" Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. "
Mahatma Gandhi

 

Hung Ga Kuen is a Martial Art that originated in Southern China and has its roots in Southern Shaolin Kung Fu.  The Martial Art is characterised by strong stances and a focus on hand techniques. 

 

Meaning
Hung family fist
Founder
Hung Hei-gun
Country of Origin
China
Primary Focus
Striking,Takedowns
Orientation
Self-defence,Health,Spiritual
Type
Internal,External

Brief History

A Shaolin Monk, Jee Sin Sim See is believed to have taught the founding fathers of Choy Ga, Mok Ga, Li Ga and Lau Ga along with Hung Hei-gun who founded Hung Ga.  This Martial Art was developed and practiced in secret on Chinese opera boats as the Chinese government of the time had placed a ban on all Martial Arts.  The opera boats swayed and rocked in the ocean a great deal and provided a very unstable platform with which to train.  This meant that the Martial Art focused more on the development of strong stances and hand techniques than kicks and one-legged techniques.

 Hung Ga Kuen

 

Aspects

 Four empty hand forms are taught and mastered in Hung Ga Kuen:

  • Taming the Tiger Fist – a long routine which trains the basic techniques of Hung Ga and builds endurance
  • Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist – advances the learnings from “Taming the Tiger” and incorporates bridge hand techniques and rooting. This practice promotes the idea of opposites working together and the constant interchange between them. The Tiger is hard whereas the Crane is soft and the idea that one exists in the other as they change.
  • Five Animal Fist – an intermediary form that brings together the external force of the Tiger Crane with the internal focus of the Iron Wire. The Five Animals form refers to the 5 animals of Southern Kung Fu – Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, and Crane. These are designed to equip the practitioner with different types of mindsets and tactics.  In addition, Hung Ga utilises the 5 classical elements being Earth, Water, Fire, Metal, and Wood to express power.   
  • Iron Wire Fist – builds the internal power and promotes the cultivation of qi. This routine comprises of deep meditative breathing and isometric exercise.  These aspects, when combined, increase strength, and promote a stable root.  The isometric exercises which are key to building strength are supplemented with weights such as the traditional practice of wearing iron rings on the wrist while performing the Iron Wire form.

 

The Martial Art in Practice

Hung Ga is characterised by its use of strong stances such as the horse stance (sei ping ma).  Practitioners utilise these strong stances as a firm base from which to execute strong hand techniques such as the bridge hand and tiger claw. 

The forms that are taught in Hung Ga is used to chain together multiple attack and defensive techniques which take the form of strikes, joint locks, and throws. 

The interconnected techniques enable the Hung Ga practitioner to gain control of the opponent’s limbs, bringing them closer for devastating strikes.

 

Concepts

  • Strong Stances – build a strong stable root from which to execute powerful hand techniques.
  • Isometric Exercises – isometric or dynamic tension strengthens the muscle and tendons on the body.
  • Breathing Exercises – strengthens and activates the core with the entirety of the torso to develop internal and connected strength. This activation of the core and torso is designed to deliver force from the torso instead of just the arms which is more powerful.
  • Fire Element expression of power – Fire is explosive power.
  • Water Element expression of power – Water seeks the lowest point and fills any container. It is thus about softness and using heavy or gravity power.

Hung GaKuen stances 

 

Weaponry

  • Fifth Brother Eight Trigram Pole
  • Mother and Son Butterfly Swords
  • Spring and Autumn Guandao
  • Yu Family Tiger Fork (Trident)
  • Broad sword
  • Spear
  • Fan

 

 

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