This article considers the necessity of a conceptual approach to Hung Kuen forms execution to preserve the purity of the style as taught by master Chan Hon Chung in his gym at 729 Nathan Road. I studied with master Chan from 1977 until the shutdown of the Hon Chung Gymnasium, then in my elder brother Cheung Yee Keung’s clinic. I do not call myself “sifu”, but I recently decided to hand down to a selected number of young friends what I learned and understood in 40 years of daily practice.
You can be European or Chinese, you may have been born 20 years ago or in 1945, you can call yourself a beginner or a “grandmaster”, but if your advanced position is unnaturally low, your hip is open and your back foot points out, you didn’t understood a bit of Hung Kuen (and IMHO of martial arts in general).
I heard of a recent flame about “honour and respect” in Chinese martial arts that hit my Hung Kuen brother Che Kong Mak. According to what I understood, he has been criticized for posting a video of him teaching Hung Kuen kung fu to some Wing Chun students wearing the t-shirt of their school.
Again with this great Hung style performer. In the previous article I explained as this video confirms my theory of of a few movements added by my brother Cheung Yee Keung to Chan Hon Chung’s Tit Sin Kuen just before the first unicorn step. But there’s much more in this performance. Leggi tutto “Wrong stances in Hung Kuen: a priceless secret revealed”
I found a YouTube channel with a few videos of a guy performing the Tit Sin Kuen and some other forms of the Hung Kuen style. His kung fu is 95% similar to the one that my master Chan Hon Chung taught in the late Seventies and early Eighties in the iconic 729 Nathan Road gymnasium in Hong Kong. Leggi tutto “Il Tit Sin Kuen di Chan Hon Chung”
E’ accaduto un evento eccezionale l’altro giorno, perché – almeno da quanto mi risulta – mio fratello maggiore Cheung Yee Keung non aveva mai dimostrato in pubblico il nostro “filo di ferro”. Lo ha fatto pochi giorni fa in occasione della serata di commemorazione del maestro Chan Hon Chung, a cui non ho potuto partecipare perché impegnato con l’evento di Accordo che si svolgeva nello stesso weekend.
In spite of some technical inaccuracies, the article “Exit the Dragon? Kung Fu, once central to Hong Kong life, is waning” (Charlotte Yang, The New York Times, August 22, 2016) describes the profound – not to say epochal – social, economical and cultural changes I recently found returning to Hong Kong 20 years later. From the Lantau airport to the new creative dimsum recipes, from the spread of Korean fashion to the gigantic shopping malls grown everywhere, Hong Kong is not anymore the town I left in the Nineties. Leggi tutto “Keeping the Dragon alive in spite of the Hong Kong Millennials”
Hung Kuen: the salute contains the explanation of the breathing secrets.
“This is a great fact that I am sharing now, for the benefit of whoever wants to get it: in our family’s Hung style breathing in never happens while contracting the muscles or even worse executing a technique. For this reason we do not breath in while pulling the hands, as many people of other schools do.” This phrase written in a previous article produced a significant quantity of messages from students interested in a more exhaustive explanation of the matter.
“In fact, the author seems to make a very pointed argument that Hung Gar is in its essence not a technical system of physical movements, but is instead an expression of culture. He doubts the ability of anyone who was not born within the Chinese language and society to genuinely master the art, let alone teach it. In fact, one cannot help but escape the impression that for him the Chinese martial arts are “authentic” precisely because they emerge from (and ultimately reduce to) an expression of Chinese culture. Still, reading between the lines it seems that he felt that being immersed within his network of Kung Fu Brothers was enough to give him access to some of the inner aspects of the art, and make up for his own lack of deep cultural background.”
Hung Kuen stances: a correct execution is the most important assumtion for the serious student. In every martial art the forms are basically a symbolic (if not “metaphoric”) way to avoid the contaminations, aimed to keep and hand down the set as pure as possible. But every student should know that – albeit in a full respect of the tradition – a significant quantity of realism must be kept in the practice. Master Chan Hon Chung granted a great importance to this realism, that was part of his teaching starting from the stances, the actual pillars of the whole system. Our master always pushed us to keep realism in our practice of the forms, explaining that the Hung style is not about dancing or showing off, but it’s about fighting, for real.