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Thread: Origin Of Hung Gar Forms/Sets?

  1. #1
    blade Guest

    Origin Of Hung Gar Forms/Sets?

    I am doing a research about the origins of all Hung Gar Sets/Forms. What are the origins,underlying philosophy, founder etc..Not just about the well known famous sets such as Gung Gee, fu hok, tid Sin but also the less well known or lost forms of Hung Gar. Anyone out there who can help?



  2. #2
    Paul Skrypichayko Guest
    Sup Ying seems to have been created by Wong Kay Ying or Wong Fei Hung, around the turn of the century, as an intermediate step between fu hok and tit sin. The ideas are the same as fu hok and tit sin, with more of the tiger, snake, and leopard, and of course, the five elements. Some people call the beginning the "dragon" section. Originally, fu hok only had about 3 tiger moves, it was in Sup Ying that the repetition of moves came into being.

    Ng Ying seems to have been created by Chiu Kao, possibly in the late 1940's or early 1950's. I don't practice this form, so I cannot comment on it.

    Wu Deep Jeung was around before Chiu Kao, so I doubt that it was created by his wife, unless it is another version of it.

    Most of the weapon forms came in through Lam Sai Wing and his varied experience. A good example of this is Kwan Lun Gim, Lau Gar Pang, etc.

    What are some of the other forms people practice?

    In my lineage we practice the following extra forms:
    Mui Fa Kuen
    Lau Gar Kuen
    Wu Deep Jeung (butterfly palm)
    San Jan (3 battles an internal form from Wuzuquan/Ng Jo Kuen)
    Siu Lum Gum Gong Yu Ga (gum gong yoga)
    Siu Lum Yut Jie Sin (one finger zen)
    Da Mo Yit Gung Ging (yi jin jing)

    There is also another form that I haven't learned yet. It's called Chai Jong, and apparently has lots of jumping around.

  3. #3
    blade Guest
    Thanks Paul

    How about the other forms such as Mui Fa Kuen
    Is it true that the Mui Fa was originally a northern siu lam form, if so who introduced this set into Hung Gar. And did you know that there is a shorter version of this set called the Siu Mui Fa Kuen. How about the other sets u practice. Do you know anything about their origins? Also What do u think the original wepons of Hung Gar was?

  4. #4
    mantis108 Guest
    Hi Blade,

    I'm not a Hung Gar student, but I have some knowledge of it through my mentor and some of my peers who have Hung Gar training. Here's what I found in Fu Hok.

    It's pretty much a training system on it's own. The openning sequence till the Tiger & Crane part is the warm up and conditioning. Many repetitons of the 3 extentions of the bridges technique, which is one of the signature techniques of Hung Gar. The highlights of the set are the powerful tiger and the fluid crane. Rounding up the practice is of course the fundamental techniques or what is sometimes refer to as the "seed" techniques of Shaolin - Lohan Kune. This is according to the book by Lam Sai Wing. If examin closely, this set is scientificly put together and adhere to the Hung Gar principle which view the form practice as conditioning as well as technical practice. Something like "get 2 birds with one stone."

    Just feel like sharing my thoughts. I'll be glad to discuss this set in detail. Just let me know if you are interested.


  5. #5
    Paul Skrypichayko Guest
    Wow! I'm impressed, Mantis108 knows his hung gar and mantis as well.

    Many people dont realize that the beginning of Fu Hok is a training exercise. Just like Gung Ji and Tit Sin, if practiced correctly, you can get great training benefits from the form alone. However, supplementary training is still recommended.

    Mui Fa is a common theme in Chinese martial arts. I have seen many different hand and weapon forms called "mui fa". I don't know any history about the other forms, but I'll start researching it.

    As far as original hung gar curriculum, I think it was very basic. Very little forms training at all, probably just focused on combat training and strength training. The main weapons were probably, kwun (staff), do (broadsword), and spear (cheung). Sure there were other weapons, but these were the most practical at the time.

    The important thing is that the art evolves, things get better over time, rather than going downhill. Because of this, we had other hand and weapon forms added in.

  6. #6
    bean curd Guest
    in regards to wu dip cheung, sui ying introduced it into the chiu kau carriculum as an added form, it is a northern form that she had learnt.

    wong fei hung was well known for his skills in the bakwa pole and also the wu dip dao, as well as many other weapons, many he learnt from his father and passed on down to his students


  7. #7
    Kung Lek Guest
    Regarding Moi fa/ mui fa etal.
    The plum flower blossom set exists in many styles of chinese martial arts.
    It derives its name from the plum flower blossom which has four petals.

    Therefor, a plum flower blossom set will work the four directions of attack regardless of which system it is found in.

    The sets of various systems that are named moi fa may not have any similar techniques or apps in them but the common thread is that the set deals in all four cardinal directions.

    So, yes, moi fa is a name that applies to any set, weapon or empty hand that works these four directions.

    In regards to the history of Hung Gar.

