Different Styles of the Martial Arts – Fut Gar Kung Fu, Emei Quan, and Pak Hok Pai

Pak Hok Pai

This system was first created in Tibet during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is thought that a Tibetan Lama (spiritual leader) named A Da Tuo, while in a meditative state, witnessed a white crane and a black ape fighting. He was so impressed by the quick and easy movement of the ape and the gracefulness of the crane, that he was inspired to create a new system, which he called “lion’s roar.”

It was originally named after the Buddhist principle that is best translated as “sounds that shake the Earth are like the lion’s roar”-the lion’s roar is seen as being the creation or the starting point of a significant event.

In the 1800s, the system was improved and renamed “white crane sect” by Lama Du Luo Ji Tan.

Guiding principles

Much of the original syllabus is still taught today. The four main underlying concepts upon which the system is based are: “chan,” literally translated as cruel, and meaning that fighters must adopt a dominant mentality and never retreat until the fight is ended; “sim,” the principle of skilled use of body movement to dodge any attacks; “jit,” meaning to stay one move ahead of the fight; and “cheung,” which is the concept of powerful strikes punching through opponents and targets. Typically, punches are aimed to land 3 in (7.5 cm) behind (i.e. through) the opponent’s body.

Emei Quan

This system is named after the Emei Mountains, located in the Szechwan province of western China, and it incorporates low, strong stances, hopping movements, and powerful flipping actions that are generated from the wrists. Training involves the use of forms and weapons. One of the system’s main characteristics is the way that practitioners use force both to divert attacks from, and deliver strikes to, opponents. Emei incorporates a number of technique from monkey-style kung fu and its forms are particularly spectacular and officious.

Although not as popular outside Asia as Shaolin kung fu, emei quan is one of the five major systems recognized inside China.

Fut Gar Kung Fu

Fut gar kung fu is a southern style of kung fu characterized by evasive footwork, low kicks, and palm strikes. Although no one person is credited with originating the style, it is believed to have grown from luohan kung fu.

As the name suggests, the art was originally a generic term for the kung fu style used by monks, although it is now taught as a distinct style in its own right. It is thought of as both an internal and external system, meaning that elements of physical strength and soft “qi gong” movements are incorporated into its comprehensive syllabus of attacking and defensive movements. Well-known offensive techniques (including the hook and the hammer fist), evasive footwork, and the use of some unusual weapons – such as the dragon-well sword – give the system a traditional tone and one that is full of character.

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