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Kung Fu

History of Kung Fu

Chinese martial arts popularly referred to as kung fu, consist of a number of fighting styles that were developed over the centuries. Those fighting styles can be classified according to common themes that are identified as "families" or "schools" of martial arts. Example of themes are physical exercises that mimic movements from animals or a history and training method that gather inspiration from various Chinese philosophies, myths and legends. Some styles focus on the harnessing of eneryand are labeled internal, while others concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness and are labeled external. Geographical association, as in northern and southern, is another popular method of categorisation. Each fighting style offers a different approach to the common problems of self-defense, health, and self-cultivation from a Chinese perspective.

kung fu picture

Chinese martial arts may possibly be traced to the Xia Dynasty which existed more than 4000 years ago.Their origin is attributed to self defence needs, hunting activities and military training in ancient China. Hand to hand combat and weapons practice were important components in the training of Chinese soldiers. From this beginning, Chinese martial arts proceeded to incorporate different philosophies and ideas into its practice expanding its purpose from self-defense to health maintenance and finally as method of self-cultivation. The influence of martial ideals in civilian society spread into poetry, fiction, and eventually film.

kung fu photo

With regards to the Shaolin style, it is regarded as the first institutionalised Chinese martial art. However, the oldest evidence of Shaolin participation in combat is a stele from 728 CE that attests to two occasions: a defense of the Shaolin Monastery from bandits around 610 CE, and their subsequent role in the defeat of Wang Shichong at the Battle of Hulao in 621 CE From the 8th to the 15th centuries, there are no extant documents that provide evidence of Shaolin participation in combat. However, between the 16th and 17th centuries there are at least forty extant sources which provided evidence that, not only did monks of Shaolin practice martial arts, but martial practice had become such an integral element of Shaolin monastic life that the monks felt the need to justify it by creating new Buddhist lore. References of martial arts practice in Shaolin appear in various literary genres of the late Ming: the epitaphs of Shaolin warrior monks, martial-arts manuals, military encyclopedias, historical writings, travelogues, fiction and poetry. However these sources do not point out to any specific style originated in Shaolin. These sources, in contrast to those from the Tang period, refer to Shaolin methods of armed combat. This include many different mthods including — the staff (gùn, Cantonese gwan).The Ming General Qi Jiguang included description of Shaolin Quan fa (Pinyin quánfǎ or Wade-Giles ch'üan fa, "fist principles") and staff techniques.

The fighting styles that are practiced today were developed over the centuries, after having incorporated forms that came into existence later. Some of these include Bagua, Drunken Boxing, Eagle Claw, Five Animals, Hsing I, Hung Gar, Lau Gar, Monkey, Bak Mei Pai, Praying Mantis, Fujian White Crane, Wing Chun and Tai Chi Chuan

What Does Hull Kung Fu Teach

Chin Na "Seize and Control"

Consisting of

Dim Mak (Meridian Point/Press)

Dim Mak is a traditional martial art technique That originated in China, where specific pressure points on the body are used for self-defence purposes and also for healing. Approximately 350 points are learnt.

CAO GU (Misplace Bone)

Cao Gu generally means to bend bones the way they are not supposed to go. You will see the techniques used a lot in wrist locks and arms locks. Pressure is applied to the joints and pain is experienced by trapping the nerves on these joints.

FEN JIN (Divide Muscle/Sinew)

Fen Jin is a technique where muscles are split open to expose the nerves and arteries. This gives you a good chance to disarm opponents by attacking nerve structures.

Under the essential principles of our Tai Chi Chuan Syllabus you will see the following which explains about Fen Jin.

FENG CHIU SHU (FEN JIN) – This is well known as muscle splitting skills. It is used in conjunction with the above to restrain an opponent once they are trapped.

The cavities that are opened with Fen Jin techniques are called Tien Hsuen, and explanation is as follows:

TIEN HSUEN – This is the art of striking vital points on the body using the body’s cavity. Tien Hsuen opens the Blood Gate System.

DIM CHING - This is the art of striking vital points on the body using the body’s cavity. Dim Ching opens the Nerve Gate System.

