Branches of Hung Gar

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Branches of Hung Gar

Postby Tye Botting » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:17 pm

From the old forums...

Tye Botting
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Branches of Hung Gar
Started at Thu Apr 1 20:02:10 2004 IP199.184.208.111 The various branches of Hung Gar have always interested me - it's fascinating how different yet similar they are, and how some branches have a whole lot of additional material and others concentrate on a core set of 'standard' Hung Gar material (Goun Gee, Lau Gar, Fu Hok, Iron Thread, 5 Elements, Lau Gar stick, etc).

I was wondering where the other material that falls outside the corpus of standard Hung Gar material came from... Was it from other styles? Was it generated by someone in that particular lineage only, so that other cousin lines don't have it? Was it lost in some lineages? Or was it some altogether different method?

I know for styles like Hung Fut, Choy Li Fut, Ng Gar Kuen, etc, there was consolidation of styles (Hung family and Fut family styles for the first; Choy, Li, and Fut families for the second; five separate families for the last, all if I remember correctly...). For Hung Gar, the only consolidation I'm aware of are the two Lau sets that were incorporated into Hung Gar (Lau Gar Kuen and Lau Gar Stick). Was there any other consolidation than that - even if it is in the corpus of standard Hung Gar it would be interesting to know.


Dan S

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #1 Posted at Thu Apr 1 23:15:38 2004 IP204.210.96.119 Which branches, and what stuff?

http://www.forumco.com/hungkuennet/default.asp

Has an active Hung Gar forum.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #2 Posted at Fri Apr 2 02:02:06 2004 IP65.0.42.38 For example, Kwong Wing Lam has the core Hung Gar material, but also Lam Jo's Hung Gar material which is quite extensive in the sheer number and variety of the empty hand and weapons sets. I may have the names wrong, which was why I was asking for more info - I only know that these things exist, not how or why or who.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #3 Posted at Fri Apr 2 04:17:19 2004 IP65.0.42.38 Ah! Now I remember - the branch with the extra forms is "Ha Say Fu" Hung Gar. And actually, it's not so much that there are more forms, but each of the 5 animals portion of the curriculum consists of a separate animal form. There's more info here: http://www.fuhok.com/Hung%20Gar%20History/hasayfu.htm

But I've also seen lots of different performances of the various sets, and many of the Tiger/Crane sets are markedly different from different schools. The Iron Wire set appears to be the most similar amongst the schools. Not sure of the others, but even Lau Gar Kuen seems quite different from school to school.

I'm just curious as to how that all happened, since Hung Gar is pretty well-spread out, but also very well codified and structured. Seems hard to imagine that much difference in such circumstances.

Have you seen many other Hung Gar people? Did you notice the same thing compared with how they do things there at Bucksam Kong's school?


Dan S

Re: Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #4 Posted at Fri Apr 2 04:17:32 2004 IP204.210.96.119

On Fri Apr 2 02:02:06 2004, Tye Botting wrote: (read quoted post)For example, Kwong Wing Lam has the core Hung Gar material, but also Lam Jo's Hung Gar material which is quite extensive in the sheer number and variety of the empty hand and weapons sets.

Have you looked through the lineage stuff at

http://www.hungkuen.net/familytree.htm

It should show some of the big who is connected to who.

Lam Cho, Wing Lam, Buck Sam Kong, Lam Chun Fai, Lam Chun Sing, and Y.C. Wong's Hung Gar should all be very similar (live common ancestor Lam Cho) compared to somebody from a Tang Fong or a Chan Hong Chung or Chiu Kao branch.)

Unfortunatlly in publications, much more time is spent in arguments about what the lineage is and who was the senior student entrusted to carry on the art than in comparisons
of what's different between the schools.


Tye Botting

Administrator

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #5 Posted at Fri Apr 2 04:29:54 2004 IP65.0.42.38 Cool lineage. I'd like to see an extended one, but Lam Jo had like a bazillion students so that makes it hard.

Did you check out my link about the Ha Say Fu Hung Gar?


