View Full Version : Confused about Hung Gar History. Can anyone help?

07-15-2000, 02:22 AM

I was talking to a friend about hung gar, earlier today. At the end of our conversation, i was left a bit confused about the history of hung gar, especially about 3 well known musters Hung Hei Gwun, Luk Ah Choi and Tid Kiu Sam and the connection between them. I just tought if i post it here somone may be able to help.

What is the connection between these three masters? How and where did Tid Kiu Sam learn Hung Kuen? If wong kai ying learned Hung Kuen from Luk Ah choi where did he learn the iron thread form as tid kiu sam was the creator of this form? or does Luk Ah Choi have a connection with Tid KIu SAm? if so what. I am a bit confused and cant think straight at the moment, can anyone help? hope all this makes sense


Paul Skrypichayko
07-16-2000, 06:27 AM

Hung Hei Guen is the patriarch of the style. He learned southern shaolin from Jee Sin, but specialized in a few tiger moves.

Tit Kiu Sam learned from other monks at another temple after Hung Hei Guen's time. He taught the iron thread training, and the iron thread form to Wong Fei Hung.

Wong Kei Ying learned from Wong Tai. Wong Tai learned from Luk Ah Choy. Luk Ah Choy learned from Jee Sin, and Hung Hei Guen.

In the old days, most of the masters didn't bother with forms, they just focused on training. All the people nowadays who get all excited about forms are just bull****ting themselves.

bean curd
07-16-2000, 07:29 AM
"all these people that get exicited about forms are just bull****ting themselves"

considering who developed these forms, and the purpose of why these forms where designed, i find it interesting that one who states he is from a traditional lineage, would say such a thing.

Paul Skrypichayko
07-16-2000, 09:44 AM
Bean Curd, I used to think that forms were the most important thing when I was in my first few years of martial arts. The real treasures are in internal training and combat training. Any monkey can learn forms, but how many people can take the time to develop high level skills?

Look at how the real masters trained, only about 10% of the time was spent on forms training. Majority of time was spent on combat training and internal.

07-16-2000, 10:19 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Paul Skrypichayko:
Bean Curd, I used to think that forms were the most important thing when I was in my first few years of martial arts. The real treasures are in internal training and combat training. Any monkey can learn forms, but how many people can take the time to develop high level skills?

Look at how the real masters trained, only about 10% of the time was spent on forms training. Majority of time was spent on combat training and internal.[/quote]

Well said, but on the other hand...
If you open up your own kwoon, people would say the school didn't have a complete curriculum w/o sets(gung gee, fu hok, sup ying, and tit sin). Only a small percentage of students reach that level of seriousness, the rest are there for their health, toning, or having kids blow off steam.

Paul Skrypichayko
07-16-2000, 11:17 AM
That's so true. I can't imagine the stuff that teachers have to do for a kids class. Most people just want forms, weapons, and sparring. Either they cant understand, or dont want to understand that they need to work on things by themselves. People want stuff served to them on a platter, form after form, after form. Maybe they believe that after 30 forms they will be some deadly fighter, or know the real essence of their style?

I used to think that the forms were everything, and everything was in the forms. So much is not included in the forms, so much stuff cannot be achieved by practicing only forms. I love forms and practice them daily (good cardio and good coordination). Have you ever seen forms that include a decent ammount of groundwork, qin na, etc. ? Do you think you're gonna get your killing power from doing forms your whole life?

You have to train the gung to get good.

bean curd
07-16-2000, 12:57 PM
don't disagree with what you have said, never the less, the statment was brash to say the least.

the technical merit of a form is in the postures and how the faht is used. there are many purposes to use forms.

in hung gar there are minimal forms compared to other styles, yet there importance is evident in who designed them and for the reasons of the design,

still go with what i have said, from your part wiser words could have been used

07-16-2000, 01:46 PM
Looking from the internal aspect, all of hung gars forms have an internal part to them. Of course they all build upon each other and then the result is Tid Sin Kuen. So there's obvious merit there. Now it's obvious that forms are not the only answer and that we have to train our fighting skill, i believe that this topic does not need to be brought up for the 1000000000000 time. But i am a big forms proponent and i think that they shouldn't be downplayed. Our martial ancestors would not have made them up without a reason. If there is one thing that i have learned about hung gar it's this- there is a psychology to the forms, a natural progression. The forms are constantly building our foundation and then you come back and start from the beginning, look at things with fresh eyes. After doing this, there are myriads of things that were never known or experienced before. That right there is the beauty of hung gar.

