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Thread: Northern Shaolin styles

  1. #46
    NorthernShaolin Guest

    More info

    Mantis108: During the time, Ching Wu schools were very sucessful and it was one of the highest honor to teach inthe Ching Wu schools. Living in China with many of its people were poor and starving and with other countries invading its land, it was difficult to establish their own school. Many sifus felt their style’s survival was in danger of disappearing in one generation. They realized that they needed to re-think and be more open minded.
    To the best of my knowledge this is the order that Ching Wu teaches the sets. I have either learned or observed all of these sets except for number 9. I have yet to observe or locate any written document on this set.

    These is only one weapon that has its roots associated with Tai Chi Praying Mantis, that is, the Nine Ring Saber. The saber set, Testing the Blade, is a very unusual saber set and is unlike other CMA saber sets (meaning techniques of one person verses many). This set consist of many strings of battle proven individual saber techniques (one against one) strung together. The original concept surrounding this set is that it was designed to trained the foot soldiers in quick fighting techniques. It is well known that Chui Chuk Kai borrowed many weapons from Tai Jo Men and this might be the original source of the set.

    Sun Yu Fung did not teach Testing the Blade but did teach five other sabers.
    Pa Kua Saber or Eight Trigam Saber (required by Ching Wu):Foot Solider Saber, Plum Blossom Saber, Split Door Saber (Sparring Sabers), Loose Wrist Saber (Sparring Sabers). Sometimes he would teach two additional sets: Swallow Pierces the Clouds and Snow Flakes.

    As to your question about exchanging of sons to teach with Lum Yui Kwai, I do not have any info. However it was a common practice between GM’s to do this out of respect for each other. Later Sun’s son, Wen Yung, joined the army and became the General Martial Arts training Officer. He was killed in battle between 1934 and 35, when the Nationalist made the big push northward. This effected SYF to a point of deep depression and he quit teaching at the Ching Wu Association. He went to his teach with his top disciple’s school, Hwang Hsiao Hsia (His nickname is Iron Forearms, Yin and Yang Hands).

