Tit Sin Kyun: Hung Kyun’s Internal Training Form

Simon Lam Chun Chung - Iron Wire Set (Tit Sin Kyun)

Tit Sin Kyun was a form passed down from Tit Kiu Saam (Iron Bridge Three), one of the ten tigers of Canton and a grandmaster of Hung Ga Kyun. The form was taught to Grandmaster Wong Fei Hung by Lam Fuk Sing, one of the students of Tit Kiu Saam.

Tit Sin Kyun is an internal form (Noi Gung 內功) of the Lam Ga Hung Kyun System. There is a common misconception that Tit Sin Kyun trains self defence techniques. Rather than solely training self defence techniques, Grandmaster Lam Chun Chung suggests that Tit Sin Kyun utilizes dynamic tension, breathing exercises and pronunciation of sounds to generate power in the practitioner’s bridge hands, improve rooting of the practitioner’s stance and improve the overall health of a practitioner by treating each of the five major organs of the human body (i.e. Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs and Kidneys).

The purpose of Tit Sin Kyun is to train the internal and external bridge hands. It is said that Tit Sin Kyun uses physical techniques in order to train the Sam Faat or intent and skill of the practitioner. The external bridge hands trains the bridge, eyes, body, hip and stance whereas the internal bridge trains the heart, soul, intent and qi. The Practitioner must train until both the external and the internal bridge hands are blended together so that the Qi flows through the bridge hand resulting in an exponential increase in power generation to the bridge hand. When training in Tit Sin Kyun, it is essential for the practitioner to train until he or she attains a state of stillness in motion and motion in stillness.

Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma (Groin Gripping Stance)

Rather than emphasizing the Sei Ping Ma (horse riding stance) and Ji Ng Ma (Front Stance) as in the case of earlier first forms such as Gung Ji and Fu Hok, Tit Sin Kyun emphasizes use of the Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma (Two Toes Clamping Groin Stance). The stance is introduced in the beginning of Sap Ying Kyun.

The stance is shorter in width that then Sei Ping Ma being only shoulder width apart. The practitioner should also concentrate on clamping the knees together just enough so that the practitioner stands flatly on his/her feet. The practitioner should also concentrate of Taai Gung, keeping your hip forward and tucked upwards so that all power is generated from the ground. The practitioner’s shoulders are also rolled forward in executing the techniques. It is said that when Tit Kiu Saam execute this stance that no one could move him.

Simon Lam Chun Chung - Iron Wire Set (Tit Sin Kyun)

The writer wishes to emphasize that the Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma from Tit Sin Kyun is different from the stance of the same name used in the Wing Cheun system. In the first place, the Tit Sin Kyun stance is wider than the Wing Cheun Stance. However, one of the biggest differences between execution of the stance in Tit Sin Kyun and Wing Cheun is the position of the knees. In Tit Sin Kyun, in executing the Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma, the knees are kept only slightly bent. However, in Yip Man Wing Cheun, the knees are more bent and focused forward. In fact, in Yun Kei Saan Wing Cheun, the knees are even more bent so that only an inch of space is allowed between the knees. It is not clear as to the reason for such differences as both systems claims its lineage back to the Southern Shaolin Temple. However, in the writer’s opinion, the reason for the difference may be due to a difference in emphasis of the two sets. As Grand Master  Lam Chun Chung once said, the purpose of the Tit Sin Kyun set is internal training as opposed to self-defense and so the stability and solid nature of the stance is more important for this routine. However, in Wing Cheun, the Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma is one of the main fighting stances so bending the knees improve the mobility of the stance so that the practitioner could move easily and interchangeability between the Yi Ji Kim Yeung Ma and the Cham Kiu stance for shifting forward or sideways. Indeed, in Tit Sin Kyun, mobility and interchangeability of the stances would have already been trained in the earlier first forms such as Gung Ji, Fu Hok, and Sap Ying Kyun.

Grand Master Lam Chun Chun, Tit Sin Kyun

Twelve Bridges of Hung Ga

The form also introduces the 12 bridges of Hung Ga which are practiced with breathing from the Daan Tin pressure point and pronunciation of sounds. These 12 bridges and the corresponding sounds are as follows:

Gong (剛): hard bridge – usually practiced with the pronunciation of the “NG’ sound. The hard bridge emphasis the use of hard or brute force developed through use of dynamic tension training in the practitioner’s bridge. The use of hard power may be used to forcefully block or push away an opponent’s bridge. The Chyun Kiu (Bridge Hand) from the earlier Tit Sin Kyun sets embodies this concept.

