According to the legend, it comes from the Abbess “Five Plums” (Ng Mui Si Taai), one of the famous “Five Patriarchs of Siulam” (Siulam Ng Jou). In modern history, the oldest mention of this form can be found with master Pun Gwai Yat, a student of grandmasters Lam Sai Wing and Lam Jou, who taught this form to many of his students and peers.
One of the great promoters of the “Plum Blossom Set” was among others grandmaster Chan Hon Chung (1909-1991), a famous Hung Kyun master and a long-time chairman of the Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Association (please read more about Grand Master Chan in an excellent book Hung Ga Story: Me and Master Chan Hon Chung available for download HERE).
Mui Fa Kyun is one of the shortest sets in the Hung Kyun system. It is composed of five sections that follow a cross pattern (the Chinese character for “ten”, Sap Ji), which is why this form is also known as Sap Ji Mui Fa Kyun, “Cross Pattern Plum Blossom Set”.
Mui Fa literally means “Plum Blossom”, in this case, however, it refers to the five sections (petals) of the form as well as the specific setup of the five posts in the ground (in the front, back, left, right, and center) on which the form was originally practiced. One of the famous Southern-Chinese gungfu legends relates a story of how the Abbess Ng Mui defeated the feared master Lei Ba Saan (who wanted to avenge the death of his nephew, killed my the famous Fong Sai Yuk, one of the “Top Ten Best Siulam Students” (Siulam Sap Tou Ji) in a fight on the “Plum Blossom Posts” (Mui Fa Jong).
4 “secret” keywords of the set are “Advance, Retreat, Attack, Defense”. Mui Fa Kyun teaches basic boxing skills in the “unorthodox” (south paw) guard of the ancient Siu Lam box, i.e. – for the majority of people – with the dominant right hand in the front, using mainly straight punches (Ping Cheui), uppercuts (Tung Tin Cheui) and tiger claws (Fu Jaau) from the front hand combined with blocks on the upper, middle and lower body level and other techniques – groin kicks, palm strikes, elbow strikes, backhanded strikes etc.
In our minimalistic program, Sap Ji Mui Fa Kyun is taught on the first level of Practical Hung Kyun – preparatory drills, the form itself, applied drills (practice drills, self-defense – proactive self-defense, defense against typical attacks) and sparring drills.
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