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Hung Gar Sees the Light

Hung Gar is a Chinese martial art that originated from the Southern Shaolin Temple located in the Fukien Province of South China. Ling Nam, or “South of the Ridges”, is the name given to the large geographical area south of the five great mountains of China and covers all the open meadowlands on the south side of China 's two dominant mountain ranges. Ling Nam Hung Gar then, is the name given to one school of Hung Gar Kung Fu that was located in the Ling Nam region.

Higher Martial Arts

This definition, as I see it, means that a higher state of consciousness can be achieved through some type of medium such as martial arts, meditation, calligraphy, playing a musical instrument or anything other such pursuit that employs both the mind and the body in search of perfection. As westerners, we tend to think of such concepts as so much Eastern Philosophy and leave it at that.

The Salute: A Gesture of Respect

Martial artists commonly salute with a bow when they greet each other. This salute is a custom that is an intrinsic part of traditional Chinese Kung Fu. It is a mutual show of respect for each other's skills and abilities.
The salute had a practical application. Martial artists were always very cautious in the old days, and a hand shake was considered either too threatening or an invitation for attack. Warriors would try to avoid contact with unscrupulous people, leery of surprise attacks. Many Chin Na (joint splitting) techniques begin from a handshake.

The Old Tree Gnarls It's Root

Fifteen hundred years. Seven and a half times older than the United States of America. Three quarters of the time since the birth of Jesus Christ. We are living in a most interesting time, my brothers and sisters. In two years, Hong Kong will return to the People's Republic of China. In five years, the Gregorian calendar crosses a millennium.

A Thousand Times is Not Enough...

"Practice your form 1000 times, and your body and hands will become coordinated and natural." This is a familiar motto amongst Chinese Kung Fu practitioners. Even for those students who do not speak Chinese, I am sure that they have heard this saying from their teacher in some form or another. This concept is universal throughout all manners of skill, whether it be martial, artistic, technical or compassionate. It stresses the underlying principle of all Kung Fu, practice over time.

An Encounter with Sifu Kwong Wing Lam

Medical school demanded considerably more time. By the junior year all martial arts ceased. Internship and the ensuing five years of surgical residency made it nearly impossible to pursue any sort of physical culture. Afterwards, I had the challenge of setting up a solo private medical practice.

Sun Style Tai Chi Founder and Grand master Sun Lu Tang

By all accounts, Sun Lu Tang was an extraordinary man. Born in 1861 in Hebei Provience, Sun was the child of a poor farmer. Sun's father, recognizing the boy's intelligence, wanted to provide him with a good education. Unfortunately, he could only afford two years of formal schooling for Sun before he lost everything to poor harvests and the Qing dynasty's oppressive taxes.

Black Tiger Guards the Mountain: Reflections and Observations on our Shaolin Temple today

Loyal readers, if you will lend me your attention once again, I would like to share my experience of another summer spent training at Shaolin Temple. As many of you already know, last year I traveled there as part of a personal pilgrimage during 1500th anniversary of our treasured temple. This year I returned, to see what had changed and what and remained the same. Returning to Shaolin is like stepping back into another dimension, a dimension of legends and heroes, a place like no other.

Chin Na

Recently I had the pleasure of sitting in one of Sifu Lam's Chin Na seminars. As with any instructor of Chinese martial arts I have a basic knowledge of chin na techniques. This includes how to deal with most types of grabs and punches for the niques, or at least they should. This is because every Chinese Kung Fu system has at least some, if not many, chin na techniques placed somewhere within the forms for their particular style.

Heart Of The Dragon: Jackie Chan's Journey to the West

I recently had the good fortune of attending an exclusive sneak preview of Jackie Chan's recent American release, Rumble in the Bronx in San Francisco. What made this screening particularly delightful was Jackie Chang was attending, along with the director Stanley Tong, and his manger Willie Chan. I can't be sure, but I think my first Jackie Chan movie was either New Fist of Fury (where he is marketed as the new Bruce Lee) or Shaolin Wooden Men (where he shows David Carradine a thing or two about how to get your Shaolin Forearm brands).

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