    Tiger systems were disemminated from the Shaolin Temple at a very far point in history.
    The first monks to become lay people took there skills home and also took students.
    Because Shaolin monks were encouraged to specialize in advanced systems, the only thing they really shared were the fundaments of the Kung Fu training.
    (Shaolin fundaments are no small undertaking when you wish to do them correctly.)

    it is said in some of the most ancient etxts from henan temple that the Kung Fu of the temple could be performed in the area it takes an ox to lie down in.
    So by knowing this, we know that there is little or NO Kung Fu that adheres to this ancient description and it is therefore safe to assume that the systems have been adapted , added to, and created anew over time.
    hung Gar is no exception to this and was likely developed from Tiger sytems of the Shaolin temple and further developed by village masters, former monks, lay monks and so on.
    The Hung Gar system of Wong Fei Hung is perhaps the best known of all the Hung Gar systems and subsystems that are propogated today.
    But it stemmed from earlier systems of which some still exist.
    Four Lower Tigers is a very good example of a system that was likely a forfather of the Hung Gar of today.
    The system of Kung Fu that I practice predates Hung gar but it is similar in flavour overall.

    And then of course there is the stuff that "just works" no matter what system it is held within. And those apps and techs will be found in a variety of southern and northern systems.

    Well gotta go.

    Kung Lek

  8. #8
    blade Guest
    Hey thanx guys!

    Great info. And yes mantis108 i am very intrested to discuss fu hok as well as other forms of hung gar in detail.

    Well to start with I know that the mui fu kuen is not a original Hung Gar Form and i know that there are many styles of chines martial arts has a set called mui fa. But i was just wondering where the Mui fa Kuen of hung gar came from and who was the originator. I know that this set is practiced in Chan Hon Chung linegae and some other Hung gar masters lineage but not in Lam jo lineage. I know for a fact that the great Lam Sai Wing did not teach this form and it is not tought at Lam Jo's studio in Hong Kong. So where did this form came from? I have heard some people say that this form was created by Chan Hon Chung or at least it was modified by him. However i do not know how true this is. Anyone have an idea?

    Moving over to the weapons of hung gar. I know that hung Gar never had an original Darn do (Broadsword form). The darn do practiced in diffrent lineages of hung gar is taken from other styles, such as the Pek Kwa darn do which was taken from the Monkey style. Also in the Lam sai wings lineage there are two butterfly sword sets, one long and one short. I was told that by a reliable source that the short set of this weapon was devised by Lam sai wing himself and this was one of his favorite weapons. What do u think? and how about the other weapon and hand forms?
    As for the Four Lower Tigers, i dont know much about this system. I know that it is tought by Wing Lam, but i have never heard of anyone else teaching this style anwhere else, including Hong Kong and China. However i would very much like to find out about this system.

    Thanx everybody,


    [This message has been edited by blade (edited 04-14-2000).]

    [This message has been edited by blade (edited 04-14-2000).]

  9. #9
    Paul Skrypichayko Guest
    Blade, I'm surprised that you know about Chan Hon Chung. Most people in North America only know about people in kung fu magazines, like Frank Yee, Backsam Kong, and Wing Lam.

    My sifu is one of Chan Hon Chung's close students. I will ask about Mui Fa kuen and the other forms when I see him next week.

    Pek Kua Do could have came from Chan Sau Chung, one of the experts in Tai Shing Pek Kua monkey style. He was a real leader in the HK martial arts scene, and a close friend and colleague of Chan Hon Chung.

    The Mui Fa that I practice is very basic southern kung fu, and like everyone said, goes in 4 directions.

    The pek kua do I practice is also typical southern kung fu. I don't know how to describe it other than by saying that it goes back and forth in a straight line about 4 times.

    Even though I've only learned one type of butterfly sword, I know that our style has about 4 different types. I think the names are Ji Yuk Do (pork meat knives), Hang Yuet Do (crescent moon knives), Ji Mo Do (mother and son knives), and the other one is either called Wu Deep Do, or Pak Cham Do.

    I know that the most basic spear form is called Lee Fa Cheung, Pear Flower Spear. The intermediate form is Yang Gar Cheung, Yang Family Spear; and the advanced form is called See Gar Cheung, See Family Spear. This type of spear work is very old, comming from the Song Dynasty. It is the same spear practiced by the hero See Mun Long in the kung fu novel, Outlaws of the Marsh (Shui Hu Juan).

    I have heard that some groups have adapted the Ng Long Bat Kua Kwun into a form called Ng Long Bat Kua Cheung. This is simple to do because of the "pang" nature of the staff, making it just like a heavy duty spear. I have also heard of a Mui Fa Cheung, Plum flower spear.

    The tiger fork, or Yu Ga Dai Pa, is found in so many different styles. When you think about it, there are only a handful of moves that you can do with a tiger fork. This is why the fork isnt practiced much, and is considered a basic weapon. Personally, I think it's one of the more impressive looking weapons when you are walking around with a giant fork, and peoples mouths drop open, and their eyes are staring at you, hehe.

    I assume that Kwan Lun Gim comes from Kwan Lun San (kunlun mountain), but I don't know much about the history of this weapon.

