Articles – More Information About CLF

- Inside Kung Fu Magazine: “Hall of Pain”
- Insdie Kung Fu Magazine: “Kung Fu’s Complete System”
- Body conditioning – The Iron Body Path:Get the fists and shins of steel
- The System of Choy Lee Fut
- The Weapons of Choy Lee Fut

 


 

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Body conditioning – The Iron Body Path:
Get the fists and shins of steel

From an early stage in your training you should start the body conditioning some time referred to us iron palm or iron shirt training. As you grow in muscular strength you must also ensure that you have conditioned your muscular – skeletal system to deliver and take strong blows. Seen many a student that have not paid attention to body conditioning and when they throw a punch in the street or school fracture and damage there hands/ shins etc….Here some tips to start you off with. There is no magic potions just a strick regime and attention to your body signs. Seek professional advice at all times prior to starting your training. If you have Rheumatiod arthritis history in your family then you need to explore other options to body conditioning.

1. Increase the circulation of your blood via a warm up that makes you start to pespire. Increased oxygen intake in the blood is the start

2. Respect your skin type and its potential to soften when you sweet and so easily tear when you strike or graze the bags. So take it easy when you start the training.

3. Wash you hands/arms/shins in the dit ta jow to enhance circulation and slightly drying the skin prior to the pounding. Remember that many Tit Da jows are different and many are just commercial rubbish and have little sustained treatment properties. Be ware that you need herbs that can be absorbed into the fascia and have stimulant properties that work on the muscular skeletal system with a localised effect and no potential systemic reactions. What I mean by this is I saw a student once start the training with a video course and tit da jow and he presented in the clinic with clear syptoms of infection of both hands. Any way spent a week in the hospital with blood poisioning. Consult a professional licenced herbalists at all times or konw where the stuff is coming from.

4. For hand work train with the power grips for a warm up or a wrist weight to build strength of the wrists as the pouding will jarr the smaller bones of the hand . Start with pounding of the area on a firm but loose bag of beans/rice/punching bag/ bamboo sticks. Avoid heavy pounding until you have built up the muscular skelatal strength of the area. It is suggested that you use both fixed and free moving bags to avoid early injury to the not so denses fibres of the muscles and tendons. Use the tit da jow very generously to assist in the localised effects of the tit da jow. Work about 10 mins per area. Avoid lacerations to the skin at all times. You will feel a swelling or balloning of the hand /foot or body part. This is the bodies reaction to trauma and protects itself by increasing the density of the soft tissue at the localised area. Stop and soak the parts in the jow for 5 mins. Finish with a exercise to stimulate blood flow to the area you worked on.

5. Continue to perform strenghtening of the ligaments(joins bone to bone) and tendons muscle to bone). Hand grips, wrist wheel, body pole rolls, sinue exercises……… calf raises duck walking…. At the same time move up to firmer but still flexible material in the bags such as sand/ loose small sized blue gravel/ mixture of husks and gravel or beans. No need to take great leeps as everyone reacts at diffferent pace to the training. Continue to use both static and dynamic bags to hit. Keep the generous use of the tit da jow on the parts. Remeber to clean your hands with an alcohol based solution twenty minutes after training to remove the residue and avoid it entering your eyes or other sensitive areas. As well as disinfect any lacerations that may have occurred because you did not listen and you pounded to hard!!!!!! Blood poisioning will finish your limbs people!!!!!

6. If you do not feel an obvious increase in the size and strength of the area do not proceed to pounding the hard metal fillings or kicking those wooden poles…etc…. You are simply not ready. There is no rush you can stay at the previuos level for years. When ready move to the harder but still flexible materials. Once callous has form on the surface of the Facia then you can start to pound the harder static stuff but remember that as you grow older the bones become less dense and prone to fracture. Ensure that your training incorporates good ligament strenghthening to avoid the sprains and strains that we all experience. Any good physio will tell you the exercises you need if ou have weak joint syndrome. Using Tit da jow should remain a practice after most trainings that involve heavy bag work or wooden dummy work. This is where Tit da jows differ. Those that are good will continue to envoke reactions of the muscular skeletal system that enhance blood flow and the bodies natural healing process. The others just smell and have little or no affect. If you experience prolonged pain or sweeling after each training it may be due to a useless Tit Da jow.

