Meditation, Sutras and Martial Arts Training

Buddhism and Chinese Martial ArtsChinese Sim Buddhism – in Mandarin Chan, in Japanese Zen – played an important role in the origin and development of many Southern Chinese martial arts, especially those, who claim to originate from the legendary Southern Siulam (Shaolin). Chinese martial arts were practiced in many of the temples in Southern China, eg. Hoi Tung Ji, Daai Fat Ji, Sai Sim Ji etc. No wonder that an old Chinese maxim says: Zen and Martial Arts are One (Sim Kyun Hap Yat).

Does practicing Chinese martial arts and “practicing” Zen has something in common? Do they share similar obstacles, problems and questions? Please read following two pieces of wisdom form the Chinese buddhism heritage and judge for yourself. Read More…

Rare Kung-Fu Weapons: The Tobacco Water Pipe

Rare Kung-Fu Weapons - Water Tobacco PipeChinese weapon arsenal is vast – all kinds of long and short weapons, soft weapons, projectile and throwing weapons etc. Some Chinese Kung-Fu styles also use tools of every day use as weapons.

Our school of Hung Ga Kyun eg. trains with a Chinese bench, very common in the restaurants and tea-rooms in old China, other lineages use an umbrella as a weapon, eg. the Grandmaster Ho Laptin’s school, who dedicated a book to this set as well. Hung Fut (Hung Fat) has a set with a rice bowl and a pair of chop sticks, Chinese abacus and even with a pair of wooden sandals!

Below is an article from an old Chinese Kung Fu magazine, featuring Chan Tat Fut sifu of Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu, presenting some fighting applications with the Chinese tobacco water pipe. Chan sifu is well known to many of us visiting Hong Kong regularly – almost everybody has visited his Kung-Fu weapons shop in Sham Shui Po. Read More…

The Story of Hung Ga Grandmaster Lau Jaam, Part 2

Hung Ga Kyun Grandmaster Lau JaamLam told Lau to come the next evening. Lau was very happy and left after salutations. Next evening, Lau Jaam got packed his suitcase, along with sterling coin 15 cents. Taking 5 cents to purchase joss sticks, candle sticks and Yun Bao (paper ignot), and the remaining 10 cents folded in a red envelope as the Baai Si gift. Everythings prepared, rushed to Sai Wing gym. Entered into the hall, ignited the joss sticks and candles beneath the White Crane Ancestor’s shrine (白鶴先師神位), bowed and offered worship. Secondly brought Lam Sai Wing a seat, bowed and submitted the Red Envelope. He called Lam “Sifu!“several times. Lam Saiwing accepted all.

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“This is not Wing Chun!”

Yip Chun, son of the Wing Chun grandmaster Yip Man“Original”, “traditional”, “orthodox”… Those are the words how (traditional) Chinese martial arts are often described. What does it mean? Same as hundreds years ago? Dated?

The word “traditional” comes for a latin word tradere, “to hand over”, “hand down”, from the Master to the apprentice, from one generation to the other – not only the techniques and sets, but concepts, principles and training methodology, often unique to a specific system or family.

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The Four Basic Offensive Movements in Kung Fu

Wong Kiew Kit Sifu, Shaolin Wahnam Kung FuChinese martial arts are often called Kyun Seut (lit. “Art of the Fists”), and translated as “Chinese Boxing”. However, Chinese martial arts arsenal is much broader – we strike not only with our fists, but palms, claws and elbows as well, use various kicks, sweeps, throws and locks. Let s not forget the use of various weapons – long and short, single and double, blunt and bladed, “hard” and soft.

As for the bare-handed fighting, the classical Chinese phrase goes: Tek – Da – Seut – Na, ie. Kicking, Striking, Wrestling and Holding. Below is a nice article about these 4 basic attacks of Chinese Kung-Fu, written by Wong Kiew Kit Sifu of Shaolin Wahnam Kung Fu.