Now for the groundwork and chin na, well that's a tricky subject. I do feel that chin na content can be found in all of the forms, but obviously you have to apply it on an opponent. Groundwork is a whole other subject and i think it is beyond the scope of forms. But the psychology behind groundwork is abundant in chin na theory so therefore basic aspects can still be trained. But drills (mini-forms in a way) with a partner achieve greater levels. So i guess my point is that you cannot escape patterns and that we should have respect for our martial ancestors, without them, we would be nothing...

To each his own

Peace /infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by illusionfist (edited 07-17-2000).]

07-16-2000, 06:59 PM
Paul thanks for the info.Regarding the forms I think you have pointed out one of the important but very missunderstood aspect of traditional CMA. I can see what you are getting at. However i do think forms are very important part of CMA. Forms teach the technique, principal, philosopy, tradition, basict etc.. of the particular style one practices. But saying this forms must be practiced right to get the full benefit they offer. I agree with paul, "any monkey can learn forms", after all forms are sequences of movments and it is not very hard to learn these movements. Any idiot can learn and copy movments. And this is what alot of kungfu practitioners do. They learn the movments in the form and few aplications, and then do phsically demanding exercises (cardio/fitness) where they sweat and get tired, they include a little sparring, cross training and few flash kicks maybe and watch many bruce lee and jackie chan movies and they belive they are a hard core martial artist who can handle themselves in any sittuation. And most of the time they get their ass kicked allover the place if a sittuation arise. I have met many so called martial artist (kungfu, karate, thai boxing etc) who have trained for many many years but dont have a clue what martial arts is all about. Some collect forms, where they belive more forms they learn better they will be in CMA and learn all these supernatrual skills. Its a sad fact that there are many practitioners like this and infact many teachers who do not fully understand what they are teaching and so end up having students worst then themselves. After all what do you expect.
I know i am carrying on abit but what i am trying to say is that and i am sure you all aware that forms are not simply sequences of movements and few techniques. They go alot deeper than that. Forms are a very valuable and effective tool of learning , ONLY if its practiced correctly and tought correctly. Forms must be practiced with the right state of mind and intention. There must be coordination balance strenghet, speed, correct breathing etc with every movment. Many people know all this as they are the simple requirments but not many full understand neither practice it enough or correctly. Thats one of the reasons why you have good and bad practitioners. When you learn a form it must become you and you must become the form. For example how may people do you know can apply say a section, movement or technique in for to many different sittuation with out any difficulty. You can not do the forms like your teacher or copy the way someone else does it. Everyone does the same form differently even dough the movments are the same. After all people are not the same.Also there are many different ways of practicing a form. It can be practiced in a way where you can concentrae mainly on breathing and cordination. Or you can concentrate on power or speed, balace etc Forms must be broken up into section and every section must be practiced seperatley until fully mastered. For example if you practicing a section of the form whic concentrate on the movments of an animal, lets say tiger. One must move, react, attack like a tiger. One must become the tiger.
However like its said, form training alone is not enough. if you look at ying and yang, you can not have ying without yang or yang without ying. You can not only train hard you must also train soft you must understand both . you can not only train righ hand, you must also train the left. One training method must complete the other.
i am sorry this is a long post and i am not a very good writer. If i make no sense this is because i cant allways write what i know in a way most people could undersatnd.

[This message has been edited by Tiger (edited 07-17-2000).]

07-16-2000, 10:21 PM
Because the cup is not the water do we discard it?

Forms are not the gung fu but the tradition. One with no respect for the tradition has no right to the gung fu and will not achieve it.

Alot of the value is missing in the way forms are taught nowadays. Lots has been changed by those trying to fill in what they didn't know(the primary source of "modification"). Many people believe that mastering a form just means remembering it well. Too many think they can know by way of reference material.

If you know your techniques, you can make your forms live. If you haven't seen into the core of your forms, you simply need to practice more.

07-16-2000, 11:32 PM
MY GOD I CANT BELIEVE WHAT IM READING!!! such "expierenced" martial artists and they call forms BS?? form are the basis and foundation of techniques. i agree that if you train in forms only that you will have nothing. but to say that they are useless and any a monkey can learn them is completely disrepectfull to hung-ga, gung-fu and all arts in a whole. any one who uses or agrees with the "monkey" comment, has either never learned the "proper" way do execute any form or has had such a hard time learning it that they choose to take the sour grapes approach. if you built a house without a foundation it would collapse. if thats the kind of house you choose to live in than ill stay out. forms are the reference point for all techniques. if you deny yourself this, than it took more of a monkey no learn. dont except the prize if you dont want to work for it!!