Dan S

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #6 Posted at Fri Apr 2 04:36:13 2004 IP204.210.96.119 My most non-Buck Sam Kong Hung Gar person was John P. I've noticed some transition changes between what John taught and what I get here but the KGFFK seemed really close to the same. Here I can see some inside the school drift once in a while but nothing really major.

I've heard there are some branches that split the forms up (a la Tan Tui
or Daun Chuan) and reordering during
reassemblage may be part of that.
The empy hands vs double daggers set that is taught here is the second half of spear vs daggers (apparentlly
teaching a form with somebody poking a stick at your eye and hoping you dodge is considered a bit too dangerous.)

I've also seen that demo/competition sets have lots of liberties/bonus movements thrown in. I could see how that would happen a lot from the descriptions of the various masters above (deviating the style to keep the interest of a young student or attract more students.)


Dan S

Re: Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #7 Posted at Fri Apr 2 04:40:21 2004 IP204.210.96.119

On Fri Apr 2 04:29:54 2004, Tye Botting wrote: (read quoted post)Cool lineage. I'd like to see an extended one, but Lam Jo had like a bazillion students so that makes it hard.

Did you check out my link about the Ha Say Fu Hung Gar?

Yes. I bet that's a whole other kettle of fish. Imagine if the government got overthrown and had to run away and teach in private out in some small village. I bet you'd make your signature sets look all different. happy


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #8 Posted at Fri Apr 2 04:53:51 2004 IP65.0.42.38 Now that you've been training in Hung Gar for awhile (2 years now right?), I'm curious what you think of the final quote on that page...

"It is believed that Ha Say Fu Hung Gar may be the closest style to what the monk Gee Sin Sim See practised. Ha Say Fu is deeply rooted in traditional Shaolin/Sil Lum. If indeed Ha Say Fu Hung Gar was the original style of Gee Sin Sim See, records have been lost, it was far too long ago and was not properly documented. Ha Say Fu's lineage is very cloudy and most of the tree was lost."

Not getting political at all - I'm just crious aout these things. In fact, I still like Wing Lam's movements the best, of those that I've seen in motion (have only seen Kong in an old book of his on the Tiger/Crane sparring set - which incidentally is the 5th form I ever learned; unfortunately I lost it as I moved away from Malaysia before I had worked it enough to keep it).


Dan S

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #9 Posted at Fri Apr 2 05:26:05 2004 IP204.210.96.119 I figure if it was good enough for the Hero Wong Fei Hung, it's good enough for me.

Actually, since my current training is a Choi Li Fut/Hung Gar hybrid, I don't know that I'd be that well qualified to argue with the Ha Say Fu folks.

I like the way Eugen Ho moves and teaches. I've had a seminar with Buck Sam Kong and gotten to be the demo guy for a few moves, and he's quick and very well rooted. I find the infighting about what the "real style" is annoying. It could be less so it the
arguments were based on what the style/applications were rather than who trained with who.

I suspect that style drift probably happens more when you don't have a good reference (written or film) and since Lam Jo did a good job recording what he did and he trained in one style from a very early age I feel the stuff I do has less drift than something that may have gone through twice as many instructors in the same time period.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #10 Posted at Fri Apr 2 06:05:55 2004 IP65.0.42.38 Seriously, I didn't realize there actually was infighting about which was the "real" style - I thought that was reserved mainly for our Wing Chun brethren (no offense folks, just poking fun). I just like to see the interconnectedness and meanderings - they all have good reasons, so my interest is not in the legitimacy of one over another, but simply how they all relate, what influences there were, etc, etc. It actually hadn't occurred to me that there would be any posturing about lineage and 'realness' and all that - I figured that HG folk were somehow more noble than that (HG always struck me as an extremely noble, salt-o-the-earth style; possibly because that was the first style I ever trained in and my sifu was just a good solid person).

