September 28, 2007

What's in a Logo?

Wahnam logoThe design of the logo is red in colour and the background yellow. These are the colours of our school. Red represents courage and righteousness, and yellow represents compassion and wisdom, manifesting the ideals of a scholar-warrior as well as the ideals of a warrior-monk.

tridentThe design of the trident and three-sectional soft-whip makes the letter W and N, indicating "Wah Nam", named after Grandmaster Lai Chin Wah and Grandmaster Ho Fatt Nam, the two sources from which our school developed.

The trident and soft-whip also represent kong (gang in Mandarin) and yow (rou), indicating both the 'hard' and 'soft' dimensions of our training.

3 section whip
The inner and the outer circles represent both the internal and external approaches of our cultivation, and also signify that we pay respect to both our mind as well as our body. The inner circle reminds us of the importance of internal unity, and the outer circle our universality, i.e. we spread our arts to deserving people, irrespective of their race, culture and religion.

In addition, note that Shaolin is a Mandarin translation, whereas Wahnam is Cantonese. Shaolin was chosen over Siu Lam (which is in Cantonese) because it is universally known, whereas Wahnam was chosen over Huanan (in Mandarin) because the names of our grandmasters, Lai Chin Wah and Ho Fatt Nam are generally known in Cantonese.

This shows we can be both idealistic and practical at the same time -- the non-dualistic characteristic of Zen. We are idealistic in our aspiration, but practical in our application. It also reflects that while our origin (Shaolin) was from the northern Shaolin Temple, our development (Wahnam) was from the Shaolin Temple in the south.

The above was written by Grand Master Wong Kiew Kit. Reproduced from

When personalising the logo for South London a picture of Grand Master Wong Kiew Kit performing the pattern 'Swimming Dragon Plays with Water' was added. The low stance reflects the traditional nature of our kung fu, the dragon form finger strike highlighting the internal aspect.

wahnam south London logo