“Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest” – A Rare Set of “Old Hung Ga Kyun”

“Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest” – A Rare Set of “Old Hung Ga Kyun”Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest (Ye Fu Cheut Lam) is a rare set from “Triple Stretch Hung Kyun” (Saam Jin Hung Kyun), a branch of “Old Hung Kyun” (Lou Hung Kyun).

I have seen the “Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest” set for the first time in 1999 in Hong Kong, performed by Leung Gam Gwong sifu, a disciple of Wong Lei, and have been fortunate discuss its details with Leung sifu and his student and my good friend Wong Jung Man Sifu on various occasions during my numerous trips to Hong Kong and China.

Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest Lineage: Wong Lei – Leung Gam Gwong – Wong Jung Man

Hung Ga Kyun Grand Master Wong LeiGrand Master Wong Lei (1900?-1969) has learned the set in Canton before he came to Hong Kong to study “”Tiger Crane Hung Kyun” under the guidance of Grandmaster Lam Jou.

“Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest” is one of the most advanced sets of Wong Lei lineage – Leung sifu was one of very few to learn it from his sifu, same goes for Wong sifu, he was one of the few fortunate disicples to learn it from his sifu Leung Gam Gwong.

Mr. Wong has promised to teach me this precious set many years ago, “when the time is right”. I am very happy that “the time was right” in 2012 (thanks to the tour organised by Charris Van’t Slot Sifu) and I have finally fulfilled my dream to learn the art of “Old Hung Kyun”, which will enrich my skill and understanding of the commonly known “New Hung Kyun” of Wong Fei Hung and Lam Sai Wing.

“Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest” – full set perforem by Leung Gam Gwong Sifu

Ye Fu & Cheut Lam – Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest: One or Two Sets?

“Night Tiger Emerges form the Forest” (Ye Fu Cheut Lam) was later  devided today into two sets – the footwork and overall pattern of both sets is almost identical, but the hand techniques are different.

Ye Fu concetrates on developing “Short Bridges” (Dyun Kiu) and their “Inch Power” (Chyun Ging). Most of the techniques are repeated 3 times – same technique 3 times, same technique to middle and low gate or same section 3 times to different directions.

The set has many of the common known bridging techniques of other Hung Kyun branches as well as some rare techniques like “Pig Hoof Hand” (Jyu Tai Sau), “Teapot Hand” (Cha Wu Sau), “Horizontal Palm Slap” (Waang Sou Jeung), “Boot Sword Kick” (Gim Heu Geuk) etc.

Many people say when watching the set – “hey, this is not Hung Kyun! It looks more like Wing Chun!”

Indeed, some parts look like Wing Chun – the set might be one of the common ancestors and predecessors of modern Hung Ga Kyun and Wing Chun. The traces go to Red Boats of Chinese opera troups, Chinese secret societies, White Crane and Fukgin province.

“Night Tiger Emerges from the Forest” – first part (Ye Fu) performed by Leung Gam Gwong Sifu

Cheut Lam part buits on the foundation of Ye Fu part. It is sometimes called “Fierce Tiger Emerges from the Forest” (Maang Fu Cheut Lam) today. If the first part resembles to Wing Chun and White Crane, the second set is very similar to southern Tiger systems like “Black Tiger” (Hak Fu Paai) or “Tiger Claw” (Fu Jaau Paai). Original style of Hung Hei Gun? Probably not, but who knows.

Cheut Lam uses many so called “Poisonous Hands” (Duk Sau), ie. aggressive, fierce and mean techniques of “Tiger Claws” (Fu Jaau) – grabbing, tearing, piercing and thrusting, as well as “Bone Breaking” (Cho Gwat) and “Sinew Separating” (Fan Gan), ie. vicious joint breaking techniques and holds (Kam Na) of the tiger style.

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