    Beiquan: More on Wan Li Sheng
    Wan Li Sheng and Kuo Yu Chang were very close friends. At the 1928 First National Tournament, the contests were ferocious and bloody. Wan Li Sheng had beaten all of his opponents and was in the semi-finals. In his last contest, Wan Li Sheng fought a White Crane opponent. Wan Li Sheng struck and broke his opponent's jaw. However, to Wan Li Sheng's disappointment, he also injured his hand and reluctantly dropped out of the tournament His hand received major cuts from his opponent's teeth when he struck his jaw. Wan Li Sheng ended up placing number forty eight (48). As the number of contestants got smaller, the fights became even more violent and brutal. Many of the contestants were taken away on stretchers with broken bones and other injuries. The government stopped the tournament when there were only thirteen contestants left. The audience was angry because they wanted to have one single champion of all China. The government officials announced to the audience that if the fights continued, many of the results would end in death because of the high degree of skill among the contestants that were left. The thirteen champions of all China were declared and the tournament was over. Among the thirteen champions were Kuo Yu Chaing of Northern Shao lin style, Fu Chen Sung of Pa Ku style, Li Hsin Wu of Northern Shao lin and Tan T'ui styles, Keng Te Hai of Monkey Style, Ma Cheng Hsin of Seven Star Praying Mantis style, Wang Shao Chou of Northern Shao Lin and Cha styles, Chu Kuo Chen, Chu Kuo Fu, Chu Kuo Lu, etc. Out of the thirteen champions, Wan Li Sheng felt that he was better than twelve of the champions. Wan Li Sheng decided to test the other twelve champions. He traveled to their home province and fought each one in their home schools. He believed that they were not that good and therefore did not deserve the title of Champion of All China. He believed that only Kuo Yu Chiang deserved the title. Wan Li Sheng challenged many of the champions and won. Wan Li Sheng felt that the populace were ignorant of true martial arts and were easily fooled by fake masters. Wan Li Sheng wanted to expose them and continued to challenge masters across the country. Soon everyone was familiar with Wan Li Sheng's reputation. Either the people hated him because of his attitude and arrogance’s towards the many masters that he fought or they loved him because he exposed the fake masters.
    Once, Wan Li Sheng went to the Yang Family to try the famous Yang's Style of Tai Chi. Chang Ch'ing Ling, who was trained by Yang Pan Hou, came forward to meet the challenger. Yang Pan Hou was one of the sons of Yang Lu Ch'an, the founder of Yang Style Tai Chi. Chang Ch'ing Ling was a classmate of the famous Yang Ch'eng Fu , who was the grandson of Yang Lu Ch'an. It was said that Chang Ch'ing Ling could "root" his feet so well that they sank into the ground. As Chang Ch'ing Ling and Wan Li Sheng fought, observers noticed that both men were of equal abilities. The fight ended in a draw because both men injured their hands. Wan Li Sheng went as far as to challenge the famous Yang Ch'eng Fu. In this challenge, they both agreed to use Tai Chi pushing hand techniques. To Yang Ch'eng Fu surprise, Wan Li Sheng pushed him up into the air. Yang Ch'eng Fu at this time weigh three hundred (300) pounds. To many martial artists, this was real proof of how strong and how good Wan Li Sheng really was. Up to that time, no one had ever uprooted Yang Ch'eng Fu and more impressive because Wan Li Sheng had beaten a renown master using his opponent's own technique.
    After the 1928 First National Tournament, the Kuo Ming Tung, under General Chang Chih Chang, appointed five (5) masters who became known as the Five Tigers From The North. These masters were Kuo Yu Chiang, Wan Li Sheng, Fu Chen Sung, Wang Shao Chou and Li Hsin Wu. Also included were three (3) well known masters who were Keng Te Hai, an expert in Tai Shan Style or monkey Style, Tung Yin Chieh, who was a Tai Chi master, and Sun Yu Fung. The Kuo Ming Tung requested the Ching Wu Cultural Association to send four (4) representatives: Chen Tzu Sheng of Northern Shao Lin Eagle Claw style, Lo Kwang Yu of Northern Praying Mantis (Seven Star), Keng Cha Kuan of Hsing I internal style, and Wu Chien Chuan of Wu style Tai Chi. Together they were ordered to discuss and develop the best techniques of each style and to put aside their prejudices of different styles. As a result they developed a diverse style called Long Fist which became very popular. The Five Tigers From The North were ordered by the Kuo Ming Tung to go south to Canton. They were ordered to meet with southern masters to form martial art schools and combine their styles together to form new and effective techniques. General Li Chao and six (6) southern masters were to form a new Kuo Ming Tung Association in Canton. The six (6) southern masters were Lin Yin Tang of Mo Gar style, Tam San of Ts'ai Li Fut style, Lin Yao Kuei of Dragon style, Chang Li Chuan of White Eye Brow style, Lin Shih Jung of Hung Gar style and Wu Chien Chuan of White Crane style. As a result, many new styles developed. Of these "new" styles, the most popular was North Wind Ts'ai Li Fut.
    The defeat of the twelve (12) champions of the 1928 tournament by Wan Li Sheng was recognized by the Kuo Ming Tung. They appointed Wan Li Sheng as director of the Kwangsi Province school and gave him the rank of Major General. Many masters
    became jealous of Wan Li Sheng's accomplishment and of his young age of thirty five (35). As a result many southern masters challenged Wan Li Sheng but each one fell before the superior skills of Wan Li Sheng. Many of the defeated masters acknowledged Wan Li Sheng's skills and described his abilities: " Wan Li Sheng's hands moved like ropes and his fingers were like iron hooks. He rushes forward like a hurricane and backed away like a torrential waters." Wherever he went, he was always surrounded by admiring followers who came from various parts of the country to learn from him. By 1930, Wan Li Sheng was very famous and many people regarded him as the symbol of Chinese Martial Arts. Since martial arts and Wan Li Sheng's fame did not "bloom" until after the 1928 National Tournament, many people call Wan Li Sheng the "Flower of the National Arts".
    The Chief Army Officer was Li Chi Shen and he appointed Wan Li Sheng, who was a graduate from Peking University, to be head of both National Arts Provinces school in Kwangsi and Kwangtung and Kuo Yu Chang to be in charge of Kwangtung Province. WLS instructed everyone to assist Wang Shao Chou in developing a standard curriculum and they all decided to use the set, Lien Bo, from Wu Chih Ch’ing as the basic set. While KYU was there, he met Ch’ien Chan Sheng who taught him Ch’a style.
    :) :cool:

  2. #47
    mantis108 Guest

    Ocean of knowledge


    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, your sharing of knowledge is truely a treasure find for me. Those legendary figures, whom you have mentioned, were known to me. Yet, I have a hard time of put them together. Events and people sometimes don't seem to be related. Now, I can see the threads between them and see how things developed. If you have a book or if you are considering writting a book please let me know. I would be honored and interested to own a piece of important history of Chinese martial arts.

