How to face your opponent? What kind of “Guard” (Baai Jong) or pre-fighting posture tu use? What type of “Guard” did our ancestors use?
My sifu told me that Wong Fei Hung had basically two “guards”. One of them is typical Hung Kyun posture called “Single Finger Bridge Hand” (Daan Ji Kiu Sau) – either in sideways “Four level Stance” (Sei Ping Baat Fan Ma) or sideways “Meridian Stance” (Ji Ng Ma), like in the beginning of “Seven Stars Continous Strikes” (Chat Sing Lin Waan Kau) combination, more Hap Ga like version.
The other one is probably even more well known, as it was popularized by many Wong Fei Hung movies – and as we know, it is not just a fiction. This version of the guard is called “Beggar Asks for the Rice” (Hat Yi Lo Mai). Have a look at the famous Jet Li photo above, as well real Hung Kyun photo below (from an old Chinese martial arts magazine): Students of Grand Master Ho Lap Tin in a pre-fighting positions. On the left “Single Tiger Claw” (Daan Fu Jaau), on the right “Beggar Asks for the Rice” (Hat Yi Lo Mai).
Wide and open pre-fighting posture probably was probably influenced by “Long Bridges” of Hap Ga, like many things in today’s Hung Kyun.The fighter can easily switch to any of the “Long Bridges” (Cheung Kiu) like Gwa Cheui, Kam Cheui, Paau Cheui etc.
What type of guard do we use in Practical Hung Kyun? Well, it depends on the situation. Is it a challenge match? Potential self-defense situation – on the street, in the bar, or elswhere, where you try to verbally de-escalate the conflict, being ready to strike pre-emptively? Suprised ambus? Multiple opponents? Bladed weapons involved? Practical Hung Kyun uses more than typical “fists up, chin down” aggresive type of guard; especially for the purpose of reality based self-defence and pre-conflict phase of combat. We will have look at it in the future articles.
Learn the practical application of self-defence and sparring guard in our PHK Intro Kit.
Pavel Macek sifu
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