Choy Li Fut is another interesting style - and tons and tons of forms. Mainly northern in actual material, but a uniquely southern style nonetheless. Lots of good kung fu'ers before you have trained both HG and CLF, and it seems to be a good match.

That kind of thing happens a lot with some other pairs as well: Bajiquan/pikuaquan, xingyiquan/dachengquan, baguazhang/bajiquan, any tanglang with any other tanglang. wink


Dan S

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #11 Posted at Fri Apr 2 06:25:06 2004 IP204.210.96.119 Having to do stuff like:

http://www.hungkuen.com/news-jointstat.htm

And looking at various HG schools and seeing who they trace their training through, and who considers who their equal student vs senior student, semi-instructor stuff happens all the time.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #12 Posted at Fri Apr 2 15:24:39 2004 IP204.196.55.102 I'm with you - it's more than annoying; it's downright distasteful. The jockying for position part - the info part if just for edification is just fine. When it comes down to the end, every style started out as just someone's take on what they knew...


Dan S

Re: Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #13 Posted at Fri Apr 2 17:51:11 2004 IP204.210.96.119

On Fri Apr 2 06:05:55 2004, Tye Botting wrote: (read quoted post)
Choy Li Fut is another interesting style - and tons and tons of forms. Mainly northern in actual material, but a uniquely southern style nonetheless. Lots of good kung fu'ers before you have trained both HG and CLF, and it seems to be a good match.


Have you seen schools outside the Buck Sam Kong line that do CLF and HG together? I'd be interested in looking at their ciriculums.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #14 Posted at Fri Apr 2 18:48:42 2004 IP204.196.55.102 Not whole schools, but I know that lots of HG people also learned CLF, including Wing Lam. Even my first teacher in Malaysia had done some CLF, but concentrated mainly on his HG.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #15 Posted at Wed Apr 14 19:03:18 2004 IP204.196.55.102 BTW, Dan, what material are you working on now in your training? And how many years has it been with that school now - enough that you now are further along there than you got with me yet?

Also, what kind of stuff are they having you teach? KGFFK? LG? Weapons? Any cool drills from HG you'd care to share? (you know how I love any and all 2-man contact drills!)


Dan S

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #16 Posted at Wed Apr 14 21:59:24 2004 IP204.210.96.119 Right now the new stuff is Fo Chin, Empty hand vs double dagger, and staff sparring.

I've been here a little over 2 years, and I'd
have to say I'm still primarlly a Tye's Kung
Fu guy (6 years with you and John P.)

I've done some helping with Chin Yin, their broadsword set and some Siu Mu Fah and Lau Gar, but there are only 2 or 3 students junior to me that show up in the morning. Today we had 6 students and Si Fu Eugene Ho. Years at the school for the students were 21, 20, 20, 9, 7, and 2. When we do 2 person drills and application stuff, they turn to me to show off locks and takedowns. A lot of folks have prior training and will do a little chunk on that once in a while.

We do some claw/trap drills out of GFFK that feel a lot like the arnis open hand stuff. I'd like to get back in the next couple of years and do Siu Mu Fah matching (lots of good arm smashing) and go over LG GFFK FH LG and FH matching with you and John and any of your other HG guys that want to see how they compare with what you know. I'll need to see what finances look like after we get sent to Okinawa to get the time table for that.


Tye Botting
Administrator

Re: Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #17 Posted at Fri Apr 16 16:37:45 2004 IP204.196.55.102

On Wed Apr 14 21:59:24 2004, Dan S wrote: (read quoted post)I'd like to get back in the next couple of years and do Siu Mu Fah matching (lots of good arm smashing) and go over LG GFFK FH LG and FH matching with you and John and any of your other HG guys that want to see how they compare with what you know. I'll need to see what finances look like after we get sent to Okinawa to get the time table for that.

That'd be great. And I'd even try my best not to move like a northern stylist... grin

You need to see some of those HG vids I have - I'd love to hear your take on them now that you've been at a HG/CLF-specific school for a couple of years. Not only the Wing Lam ones, but also the demos of various HG schools doing things like Fu Hok, Iron Thread, and 5-Element Fist, and such. Some were really impressive, some were less so, IMHO.