BI CHI (Seal Breath/Air)

BI in Chinese means to seal. QI means airway, breath.

This technique is related to the circulatory system.

Sealing the breath does not have to be as accurate as Dim Mak or dividing the muscle techniques.

SEALING THE BREATH OR VEIN is for knowledge purposes only. These are dangerous techniques and should not be practiced. There are several techniques of sealing the breath or vein. Techniques will only be shown to advanced senior students within the class.

CAO MAK (Misplace Meridian)

Disrupting meridian flows is a method mainly using the Tai Chi Chuan Six Chi Gung work to knock an opponent off their centre line.

What Animal Forms Do We Teach

Tiger

tiger

Dragon

dragon

Horse

horse

Crane

crane

Snake

snake

Eagle

eagle

Leopard

leopard

Mantis

mantis

Chi Sao

"Every moment is another chance"

The well known fancy translation of CHI SAO is “sticking hands” or "sticking bridges"

The direct translation of CHI (MANDARIN MEANING ‘AIR/SOUL’) – SAO (CANTONESE MEANING ‘HAND’)

For full Cantonese pronunciation the CHI would be replaced with HEI i.e., HEI SAO

Chi Sao is an advanced martial arts technique to develop close range fighting skills, enhance eye focus and contact reflexes. Contact reflexes can be 3 to 5 times quicker in response than eye reaction time. Eye reflexes react in about 0.3 to 0.5 seconds and above. Contact reflexes take between 0.15 and 0.3 seconds to react. Hence, we can see the advantages from learning this unique skill.

Chi Sao teaches us to find openings by flowing with forward intention (chi or energy) through the point of contact, (when the arms from both participants touch), to find the path with the least resistance and not fight force against force through an opponent's guard along the centre line. At the point of contact an opponent's intended move is transmitted as a vibration and our response is a contact reflex action. Also, when someone blocks, the opponent's intention can be sensed through directional forces. Force can only travel in one direction, at any given time. At the point of contact, the force will remain stationary, (we deal with it), the force will push forward (we yield to it), or, off the centre line, (we go around it) or, the force retracts, (we follow or stick to it).

DAN CHI SAO – Single sticking hands

Dan Chi Sao is the first exercise you learn. The partners face each other in the C Back position. You connect arms: one partner placing their left Tan sao forward, and the other partner placing a right Fok sao on top of the Fok sao arm.

The partner holding the Tan Sao position begins the exercise by rotating the wrist to a palm forward position and then attacking with a palm strike. The second partner responds with a Jum Sao, impeding the forward movement of the strike. The second partner then attacks, punching over the arm of the first partner. This will turn the first partner into Bong Sao. Both partners then reset to the starting position.

Doors and Bridges

Doors

To strike an opponent pass through the door

 If the door is closed then wait

You can knock on the door and hope it opens

 If the keys are lost then remove the hinges

If a spring loaded door then hold it

If a revolving door then wait for the correct time to enter

If the door flies off its hinges then

As he comes receive him

As he leaves escort him

Bridges

If there is a bridge in place then cross it

If there is no bridge then build one

Mistakes encountered

Fighting force with force

Seek the hands, not the opponent’s body

Missing opportunity

Not setting up a strike with another strike

Being sloppy with your strike

Forcing your strikes

Not relaxing

Not sinking

Not maintaining good structure

Allowing the mind to freeze

What we aim to develop

Sensitivity/Reaction Skills

Balance

Structure and technique (stance and movements)

Timing and speed

Control of power and distance

Clean attacking, blocking, and trapping technique

Good "bridging" skills, i.e. adhering to the opponent's forearms while delivering attacks and counter attacks to precise body targets at close range

The Chi Sao techniques that we study

BEAU JEE SAO - SPEAR HAND/THRUSTING FINGERS

BONG SAO - WING HAND

CHUN SAO - SPADE HAND

CUP SAO - SCOOPING HAND

FAK SAO - WHISKING HAND

FOK SAO - BENT WRIST HAND

GUAN SAO - SPLITTING BLOCK

GUM GAO GIN SAO - GOLDEN SCISSOR HAND

GUM SAO - TRAPPING HAND

GWAI SAO - ELBOW HACKING HAND (VERTICAL)