The dynamic wooden dummies of Choy Lee Fut enable the student to train the regime of body conditioning at the same time of enhancing your fighting skills. There are but a few kung fu styles that incorporate this type of trainining. We have 18 great body conditioning dummies. This sites talks about the wooden dummy training of Choy Lee Fut in its Article section under the Master class heading.

Hope this helps out some of you.
Ma Wai Lung

THE SYSTEM OF CHOY LEE FUT TRANSLATED FROM NOTES BY MASTER CHEN YONG FA

Author: Lane Louie

There are a total of 148 forms in the choy lee fut system. These are subdivided into 3 levels: primary, secondary and tertiary. Apart from the fist forms, there are also weapons as well as 18 different types of dummies, which are also divided into these 3 categories of primary, secondary and tertiary. Even lion dance routines are another category of the choy lee fut system.
Each category is further subdivided into “soft”, “hard”, external, internal, long, short, and medium ranges for the weapons categories.
In the primary level fist forms, there are 10 forms, these are:

1.”ng lun ma” ( 5 wheel horse)
2.”ng lun choy” ( 5 wheel fist)
3,”siu moi fa kuen” ( small pum blossum fist)
4.”siu sup ji kuen” ( small cross form)
5.”sup ji jit fu kuen’ ( cross blocking tiger form)
6.”peng kuen” (level fist form)
7.”peng jang kuen’ ( level elbow form)
8.”tet ji cheung kuen” ( iron arrow long form)
9.”kung jl fook fu kuen” ( subjuing the tiger form)
10.”sup jl kou da kuen” ( cross pattern fighting form)

At the primary level the first type of techniques are “oi lem sou” or external hands. These are “long external hands” which are predominant in the above forms. The main type of techniques are the “long gwa chui’s, cheung gnarn chui’s, sol chui’s etc. There is a lot of importance placed at the primary level in training the various “horse stance” fundamentals to enable the choy lee fut practitioner to be able to fully utilise and harness all the power generated not only by the stance work but also to use the waist and co-ordinate the “whole body” into one effective unit.

Each form at the primary level teaches the choy lee fut practitioner to target specific areas as well as use particular techniques. Even the direction in which a form is executed has “specifics”. The way power is generated ~ different in certain forms

For example in “siu moi fa kuen” the movements are mainly in a linear direction and the techniques targeted are: “charp chui, chen ji, biu jong, dert jeung.

The power is generated by fast and flowing movements eg.-

1. “siu sup ji” again the main techniques are: “chen ji, biu jong, cup chui, sol chui”; “jet fu kuen”: “chen ji, pek chui, biu jong, chet kiu; “peng jang’: “loy yum,cheung gnarn chui,charp chui, and the main emphasis or target area is the “middle section”.
2. “tet jin cheung kuen” teaches maneuverability in using the left and right feet as well as single foot movements.
3. “sup ji kou da kuen’ places emphasis on the following techniques: “cheung gnarn chui,charn jeung,pow jeung, jin ji.
4. “kung gee fook fu” targets the “fu jow (tiger claw), cup chui, gwa chui and poe chui”.

