||THE STORY OF THE SWORD by Randy Fung
Some swords have a story to them and this is it.
Bing Gong had practiced 10 years with Master Kuo Lien Ying, so it was decided that they would hold a big celebration at the Pan Handle in Gold Gate park where Bing taught his classes. All the the students from Sifu Kuo’s studio and Bing’s students would have a huge party in honor of this occassion.
One morning after workout at Portsmouth square, Roger Leo, Valerie, my wife, Linda and I were in the studio. Si Fu and Si Mu came out and ask if we could go over to Brendan Lai’s martial arts supply store and purchase a sword for Bing for the event as a gift. It was an honor to do this for my best friend, but this was a very important task.
The four of us were very close friends. We drove over to Brendan Lai’s to choose the sword. I remember we went in and looked around. Brendan Lai came out and helped us personally for such an important gift as he was also a close friend of Sifu Kuo's. We looked at the swords, and then I asked him if he had any “real” swords, not the usual practice swords. He looked at me and said, “Wait one minute, Randy”
and went into the back of the shop. He came back out with this very unusual sword. Roger remembers it vividly. It was a smaller sword made out of steel, not polished chrome, and had a clean sharp edge. The handle was reddish hardwood, probably rose wood and I kinda remember the guard and hilt as brass.
I think we only had a couple of hundred dollars for the gift and Roger remembers that it was close to 300.00. I would have paid the difference for it as it was such an important gift. I wanted to give Bing something different and thought a “real” sword would be just the thing.
But my wife Linda reminded me that the sword was for Bing, not me, and that such a sword really did not fit Bings temperament. We debated over it, but Roger, Valerie and Linda's better sense won out. And as Roger reminded me, the deal breaker was that the “real” sword did not have a sheath, so in the end we purchase a really fine demonstration sword with nice weight. We went and picked out a nice big card for everyone to sign.