Geoff Rogers

Re: Branches of Hung Gar
Reply #18 Posted at Mon Jun 14 13:51:32 2004 IP203.59.200.101 Ok, so I got bored, and figured I'd finally come and check out the forum here again and pay attention to something other than the Off Topic folder. First time I'm in here, and whaddayaknow... an interesting topic of discussion.

I'm not sure that I can be of much help, but I'll chuck my two cents in anyway.

I don't know what lineage my HG teacher was, except that I recall some references to Canton, so that may or may not be a clue. I only actively trained with him for about 2 years (and we won't get into why that situation changed, beyond saying that people who make statements like "martial arts makes you a nice, law-abiding happy person" are talking out of an orifice other than the one designed for it)... I know he was taught by a guy called Mike in England, who was in turn taught by some whacky old Chinese guy (sounds much like a cliched movie script when you hear the story, but I have no real reason to disbelieve it).

Anyway, here's what I know he personally taught:

He would start every new student off with something he called "Baby Form".. it wasn't anything very interesting, just a very basic short form to give the student some idea of the movement involved and to give James (my teacher) some idea of how they would cope.

Next he almost always put you on to "Taming the Tiger".. consists of over 2500 individual moves and takes a ridiculous amount of time to play out the entire thing... most people fall down and throw up the first time they play it out entire. I learned less than 1/3, probably less than 1/4, and I'll be blowed if I can remember much of it at all these days. I don't know how close it is to the stuff other lineages do, but I do know that very few people actually finished the entire thing.

While you were doing TtT, James would evaluate the way you trained and the way you moved, and decide what he was going to have you specialise in. Everyone specialised in one thing, for the most part.. and that generally meant one form.

Here's the list of forms I know he taught:
TtT
(Five Animals):
Crane
Snake
Leopard
Dragon

I think he did a Tiger/Crane one.

Monkey:
Standing/Tall Monkey
Lost Monkey
Stone Monkey
(I believe he knew the other 2 of the standard 5, but I never saw him teach them)
Monkey Sword (double-edged broad sword - like a Taiji sword)

Wing Chun (first form, whatever it's called)
Butterfly knives

Lau Gar
An empty hand set
Lau Gar sword form (Horse-cutter Sword)

Crimson Fist

Butterfly Palm

Some Bak Mei stuff (he swapped the Butterfly Palm form for a Bak Mei one, at some stage, apparently)

Drunk Eight Immortals:
Lan Tsai Huo (Drunken Lunatic) (My specialist form)
The guy with the flute (Han?)
The guy with the pot
One other I can't remember off the top of my head (empty hand)
Drunken Dao (Lady Ho's sword form I think... I only learned about 1/3 of it)

Some Preying Mantis form he'd picked up somewhere. (Nasty sweeping kicks in that thing)

Iron Wire/Thread

I seem to recall he also had the Five Elements in there somewhere, but bear in mind he's the only person I've ever come across who has been able to teach what seems to be real, nasty, heinous Drunk 8 Immortals who also advocates drinking while training.. I was too busy trying to get the hang of that to really pay full attention to anyone else's woes.

That's all that comes to mind at the moment. I don't know where the Wing Chun entered the lineage, but I do seem to recall something being said that indicated that it was pre-Yip Man.. I can't swear to that, so don't quote me.

The D8I stuff was apparently brought in by either Wong Fei Hung or Wong Kei Ying (Fei Hung's dad). The Monkey stuff may have been of similar vintage. James never learned the whole of the D8I stuff, but what he did have he seemed to have down pretty well, and loved it, being disappointed that he found so few suited to actually learning and using it. I'm not exactly a master in the stuff I did, so don't expect me to be demonstrating any hot drunken stuff any time soon.

Anyway, I think that's about it for the moment, and I have to go to bed. As i said, this may not be any help at all, or even of much interest, but what the heck, I'll put it out there for you in case.
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