“Every monastery has its Buddha; every horse has its rider; every Sifu has his own method.”
Identical “Style” vs. Different Methodology
People interested in studying Hung Kyun who already have previous experience with Hung Kyun or Chinese martial arts as such often say that the practice method of our association is markedly different from other schools.
We certainly hope so! The practice system in our school has undergone many changes in the past years and the effort to make it “different”, better, has been our main motivation from the very start. When two people do the same, it is not always the same.
Practical Hung Kyun (Sat Yung Hung Kyun 實用洪拳) is not a style, but a practice method – traditional martial art for the modern world, responding to the needs of modern civil and professional self-defense, MMA/martial sports in general.
“Hung Kyun” vs. Practical Hung Kyun
How does the concept of Practical Hung Kyun differ from the often typical practice of “Hung Kyun” (no matter whether it is spelled Hung Kuen, Hung Gar, Hung Kar, Hung Ka, Hoong Ka or Hong Jia) or “traditional” martial arts in other schools abroad? A brief analysis below can seem controversial to many readers – from our experience, however, it fairly accurately describes the state of Chinese martial arts in general, including Hung Kyun.
The left column is an example of how martial arts should (in our opinion) not look like and how they often are; the right column represents our approach to teaching and practicing Hung Kyun.
|Status Quo (?)||Practical Hung Kyun Concept|
|A museum of oriental folklore – conservativeness, rigidity, romanticized ideal||(R)evolution = return to the roots + progressive development; “traditional” martial art for modern world|
|Hiding behind a famous lineage, predecessors, Sigung, Sifu||A respected lineage with emphasis on YOUR (!) skill and knowledge, not your Sifu´s, Sigung´s or predecessors´|
|Mindless copying, “repeating” or the exact opposite – an inconsistent mix of X non-compatible concepts and sources||Integrated system from A to Z|
|Oriental gymnastics, practice for show and effect, “movie” gungfu||Practical use – rality based self-defense, strength and conditioning, personal development|
|Learning dozens of sets and hundreds of techniques||Emphasis on mastering the fundamental principles and drills (single drills, drills using various equipment, application drills, sparring and free fightng drills)|
|Getting stuck on the ABC spelling book, postponing development indefinitely (“in ten years”, “in twenty years”)||Continuous drilling of the basics, but “differently”, progressive development from practice to fighting drills|
|Adding, emphasis on quantity (new techniques, new sets, new weapons etc.)||Subtracting, emphasis on quality – mastering the most important 20% of the system, carrying 80% of the improvement (“less is more”)|
|“Advancement” of the students based on the number of sets knows or how long he practices||Advancement of the students based on their practical skill - fighting ability, strength, power and knowledge|
|Practicing “application” without any system||Systematic practice of drills, leading to reality-based self-defense and free fighting|
|Practicing sparring sets “for show”||Application drills, sparring drills, self-defense scenarios, full-contact fighting|
|Reactive self-defense (“when your opponent attacks like this, then…”) based on non-realistic attacks (the proverbial straight punch with the second fist by the hip)||Proactive, aggressive approach to “self-defense”, practicing self-defense in situational drills based on realistic scenarios|
|Full contact “sport” fight, based on “borrowing” from martial sports (box, kickbox…), incompatible with the rest of the system||Full contact fight based on fundamental concepts of Hung Kyun|
|None or non-systematic strength and conditioning training (the sole aim = sweat and bruises)||Progressive strength and conditioning, using traditional system methods as well as modern functional training (the aim = improvement)|
|Living in oriental fairy- tales, isolation in idealized ivory tower, sect||Openness, research, cross training|
|Dated, low-quality imitation, always behind, copy of the original||Progressive leader, always giving credit to the source|
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