Paul Skrypichayko
07-17-2000, 12:53 AM
After saying my piece about the importance of gung, and after being misquoted by bean curd, I've really stirred up a hornets nest. =)

OK, here it goes again. Forms are important, in the beginning, we all know the benefits of them, how they can be deep in scope and material, but I never said they were useless. I merely pointed out that most people thing the forms are what kung fu is all about, and they neglect the other 90% of kung fu. In elementary school, you may like art class because you make fun and beautiful things, but can you neglect all of your other classes? Of course not.

Look at all the crappy commercial schools out there, all the kung fu frauds, they all have on thing in common; they perform forms and do almost no training.

Yes, you can find a little bit of everything in forms, groundwork, qin na, kicking, internal, etc. Don't you think your time would be better spent on something like 1 hour of internal work specifically rather than 1 hour of forms? Or 1 hour of target kicking and heavy bag kicking rather than 1 hour of forms? Again, think back to your school days. In English class, do you practice writing 1 or 2 or 10 beautiful poems all the time? Of course not! You spend a good couple of years practicing printing and handwriting, you spend years on sentence structure, analyzation, and creative writing, etc. All of it comes together to make the whole subject. The same goes for real kung fu training.

Foundation? Some of you on here think forms are your foundation? That is just sad. You are building a house on swampland and mud. Foundation is made up of things like a good solid horse stance, powerful and accurate punches, combat training, internal training, etc.

I practice my forms daily, and I do gung training daily, but I still stand by my statement that any monkey can learn forms, and can even perform them well.

Hope that clears some stuff up =)

07-17-2000, 06:55 AM
Learning movements is not the issue. Picking your favorite training methods is not the issue. This attitude towards forms is indicative of the intermediate level(at best) where you believe you see PAST all that. It's an illusion. When you get to the place where your teacher wants you to teach, you'll reach for your forms like you reach for your chopsticks...

bean curd
07-17-2000, 03:21 PM
paul, to misquote or not, isn't and wasn't the issue.

a misquote is a situation where others that read, the second or third comment, yet did not read or hear the original, voice the opinion or comment on the second wording and not the original.

all those that have read my comments, can also read your own words, therefore the misquote as you have said, is not relevent.

you brush over your words on form, then continue to say that you do forms daily.

as illusion has said, each to there own, yet to still have said, and i will quote you word for word, "all the people nowadays who get all excited about forms are bull****ting themselves", is not what i would have expected from one who claims to come from a traditional lineage.

approach your sifu and say the same words, for that matter if chan si gung was alive today and you said those words, what do you think he would say.

mo duk is the most important issue of any player of the arts, it covers all areas.

loose words can bring disapointment, if the words do not explain the thoughts.

07-17-2000, 09:20 PM
I'm beginning to think that Paul just enjoys saying rude and disrespectful things. Gee are you forgetting that people died to keep many of these forms alive all these centuries? Are you completely disregarding the health and chi balancing benefits of many of these forms, not to mention the discipline it takes to learn them? I think it takes a little more than forms to be a good fighter, don't get me wrong... But I'm very traditional when it comes to learning forms and combat combinations. By the way, my school offers both. The grappling class is strictly fighting, no forms taught at all. But I'll tell you something, the really good professional fighters we have are in both classes and admit that they benefit from the forms and stance work.

07-17-2000, 10:54 PM
Hey people

I think some of you being too hard on Paul and maybe missunderstod him. Like i said before, i belive forms are very important part of gung fu and has alot to offer if trained correctly. However like paul said anyone can learn forms and even perform them well. This doesnt mean they understand the inner meaning of the forms and how to achive full benefits from it wherther its for combat or health. Think about it. Learning movments of a form is not hard but understanding and mastering them takes a long long time.
I have met many people over the years, who can perform forms very nicely and look good, but thats just about all they know. Take modern wu shu for example, dont they perform nicely,..so do you think modern wushu is a fightin art or for that matter is it the same as traditional kung fu.

Form training alone is not enough, one must do additional training in order to be good in any style CMA. For example how good are your forms going to be if you never train your sei ping ma (horse stance). Will you have stability, power, speed, etc..

I hope i have made sense this time.

