Happy New Year.

December 31, 2009

It is here folks, 2010 …. whether you like it or not…..

Well, at least you got the license to go out and get drunk and do silly things – eeeerhh, if you are not doing it routinely already.

Its okay, you’re human …..

But remember, if you drive don’t drink and if you drink don’t drive.

You don’t want to be that silly …..

Cheers.

Kun Lun.

December 31, 2009

Still working on my notes on Kun Lun; 2 unconnected sets, one focusing on Daoist Kun Lun and the other, Hakka Kun Lun Pai.

Maybe I should just scan and upload those notes, some of you might be able to make some sense of the “classical” Mandarin used in description but with my moving (yes it is not over), I am lucky to still have my internet connection…..now where is my scanner, which box???

And I was told that they need 7 days to transfer my phone line and internet connection to my new address …… aaarrrrrggghhhh …… 7 days!!! I thought “IT” is all about SPEED!!!

Anyway, here is a short clip showing a couple of Kun Lun techniques. I think this is Daoist Kun Lun.

But I could be completely wrong …… hahahaha…..

Still, very Taiji-ish …. Enjoy…..

3 leggged Tiger.

December 30, 2009

Another remark here, with the mainland now more connected with the rest of the world and easier flow of info, back and forth, many hitherto only read about styles are beginning to come out in many TV programs and d-i-y online video sites.

If like me, you frequent these sites, you will know what I am talking about. Even around here, every Saturday afternoons I was told, there is a “Super SanDa” series that is beamed to this region…now all I need is one of those TV satellite dishes…. You know, those ugly looking thing that I am sure are magnets for lightning …. Nah ….I can live without sanda, super or not hahahaha…..I definitely don’t need to attract lightning…

Annnyway………you often hear the term “village style” being used in forum discussions etc ….and have you ever stop to ask what is a “village style”???

So, I suppose there must be an equal and opposite “city style” for every “village style” mentioned?

Or is this just another way of saying “I have never heard or seen this style since it was never featured in any popular movies, magazines , books and most importantly, it is not on Youtube! And my only knowledge of CKF is delivered in those medias”…… or the term is a convenient category for anything that I know next to nothing about?

Well, every style got to begin somewhere and something tells me it is probably in some quiet environments that the founder can focus on developing his/her art; most movies would have you believe that it is some mountains, temples or in a sparsely populated neighborhood – you don’t need busybodies peeping ……

Ooookay, I am going to stretch and say that most styles had a “humble” village beginning and some take their arts to the big cities, military or other institutions and from them acquire that “city” status and probably, fame and fortune. Other just remained in the communities where they started with no city ambitions – hey to each his own, go with the flow, the way of the Tao blah blah blah…..

My problem is when folks belittle “village” styles; please remember for every city, there must be 10 fold that number of villages.

Again, bear in mind what Bob said:-

Don’t criticize what you can’t understand.

Or worse, something you know absolutely nothing about.

Here from a village style, a form named “3 Legged Tiger”…..

“The Treasure Hunter” .

December 30, 2009

So I managed to catch the movie “The Treasure Hunter” the other night …………….

Action thriller with Jay Chou (the next Kato), filmed in some desert in China and having Lin Chi Ling (eye candy) as the co-star ….. hmmmmm not too bad, not too bad at all…….

Now who is this Lin?

With a face/bod like that, who cares hahahaha……ooops.

Lingnan Hong Quan / Hung Gar.

December 29, 2009

Mention “Hung Gar” or “Hong Jia”, the images evoked; predictably, revolve around Southern Shaolin, Gee Shim, Hong Si Guan, Wong Fei Hung, Lam Sai Weng and “Tiger Crane”, “5 Animals”, “5 Elements 5 Animals”, “Iron Wire” and “Ng Long Pak Kua Kwon”…..

In a nutshell, materials for many Kung Fu movies that flooded the market from the 60s till even today.

Hey, many Asian action movie stars owe their success to “Hung Gar” … so to speak and the audiences, first in Asia and now international, just couldn’t get enough.

Many movies/TV series are still being churned out with “Hung Gar” as the theme.

Even CKF magazines from that era are slanted towards Hung Gar.

