The Hang Je Pang is the only double-ended staff set of Lam Family Hung Kyun, it is a set that Lam Jou incorporated to the Lam Family Hung Kyun. The set originates from another style of martial art.
The specific origin of this set, the “Traveler’s Staff”, also known as the “Monkey Pole”, is not well known, some say that it comes from a Northern martial art, whereas some say that it comes from the “Monkey Fist” of Fujian. Regardless of its origin, Lam Jou did some changes to the original set. He made adjustments to the arrangements and techniques, so the “Traveler’s Staff” we know today has a classic Hung Ga flavor to it.
[Translator’s note: another source negates the fact that Lam Jou incorporated this set, the argument against it is that the students of Wong Fei Hung’s fourth wife Mok Gwai Lan also train “Hang Je Pang” and their version is very similar to the Lam Family version. Two sets that Lam Jou did however incorporate into the system was Lau Ga Kyun and Lau Ga Gwan. Lam Cho had a student who had studied martial arts before coming to Lam Jou’s school. Lam Jou thought these two sets were very practical, so he incorporated these two sets].
Southern staff techniques are separated into two categories: single ended or double ended staff. The single ended is relatively long and the body of the staff is divided into head and tail, the tail is crude whereas the head part is finer. Generally, the length of the staff correlates with the practitioner’s height but the staff is longer by a quarter, in other words it matches the practitioner or the styles standards. The head of the staff is mainly used, in terms of techniques, it can be seen as a spear. In reality, the single ended staff is used like a spear. Luk Dim Bun Gwan, Baat Gwa Gwan, “Chik Family’s Left Handed Staff” (戚家左手棍) and “Fisherman’s Pole” (釣魚棍) are among the most famous staff sets of Gwong Dung province.
The double-ended staff is a, so-called, “Eyebrow Staff”, which means that the length of the staff should reach the eyebrows of the practitioner. The eyebrow staff uses purely staff techniques, it does not have any similarity to spear techniques. According to legend, the founding emperor of the Song dynasty, Song Taizu used an eyebrow staff. The eyebrow staff does not have many techniques, a practitioner has to keep the two ends available for executing techniques. The specialty of the eyebrow staff comes from the usage of both ends of the staff and high speed.
Rare video of full Hung Ga Monkey Staff set, including the monkey intro, choreographed by Late Grand Master Lam Jou. Performed by Michael Goodwin Sifu of San Francisco Hung Gar Association, one of the most senior Western disciples of Lam family.
The Hang Je Pang has an evident Lam Family Hung Kyun flavor to its techniques: it pays particular attention to stable and solid stances. The techniques are fierce and flexible at the same time, a practitioner really trains their coordination when practicing this set. Just like the barehanded sets of Lam Family Hung Kyun, Hang Je Pang also uses many Lin Siu Dai Da (techniques that block and attack at the same time), such as “Pull Back the Staff and Thrusting it Outward (Chau Gwan Biu Gwan 抽棍標棍), “Protect the Waist and Attack the Throat ” (Wu Yiu Gik Hau 護腰擊喉) and “Protect the Head and Sweep the Feet (Wu Tau Sau Geuk 護頭掃腳).
Hang Je Pang does not contain many movements since the movements are repeated throughout the set. The staff techniques are closely connected to the barehanded techniques, there is the “Cutting Staff” (Got Gwan 割棍), “Putting on the Lid Staff” (Kam Gwan 冚棍), “Thrusting Staff” (Biu Gwan 標棍) and “Pulling Back the Staff with the Reversed Hand” (Fan Sau Chau Gwan 反手抽棍).
This text is translated from Chinese to English by Viktor Nordgren. The original text comes from Ming Pao Weekly. Issue no. 2325, 01 June 2013.
Authors: Lam Chun Fai & Hing Chao
About the Translator: Viktor Nordgren been training Hung Kyun since 2002. He started to learn from Mattias Lindh Sifu in Umeå, Sweden. Viktor has been practicing under Raymond Wong since 2010. Håkan Andersson, Viktor’s Sihing, started training under Mattias in 2001 and under master Wong in 2010 as well. Viktor is an author of an excellent English translation of Lam Sai Wing’s Taming the Tiger Manual, available in our PHK Eshop HERE.
Note: Please also see Pavel Macek Sifu’s article about “Traveller Monk’s Staff” (Hang Je Paang).
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