Tales From the Other Side Series 2: Musings of a Kung Fu Wife on Practical Kung Fu

Geraldine R. Borromeo

Manila, Philippines

Watching my husband, Vince, practice Choy Li Fut kung fu daily impacted my life little except for the time it took him away from chores I would ask him to do from time to time. I would literally have to wait two hours until he finishes his practice before I could ask him to repair this or that.

While taking a walk with him one late afternoon right before dusk, I witnessed how his kung fu was practically applied in one of the most common situations one can get into in the residential streets of Metro Manila, Philippines.

We were taking a nice walk and the air was chillier than usual as it was nearing the Christmas season. As we made a turn, we passed by a rundown house with a dilapidated gate. Just as we passed the gate, a swarm of wild dogs came at me and fear immediately seized me. I froze in place. Vince was beside me, in front of me, and at my back in a flash in a never ending cycle of movement.

Every time a dog came nearer me there was Vince fending one dog after another and I couldn’t clearly make out his movements. What I saw was a flurry of arms, feet, and knees flung at every side and Vince striking the heads of the dogs as they came at me.

The dogs would not tire though and for what seemed like forever, I was in the middle of a skirmish between growling fierce street dogs and my husband who so valiantly defended me every moment.

Finally, the owner of the pack of dogs approached us and started commanding them away. What was startling was that I saw him in the corner of the street watching the spectacle the whole time without lending a hand.

He was probably fascinated with how Vince fended of all his dogs and that none of them got near enough to hurt me. Moreover, he was probably got scared that his dogs were getting hurt in the process so he finally decided to stop the skirmish.

As we were walking away I had a new respect for the martial arts. Having seen it applied in a practical situation that literally saved me from a pack of dogs gave me a new appreciation for the hours Vince put into his kung fu.

When I asked Vince what he did exactly, he told me that he would raise his hands to get the dogs attention, attracting it to go nearer him instead of me. As the dog’s head approaches nearer, he comes within striking distance of Vince kick.

I was so grateful that Vince had these skill set but understanding how he fended off a pack of dogs that were all coming at me at once is beyond me. The speed at which he swung from all sides was so cinematic that had I not come out of the situation in one piece, I would not have believed it myself.

To this day, I feel safe when I walk anywhere with Vince. Vince humble and wise as he is, always tells me that taking safety precautions is being a step ahead and it is more reliable than just depending on kung fu alone in a dangerous situation.

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