Apart from the fist techniques, there is also emphasis on different stance work within the forms. In the “short forms” of choy lee fut, different forms highlight “particular stances, for example in “peng kuen” the main points are the “tun ma”(swallow), “tol ma (forward bias horse stance) as well as teaching how to “slide” using the horse stance. The horse stance is also “broken down” into “high and low” stances as well as allowing mobility in both offensive and defensive modes. In each of these modes, the use of the “horse stance” allows the practioner to develop and utilse the power differently. For example when on the offensive, using the” tol ma” technique the power is projected forward, whereas when in the “retreat” mode using “tun ma” or “deel ma” the power is still projected forward but the amount of power generated from the stance is inherently different.
Even the way techniques are executed are trained differently. What this means is the way power is generated and applied. For example in” peng jang’ (level elbow) the power is fast, flowing and strong, in “kung gee fook fu’ the power is strong and slower. Even the energy levels vary from form to form. For example in the “short forms” there is often a “burst” of continuous energy whereas in the “long forms” one must learn to “pace” oneself and train for “endurance” rather than outright speed. At all times one must remember that all the forms are teaching one how to practice for “combat”.
At the secondary level, there are a total of 13 fist forms. These are:

1.”sze mourn kiu jo sarng ma ( 4 door bridging, running the live horse)
2.”sup baat lohan kuen’( 18 lohan hands -internal clf form.
3.”jor yol dan keuk kuen” ( left & right alternating Single leg form)
4.”oi lem bic da soy sou ying yang kung”(External yin yang sticky exercise for close fighting and hand breaking)
5. “dai bagua kuen” ( large bagua fist form)
6. “siu bagua kuen’ ( small bagua fist form)
7. “moi fa bagua kuen” ( plum blossum bagua fist form)
8. “dat ting bagua kuen”(Achieving Harmony Bagua fist form)
9. “yee jong bagua kuen”(Strong Righteousness Bagua fist form)
10.”hun yun bagua kuen’(bear man bagua fist form)
11. “dou fu bagua kuen”(fighting tiger bagua fist form)
12.”ng ying bagua kuen’(5 animals bagua fist form)
13.”bagua sum”( the heart of bagua fist form)

At the secondary level ,the practitoner begins learning “noi lem sou” or internal hands. Techniques that fall into this category are elbows, knees or what is generally known as “2nd and 3rd gate” techniques. Also more emphasis is placed on the “bagua” techniques and forms.

.The bagua forms and training also help the choy lee fut practitioner to be able to effectively change not only the direction of “attack” but also the “angle” of attack on 3 different planes. In the primary levels, most of the forms are executed in either a “linear” direction or a “cross pattern”. The “bagua’s work on the 8 directional changes as well as 3 different’ planes’. The “planes” are divided into 3 levels, these are upper, midsection and lower levels. At this level there is also more emphasis placed on speed and the correct execution of techniques relative to directional changes. Having already “mastered” the basic techniques at the “primary levels”, the secondary level technique training teaches how to quickly alternate between various techniques and to effect directional changes. For example a straight line or linear technique such as “cheung gnarn chui” executed in the “jee ng ma” stance which targets the head area, is easily changed to a “horizontal back fist or “dart chui” which is known as a spinning back fist by utilising the “kwai ma” stance in conjunction with the turning of the waist. If one then again utilises the waist and “unwinds” the waist another “dart chui” technique can easily be utilised, this can then be followed by a “dang charn. Geuk’ or reverse spinning push kick as the weight is transferred onto the front leg allowing one to make use of the “spare leg” to execute the “dang charn geuk’ or even a “au sol geuk” (spinning hook kick).

 

The Weapons of Choy Lee Fut

By Sifu Lane Louie (CLFma.com)
This category also includes several types of spears such as the shadow spear(ying cheung), double headed spear(seun tau cheung), snake hand spear ( seer sou cheung), hooked spear. Other long range weapons are the various types of “big knives” or “dai do”. Some of these are the kwan do, nine ring kwan do( gau wan dai do), choy bak do, 7 star knife(chut sing do), big knife ( dai do), pu do. Several farmers type implements also fall into this category. Some of these are 9 teeth rake ( gau gna pa), iron hoe (cho tau), fork or trident (pa). As well as the above ,several ‘fork’ type weapons (pa) are also in this category. these include the heavenly combat fork ( fong tien jeun) golden fork(gum gong pa), this group also includes some buddhist type implements such as the copper hammer ( hoong chui) and the lions ball (se kau). The founder of Choy Lee Fut chan heung also hand a special variation which combined a lot of the above weapons called the nine dragon fork (gau lung pa).