So the common perception of Hung Gar is pretty much shaped by these popular medias and it is no question that Hung Gar is one of most popular CKF now.

Then some 15 yrs back I started looking deeper into the correlation between Fukien and Cantonese styles, since every account put most Cantonese styles as offshoots from Fukien sources, and even Hong Si Guan is recorded to be a Fukienese.

My fundamental issue was why most Fukien and Cantonese styles appear so dissimilar in terms of textures and flavors, why the big chasm?

Local evolution or did the history man had it wrong? Compare any Fukien styles with Hung Gar and I think you will see the dilemma.

If the case was local evolution, then there must exist somewhere, a “midway” form that carries the Fukien characteristics.

Look at Zhejiang, the other place where many Fukien styles fled to during the Ching Dynasty and many art forms there still show evidence of Fukien boxing.

And when mainland started opening up, books about Hung Gar started appearing in the market and the first thing I noticed is that their version of Hung Gar is nothing like the Hung Gar that we are all so used to.

And we are not talking one author and one book here …..

This prompted the question in my mind; could the popular Hung Gar be just but one line and there are many that still maintain their Fukien character?

I think this CCTV documentary entitled “Lingnan Hong Quan” answers that amply for me.

An entire small village with some 1000 plus inhabitants all doing the same kung fu, generation after generation and keeping everything unchanged.

They spend 3 years training their stance because to them, all power comes from the legs.

These are folks who do “4 level stances” for up to 1 and half hours at a time ……and the “Hung Gar” they do and have been doing for the last few hundred years …… you tell me……

And listen to the commentary, for the line that says “Most traditional CKF after been brought onto the big screen, have been transformed to the point that the original form is no longer recognizable”.

I find myself agreeing with that entirely….

13 links chain whip.

December 28, 2009

“Spit the spear head, go into a figure 8 flower, catch the spear head and spin around to spit it out again ……………..”

Hahahaha, I started this weapon in my teen years and then gave it up …. Why???

The folly of youth it must be and now, I am totally regretting it.

And already, I am too old a dog to learn anything new ….

Woof woof …… meaow …..hahahaha…

From the horse’s mouth.

December 27, 2009

Another well produced CCTV TCMA documentary and here you’ll see excerpts from the “San Huang Pao Chui” or “3 Royal Cannon Fist” episode.

I really love all these continuing efforts over on the mainland, now that conditions are more liberated, TCMA families are becoming more vocal than during the “Cultural Revolution” era…..

The best part must be all that visiting and interviewing the actual descendants of some of the most well-known CKF systems, you’ll get to hear the genuine histories and mechanisms of the various art forms.

Folks, if you understand Mandarin, you’ll know what I mean and if you don’t, let me just say that much of what is popularly circulated now regarding histories etc etc about CKF is nothing more than just work of fiction.

I am working on the “Hong Jia” or “Hungga” piece that I downloaded and I got to tell you, I am finding out how much of what is known as Hungga is just movie industries’ creative story telling……

This is a topic that was first discussed over a dinner in Penang; the week that Chas and I visited…..

With some 8 CKF masters invited, so what else would we be talking about except traditional kung fu?

One master brought up the subject of authenticities and how these days many are just unethically misleading by calling what they teach “authentic” CKF and using whatever names they feel like.

With the easy access of info online, many are just cutting and pasting and putting their own brew to the public as the original thing; when you ask them for lineages and ancestries, you can bet your last dollar that you either get a lot of smoke or hear their contention that these are irrelevant.

The master then went on to say that if the table was turned like for example you are caught selling Rolex, Nike, Prada or Apple knock-offs, you will be liable for all sorts of violation penalties….as we all know.

So what is the difference, he asked? Who is to say that it is acceptable to just plagiarize cultural identities and not brand names???

And even more disdainful is that now you have some of these cultural counterfeiters turning around challenging the very people who created the art forms for originalities!!!

Picture me going to KFC and telling them I am more “real” because I managed to uncover the Colonel’s secret recipe book he left behind during one of his visits, real or imagined, to Asia…..ludicrous is an understatement here right?

Yet this is happening everyday – go to any forum and some websites and you are going to find all sorts of mavericks telling the world that they know better than the founders and their legit descendants.