All the best

Paul Skrypichayko
07-17-2000, 11:01 PM
Beancrud, what do you mean by "you brush over your words on form, then continue to say that you do forms daily." Are you implying that I'm lying and changing my story? Jeez, you still don't get my point about training.

My sifu smiles at my comments and way of thinking, he approves of it, and he encourages me to work on combat training and internal training.

If you're happy just doing forms, knock yourself out! =) I'm sure you're going to become a bid sifu doing that.

I never said forms were useless, they have their purpose and their place. I do forms training, and benefit from it as well. Just letting some people out there know that there is much more than forms to practice.

Out of curiousity, who died to keep these forms alive, and why ?!?!? Who would place the value of a form above the value of a human life?

It seems like whoever has an opinion contrary to the status quo is rude and offensive. Great to see all the open minds on here.

Paul Skrypichayko
07-17-2000, 11:08 PM
Great post tiger, you're getting the idea. The wushu example was great, those guys can do great forms, but they have no martial skill.

I could easily learn 2 or 3 white crane forms in a day, perform them really well, and pick out tons of applications. Does that mean that I am skilled in white crane? Think about it.

So Beancurd, would you like to tell me what else I do or do not train? Care to tell me anything else about my sifu as well? You just seem to be an expert in that area, so I'd like to hear the rest of your thoughts on the topic. =)

07-18-2000, 03:50 AM
i think its is equally important to properly learn forms as well as how to correctly execute the techniques. it is a balance of the to that makes training useful. in my school we pride ourselves on our forms as well as or martial ability. maybe the next time i am forced to subdue, injure, maim or kill an attacker, ill do it and then bust out a solid five animals form!! ha ha! discussion is great but the last thing i want to do is insult anyone or any ones art. i love hung-ga and i respect all arts. lets train well and hard so we can carry or respective system on to the next generations.

[This message has been edited by manfukuen (edited 07-18-2000).]

KrAzy FiLiPino
07-18-2000, 05:08 AM

[This message has been edited by KrAzy FiLiPino (edited 07-18-2000).]

07-18-2000, 06:45 AM
"I could easily learn 2 or 3 white crane forms in a day, perform them really well, and pick out tons of applications. Does that mean that I am skilled in white crane? Think about it."

I thought about it and you are FOS... If this is all forms are to you, no wonder you have such lofty notions about yourself...

07-18-2000, 08:51 AM
Maybe they should add a reading and writing form to some kung fu styles. It's not that hard to understand what Paul is saying. He isn't saying forms are useless. He is saying they are good, but also saying that they are not all there is to kung fu. He is saying that other training is essential. People who only do forms are kidding themselves.

I tend to think that some people on this board have a vendetta against Paul and misunderstand him on purpose.


07-18-2000, 02:43 PM
Dude, you just don't know him like we do...

bean curd
07-18-2000, 02:56 PM
paul like all your words, you lay inferance to what you percieve and yet not what is the fact.

stay on the subject, and don't bring abstracts into the convesation.

the thread question was on hung gar and the forms, direction and way the style that we know today has developed.

so going on this premise, then your comments, which after the quick points on lineage, became the statement.

when you infer that those of nowadays, what time and what era are you discussing.

all the hung gar players that i know place the forms as a treasure, and its for this reason they do the forms, with everything else that everyone has expressed on the importance of form.

then you go to wushu, crapy commercial schools etc , it's a southern thread on hung gar, your comments then reflect this, so don't bring in abstracts and say wushu, crapy commercial etc.

in referance to your little quibs, there not even worth commenting on.

in regards to you saying forms are usless, i know you did not say this, however in the context of the thread, which again i will repeat was on hung gar forms, your comment then reflects this.

as for " you brush over your word on form".

since you are from chan si gungs lineage, your sifu will know what this comment then means, and it has nothing to with me calling you a liar or you changing your opinion, when you have asked him, he will know, then you will understand there was now attack on you personaly, again it was on your words.

07-19-2000, 11:43 AM
Hi all

Going back to history side of hung gar does anyone know anything about Wong Tai? Also can anyone post some info Luk ah choi? Didnt Wong kai ying learn from Luk ah choi?


Paul Skrypichayko
07-20-2000, 12:07 AM
Luk Ah Choy was Manchu, not Han like 90% of Chinese. He was still involved in anti-Ching activities though.

Wong Tai isn't really talked about in the movies, so lots of people tend to forget about him. I think that it's very possible that Wong Tai and Wong Kay Ying both learned from Luk Ah Choy. Keep in mind, they also learned from several other masters as well.