HEUNG SAO - SHOULDER TRAP HAND

HUEN SAO - CIRCLING HANDS

JOM SAO - INWARD CHOPPING HAND

JUM SAO - SINKING ELBOWS

JUT SAO - JERKING HANDS

KAU SAO - HOOKING HAND

LAN SAO - BAR ARM

LAO SAP - SLIPPING HAND

LAP/LOP SAO - PULLING HAND

MAN GENG SAO - NECK PULLING HAND

MUN SAO - INQUISITIVE HAND

PAK SAO - SLAPPING HAND

PAI SAO - ELBOW HACKING HANDS (HORIZONTAL)

PO PAI SAO - DOUBLE PALM HANDS

SAT SAO - SLICING HANDS

TAN SAO - PALM UP HAND, FLIPPING, SLIDING, REVERSE, ROLLING

TOK SAO - ELBOW LIFTING HANDS

YIM SAO - SICKLE HAND

The Chi Saomethods and essences that we study

MUN SAO (ASKING HAND) & TING JING (LISTENING POWER)

JOU FAAT (RUNNING METHOD) & BOH JING (DEFLECTING POWER)

TAO FAAT (STEALING METHOD) & YING JING (DRAWING DIRECTION POWER)

JEET FAAT (INTERCEPTING METHOD) & NA JING (CONTROLLING POWER)

SIM FAAT (EVASION METHOD) & TZO JING (FOLLOWING POWER)

TOU FAAT (EXPELLING FORCE METHOD) & FA JING (EXPLOSIVE POWER)

JIE FAAT (BORROWING METHOD) & TEH JING (BORROWING POWER)

DAI FAAT (GUIDING METHOD) & CHUEN JING (SHORT POWER)

FOU FAAT (FLOATING METHOD) & TI JING (UPROOTING POWER)

CHUM FAAT (COLLAPSING METHOD) & CHEN JING (SINKING POWER)

TUN FAAT (DISSOLVING METHOD) & HO JING (CLOSE UP POWER)

TOR FAAT (DRAGGING METHOD) & JEH JING (TWISTING POWER)

TUI FAAT (PUSHING METHOD) & DOW TIAO JING (VIBRATING BOUNCING POWER)

TUEN FAAT (BREAKING METHOD) & TUAN JING (INTERRUPTING POWER)

JIP FAAT (LINKING METHOD) & JEN JING (ROLLING POWER)

SAAT FAAT (FINISHING METHOD)

Ba Gua

"Fundamental Philosophical Concept"

bagua

bagua

bagua

Ba Gua can be viewed as the most philosophically complex of the internal styles with its focus on movements made as the practitioner moves in a circle around a central point, following the circular motion of yin and yang. Some see it as a magnificent kung fu dance, with then snake like twisting motion of the body swaying to an inaudible beat, but its power, like Xing Yi, is subtle and the application of Ba Gua moves are also highly effective in attack/defence situations. Practice of this style will increase the student’s speed of movement, all over body flexibility, and the high demands of the difficult footwork will improve balance and leg strength.

Xing Yi

"Form and Intention"

xingyi

Xing Yi is one of the three major internal martial arts (Tai Ji, Xing Yi and Ba Gua). It is a very direct style designed to invade the opponent’s space with explosive footwork and combined techniques of attack. One Xing Yi principle states that "on meeting the opponent, movement is like an exploding volcano". Its movements are based on the 5 element fists and 12 animal forms, and while these techniques are taught outside China, Many Kung Fu Schools boast a range of techniques unknown to many Xing Yi practitioners. The style combines external “form” which is technical movement, and internal “Intention” whereby the practitioner focuses the mind, and energy, to direct additional power. On the surface Xing Yi movements do not appear complex, but the source of its power is an ongoing search for the student, and persistent study creates a deeper and deeper understanding of the sublime subtlety of the style. Xing Yi is suitable for students of all levels.