There are many misconceptions about the origin of various „Minor Sets“ of today’s Hung Ga Kyun. Many of the sets are wrongly attributed to Lam Sai Wing or even Wong Fei Hung, other sets were supposedly created by a comittee of Hung Ga masters in 1950’s to enrich the core Hung Ga Kyun curriculum. …Or not?
To paraphrase the late Bruce Lee, „people separate lineages, lineages separate people“. Avoiding the common „who-learned-from-who“ question, this article will briefly analyse the true origin of the commonly known sets like Mui Fa Kyun, Lau Ga Kyun, Wu Dip Jeung and other „Minor Sets” of today’s Hung Ga Kyun.
All information contained in this article are based on solid research both in Hong Kong and China, information in Chinese old manuals and magazine articles and are confirmed by many senior and well respected Chinese Grand Masters.
If you have other substantial proof (other then „I have heard from my Sifu that… “ or „my Sigung was student of Grand Master X so the Grand Master X must have taught this set“), please let us know in the comments.
Hung Ga means „Hung family“ – masters of old obviously cross-trained, exchanged, learned from each other or even created new sets.
„Plum Flower Set“ (Mui Fa Kyun)
Mui Fa Kyun, also called Sap Ji Mui Fa Kyun („Cross Pattern Plum Flower Set“) or Syu Bou Mui Fa Kyun („Rat Step Plum Flower Set“) is a heritage of Pun family, introduced to modern Hung Kyun by Pun Gwai Yat, disciple of Lam Sai Wing/Lam Jou.
Many famous masters have learned the set from Pun Sifu and taught it as the first, introductory Hung Ga Kyun form, eg. Wong Lei or Chan Hon Jung, who have popularised the set in the 1950’s and later.
Mui Fa Kyun was one of the topics of Grand Master John Leong ‘s Beginning Shaolin Hung-Gar Kung-Fu (photo) as well as other books.
„Lau Family Set“ (Lau Ga Kyun)
Lau Ga Kyun comes originaly from Mok Ga – in the old Hung Kyun articles it is actually called Mok Ga Kyun.
Grand Master Lam Jou has learned the set from one of his students surnamed Lau, re-choreographed it and later renamed the set to honor the Lau family.
Contrary to popular believe, it has nothing to do with the Lau Ga style (one of the 5 family styles of Southern China, ie. Hung, Lau, Choi, Lei, Mok) or Lau family (Lau Jaam, Lau Kar-Leung).
(Photo: Grand Master Y. C. Wong performing “Stomping Kick” from Lau Ga Kyun)
„Butterfly Palms“ (Wu Dip Jeung)
„Butterfly Palms“ set was choreographed by Leung Wing Haang (1974), disciple of Lam Sai Wing.
New Martial Hero magazine has published a photo series of the set, performed by Grand Master Chan Hon Chung, who confirms in the accompanying text the origin of the set.
The set was neither part of Lam Sai Wing’s curriculum, nor incorporated by Siu Ying (wife of Chiu Kao), as many believe.
(Photo: Grand Master Chan Hon Chung performing “Butterfly Palms” from Wu Dip Jeung set)
„Snake, Cat and Crane Mixed Set“ (Se Maau Hok Wan Ying Kyun)
Also called „Three Animals Set“ (Saam Ying Kyun) – choreographed by Leung Wing Haang as well, who wrote a detailed book about it in 1950’s. The set did not get so popular as Wu Dip Jeung and it is taught today just by very few Hung Ga teachers.
Leung Wing Haang was btw. the one who has designed the famous Tiger and Crane Diamond logo for Grand Master Lam Jou’s school. He was involved in the Wong Fei Hung series in 1940’s and 1950’s, both as action choreographer and an actor.
(Photo: Grand Master Leung Wing Haang perfmorming “Cat Form” from Se Maau Hok Wan Ying Kyun)
„Nine Sons Continuous Set“ (Gau Ji Lin Waan Kyun)
Choreographed by “Tiger of Sai Gwaan” Dang Fong (1877-1955), also called Gau Duk Lin Waan Kyun („Nine Poison Contintinuos Set“).
Apart from Hung Ga techniqes, it also contains many „Long Bridges“ (Cheung Kiu) techniques.
(Photo: Grand Master Dang Fong performing “Water Wave Casting Strike”)
„Shooting Star Set“ (Lau Sing Kyun)
Choreographed by Ho Lap Tin (1916-1996), disciple of Dang Fong. Similarly to Gau Ji Lin Waan Kyun, it also contains many Cheung Kiu techniques – Gwa, Kap, Sou, Paau, Jong etc. Both sets were probably influenced by Hap Ga/Lama Paai.
„Shooting Star Set“ (Lau Sing Kyun) is subject one of the Ho Lap Tin’s books, one of the best ever written on Hung Ga.
Note: My information about Dang Fong lineage set is very limited, if any of the Dang Fong lineage brothers would expand the info about these sets, I would be much obliged.
(Photo: Grand Master Ho Lap Tin on the cover of his Shooting Star of Hung’s Pugilism)
„Arrow Palm“ (Jin Jeung)
“Arrow Palm” is according to my Sigung „Orthodox Shaolin“ set (Siu Lam Jing Jung) – it was taught by Ji Sin Sim Si to the actors of Red Boats Chinese Opera troups.
Jin Jeung is a rare heritage of Lam Family – it was previously taught secretly only to Lam family clan, together with „Big Circling Moon Double Knives“ (Daai Hang Yut Seung Dou).
“Arrow Palm” – also called “War Palm” (Jin Jeung – same pronounciation, different characters) was first openly taught to others by Lam Sai Wing.
(Drawing: Grand master Lam Sai Wing performing “Breaking the Row Hand Technique”, one of the typical techniques of Jin Jeung).
„Night Tiger Emerges form the Forest“ (Ye Fu Cheut Lam)
Very long set of „Old Hung Kyun“, namely „Three Extensions Hung Kyun“ (Saam Jin Hung Kyun), exclusive to Wong Lei lineage, who has learned the set in Canton before he has moved to Hong Kong. Please read a detailed article on „Night Tiger Emerges from Forest“ here.
Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun
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