Is Hung Kyun Slow? Grand Master Lam Jou Defeats the Challenger

Hung Ga Kyun Grand Master Lam ChoQuestion: Dear Sifu, thank you for all the great articles. I really appreciate all the interesting information you are publishing on your website.

I know you have spend a lot of time in China and Hong Kong, learning from your Sifu Lam Chun Sing. You were also fortunate to meet his father, legendary Grand Master Lam Cho. Can  you please share some story from the old times you have heard from the late Grand Master?

With respect

Damian C.

Answer: Hello Damian, thank you for your kind words.

Yes, i was very lucky to have the opportunity to meet my Si Gung, the late Grand Master Lam Jou. He was the last of his generation, true legend. I am forever grateful for his pointers and corrections, which helped me tremendously in the development of my sklil and understanding.

I have actually interviewed Grand Master in 2004 – he has shared with me following memory, story which was not published before. Enjoy!

When Grand Master was teaching in Hong Kong, a group of martial artists from Gwong Dung came to his Mou Gwun and asked his to teach them some of the weapons of Lam Family Hung Kyun. They were very specific that they want to learn just weapons, nothing else.

Grand Master Lam Jou asked: „Why do you want to learn just weapons – why not to start from the basics, with bare-handed techniques?

The leader of the group said: „Well, to be candid, Hung Kyun bare-handed techniques are slow, useless in real fighting, so we want to learn your weapons only“.

Hung Ga Kyun Grand Master Lam Cho

Indeed, back in the old days, sets like Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun were practiced with emphasis on strength and power – it took about 20 minutes to do just one set! However, it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t (and weren’t) practiced and used fast – quite opposite.

Grand Master Lam Jou smiled and said: „Ok, why don’t you try my bare-handed skills. If you can hit me, I will teach you a weapon of your choice. If not, you will all start from the beginning, agreed?“

The leader of the group laughed and said: „Why not, let’s do it!“

He assumed a pre-fighting position and circled around Grand Master, who just stood there n a natural guard, with his hands low. Seeing an easy prey, the challenger attacked.

Grand Master evaded with lighting fast body movement and knocked out the opponent with single powerful strike. The whole fight took just split of a second.

The other fellows from the group tried to revive their leader. When the defeated Master finaly woke up, Grand Master Lam Jou told the group with a smile: „So much for Hung Kyun being slow. Ok, so let’s start from the beginning!“

The martial artists from Gwong Dung just looked at each other, and left Lam Cho’s school, without saying a word.

Grand Master Lam turned to his students and said: „With this kind of attitude, they will not learn anything new. Their loss. Let’s practice!“

Grand Master Lam Jou was indeed very powerful, but also fast and agile. He put great emphasis on footwork (Bou Faat) and body movement (San Faat). He used to say: As for speed, practicing Hung Kyun is like turning a fan – you can switch to 1 (slow), 2 (medium) or 3 (fast). Train slow to develop your structure and power, perform and fight fast.

His humble grand student thanks again for all the pointers and motivation.

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