Then you also got some who are attempting to “amend” the history of CKF disregarding the fact that they are many writings/documents that are passed down through the centuries within clans and families, something that is still very much alive in proper CKF families everywhere…..

Well, what can I say???

Except maybe that we live in a different time and nothing surprises me anymore, really.

And that I’ll walk my sunlit path and these folks can walk their single-wood bridge …….

Here’s an old pic that you see some White Crane sites displaying……

Folks, many of the descendants of those in the pic are still around and these days, they are making themselves heard.

Red Fist.

December 25, 2009

Hong quan/red fist

History:This is a Northern long fist school that is often synonymous with Shaolin. Its origin is unclear, but some attribute it to Song Taizu, the first Song emperor. Others believe that the word Hong is used because as an analogy to “bright” or “good looking”. Because of this ambiguity and the overlap with the popular Southern style Hung Gar, this has been one of the most muddled terms in Gungfu.

Hong Quan focuses on absorbing the adversary’s energy with a soft outside and a hard inside. Many of its forms are an important part of the Shaolin Temple curriculum. These include xiaohongquan (small red fist), dahongquan (big red fist), zhonghongquan (middle red fist), laohongquan (old red fist), fenhongquan (pink fist), taizuhongquan (first emperor fist), erluhongquan (second form red fist), guangxihongquan (Guangxi province red fist) and changshaohongquan (long and short red fist)…….

This must be my 2nd or 3rd entry about Red Fist, believed by many scholars to be a forerunner in the world of CKF.

There are also those who would tell you that this style is a major source of influence with both Northern and Southern styles stable.

In recent times, with the increasing emergence of info including videos, evaluation is made a whole lot easier; now we can all examine some of the long held viewpoints and theories about Hong Quan.

Personally, after going through quite a bit of Hong Quan books and videos, it’s hard to miss the many commonalties between Hong Quan and many northern/southern styles still in practice today.

One thing for sure, this is a “straightforward” system, with many of their movements you could see the “fight” ……straightaway………….

“Law” family spear.

December 25, 2009

Oooooh, don’t you just love the abundance of TCMA materials that are found over at youku, toudu and 56 ……

If only this phenomenon had started 30 years ago; wishful thinking hahahaha….. (Hey it’s Christmas…) I would have cleared up many of the puzzles that have been irking me all these years. Well, better late than never, I suppose.

Anyway …………..

It was about 2 years ago that I was over at Por Suk’s temple in Penang and after a regular interview session about his Cho Gar Ban Chung Wing Chun, we started talking about histories of TCKF in general.

And the topic of “Mo Suk” families crept into the picture; you know Hung, Mok, Li,Yang, Chong etc etc…

Por Suk told me how the older generations used to connect certain CKF weapons with a particular family; apparently, those families are the acknowledged first-rate practitioners of these weapons so much so that they become “synonymous” with the weapons.

With his typical “sing-song” style of narrating, he started rolling off a poem-like explanation.

“Chan Gar Kwon, Law Gar Cheong, Yu Gar Par ……” and I think there were 8 all in all but he was going so fast that I only caught the those 3.

Also because after that he started doing a little that he knows of Chan Gar Kwon (single head pole), Law Gar Cheong (spear) and Yu Gar Par (tiger fork) so the rest did not really register with me.

It was only after I left Penang and in Kuching that I decided to look up info about the various families and their outstanding weapon expertise.

In an old Hong Kong magazine, I found an article about “Law Gar Cheong” and this proved to be a true fascinating read.

And I remember thinking, how cool it would be if I could see Law Gar Cheong in action …… do I know anyone who might know this spear??? Watching Por Suk little display is just not adequate hahahaha…..at best whetting my appetite.

Spear, after sticks, is the other weapon that I spent enormous time studying and honing and I am constantly on the look-out for more….

Now, thanks to “56”, I have a complete “Law Gar Cheong” form – something that should keep me occupied for a while dissecting ….now how did the Sifu slipped the yang to ying hand before spitting the spear …. Hhhhmmmmm, spear must not leave the body, , body to rise and fall to keep the spear at eyebrow level ….. oooops there goes my holidays…….