Geok Gar Kuen.

November 24, 2007


Geok Gar Kuen or Yue Jia Quan is one of those styles that I knew very sketchily; mostly from old books and magazines that made brief references to it.


Tracing origin back to Yue Fei, personally, I always relate this with northern styles. Of course, the other 2 styles commonly linked to Yue Fei would be Hsing I and Ying Jow both having roles in the armies of historical China.


Then there is also this one old book featuring a form named Yue Fei Quan – the author, again, stemmed from northern pugilism.


When I first heard about a Hakka style with the same moniker, I just didn’t know what to make of it considering that I have never seen anything from this line.


I think it was my White Crane sifu who first mentioned the Hakka Geok Gar and his supposition was that the Hakka were initially from the “central plains”, thought of by many to refer to the harsh northern regions of China. Moving southwards was seeking for more conducive living environments according to many elders that I spoke to.


If they did originated in the north, then it’s rational that Hakka Geok Gar could be an offshoot from something Yue Fei formulated to train his troops.


And that the system should then consist of skill sets signifying northern persuasions.


So meeting Sifu Cheong Hon Heon, one of the very few still able to do Hakka Geok Gar, was a long awaited opportunity.


I got so many questions….


All of which kind of disappeared when I saw him in action; maybe it’s just me but his Geok Gar did show many techniques one would associate with northern folks.


Eeerrrh, northern kung fu done with a Hakka flavor maybe?


Something else very interesting also caught my eyes and that’s the way they open-salute; never seen this done anywhere else before except Malay Silats…


The “touching the chest” gesture is something you expect to see a Muslim do…and most Muslims in China are located in the North …….


Sifu Cheong is another lifelong CKF practitioner and now teacher, still very enthusiastically involved in all sorts of events all over Malaysia.


A food stall operator in the day, he was talking to me about how this generation must buck up to ensure that traditional arts don’t die out.


Many systems are on the verge of dying because of lack of promotion and commitment.


Well, this is one Sifu who is not all talks; he is setting a fine example of what must be done to retain the arts.


To quote someone from a Kung Fu forum;” I will not be the generation to kill the arts.”


Hear hear ……









2 Responses to “Geok Gar Kuen.”

  1. zenmindsword Says:

    But not all the forms used the open hand salute, right? For example in the 1st official listed form in the syllabus, Kum Kong Bo, the salute is the typical hand cupping fist.

    And interestingly, this salute is followed by a movement that is commonly seen in Hakka mantis style – tap, sock, biu backed by tun, tou, fou, chum.

    Plus if whipping is added to the biu motion and blurred to make it more like a palm strike rather than finger strike one might even be reminded of a Fujian White Crane palm movement!

    Good point made about the northern flavor. A number of techniques from the 18 core techniques resemble techniques found in Tong Bei. For example Guan Chui resembles Chung Lan Pao in Tong Bei.

    By the way, Geok Gar is not the way we normally call it. In Cantonese, people like my teacher, the late Cheong Fook (God rest his soul) who taught in Ipoh would call it Ngok Gar Kuen.

    Thanks for the memories of this great art. Wish you good luck in helping to spread it.

  2. eric88ling Says:

    Hi zenmindsword,

    Sifu Cheong Hon Heon is the late Cheong Fook’s son, I believe.

    I will be putting up more materials given by sifu Cheong Hon Heon soon.


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