    A few more questions, if you don't mind. You mentioned the 9 ring broad sword form. What is the full name of the form in Chinese? The foot Soldier Saber, is it Bo Chin Do? I think this form seems to be quite famous of his. Would you have info on Taijo Men? I think Taijo Men was quite popular and active in Shantung province even during the late Qing dynasty. Sigung Chui believed to have trained in Taijo Men when he was studying MA in his youth in a temple. Taijo Men seems to have Cheung Kuen ( Long Fist, forms) and Dune Da (Sau Fa, applications). Weapon wise I think the WhipChain and Rope Dart are remarkable. It is my believed that Tai Chi Praying Mantis has more influence from Taijo Men and 7 Stars Praying Mantis has more Eagle Claw influence.

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us all. You are leading an inspirational role.


    Contraria Sunt Complementa

  3. #48
    NorthernShaolin Guest

    some answers

    Mantis 108: I’ve have converse with my classmate, Shaolin Mantis in SF and he states the name of the nine ring saber is Lan Mon Do with the name Lan being a name of a family. I could not secure a Chinese character so I do not know what family it is.

    The Foot soldier saber is exactly what you said it is and is was one of SYF’s famous sets. I’ve seen my Sigung, Li Hon Chia, demonstrate it once some years ago but I do not know anyone teaching it anymore.

    What I do know about Tsung Jo Men is not much. General Chao K’ang Yin is credited for developing the style for his army and the style was named after him. The style is also known as Long Fist in the ancient times (Sung Dynasty?) and it is record as to having four original hand sets: Thirty two move in Long Fist, Six Step Fist, Monkey Fist, and Flower Fist. Other than that, I do not know if these sets still exist or if they have evolved or merged into other sets. Today Tsung Jo Men has more than four hand sets.

    As to the influence between two style of Eagle Claw and 7-star praying mantis , I believe you are right. Two major GM’s actually interfaced between 1930 and 1931.

    In 1929, one of the founding fathers, Chen Tzu Ching, had to return to his home villiage and requested Ching Wu HQ to sent Lau Fat Meng as his replacement. LFM was appointed Dean of Instructions for Hong Kong Ching Wu school. In 1931, a Ching Wu school open in Wang Jung and LFM left to teach there.

    Meanwhile, in 1929, another founding father, Lo Kwong Yu went to visit his good friend, Sun Yu Fung in the Ching Wu school in Canton. He taught his 7-Star Praying Mantis until 1930 when Ching Wu Board of Directors decided to send LKY to HK where LFM was teaching. He spend the next six years teaching his 7*PM and it became the second most popular style next to Shaolin and Tai Chi
    :) :) :cool:

  4. #49
    mantis108 Guest

    Thanks for the info.


    Once again great info.

    It is interesting about Lan Moon Do. I thought that the full name was Pagua Lan Moon Do (8 Trigrams Blocking Door saber). It is believed to be a Tai Chi Praying Mantis original form created by Master Leung Shui Sheung (4th Generation). I have seen it perform with a 9 rings broad sword. Nowadays, it is performed with a heavy broad sword instead. Well, this is interesting...

    About the Foot Soldier saber it is a shame this set is not being taught anymore...

    Thanks for the info. on the GM's exchange knowledge.


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  5. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Great Lakes State, U.S.A.

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Great Lakes State, U.S.A.

  7. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Kung Lek View Post

    There are five main "families" of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu.

    Cha and Hong are the most prevalent today.
    (Hong being Sil Lum).

    Bak Sil Lum or North Shaolin of Kuo Yuo Cheong is said to be most intact with its system maintained in entirety. it contains two preliminary sets and 10 core sets.
    The system takes about 5 to 10 years to learn dependent upon the students adeptness and about another 5 or 10 years to gain mastery of.

    Bak Sil Lum is the system I am most familiar with as it is the Northern system my Si fu is giving me.
    It is quite difficult to perform even the 2 beginner core sets (Tun Ta and Moi Fa) but there is a lot of info that is good in the prelim sets which are Lien Bo Chuan and Tan Tui (10 row).
    Lien Bo and Tan Tui introduce the practitioner/student to some of the concepts held further into the system.
    Kung Lek
    It is acutally the Cha style. Of course Cha Quen is considered a Northern Shaolin but it had been developed for hundred years and it is generally considered a seperated style or even a shool. It is also called Muslim Style as it was mostly practiced within Chinese Muslim Cummunities.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    The Shaolin Temple and the Shaolin Diaspora

    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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