Yau (柔): soft bridge – usually practiced with the “He He He” sound. The soft bridge emphasizes the use of soft power to deflect harder and more powerful attacks from an opponent (Yi Yau Jai Gung).

Bik (逼): pressing bridge – usually practiced with the pronunciation of the ‘Hik’ sound.  This bridge is used to block a straight punch. Bik Sau is the most illustrative example of this bridge.

Jik (直): straight bridge – usually practiced with the “Uh” sound. This bridge emphasizes the use of a straight bridge without stance turning. The bridge helps the practitioner practice straight attacks using the bridge for additional power.

Fan (分): dividing bridge – usually practiced with the pronunciation of the “NG’ sound. An example of the use of this concept is the Fan Gam Cheui, which is practiced within Gung Ji and Tit Sin Kyun. The Fan Gam Cheui is used for punching to the side of the practitioner.  As Grand Master Lam Chun Chung says the punch must be executed at a 45 degree angle from high to low towards your opponent’s floating ribs or air gate. The reason for the 45 degree angle for executing the punch is that it is a means of unlocking a grip and attacking to the opponent’s floating ribs at the same time.

Simon Lam Chun Chung - Iron Wire Set (Tit Sin Kyun)

Ding (定): stabilizing bridge – usually practiced with the “TZE” sound. Ding Bridge helps the practitioner train his bridge hand so that to achieve greater circulation in the arms through the use of dynamic tension resulting in greater power in the practitioner’s bridge hands.  Grandmaster Lam Chun Chung often recommends the Ding bridge as an exercise that for the elderly to assist in improving circulation.

Chyun (串) – Inch Bridge – usually practiced with the “HEI” sound.  This bridge emphasizes the use of inch force.  In other words, the generation of force where there is short distance between the practitioner’s fist and the target. The Chyun Bridge is executed with the support of a twisting hip and stance to generate sufficient power to attack an opponent’s solar plexus. The Chyun Bridge is executed with a Biu Ji or finger jab. Again, this is to be differentiated from Wing Cheun where the practitioner only tenses upon the moment of impact. The Wing Chun inch punch relies upon speed and body structure and positioning to generate force. In Tit Sin Kyun, the practitioner focuses his necessary strength and applies such strength into the target area.  As Grand Master Lam Chun Chung says, the practitioner literally ‘press’ the fist or palm onto the target area.

Tai (提): Lifting Bridge – usually practiced with the “HEI” sound. This bridge emphasizes the lifting of the bridge.  The most obvious lifting bridge is the Long Sau, used to be block an back fist to the head.

Lau (流): Flowing Bridge – usually not practiced with any sounds. The bridge emphasizes the training of dynamic tension in the bridge whilst moving it.

Wan (運): Sending/Transporting Bridge – In Tit Sin Kyun, the Wan element is used for changes between techniques and directions. This bridge emphasizes the training of dynamic tension in the both bridges whilst moving them. This bridge trains the necessary power so that one could use the bridge hand to controlling one’s opponent and to use the opponent’s force against him.

Jai (制): Controlling Bridge – usually practiced with the “NG” sound. This bridge again emphasizes pressing down and controlling the opponent’s bridge.

Simon Lam Chun Chung - Iron Wire Set (Tit Sin Kyun)

Ding (訂): Settling Bridge – usually practiced with the pronunciation of the ‘Dik’ sound. This bridge embodies the Chinese saying Sai Leung But Chin Gan (or to use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds). In Tit Sin Kyun, the bridge is practiced whilst applying dynamic tension to one finger to force down the opponent’s bridge.

Benefits of the Form and Practice Methodology

Through diligent practice of the form, it is said by Grandmaster Lam Sai Wing that the practitioner’s strength and health will be substantially improved. The power of the Hung Ga practitioner’s strikes and blocks will be greatly improved. Grandmaster Lam Cho attributes his longevity and good health to his practice of Tit Sin Kyun on a daily basis.

Grand Master Lam Chun Chung says that it should take approximately 16-17 minutes to complete the entire form and that the form should not be executed too quickly. However, given the time consuming nature of the form and the need for the practitioner to practice other fist and weapons forms as well, Grand Master Lam Chun Chung recommends that one should train half of the Tit Sin Kyun form each day after practising one or two fist forms. Happy training.

About the authors: Grand Masters Lam Chung Chung is the son of legendary Grand Master Lam Cho. Vincent Liu is a disciple of Grand Master Lam Chun Chung. You can find more information about Lam Family Hung Kyun at www.lamkahungkuen.com.

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