Kung FuIn the West, “Kung Fu” is the generic term applied to the many diverse styles of hand to hand and weapon martial art systems originating from China. Since the beginnings of time human beings across the globe have developed ways to fight for self defense/ warfare and sport alike. Up until the relatively recent introduction of modern weapons much of the focus was on dealing with edged / blunt weapon and unarmed combat, some Western martial art examples are boxing, wrestling and fencing.
In this respect the Chinese were no different than their counterparts in the rest of the world but the rich culture and traditions of the region resulted in a unique approach to the development of the martial arts. In The East a greater emphasis was placed on developing the whole person in Body Mind and Spirit and attaining mastery of Kung Fu was akin to reaching an enlightened state of being. Over time many different arts emerged, often developed to combat and outdo the styles, tactics and weapons already in existence, much like the modern day global arms race.
Chinese Kung Fu is generally classified into Northern or Southern and External (hard) or Internal (soft) styles depending on regional origins and philosophical concepts employed. In reality all these styles contain External and Internal training methods but are categorized on which traits are developed first. For example some would say the Shaolin styles are hard or external because in the beginning they focus on developing the body by conditioning the tendons, muscle and bones. In comparison the Wudang styles e.g. Tai Chi Chuan, focus first on improving the health of the internal organs by developing the flow of “Chi” throughout the body.
At the Hung Fa Kwoon of Arizona the primary system taught to our adult members is Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Kuen. This Wing Chun Kung Fu System is a Southern Chinese close quarter combat art that is considered neither hard nor soft but rather is focused on structure and energy, either on or off.
The Kung Fu taught in the children’s program is a blend of styles that were derived from the “martial arts” practiced at the Northern and Southern Shaolin Temples in China. Our progressively challenging curriculum (with goal setting and rank testing) is designed to develop and hone leadership and self –defense skills in a fun, nurturing environment.
Wing Chun Kung FuTraditionally, Wing Chun kung Fu, due to the nature and reason for its creation was a closed door system and was practically unknown to the public up until Ip Man began teaching the art in Hong Kong in the 1950’s. Soon thereafter his students started making a name for the style in the Gong Sau or “talking hands” challenge matches popular between different styles of kung fu at that time.
Wing Chun Kung Fu has since been popularized in the media in latter portion of the 20th century through Ip Man’s famous student and actor Bruce Lee of “Enter the Dragon” fame, the first public figure to bring the world’s attention to this dynamic close quarter fighting style. Most recently Robert Downey Jnr. has featured the style in the latest Sherlock Holmes movies and many other actors in between have portrayed the style in a multitude of large and small screen productions. The steadily growing Interest in this Chinese martial art contributed to the making of the popular movies about the life of Ip Man, Bruce Lee’s Sifu (teacher) featuring Donny Yen. Currently the vast majority of Wing Chun practitioners around the globe today stem from the Ip Man lineage.
However, this huge interest and popularity has led to much research into the roots and origins of the Wing Chun system and subsequently to other less publicized branches of the Wing Chun family tree being revealed.
When creating the Wing Chun system the designers had a paradigm shift, taking a departure from the typical martial arts styles derived from observing the movements of animals fighting, or those that focused on creating technique to combat technique. Instead they were looking to create the ultimate hand to hand combat system based on human physiology, to achieve maximum efficiency in combat through economy of motion. In doing so they took into consideration universal scientific principles, the laws of Gravity, Time, Space and Energy as their guidelines. The end result is a unique system that is concept and principle driven rather than technique driven that does not rely on strength and speed. When the lessons of these concepts and principles are fully absorbed and applied by the student, a person of smaller or weaker stature is able to overcome a larger stronger adversary.
Hung Fa Yi Wing ChunThis website and our school the Hung Fa Kwoon of Arizona are dedicated to a branch of Wing Chun that has until recently remained out of the public eye. The Wing Chun that is taught at the Arizona Kwoon is Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Kuen a unique system of Wing Chun that has been passed down through eight generations as a closed door system until the current lineage holder, Grandmaster Garrett Gee opened up the art to the public. After deep contemplation and in his desire to preserve this treasure of the martial arts for future generations, Grandmaster Gee made a decision to pass on his knowledge to any genuine martial artist that truly identifies with this unique martial art system and its teachings.
The fundamental concept that truly makes the Hung Fa Yi system unique and differentiates it from other branches of the Wing Chun family or any other martial art for that matter is the Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Formula 1-2-3-4-5-6. This formula and corresponding drills expresses Hung Fa Yi Centerline, Two Line, Three Point One Line, Four Gate, Five Line and Six Gate theories. Accompanying the formula are a set of reference points, the “Sup Ming Dim” (10 Bright Points) that are used to precisely align the toes, knees, hips, elbows and wrists via height, width and depth for the strongest possible structures in three dimensional space. The Formula and reference points are the foundation of the system and the focus of the Siu Nim Tau (Little Idea Beginning) level of study. This spatial and structural knowledge along with exploration of the cause and effects of time and energy in relation to a second object are the key to achieving maximum efficiency in hand to hand combat.
The Concepts and principles that make up Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun are supported by a rich traditional culture, history and philosophy and are integral to making it a complete martial arts system. There is much more than just the physical aspect of the system for the student to explore and understand whilst training.