Chiu Hung Ga School Demo Team
The legend of Shaolin temple (Sil Lum Jee) boxing has spread to all corners of the earth. Two of the most famous of all Chinese boxers having helped to popularize the Sil Lum Martial Arts are the late Wing Chun Grand Master Yip Man and his student of a couple of years the late Bruce Lee. Lee Jun Fan as his name is pronounced in Cantonese is well respected world wide as the founder of "Jeet Kune Do" or "the way of the intercepting fist" as well as the earlier taught, less eclectic and more traditional "Jun Fan Gung Fu".
Wong Fei Hung, China's Celebrated Martial Arts Hero
However, no Chinese martial arts master has been more celebrated then the highly acclaimed Hung Kuen Grand Master Wong Fei Hung. The life of the great southern fist master has been depicted in more then a hundred films and has been portrayed by the very popular Jet Li and Jackie Chan, as well as many other Asian action film stars. The genius of Wong Fei Hung has been encapsulated in his signature creation of the "Fu Hok Suerng Ying Kuen" or "tiger crane double shadow fist" and is preserved in the hand form as it is taught today. One of Wong Fei Hung's top students, Lam Sai Wing, is renowned in the martial arts world for his demonstrations of the Tiger-Crane form, and for writing the definitive textbooks on Tiger-Crane Gung-fu. Hence, his nickname "Fu Hok Sing Sang" or Mister Tiger Crane.
Hung Gar is a Traditional Martial Arts System
Hung Gar is a traditional Chinese Gung-fu system,and is one of the most practiced of the five primary southern Shaolin systems. Hung Gar's origin came from the "fighting monks" of the Shaolin (Siu Lum) Temple in Henan province and was practiced along with Ch'an Buddhism, a hybrid of Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism. As early as 500 AD, Da Mo, a Buddhist patriach from India, taught breathing exercises (Chi Gung) to the monks. This helped them improve their physical bodies so they could endure longer periods of meditation. The breathing exercises evolved into a fluid self defense system that included techniques mimicking five animals - dragon, snake, tiger, leopard, crane. These were developed, in an effort to protect the Henan temple from bandits and invaders.
Jee Shim the Abbot of Shaolin is credited with the origins of Hung Gar
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the Shaolin monks reached the height of their fighting skills, warding off intruders and assisting the ruling sovereignty or the neighboring villages against attackers. This was the last native Chinese empire, and the most fertile period for all the arts. It was also during this time when the majority of fighting styles were developed, including Hung Gar. Jee Shim, an abbot originally from the Henan Shaolin Temple, is given credit for planting the seed of Hung Gar, as well as other traditional systems.