Mid range weapons in Choy Lee Fut consist of the following:- the darn do, finger sword(sou ji do), waist sword(yiu do), horse sword (ma do). These are but a few of the mid range weapons which also include the ‘swords’ or gim. Chinese generally classified a darn do type weapon as a knife rather than a sword as generally accepted in the European terminology as a knife only had one cutting edge. Swords (gim) on the other hand had two cutting edges. Swords were further subdivided in the Choy Lee Fut system into ‘hard’(gnargn) or soft (yuen) categories. ‘Hard’ swords are ‘green dragon sword’(ching lung gim), tamo gim ( bodhidharma sword). an example of the ‘soft’ sword is the plum blossom sword{moi fa gim). Other ‘mid range’ weapons are the bench(wang tau daang) ‘butterfly hooks also commonly known as tiger hooks(wu sou au), ‘hammers’ (le chui), a weapon called the “gaan’, axes (bu tau). Short or close range weapons include the fan ( fei lung sen) and daggers.

Amongst the flexible weapons in the Choy Lee Fut system are the 9 section whip ( gau ji pen), rope dart(fei to),3 section soft whip (sarm ji yuen pen). Flexible weapons such as the 9 section whip was made up of 9 steel links with a pointed barb on one end. This would enable its user to overcome an opponent by whipping the weapon forward, the quickly retracting it for multiple strikes.

Double weapons include broadsword( seun darn do), double gim ( seun gim), double hammers ( seun lui chui), doble axes( seun bu tau), double hooks ( wu sou au), double 9 section whips ( gau ji pen), double dish shields ( seun dip pal) and double tiger head shields ( fu tau pal). Another special weapon in Choy Lee Fut is the throwing knives.

First category weapons such as the pole group are also divided into single headed ( dan tau) and double headed ( seun tau), hard and soft. The single headed pole generally referred to is usually tapered, whereas the double headed pole in Choy Lee Fut has a parallel shaft. The reason why the pole is the first weapon taught in the Choy Lee Fut system, apart from the legacy of famous shaolin pole techniques, is that the student must first strengthen up the wrist and forearm and train all techniques developing power utilising the various ‘horse stance”. If the wrists are not ‘conditioned’, there will be no power to utilise the techniques at more advanced levels of weapons training. Also most of the later Choy Lee Fut “pole ‘ type weapons such as the spear, kwan do,etc. have techniques based on the fundamental pole techniques. The pole can be utilised as a single headed weapon or a double headed weapon. Spear techniques are also derived from the pole. In Choy Lee Fut all spear forms are really called spear poles. Whereas the pole is generally regarded as a ‘hard’(yang) weapon, the spear is ‘soft’ (yin). Movements with the spear are executed with ‘yin. power. This is power that is developed by very fast movements akin to a bullet i.e. high velocity generates power. Even though the spear, is basically a pole with a sharp barb on one end, it also uses the single and double headed techniques from the fundamental pole.

Even the heavy weapons such as the gau wan dai do and kwan do (9 ring type kwan do) utilises pole techniques. These weapons also have a large knife blade which can be used to cut, slash, hack and stab. As with the primary forms in Choy Lee Fut such as 5 wheel horse (ng lun ma) and 5 wheel fist ( ng lun chui), the principles found in these two fundamental forms are also used in weapons training. 5 wheel horse trains the student to move in a linear direction before moving to more circular movements later on in 5 wheel fist(ng lun chui). The principles are also passed on to weapons levels i.e> linear to circular. For example the first weapon taught in the Choy Lee Fut weapons system, single and double headed pole( seun gaap dan tau gwan), teaches the practitioner linear (single headed pole) techniques, then progresses to circular (double headed pole) techniques. This basic weapon also utilises the bagua techniques of the Choy Lee Fut system. i.e. 8 directions. This is a fundamental principle of all Choy Lee Fut techniques whether training ‘empty hand sets’ or using weapons. There are about fourteen different pole/spear forms underlying the importance of the shaolin pole.

