelling than what we wanted to believe. I don’t care.
Anyone who met and knew Grandmaster Jimmy H. Woo, and trained under him directly or several generations later, are honored and privileged to have done so. Personally, I loved the man, and so do those who knew him. Master Gatewood’s book allowed me greater insight to the man, his times, and his journey in a way I couldn’t have known otherwise. I’ll always be Grateful for Master Ron Gatewood’s extraordinary book,”Kung Fu San Soo History and Myths”.
Master Greg Jones