“Twelve Bridge Hands” of Hung Ga

“Twelve Bridge Hands” of Hung Ga

Question: Hello Sifu, thank you for the excellent information you are sharing at Practical Hung Kyun blog. I am studying Hung Gar Kung Fu for more almost ten years, but I must to say that your approach completely changed my approach to the art, its training and application. In last few months, I have progressed faster than in last few years. I am doing less stuff, but better, as you have suggested.

I have heard my instructor to talk about so called Twelve Bridges, but when I asked for more information, I unfortunately did not get any. I was told that it was lost and secret art….

I have noticed that you have mentioned Twelve Bridges on various occasions. Can you please briefly summarize the theory behind Twelve Bridges of Hung Gar?

Thank you.

Javier E. 

Above: Examples of “Twelve Bridge Hands” from the intro to Challenge of the Masters

Answer: “Twelve Bridge Hands” (Sap Yi Ji Kiu Sau), their theory and practical usage is one of the fundamental keys to unlocking the art of Hung Ga Kyun. The theory might sound complicated, but the pratical usage behind the theory can be explained hands on in few minutes.

Just recently I have found an interesting Chinese article of Twelve Bridges of Hung Ga. We are preparing an extensive series on Twelve Bridges, as well as translation of some old manuals devoted to this subject, so before we launch it, let me summarize the article and post an interesting explanation of “Twelve Bridge Hands” of Hung Ga Kyun:

  • “Hard” (Gong), “Soft” (Yau) and “Inch” (Chyun) are three “Power Seeds”
  • “Press” (Bik) and “Straight” (Jik) are two “Form Seeds” (Ying Taai)
  • “Pressing Bridge” represents “Short Bridges” (Dyun Kiu) – it is used together with “Controling Bridge” (Jai Kiu) to “Seal and Press (or Shut), Capture and Hold” (Fung Bik [Bai] Kam, Na)
  • “Straight Bridge” represents “Long Bridges” (Cheung Kiu) – it is used as “Leave the  Bridge, Put Forth and Strike” (Lei Kiu Chau Da)
  • “Fix“(Ding) and “Send” (Wan) are power usage variations/transformations
  • “Separate” (Fan), “Keep” (Lau), “Lift” (Tai), and “Adapt” (Ding) represent 4 directions: from inside out (Fan), from outside in (Lau), from down up (Tai), from top down (Ding)
  • There are various exercises and tools are used to train the strength of  “Twelve Bridge Hands”: carrying, embracing and holding various weights (e.g.. drum shaped stones, Sek Gu), penetrating bamboo bundles, handstands, stone barbells (Sek Daam), elbow stands, grasping wine jars etc.

Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun

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