Cheung Yee Keung e il Tit Sin Kuen

Cheung Yee KeungE’ 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.

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Chan Hon Chung: è ora di tramandare quello che mi ha insegnato

Albertro Biraghi e Chan Hon Chung sifuCompio in questi giorni di fine 2016 i 40 anni esatti di pratica dell’Hung Kuen. Ho cominciato nel 1976 a Milano con “Benjamin” Fung Hon, fratello di “George” Fung Kyu, allievo prediletto prematuramente scomparso del maestro Chan Hon Chung. Benjamin mi ha insegnato le prime posizioni e Mui Fah Kuen.

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Hung Kuen: the salute unlocks the breathing secrets

Chan Hon Chung training Tit Sin Kuen“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.

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A great review of my book

Albertro Biraghi e Chan Hon Chung sifu“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.”

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Hung Kuen stances: how to avoid pollutions

chan hon chung In every martial art the forms are basically a symbolic (if not “metaphoric”) way to avoid any contamination, 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.

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Tips for a pure “one finger bridge”

Chan Hon ChungA few words about the “one finger bridge” and the “three extensions”. Back in the days in the Hon Chung Gymnasium in Hong Kong this gesture – so peculiar to Hung Kuen and a significant symbol in the Chinese secret societies tradition – was held in great consideration and trained with care.

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Master Chan Hon Chung, the good masters and the bad masters

Chan Hon Chung 1978Back in the days – late Seventies to late Eighties – when I was spending most of my free time in Hong Kong to learn the Hung style from master Chan Hon Chung, there was no the “lineage” thing, nor there was the rivalry that creates a climate of suspicion and a somehow wary atmosphere in today’s Hung Kuen world. Master Chan was the undisputed noble father of our style and – in many terms – of the Honk Kong Chinese martial arts world. No one questioned his role, after all he was Lam Sai Wing’s best known student and a respected bonesetter, had a four pages business card crammed with “chairman” and “president” titles, a prestigious martial curriculum. And – most of all – to no other kung fu master had been offered the honor of receiving the Medal of Glory and being introduced to Elizabeth II, queen of the British colony of Hong Kong, oddly not hated, if not respected, by the Hong Kong people.

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Hung Ga Story: i miei anni col maestro Chan Hon Chung

Albertro Biraghi e Chan Hon Chung sifu“Check out one of the best Hung Ga Kyun books I had pleasure to read in years (and download a free sample here). Hung Ga Story is a memoir of Alberto Biraghi and his martial arts journey. Alberto studied the traditional Hung Ga Kyun in Hong Kong with the late Grand Master Chan Hon Chung, spending with him more than a month per year from 1977 until the closing of his historic gym at 729 of Nathan Road” (Pavel Macek).

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Spazzatura marziale

Questo non è Hung Gar, è spazzaturaL’altro giorno su uno dei vari gruppi dello stile Hung che si trovano su Facebook un sedicente “maestro di Hung Gar” ha postato questa foto. Sarà sicuramente un grande atleta e uno spaccamontagne, visto che insegna anche arti specifiche di combattimento, ma una cosa è certa: è tutto, tranne che un maestro (ma neppure un “istruttore”) di Hung Kuen.

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Tit Sin Kuen: common errors

Chan Hon ChungI had the honor to learn Tit Sin Kuen, the ultimate form of the Hung Kuen school, 30 years ago from master Chan Hon Chung, in his country house and to refine it with my elder brother Cheung Yee Keung. I kept a daily written trace of what I learned and spent a few hour asking question to master Chan with the help of my elder brother Chan Kwoon Kwok. In my old paper notebook I still have pages of pages of notes, memories, drawings, comments.

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Tit Sin Kuen: forget YouTube and the “workshops”

Chan Hon ChungI see more and more people posting on Fabebook and/or YouTube pictures and videos of themselves engaged in the practice of Tit Sin Kuen. I would like to tell them that this act is wrong, dangerous and not in line with our Hung Kuen tradition.

In the Hung Kuen story, TSK is the last and ultimate form to be learned by a pratictioner. But in the serious schools it is not “taught” (nor it is shown or demonstrated), rather it is “handed down” by the good master – in special circumstances by the elder brother – when he considers that a student has attained a full and deep knowledge of the style.

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I Dodici Ponti dell’Hung Kuen: un po’ di chiarezza

12 bridgesPremessa. Fino a metà anni 2000 ben pochi in Europa avevano sentito parlare di Hung Kuen (letteralmente: il “pugno”, ovvero lo “stile” di Hung) detto anche Hung Gar, la famiglia di Hung (ma a me piace di più “Kuen”, perché per me “famiglia” è la scuola del mio maestro Chan Hon Chung, dove ho vissuto e imparato la disciplina).  Poi, con l’esplosione di Internet, anche le arti marziali si sono aperte al mondo, su blog, video e oggi pagine Facebook. E’ comparso di tutto e di più, un diluvio di informazione con pessimo rapporto segnale/rumore, a causa del quale il lettore meno smaliziato rischia di bersi le sciocchezze che spesso tocca leggere.

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La bufala dell’arte marziale “antica”

Red Cliff - Guan YunIn questo thread ho postato due commenti che mi piacciono, quindi li edito un po’ per per decontestualizzarli e integrarli tra loro e li salvo come nota. Sostanzialmente rispondo a chi sostiene la superiorità delle arti marziali cosiddette “antiche” nei confronti di quelle cosiddette “moderne”. Smitizzo il fine bellico delle arti marziali cosiddette “antiche” e sostengo che le arti marziali si sono sempre evolute con l’uomo e devono continuare a farlo se vogliono sopravvivere. 

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Masters, grand masters, great grand masters…

Master Chan Hon Chung in 1979Westerners who follow the Chinese martial arts, especially those who make a life out of them, are in big troubles with the inflation of the definition “master”. The problem: if you accept that any muscled poser who learned three moves on YouTube or has been photographed in front of a dim-sum calls himself “master”, then you have to find new categories and new hyperboles to define the true masters or even the not-so-bad ones.

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