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…

“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.

Read More…

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.

Read More…

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!

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More…

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.

Read More…

Choi Lei Fat Full Contact Competition, November 1st 2011

Below is a footage from my friend Lukas Slavicek (Wing Chun, CLF and Bak Mei practitioner) from the 2011 Choi Lei Fat full contact competition – “World Choy Lee Fat Invitational Tournament 2011” held in Hong Kong.

Rules were following:

  • Head guard, chest protector, 4 oz boxing gloves, black pants, groin protector
  • 3×2 minutes rounds of full contact continuous fighting, 1 minute rest inbetween rounds
  • winner of 2 of 3 rounds will be declared a winner
  • if somebody wins 2 rounds continuously, the 3rd round will not be held

I personally hope to see more Chinese martial arts full contact events in the future! Enjoy some highlights below.


How Lam Sai Wing Learned Some of His Weapons, Part 1 – Commander Sword

Commander Sword - Daan Ji Fai DouIn the history of Hung Gar Kuen one famous master is Lam Sai Wing, he was a disciple of the Chinese folk hero Wong Fei Hung. Lam Sai Wing’s students published 3 books with pictures of their master showing the 3 treasures of Hung Gar Kuen. There are more and more articles about Lam Sai Wing being discovered, here is now an article about how Lam Sai Wing learned some of his weapons. The original Chinese text was written by Jyu Yujai, student of Lam Saiwing, provided by Pavel Macek sifu, translated by Mr. Tony Ma of Hong Kong and edited and re-written by Frank Bolte sifu.

Lam Sai WingIn regard to Lam Sam Wing’s skills, aren’t they all transmitted from Wong Fei Hung ? The answer is “NO”. Lam’s skills come not just from one person but taught by several masters, and thru his hard learning. He was a meat hawker, admired Wong Fei Hung’s skills, and followed him traveling here and there, days and nights studied hard. Wong Fei Hung did feel Lam’s sincerity and honesty, so taught him all boxing techniques. That’s why Lam was one of the most loved disciples.

Later Lam Sawing moved to Canton. In an incidental day-off, he went to West Hill Temple, hanging around and neighboring the temple, then met a shoemaker. Lam Saiwing saw he was strong and vital, aged around 50. Lam Saiwing was curious and approached him and chatted with him. The Shoemaker declared himself as surname Hong. His accent showed he was not local habitant, and on listening, he talked about his life experience.

Read More…