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Jeet Kune Do Jerry Poteet sifu (1946-2012)

Jeet Kune Do Jerry PoteetIt is with great sadness that another martial arts icon has passed away. Jerry Poteet was one of Bruce Lee’s original students and was considered one of the biggest advocates for promoting Bruce Lee’s philosophy of Jeet Kune Do throughout the world.

His legacy, his wisdom and his dedication to the arts shall forever be remembered.

Michael Matsuda

Martial Arts History Museum, president

R.I.P., Poteet sifu!

The Story of Hung Ga Grandmaster Lau Jaam, Part 1

Hung Ga Kyun grandmaster Lau JaamCantonese martial art Master Mr.Wong Fei Hung (黃飛洪), among his inheritors, there were two famous names, one being verified as Leung Fun (梁寛), and the next was apparently Mr. Lau Jaam (劉湛). They both as known-brave and skillful in fighting, outstanding in the Wong Feihung. Leung Fun died early, and Lau Jaam (劉湛) healthy and still alive. In martial art Lau was in no way weaker than Leung. They treated Lau as junior to Leung. But actually Lau was not learning from Wong Fei Hung, instead he was the pupil of Lam Sai Wing (林世榮).

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Kicking Skills of Lama Paai

Kicking techniques of Lama Kung-FuWe have already seen that the classical saying “Southern Fists, Northern Kicks” (Naam Kyun Bak Teui) is not exactly correct. Plenty of Southern Chinese styles have very extensive kicking arsenal.

Articles about Hung Ga No Shadow Kick and kicking techniques of Mok Ga Kyun were welcomed by our readers, so here is another ass-kicking  article, this time devoted to the leg arsenal of the famous Tibetan kung-fu system, the art of Lama Paai of Lo Wai Keung sifu.

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Introduction to the Hung Ga lineage Wong Lei – Leung Kam Kwong – Wong Chung Man, Part 2

Leung Kam Kwong (梁鑑光)

Grand master Leung Kam Kwong Grand master Leung is a long-time student of Wong Lei. Grand master Leung would always manage the lion dance performances by the school of Wong Lei.

Actually, Wong Lei did not perform or teach lion dance himself (just as Lam Cho). Therefore, the lion dance skills of grand master Leung did not come from Wong Lei, but from Chan Naam (陳南). Chan Naam was a good friend of Wong Lei and a kungfu master too. Chan Naam had learned his kungfu from a Buddhist monk; this kungfu looked a little like Jau Ga (Hung Tau Choi Mei).

After his sifu passed away, grand master Leung also trained for about 10 years in the school of Lam Cho, his sigung.

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Introduction to the Hung Ga lineage Wong Lei – Leung Kam Kwong – Wong Chung Man

I have the honour to introduce the lineage of Sifu Raymond Wong Chung Man to you. Sifu Wong Chung Man is a Hung Ga master in Hong Kong. He learned his kungfu from Grand master Leung Kam Kwong, who was a student of famous, late Grandmaster Wong Lei (also spelled as Wong Lee).

Wong Lei (王利)

Grand master Wong Lei lived in Gwongjau, China. He loved kungfu, but did not have any money to learn. He always helped his boss with many things, and this gave him the opportunity to start learning kungfu from the son of his boss. After a while, the son’s kungfu master saw that Wong Lei was very talented, and therefore this master accepted Wong Lei as a student.


Grandmaster Wong Lei performing Long Pole

The kungfu style he taught was Hung Kyun, but a version not the same as that of Wong Fei Hung and Lam Sai Wing. Many styles were actually called Hung Kyun at that time. This version, however, has more shorter stances, many tiger claws and many hand movements where the arm is extended in 3 strokes or repeats. (Often such styles are also called Saamjin, which means ‘3 extensions’.) It consists of two long sets: The first set is called Night Tiger Leaves the Forest (Ye Fu Cheut Lam 夜虎出林). This set focuses on unexpected, mostly attacking and defending movements from below coming up. The second set is called Fierce Tiger Leaves the Forrest (Maang Fu Cheut Lam 猛虎出林). This set is very direct/straightforward and uses hard power to ‘break’ the opponent.

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