PHK Plum Blossom Set “Right Lead” Application Drills

Kwan Tak-Hing as Wong Fei HungPower jabs, finger jabs, uppercuts, hammer fist groin strikes – right leg forward, right hand striking: that is our beginner’s PHK form “Cross Pattern Plum Blossom Set” (Sap Ji Mui Fa Kyun) in a nutshell.

Why right lead, so called “southpaw stance”?

Mark Hatmaker, of the proponents of southpaw guard, observes that there are more “deliberate southpaws” in today’s MMA (about 40%) than in boxing (about 10%), and explains his reasons why:

“I highly recommend coordinated side forward, not power side to the rear or power side forward. By  placing the hand you sign your name with to the fore, you will be placing in the leas the hand that has the best coordination, timing, control of precise motor skills and speed. The fact that you have placed your stronger hand (as dominant hands invariably are) in the lead improves your chances of making each jab heavier and each lead hook and uppercut a more likely KO weapon. By placing the subdominant hand to the rear, you take the “weaker” of the two hands and give  it extra power by adding distance and arc to each shot. Rather than put all eggs into the power-shot basket, power has been equalizes and speed and precision increased by utilising a coordinated lead forward.”

Following right hand strikes in Mui Fa Kyun are delivered with right leg forward (“southpaw guard”):

  • Lead straight fist strike (Ping Cheui): 6x
  • Lead tiger claw (Fu Jaau): 4x
  • Lead uppercut (Tung Tin Cheui): 2x
  • Lead hammer fist groin strike (Pek Cheui): 2x
  • Lead hammer fist neck strike (Pek Cheui): 2x
  • Lead horizontal elbow slash (Pai Jaang): 1x
  • Lead groin palm/claw strike (Lau Jeung): 1x

Below are examples of some “right lead” drills from Mui Fa Kyun. Some people said that it looks like Bruce Lee’s JKD, and well, yes – Bruce Lee was one of the proponents of “southpaw guard”.

Of course, Mui Fa Kyun features also a rear straight fist strike with a left hand forward (orthodox guard”), 4x, and other techniques, such as groin kicks, low and high hammer fist, and in our PHK version of the set also a rear knee kick. Other sets feature techniques from both types of guard, as well as other types of guard, such as “Long Bridges” side guard.

We can accept Mark’s arguments above, we can talk about the transfer to weapon fighting (stick, knife), but – does it mean we train only the right lead? No. We train “orthodox” guard a lot. You may prefer the orthodox or southpaw stance, but  in the end, you want to master both.

We are preparing a detailed online instructional course, devoted to Mui Fa Kyun. As you already know, our approach is quite different, so the course will cover not only the set, but also:

  • History of the set
  • Names of all techniques (Chinese characters, transcription, English translation)
  • Fundamental drills and fundamental application drills
  • 5 sections of the set
  • Reality-based self-protection drills and street combat scenarios
  • Sparring and free fighting methodology
  • Special conditioning drills

But first things first – make sure to master the basics from our PHK Intro Kit: Beginner’s Guide to Chinese Martial Arts. Join the online course now and get ready for all the future courses! 

Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun

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  • Ny San Da

    With all due respect to Hatmaker, I am not aware he has actually trained many (any?) successful fighters. Boxing is a well developed method and sport with a long history; as opposed to modern MMA which is a few decades old. Also, people get away with a lot of very crappy things in today’s MMA because the level of stand up striking is still pretty low.

    Why Chinese martial artists fought right side forward is subject to debate; were they like the Greeks in thinking weaker hand blocks and power hand hits? Was it the fact they all stood right side forward and so they all “lined up”?

    Thais used “south paw” to “un aline” and also learn to fight both sides.

    The fact remains that in today’s world, where we must function, most of the world lines up “orthodox” and so if you train your whole group “south paw” they will some day line up in a fight against a stance they are not accustomed to nor trained for

    Bruce Lee was indeed a fan of “south paw” but he trained no fighters, and anyone associated with his line that actively fights, now mostly fights orthodox

    • Thank you for your comment, Ross Sifu, all valid arguments, based on experience.