“Stance training, ‘Three Stars Conditioning’, kicking the pole, hitting the sandbag, and pulling the rattan ring”,” explained Mr. Yip. “The basic Hung Kyun drills we practiced when I was young. You practice these in your lineage, right?”
“Yes, we practice, except … pulling the rattan ring, I do not know this exercise!”
“Oh, you don’t? Then you MUST learn it, my friend!”
It was 2006 and I was one of many trips in China and Hong Kong. Together with my pupil and friend Honza, we have visited many masters of different Hung Kyun lineages in Canton, Fatsaan, and other places.
Our guide was aforementioned Mr. Yip, the brother of our good friend, Miss Yip Jyu Ji (proficient in many styles, both northern and southern). If Yip surname sounds familiar, yes – they are related to the famous Yip Man.
Mr. Yip’s kept his promise and the next day he appeared with a rattan ring and taught us how to properly use it to develop the Hung Kyun key triad of Yiu Kiu Ma, ie, the “waist, bridges and stances”.
“The Hung Kyun rattan ring is different from other styles, such as Hakka systems or Wing Cheun. It’s bigger and made of three rattan twigs,” explained Mr. Yip. “Pulling of the rattan ring (Laai Tang Hyun) is one of the best tools for the development of ‘Iron Bridges’ and whole body strength.”
In the end, Mr. Yip did not just teach me how to use the rattan ring, but he actually gave me his old ring. I’ve been practicing with it on and off, we practiced it regularly at the summer PHK Camp, but we had only one or two rings, so no systematic exercise.
At the end of January, I interviewed Checkley Sin Sifu, the student of the famous master and director Lau Kar-Leung, and Sin Sifu – when I asked him about the most important basic Hung Kyun drills – said without hesitation, “rattan ring!”
As soon as I returned from Hong Kong, I ordered 10 rings for the PHK Gym (although made just of one rattan twig), and because of the recommendation of these and many other Masters, we will include expanding the rattan ring into a more systematic exercise on our regular PHK lessons.
Above is a short demonstration of some exercises and techniques that can be practiced with the ring. We are currently preparing a short instructional video on how to use the Hung Ga Kyun rattan ring correctly, and we will upload it as another free update to our PHK Intro Kit.
Pavel Macek Sifu, Practical Hung Kyun
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