Oct 27, 2010

Wing Chun-White Crane Missing Link Found?

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Wing Chun is said to be an amalgamation of White Crane and Snake kung fu. The link to Fukien White Crane is particularly tantalizing, given Wing Chun shares the same high stances and short bridges. And lately it is noted that name Eng Choon (Yong Chun in Mandarin), a town in the Fukien province of China famous for its White Crane Kung Fu, is Wing Chun in Cantonese.

However, initial travelers to Eng Choon looking for the source of Wing Chun found the kung fu there did not resemble Wing Chun much. But it seems it depends on who one asks. In this video scoop by martial arts researcher Sifu Sergio Iadarola, Sifu Cliff Ip of Hong Kong performs an advanced form of Fukien White Crane called Sap Yee Jeet Lik (possible translation: Twelve Special Forces). If you watch closely, there is a distinct resemblance to Wing Chun's Siu Lim Tao with some Chum Kiu and Biu Jee thrown in.

Related Post: We have also earlier noted a White Crane-Wing Chun link in Yong Chun White Crane

Oct 23, 2010

An Old Master Demonstrates Iron Shirt

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At a Taiwan martial arts gathering, a diminutive old master of "Dharma Hard Qigong" demonstrates iron shirt skills to an earnest Westerner. A couple of points to note here. Taiwan seems to be able to maintain a tradition of holding martial arts exchanges amongst the old masters, a feat seldom reported elsewhere. Also, the master in this demo does not move into the punches to jam them, a shortcut seen in some iron shirt demos.

Oct 17, 2010

Southern Praying Mantis Chi Kung

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To round off this series on Chow Gar Praying Mantis, we have a clip of Grandmaster Ip Shui performing seated Chi Kung (Qigong). Note how Grandmaster Ip beams at the start of the exercise, his fluent movements and the intention (yi) shown with his eyes. Also it might seem he is floating on air but he is probably sitting on a tall stool. Another rare watch from a master from a bygone era.

Related Post: The Three Step Arrow of Grandmaster Ip Shui

Oct 11, 2010

Applications of The Three Step Arrow

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How could the 'jerky' movements seen in the Sam Bo Jin (or Saam Bo Gin) demonstrated by Grandmaster Ip Shui in the previous video be used in combat? This short clip gives a clue, as demonstrated here by Sifu Peter Orum from the Chow Gar Southern Mantis Kung Fu club of UK. The picture in the background is that of Lau Soei, the teacher of Grandmaster Ip Shui.

Related Post: The Three Step Arrow of Grandmaster Ip Shui

Oct 8, 2010

The Three Step Arrow of Grandmaster Ip Shui

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Grandmaster Ip Chee Keung's teacher was his father, the late Grandmaster Ip Shui (Yip Shui). The elder Grandmaster was a member of the fading generation of kung fu masters who learnt their art before WWII, and whose skills are day-and-night different from the present generation of practitioners. Besides being known to be a formidable fighter, Grandmaster Ip Shui was also highly regarded as a healer:
In Hong Kong Grandmaster Ip Shui ran a small Dit Dar clinic in Kowloon city, treating people with fractures, sprains etc. He also treated people with a special skill called 'Wafu' that was taught to him by his Grandfather who lived at the Shaolin Monastery. This skill is unique, no medicines are required, just prayers, a brush and water. He has cured many, from those who could not walk to cancer sufferers and more. He was one of the last to do this special skill in Hong Kong.
In this clip, Grandmaster Ip Shui performs the first form of Chow Gar Southern Praying Mantis, Sam Bo Jin or Saam Bo Gin (possible translation: Three Step Arrow). Unlike the power packed or fast displays of modern practitioners, Grandmaster Ip Shui's version is slower and more gentle, yet hints at power and fluidity. Another gem of a video of an art which is still mainly kept secret by the Hakka community.

Related Post: Grandmaster Ip Chee Keung

Southern Mantis Grinding Arms

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This clip is short in duration, grainy and has poor audio quality (do turn up the volume). But it is quite a gem covering key basics of Chow Gar Southern Praying Mantis' Chy Sao or Grinding Hands (which has little semblance to Wing Chun's Chi Sao or Sticky Hands, though they have similar sounding names). As demonstrated here by Grandmaster Ip Chee Keung.

Related Post: Grandmaster Ip Chee Keung

Oct 4, 2010

Grandmaster Ip Chee Keung

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Grandmaster Ip Chee Keung (Yip Chee Keung), the current lineage holder of Chow Gar Praying Mantis, demonstrates amazing Iron Crotch skills to Chris Crudelli from BBC's Mind, Body and Kick Ass Moves. Chris Crudelli's kicks would have been painful even with a groin guard but Grandmaster Ip takes them in his stride. On a side note, this is what Grandmaster Ip has this to say about his art:
I first noticed that my Kung Fu was improving when my Chy Sau (*an exercise specifically designed to strengthen the bridge in Southern Mantis, and to generate short range shock powers) became very strong. In Chow Gar, the Iron Shirt is generated at the same time as the shock powers. You cannot separate the two - when you have built up your short range powers, you will have also built your Steel jacket. Both are fundamental parts of the Chow Gar system...When you have a high level of Kung Fu, you will develop a deeper understanding [of spirituality]. Poor standards breed arrogance, greed and competition. To become humble and honest is the way of Chow Gar Mantis.
Related Post: Chow Gar Southern Praying Mantis II