Hung Gar versus Hsing-I animal forms
Original Poster: DAT
Forum: Kung Fu Styles, Chinese Martial Arts
Posted On: 16-05-2004, 00:57
Orginal Post: DAT: Hopefully someone who has had exposure to Hsing-I and Hung Gar can offer some insight here. I would like to know why Hung Gar’s animal forms are not practiced or are reknown for health and theraputic value. Both are Shaolin arts, both link with Taoist five fist elements. Yet you never hear about Hung Gar’s forms having the same healing and longevity benefits. I’m not up on the Hung Gar breathing during forms. Perhaps pace and matching breath are the key differences. I’m thinking about doing some Hung Gar but at my age (49) I want health and rejuvination with my martial arts.
There are just too many historical ties for one to be world reknown for martial and healing and the other just practiced for martial
that’s because hg’s animal forms are external. and they are meant only for combat.>
Xingyi, while an internal art and hence possessed of fairly considerable rejunvenative properties, isn’t the best choice for rejunvenation. Among internal stylists, the common consensus is that Taijiquan is the best when it comes to building health. If you want to learn how to fight with Xingyi at the same time, I would say it’s difficult to find the kind of instruction that will impart actual combative value – combative power in Xingyi is hard to measure, especially without a truly competent instructor to guide your learning. Which instructors do you have access to where you are? In the case of internal styles, lineage is often the acid test.
Oh, and FYI, Xingyi is not considered to be of the Shaolin lineage, strictly speaking. It probably was brought to Shaolin Temple by students of Li Luo Nan and there exists a predecessory style – 72 Xinyi Grabs – which was apparently taught by Ji Longfeng when he stayed to teach and train at the temple for a while. However, Xinyi and Xingyi are both considered lineages unto themselves and share little in common with the trademark Shaolin styles. Them being internal martial arts, I suppose one could consider them of the Taoist lineage by philosophy and practice, but there exists little evidence that Xinyi and Xingyi were ever practiced by true Taoists – they are very much internal styles for career warriors, particularly since Xinyi, the art that Xingyi was developed from, was developed as a communal defence system by the Chinese Muslims.
Hung Gar, on the other hand, has its roots in the Black Tiger style of Hong Qiguan (the founder) and the White Crane style of Fang Qiniang (his wife), both of which in turn originated from the Luohan Quan (Arhat Fist) of Shaolin Temple – huge difference there, and hence very little relationship with any of the Big Three internal styles.>
Here is my Hsing-I option:
Here is my Hung-Gar option:
Question: How close in actual movement are the animal forms in Hung Gar and Hsing-I? I’ve been in Chinese arts for several decades but have not taken an animal based art (Wing Chun-Taiji) with the exception of Hop-Gar. The theraputic value in Hop-Gar is the accompanying Tibetan Qigong. However I was told that the Hop-Gar exercises also cultivate Chi. Is that the case with the HG animal forms?>
ARGH! That Xingyi page had a virus on it! And my firewall was down!!! :shock:>
The animal forms in Xingyi are vastly different from those in Hung Gar, both in form and in concept. For one, the Hung Gar animal forms are entire long sets whereas the Xingyi animal forms are really little more than individual techniques that are usually executed in one or two sets, and really function more as fundamental exercises to develop internal power and the ability to focus it in a certain way. In fact, the Xingyi animal forms are of secondary importance – the fundamentals are to be found in the Five Element forms and the animal forms are in fact based on these.
With regard to internal training, Hung Gar animal forms generally offer little or no internal training at all, with the possible exception of the three supposedly internal animal forms, Crane, Snake and Dragon, though I don’t know if the internal training is contained within the forms themselves or come as supplementary qigong. With Xingyi, however, the internal training is rolled together into the forms, but the training effect is most apparent when the individual forms are repeated over and over again, as opposed to doing the long combined forms.>
We dont actually have any direct forms when it comes to animals, at least not in Cantonese Hung Gar.. They’re all baked into sets, but in Hay Say Fu on the other hand, each animal has it’s respective sets.
The four pillars of Hung Gar, the four sets that’s actually required for a style, or branch of any of the lineages, to be viewed as Hung Gar.. are: (Of course, names may vary a bit)
Taming the Tiger in an I pattern. ( Gung Gee Fok Fu kuen )
Tiger and Crane (double) fist(s) (Fu Hok Sueng Ying Kuen )
Sup Ying Kuen (Also known as Ng Ying Ng Hang if I’m not misstaken..)
Iron Wire (Tit Sin Kuen)
Descriptions from Hunggar.net is as follows:
“Gung Ji Fook Fu Kuen is said to be the oldest set in Hung Gar Kuen which traces it’s origins to Hung Hay Goon and the Shaolin Temple. In Hung practice it is usually the first of the four pillar sets that a student will learn. It emphasizes stance conditioning, chi development, solid bridge work, and has a depth of applications waiting for the student to uncover. The name translates to “cross tiger fist”, “subduing the tiger”, or “taming the tiger”. “
“Fu Hok Seung Ying Kuen is said to be the signature form of Hung Gar, this set is so closely identified with the system that many times Hung Gar is simply referred to as Tiger Crane style. The set is said to have been choreographed by Wong Fei Hong and later popularized by Lam Sai Wing. In this set we are introduced to the ferocity and strength of the tiger coupled with it’s compliment of the grace and speed of the crane.”
“The Ng Ying Ng Hang introduces the student to the five animals and five elements of Hung Gar. The animals are; dragon, snake, tiger, leopard, crane. The elements are; metal, wood, water, earth, fire. This form is also said to have been choreographed by Wong Fei Hong and nearly a martial system in it self. The beginning is nearly identical to the start of Tit Sin Kuen so this form is starting to introduce the higher concepts of internal cultivation.”
“The Tit Sin Kuen set is said to be the highest form in Hung Gar and to take the student from the external to the realm of the internal. It was introduced to the system from the Tit Kiu Sam lineage by way of Wong Fei Hong. The form is comprised solely on the movements of the dragon and includes varied vocal intonations with precisely controlled breathing and postures to cultivate, circulate, and extend internal energy.”
It is also said that:
“The Four Pillars of Hung Gar are the four base sets that comprise the essence of the system. In most cases they are taught in the order in which I have listed them here; Gung Ji Fook Fu Kuen, Fu Hok Seung Ying Kuen, Ng Ying Ng Hung, Tit Sin Kuen. The first three have the quintessential Hung Gar beginning with deep breathing and chi cultivation prior to explosive and animal emulation aspects of the rest of the set. The fourth form is said to be an internal form for the cultivation of chi and health as well as higher martial concepts.”
The reason I wrote li’l myself is because it’s three o’ clock in the middle of the night. (Or well, early morning) and I’m quite tired. :P>