Mid range weapons such as the ‘darn do’ or sabre also use the bagua techniques in the Choy Lee Fut system. The ‘darn do uses more elbow, shoulder movements to slash, cut, slice and hack whereas the gim is more refined in that mainly wrist movements are used. These techniques initiating from the wrist are used to allow the gim to penetrate vital organs and accurately pinpoint pressure points to overcome the opponent. Most mid range weapons in Choy Lee Fut embody techniques from either the ‘darn do’ or the ‘gim’. Included in this category is a weapon called the ‘gaan’. When using this weapon, techniques are called upon from many of Choy Lee Fut’s other weapons such as the ‘ darn do’ ‘gim’ and short pole ( chai mee gwan or monkey pole).

Close range weapons such as the fan originated from the scholastic class within china. This group of people were more “learned and gentlemanly like’ so did not want to appear in public bearing arms. But underneath the exterior, a person knowing how to use a fan properly, could utilise this seemingly unnoticed implement to devastating effect. Fans sometime had hidden or sharpened ends which were razor like sharp and could be used to attack the pressure points on a body. The sharp end of a closed fan could also strike vital areas such as the solar-plexus, throat, stomach, top of the head, and around the groin area. When opened with the speed of a cobra spitting venom, the edges or fan blades could slice open areas such as the throat or face. Other areas vulnerable to attack were the temples, back of the knees as well as the side of the throat. A closed fan could also be used to trap an opponents limbs by using kau or hook techniques. In Choy Lee Fut the fan is also used as a prelude to learning the gim as both weapons utilise techniques that originate from the wrist.

Daggers is another close range weapon that is used as a double weapon. Most techniques involving daggers benefit from the fact, that one hand is used to parry while the other is used to attack. Flexible weapons such as the rope dart (fei to), flying whip( fei pen), 9 section whip ( gau jl pen) all use the body to generate power to these weapons. Techniques using these weapons once again use the bagua principles. Also included in this category is the 3 section staff. This weapon can be used both as a short range or long range weapon. Fully extended using one hand, the 3 section staff can be used like a spinning whip. One of the advantages of the 3 section staff is that when used correctly, it can double both as a long range or short range flexible weapon. When used against a conventional pole, the flexible 3 section staff can whip around a rigid pole to attack an opponent.

Finally we come to double weapons in the Choy Lee Fut system. There are a vast amount of double weapons in Choy Lee Fut as mentioned previously. Most double weapons again use the bagua techniques. Special double weapons such as the ‘tiger hooks’ or wu sou au can be joined or linked as one to give a long range effect. Other double weapons such as the tiger headed shields ( fu tau pal) also use one hand to parry whie the other hand is used to attack. What is rather special about the tiger head shields is that the sharp leading edges act like a double edged knife while the lower edge is arrow shaped. When using these weapons, again one of the fundamental techniques taught at the primary levels are used, that is gwa, cheung gnarn. There are a lot of weapons in the Choy Lee Fut system, but it is impractical or sometimes impossible to learn them all.

What master chen yong fa, the current keeper of the style or “jeun mourn yun”, has endeavoured to do is to teach a variety of the traditional type of weapons to help the dedicated Choy Lee Fut practitioner to gain an insight to understanding the methods and techniques of some of these weaopons which may otherwise be lost. The same can also be said of the 18 wooden dummy sets in the Choy Lee Fut system which are a legacy from the shaolin temple., But again these are only obtainable to the most dedicated chan family Choy Lee Fut students.