Hung Gar Kung Fu
The Hung system of Kung Fu is one of the most popular and versatile styles of Siu Lum temple boxing in China. It is slow and depends on tremendous physical strength. The style is also synonymous with stability, force and ferocity. The various armed and unarmed styles are also patterned after animals, birds and insects. Hung Gar Kung Fu belongs to the unarmed category, which emulates the movements of the tiger, crane, dragon, leopard and snake. Hung Hee Gung, a boxer from 18th century, who devoted his life to Kung Fu, was a pupil of two Siu Lum monks: Chee Sin, a specialist in the long-hand method and Fong Wing Chuen, an expert boxer of the short-hand art.
After years of study, Hung combined the best methods of the two instructors; specializing in the tiger and crane styles, merged both long and short-range tactics. He consciously tried to keep his methods the same and thus originated the Hung Gar system.
An important thing to understand is that some animals and their nature have lessons to teach the Hung gar student or practitioner. The strength and courage of the tiger should be a part of his character, while the sly and deceptive nature of the snake aims at helping the practitioner to be an unpredictable fighter. Hazardous power and swiftness of the dragon, along with the sense of balance, liveliness, vigilance, and active spirit of a crane makes the Hung Gar student a powerful force armed with technique – a commendable combination.
One of the main reasons why Hung Gar has come to be a popular form of martial art is, because it is an art which follows a simple yet rigid philosophy. A Hung Gar student is trained to firmly believe in the morally acceptable. He is taught how to use his facts and his self control capabilities while practicing this art.
The weapons used while practicing this form of art are mainly the Tiger Fork, Single end staff and the Double-broad swords. Other weapons used include the spear, chain whips, umbrella, monk’s spade, farmer hoe, single sword, monkey stick etc.
Four corner-stones of Hung Gar Kung Fu are:
Gung Gee Fook Fu – Also described as “taming” or “tempting” the tiger, this form places strong emphasis on the horse posture and requires strong punches and arm blocks.
Fu Hok Sheung Yin – The practitioner places equal importance on the soft as well as hard natures of the martial art. This set merges the flowing, elusive movements of the crane with the clear-cut, powerful actions of the tiger.
Tit Sin Kuen – This set aims at developing the practitioner’s vital energy or chi. Breathing techniques play a part of this form, which expects the irony of being as tough as steel and elastic as a thread.
Sup Ying Kuen– This set, also known as the ten-pattern fist, teaches the intricacies and influences of the five animals – Dragon, Tiger, Crane, Horse and Snake and five elements - Gold, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.
Hung Gar embodies the nature of these elements and animals and requires deep understanding of the same.