“Taming of the Tiger in Gung Pattern” (Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun) is the oldest, most basic and fundamental set of Hung Kyun. Technically speaking, Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun is one of the “orthodox Shaolin” (Siulam Jing Jung) sets of our curriculum, tracing its roots back to the legendary Southern Fukgin Siulam temple – Venerable Jisin (Jisin simsi ) and his students, Hung Heigun and Luk Achoi. According to some sources the name of the original set was “Siulam Tames the Tiger” (Siulam Fuk Fu Kyun) or “Arthat Tames the Tiger” (Lohon Fuk Fu Kyun), but it was changed to Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun. The short version of the name,”Taming the Tiger” (Fuk Fu Kyun), is also often used.
Today’s set is a probably a combination of 2 sets. First, fundamental/conceptual part is called “Gung Pattern Set” (Gung Ji Kyun), second part is called “Taming the Tiger Set” (Fuk Fu Kyun). Numerous families in China teach Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun as 2 separate sets, or teach just the second part of it, i.e. Fuk Fu Kyun. In our Practical Hung Kyun curriculum, the complete set is taught in 18 distinctive sections.
Gung Ji literally means “Gung Character”. The pattern of this set’s footwork follows the Chinese character Gung (工). The meaning of the word Gung is also important – “hard work”, which is a metaphor for the difficulty of “Taming of Tiger” (Fuk Fu) and mastering of this long and sophisticated set.
The Gung character consists of three strokes – the upper horizontal stroke represents the Heaven (Tin), lower horizontal stroke the Earth (Dei), the middle vertical stroke the Man (Yan). The secret meaning of Gung Ji Fuk Fu means: “Members of the Heaven and Earth Society (Tin Dei Wui, ie. Triad) subduing the foreign opressors (“Tiger”, ie. Manchus, the Ching dynasty)”.
Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun contains all the basic techniques and principles of Hung Kyun – stances, blocks, punches and kicks. Mastering of “Taming of the Tiger” is a prerequisite for further training in the style. We have a saying in Hung Kyun: “Beginner has to tame the tiger first” (Yap Mun Sin Fuk Fu). Therefore, students in traditional schools spent their first few years practicing this set and mastering its skills and combat applications.
“Taming of the Tiger in Gung Pattern” emphasizes low and stable stances (especially “Four Level Horse” Sei Ping Ma), agile footwork (Bou Faat – e.g. the typical forward and backward stepping, advancing and retreating), flexible movement of the waist/hips (Yiu Faat) and strong “Bridge Hands” (Kiu Sau). Grand Master Lam Jou wrote is his “Brief Description of Taming of the Tiger in Gung Pattern” that correct practicing of this set has the same effect as standing in the static stances (Jaat Ma) and hitting the wooden pole.
Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun has been the subject of numerous books, the first being a classical manual written by Jyu Yu Jaai, a student of the famous Lam Saiwing in 1936 (English translation available HERE)
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