  10. #10
    illusionfist Guest
    What i like about kwan lun gim is that it's a totally different style of sword play. It has a lot more piercing in it and not as many flowers in it like a northern style of swordplay. I think the style of swordplay used in kwan lun gim is called Jan Gim.

    Peace [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  11. #11
    Paul Skrypichayko Guest
    I know that Wing Lam's people use the term "jan gim" and "hung gim", but I haven't heard these used before. Also, I don't have any experience with northern style sword, so I dont have much to compare it to other than Yang style Tai Chi sword.

    One thing I have been told is that Kwanlun Gim is not used with a taichi gim, rather a military gim, and possibly a gim-do (military weapon that blends gim and do).

    If you look on a map, you will find that Kwan Lun San (kunlun mountains) are found in San Geung (Xinjiang Province). The importance of this is because it is in the extreme west of China, which has much moslem and Persian influence. I'd be curious to see the swordwork of that area through the last 2000 years, especially before and after the Tang dynasty, which had great persian influence in that area.

    One interesting fact is that before the Tang Dynasty, the chinese broadsword was completely different than today's sword. It was actually shorter and straighter, almost like a short Japanese katana. It is reasonable that the curved scimitars of the Arabs, Persians, and various Turks influenced Chinese weapons.

    Just from playing around with a modern do and gim, people can see the ease in drawing the nice, curved do from the scabbard, compared to drawing a straight gim, which is **** difficult.

  12. #12
    illusionfist Guest
    What i know of Jan Gim swordplay, the sword used is shorter and much thicker than your northern gim. The northern gim was longer and they used scholar gims, while Jan gim swordplay (or southern) used a military gim. The northern gim was used as a defensive weapon while the southern gim was used as a strong offensive weapon. The northern gim used a primarily round tip while the southern gim had a sharp tip, more conducive to thrusting.
    Personally i think that is an over-generalization because all weapons varied according to geograpical area, social class, martial technique, and the players preference. But that's what i was told.

    I learned a form called Miao Dao that used a sword that was much like a japanese katana. It had your basic two handed strikes, but it varied because it had flowers that were used to block the legs, head, etc. It also had grabs and then you would retaliate with one handed slashes. Very different kind of swordplay compared to the way a katana is used.

    Peace out [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  13. #13
    Paul Skrypichayko Guest
    Yes, I was told too that the military gim was shorter and thicker than the average gim of today. I'm not aware of the details on northern gim, but I've been told that the popular gim of today is the tai chi gim. That is the reason why it is such a fragile weapon.

    Even though the military gim was more sturdy, swordplay was still dainty and elegant. Always evading, and almost never contacting the other weapon.

    Out of curiousity, does anyone here know how to use the long tassels properly? Anyone know about sticking magnetically to your opponent's sword? I can't do either, but I'm still curious.

  14. #14
    mantis108 Guest
    Woo,lots of food for thoughts.

    First off, I'll post more about Fu Hok next time because is an very interesting set.

    About Mui Fa, I alway thought it's 5 pedals instead of four or is it that it has the 5 little needles which stick out from the middle? What do you called that? Anyway, Mui Fa is a symbol as well as nature's lesson. On the symbolic side it blossom in the coldest time. Chinese people endure many hardships and we tend to "blossom" under them. On the technical side, it's the cluster of blossoms (cluster of techniques/moves). In the case of Mui Fa, it's 5 moves (also reminiscent of 5 elements),which forms one technique.

    Unlike the west, the rythm of Kung Fu varys all the time. It can be 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, and 1-2-3-4-5. Also there is the half beats "and-1" or "1-and-2". Bruce Lee "saw" this and he created his own Kung Fu.

    Regardless of style, a human body has four simple action with regard to movements. Advance, retreat, to the left, to the right, or stay still. This also correspond to the four cardinal directions and the Five elements. In southern styles this is more important because, southerners tend to fight toghter in large numbers and from all sides. It is prudent to defend all sides. Southern styles are also aware of the possible use of their skills in military situations (to over thrown the Ching Empiror). Again one would have to be aware of the opponents coming from all sides while in the battle fields.

    So one can see the Mui Fa symbolic significance. It's national pride at work, too.

    Kung Fu is art becauce it helps us to express our inner most feelings. There are lots of wisdoms in designing/engineering a form. It's both cultural and practical. It's more than meets the eyes. I personally think that's what makes Kung Fu a life time study.

    Just a few thoughts.

    By the way, thanks for the compliment, Paul.
    You have quite extensive knowledge of Kung Fu, too.

    Peace everyone


    [This message has been edited by mantis108 (edited 04-15-2000).]

  15. #15
    Paul Skrypichayko Guest
    Thank you mantis108, I'm really just a novice.

    I was going to say earlier that mui fa had four petals, hence the four directions, but I have heard some people say there are 4 petals, and some people say 5 petals. I'm still not sure on which is right, maybe there are two varieties?

    How are most forms constructed and performed? In my experience, I've seen linear forms, cross pattern (sup ji or mui fa), and a few that are odd shaped like the capital letter "I" (gung ji). I've heard that Tit Sin is more like 2 half circles. Can anybody share anything about form shapes?

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