Hung Gar (洪家) or Hung Ga Kuen (洪家拳) is a southern Chinese martial art (Cantonese, to be more specific), which belongs to the southern shaolin styles and associated with the Cantonese folk hero Wong Fei Hung, who was a master of Hung Ga.
The hallmarks of the Wong Fei-Hung lineage of Hung Ga are deep low stances, notably its "sei ping ma" (四平馬) horse stance, and strong hand techniques, notably the bridge hand and the versatile tiger claw.
The student traditionally spends anywhere from months to three years in stance training, often sitting only in horse stance between a half-hour to several hours at one time, before learning any forms.
Each form then might take a year or so to learn, with weapons learned last.
However, in modernity, this mode of instruction is deemed economically unfeasible and impractical for students, who have other concerns beyond practicing kung fu.
Some instructors, though, will stick mainly to traditional guidelines and make stance training the majority of their beginner training.
Hung Ga is sometimes mis-characterized as solely external even though the student advances progressively towards an internal focus.
Hung Ga's earliest beginnings have been traced to the 17th century in southern China.
More specifically, legend has it that a Shaolin monk by the name of Gee Seen Sim See was at the heart of Hung Ga's emergence.
See was alive during a time of fighting in the Qing Dynasty.
He practiced the arts during an era when the Shaolin Temple had become a refuge for those that opposed the ruling class (the Manchus), allowing him to practice in semi-secrecy.
When the northern temple was burned down many fled to the Southern Shaolin temple in the Fukien Province of Southern China along with him.
There it is believed See trained several people, including non-Buddhist monks, also called Shaolin Layman Disciples, in the art of Shaolin Kung Fu.
Of course, Gee Seen Sim See was hardly the only person of significance that had fled to the temple and opposed the Manchus. .
Along with this, Hung Hei Gun also took refuge there, where he trained under See.
Eventually, Hung Hei Gun became See's number one student.
That said, legend has it that Gee Seen Sim See also taught four others, whom in their entirety became the founding fathers of the five southern Shaolin styles: Hung Ga, Choy Ga, Mok Ga, Li Ga and Lau Ga. Luk Ah Choi was one of these students.
Because the character "hung" (洪) was used in the reign name of the emperor who overthrew the Mongol Yuan Dynasty to establish the Han Chinese Ming Dynasty, opponents of the Manchu Qing Dynasty made frequent use of the character in their imagery.
Hung Hei-Gun is itself an assumed name intended to honor that first Ming Emperor.
Anti-Qing rebels named the most far reaching of the secret societies they formed the "Hung Mun" (洪門).
Conversely, the curricula of some branches have grown through the addition of further routines by creation or acquisition.
Nevertheless, the various branches of the Wong Fei Hung lineage still share the Hung Ga foundation he systematized.
Lacking such a common point of reference, the "village" styles of Hung Kuen show even greater variation.
The curriculum which Jee Sin taught Hung Hei-Gun is said to have comprised Tiger style, Luohan style, and Taming the Tiger routine.
Exchanging material with other martial artists allowed Hung to develop or acquire Tiger Crane Paired Form routine, a combination animal routine, Southern Flower Fist, and several weapons.
According to Hung Ga tradition, the martial arts that Jee Sin originally taught Hung Hei Gun were short range and the more active footwork, wider stances, and long range techniques commonly associated with Hung Ga were added later.
It is said to have featured "a two-foot horse," that is, narrow stances, and routines whose footwork typically took up no more than four tiles' worth of space.
Not all share the opinion that several Hung Kuen styles exist, because Hung Ga has its origin in the famous southern shaolin temple.
And there the most famous lineage with Hung Hei Gwoon, Luk Ah Choy, Wong Tai, Wong Kei Yin, Wong Fei Hung and Tung Fung or Lam Sai Wing has its roots.
The dissemination of Hung Kuen in Southern China, and its Guangdong and Fujian Provinces in particular, is due to the concentration of anti-Qing activity there.
The Hung Munbegan life in the 1760s as the Heaven and Earth Society, whose founders came from the prefecture of Zhangzhou in Fujian Province, on its border with Guangdong, where one of its founders organized a precursor to the Heaven and Earth Society in Huizhou.
Guangdong and Fujian remained a stronghold of sympathizers and recruits for the Hung Mun, even as it spread elsewhere in the decades that followed.
