Her proper name is "Bow-sim Mark"
Sifu Bow Sim Mark ∞
By D. R. Frearson
Sifu Mark began her martial art studies at an early age in grade school on the Chinese mainland. Later, at high school level she specialised in Taiji and completed the standard college courses of Wushu. These forms were devised in the 1950's by the physical culture and sports commission of China. They now make up the compulsory requirement at all official Wushu competitions, with contestants selecting any of the traditional forms in the free-style portion.
On completion of the above course Sifu Mark became an instructor. She later studied with some of the foremost exponents on the mainland. Her mastery covers several styles of Taiji, Pa Kua, Hsing-I and Shaolin. One of her teachers was Master Fu Wing-Fay, with whom she spent ten years. From 1968 to1973 she assisted him in perfecting Leung Yee Boxing which had been founded by his father, Master Fu Chen Shung. Fu Chen Shung passed away in 1953, shortly after an exhausting demonstration in Canton, at the age of 81.
Praise Indeed ∞
Finally, Master Fu Wing-Fay said of Sifu Mark: "This is a follower who has mastered all I can teach; I have finally got a follower who can truly be my successor".
In 1973 Sifu Mark moved to Hong Kong, and became the Chief instructor to the Women's Wushu Association. She also taught traditional dance at the Miramar Hotel. It was there that she wrote her first book on Combined Taiji and gave numerous demonstrations.
In 1975 she visited the U.S.A. and settled in Boston in September of that year. On July 10th, 1976 Sifu Mark founded the Chinese Wushu Research Institute. The arts which I studied represent the collective efforts of the most renowned Taiji masters in China. Simplified Taiji is composed of 24 movements in 8 sections. It was developed for the general public, and though short it is well balanced, most of the movements being done in right and left styles. It is helpful to the weak and elderly too, and has been widely used in hospitals and sanatoriums on the mainland, for therapeutic purposes.
More Advanced ∞
Combined Taijiquan is for the more advanced student. It contains 67 movements in 7 sections. Sifu Mark explains: "This is now the highest form in China, and contains the characteristic mixture of hard and soft in Chen Style, the open elegance of the peaceful Yeung style, compactness of Wu style, and the total balance of Fu style".
It seems certain that these new Chinese forms will grow alongside the traditional ones and become as popular in the West as they are in China. Sifu Mark is producing some good students in the U.S.A., and has just been joined by her younger sister who recently won a contest in Canton demonstrating Taiji and Seven Star Sword. She also won a number of national contests.
Sifu mark's son Donnie Yen is also a fine martial artist. The Institute publish books on Simplified Taiji, Combined Taiji, Basic Broadsword, Advanced Sword, Wushu Basic Exercise, Taiji Sword.
Web Masters Note ∞
Master Bow Sim Mark Came to England as guest of the I.T.S.W.A. in September 1984 for a week The course covered Combined Taiji, with self defence applications and Tiger Boxing. Master Mark also gave demonstrations in Wushu especially the Wu Dang Drunken Sword (which is covered in a separate article). As I was on this course and had the privilege of being at the end of one Master Mark's Double hand pushes although very soft This very small lady developed lots of power and was an inspiration to all who attended