HUNG GAR KUNG FU
Hung Gar Kung Fu is one of the oldest and most complete styles of Kung Fu still practiced today. Dating back to 17th century China. A monk name Hung Hei Goon developed the style while training at the southern Shaolin Temple in Fujian province. The Shaolin monks were considered a threat to the invading Manchus, and the temple was burnt to the ground. Hung was one of 5 monks to survive the attack and continued to teach Hung Gar in secret to those who sought him out.
Hung Gar is easily recognizable by the hard training, low stable stances, that root you to the ground, powerful strikes and hand techniques that can batter an opponent. Hung Gar is also famous for the 5 animal styles and 23 different weapons systems.
While Hung Gar may appear, at the beginning, to be an external hard system, as students progress, the internal, or “soft”, power development becomes apparent.
The Crane Style imitates a bird preparing to take off or land. Other movements include imitation of a bird standing calmly and gracefully on one leg. The primary weapon of this style is known as the Crane’s Beak. The thumb and fingertips are pressed tightly and used in a pecking motion. Their targets are the eyes, throat, groin and other vital spots.
The Dragon played an important role in Chinese mythology. The different categories of the dragons were heavenly, earthly, treasure guarding, spiritual and imperial. The Dragon style was patterned after the powerful, yet flexible, serpents that emerged from the sea and roamed about in a flowing, twisting manner. One of the Kung Fu techniques was formed after a dragon thrashing its tail and claws. Another technique was formed after a stream of fire omitting from a dragon’s mouth.
Leopard Style practitioners pattern their techniques after the powerful paws of the swift and cunning leopard. The fore knuckles form a striking surface that is used in both horizontal and vertical thrusts. Like the flat-fisted paw of the leopard, the fore knuckle is also used to penetrate small openings.
Snake Style utilizes the practitioners fingers to represent a serpent, waiting for its prey to come within range so it may strike with its poisonous fangs. The forearm is symbolic of a cobra’s curled up body; the flat hand symbolic of a serpent’s head. The extended fingertips are like the serpents tongue, ready to strike at its prey’s eyes or throat.
A Tiger’s ripping claws are the major characteristic of this style. The Tiger’s claw is a combination of an open hand strike followed by the raking of fingertips. The open hand can also be used defensively for shoving your opponent off-balance, or blocking and grasping your opponents limbs. Like most chinese fighting styles, the techniques of the Tiger style are often described in such poetic terms as Black Tiger’s Claws, Wild Tiger Springing from the Hill, The Stretching Tiger, and Tiger Hiding in the Forest.