Though the members of the Hung Clan almost certainly practiced a variety of martial arts styles, the composition of its membership meant that it was the characteristics of Fujianese and Cantonese martial arts that came to be associated with the names "Hung Kuen" and "Hung Ga".
Regardless of their differences, the Hung Kuen lineages of Wong Fei Hung, Yuen Yik Kai, Leung Wah Chew, and Jeung Kei Ji (張克治) nonetheless all trace their origins to this area and this time period, are all Five Animal styles, and all claim Shaolin origins.
Northern Hung Kuen (洪拳), by contrast, is not a Five Animal style and dates to the 16th century. Cantonese and Fujianese are also predominant among Overseas Chinese, accounting for the widespread dissemination of Hung Kuen outside of China.
Lam Sai Wing's most notable disciple was Chan Hon Chung (陳漢宗), who was very famous in Hong Kong and represented what was best in his generation of masters.
He held incredible knowledge and had the full Hung Kuen system passed down from Lam Sai Wing.
In 1938, he established the Chan Hon Chung Gymnasium to teach Hung Gar (Hung Family) kung fu.
At the same time he had a chiropractic clinic.
In 1970, he formed The Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Association with the intention of coordinating and promoting Chinese martial arts in Hong Kong, and held the position of chairman for many years.
As one of many students of Lam Sai Wing, Lam Cho (林祖) (Lam Sai Wing's adopted nephew) has taught well known masters such as Tang Kwok Wah (鄧國華).
The indoor Tang Kwok Wah's students is Tang Tungwing, that in Italy have Sifu Maurizio Zanetti as disciple.
The Tang's Gongfu Italy is a secure point of reference for schools and practitioners from around the globe.
Its technical programs reflects a traditional and orthodox way of understanding the art of Gongfu.
The programs of the Orthodox style of Hung Gar of the Lam family developed by our Association, shows the great strength of a school that, despite the "considerable size", remains a big family, very united, sharing respect and openness towards others as fundamental values.
The technical program of the Hung Gar style that you study in our Association is as follows:
|Hung Gar Kyun Lik Si
Hung Gar Kyun Dik Wandung
Hung Gar Kyun Lilun
Sup Yi Kiu Sau
|History of the Hung Family Style
Characteristics of Hung Gar
Theoretical principles of Hung Gar
12 hand Bridges
|Model of Positions
|3||Naked hand Forms|
|Mui Fa Kyun
Lau Gar Kyun
Gung Zi Fuk Fu Kyun
Wu Dip Jeong
Fu Hok Seung Jing Kyun
Bong Bo Tonglong Kyun
Sup Jing Kyun
Tit Sin Kyun
|Plum Flower Fist
Fist of Lau Family
Taming the Tiger Form
Butterfly Palm Form
Tiger and Crane Form
Disruptive Steps of Praying Mantis
10 models Form
Iron Wire Form
|4||Forms with Weapons|
|Seung Tau Gwan
Hau Zi Gwan
Lau Gar Gwan
Zi Mou Seung Dou
Seung Bei Sau
Baat Gwaa Darn Dou
Se Gar Cheung
Kwan Leon Gim
Mui Fa Seung Lung Dou
Yu Gar Dai Baa
Ng Lung Baat Gwa Gwan
|2 Heads Staff
Monkey King Staff
Lau Family Staff
Butterfly Knives Mother and Son
Single Saber of 8 Trigrams
2 Hands Sabre
See Family Lance
Sword of the Mountain Kwanlun
Double Sabre of the Plum Flower
Pitchfork Tiger of Yu Family
Halberd of General Kwan
Staff of 8 Trigrams and 5th Son
|5||Forms in Couples|
|Fu Hok Seung Jing Doy Lin
Gung Zi Doy Dar
Darn Dou Doy Cheong
Hau Zi Gwan Doy Dar
Kwan Dou Doy Cheong
Ng Lung Baat Gwa Gwan Doy Lin
Wu Dip Doy Gwan
Wu Dip Doy Kyun
Seung Do Doy Cheong
|Fighting of Tiger and Crane
Fighting of Tiger Gung Zi
Lance against Sabre
Fighting of Monkey King Staff
Halberd against Lance
Staff of 8 Trigrams and 5th Son Fighting
Butterfly Knives against Staff
Butterfly Knives against maked hand
Butterfly Knives against Lance