Shaolin Wahnam Logo

This post has been adapted from the original text by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

The logo of the Shaolin Wahnam Institute is red with a yellow background.

Red represents courage and righteousness, and yellow represents compassion and wisdom, manifesting the ideals of both a scholar-warrior and a warrior-monk.

The 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.

The inner and the outer circles represent both the internal and external approaches of our cultivation, and also signifies that we pay importance to our mind as well as our body. The inner circle reminds us of the importance of internal unity, and the outer circle of 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 southern Shaolin Temple.

The number three, suggested by the trident and the three sectional whip, is also relevant. It reminds us of the three treasures of Shaolin, namely qigong, kungfu, and Zen, and that our training involves all the three dimensions of a human, namely form, energy, and mind.