Hung Gar

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Published 6 Nov 2008
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Tang Fung's Hung Gar performed by Frank Yee.Created during a time of turmoil and strife, Hung Gar Kung Fu w...
Tang Fung's Hung Gar performed by Frank Yee.Created during a time of turmoil and strife, Hung Gar Kung Fu was a bright star for the oppressed people of southern China. In the Ching dynasty (1644-1911), the Manchurian government hated by the populous. Many secret societies of rebels emerged to combat the Manchurian rule. One of which was Hung gar clan.The roots of Hung Gar can be traced as far back as Ta Mo (a Buddhist priest from India). In 520 A.D., ancient records show Ta Mo traveling to China and teaching the Shaolin monks a series of exercises called the "18 Lohan Techniques". These exercises were eventually incorporated into their self defense techniques. For centuries the Shaolin style of self defense grew, expanded and adapted to current fighting conditions.In the Song dynasty (960 A.D.-1279 A.D.), a great martial artist from the Shaolin temple, named Chueh Yuan took Ta Mo's 18 Lohan Techniques and increased them to 72. Still not satisfied, Chueh Yuan sought out other kung fu masters to increase his skills. In his travels, he found Li Sou. Li Sou introduced him to Bai Yu Feng. Together, all 3 went back to the Shaolin temple and combined their skills. They increased the 72 techniques into 170. These techniques were then divided into 5 categories (Dragon, Tiger, Panther, Crane and Snake).Movements of the Dragon were internal and external, circular and spiraling, cultivating the spirit. Moves of the Tiger were fierce pouncing and clawing attacks, emphasizing muscle and bone development. Moves of the Panther were based on speed and power utilizing sudden explosive movements and the use of internal energy. Techniques of the Crane were graceful, fluid, swift and agile, stressing balance. Exercises from the Snake developed chi (internal energy). The movements were soft and circular yet accurate and deadly. Each of the animal styles was a complete fighting system. They all included long and short range punching/kicking, joint locking, grappling, ground fighting and moves unique to their own styles.In 1644 the Manchurians invaded China. After a long war, the Manchurians won and took control over China. This brought resentment and distrust towards the new regime. Secret societies arose to deliver the people from the Manchurian rule. Many rebel factions used the southern Shaolin temples for refuge. Posing as monks, the rebels would train and plan strategy all under the safety of the temple. By the early 1700's the Manchurians discovered this and had the temples destroyed. One Shaolin monk from the southern Fukien temple who was proficient in the Tiger style, escaped the destruction. His Name was Gee Sum Sim See. Gee Sum Sim See hid out in southern China, teaching kung fu to the rebels.Southern China is on the coastline and shipping was a major way of life. Even entertainment was on boats. Chinese opera was a favorite performance art. Many gifted athletes performed on these "Floating Opera Houses" called Hung Suan or red boats. This is were Gee Sum Sim See took the raw talent of these performing artists and turned them into awesome rebel fighting machines.One of his top students was Hung Hei Guan. Some say that Hung was a tea merchant by trade and his real name was Jyu Gu Chah. Hung learned all that he could from master Gee. Seeking more knowledge Hung then sought out the White Crane style from Fong Wing Chun (Hung eventually married Fong). Hung's quest for kung fu turned him to learn techniques from the Dragon, Snake and Panther systems. He also learned the 5 elemental fist style. Hung combined the systems he had learned and created his own unique style. Rooted in the Tiger style, Hung Hei Guan's system was very powerful and deadly. He became very famous for his kung fu skills. Hung was well known for his strong horse stance and iron fist techniques.
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