Hung Gar Kung Fu incorporates both external and internal methods. It emphasizes strong stances, long and short hand techniques which encompasses straight, circular, and angular movements. The intent is to develop efficiency of movement, as well as coordination. This results in superior inside maneuvers, none more evident than the variation of kicks, mostly executed below the waist. Although the execution of movement appears to be hard, this system, in fact, incorporates both hard and soft techniques in a multitude of directions. The execution of advanced techniques are complex. Research has determined that Hung Gar possesses more intricate hand techniques and stance maneuvers than any other traditional system from China.
Its origin is from the "fighting monks" of the first Shaolin (Siu Lum) Temple in Honan (Henan) province. The Shaolin system derived from Chuan Buddhism, a hybrid of Dhyama Buddhism and Taoism. As early as 500 AD, Da Mo, a Dhyama patriach from India, taught breathing exercises (qigong) to the monks. This helped them improve their physical health so they could endure longer periods of meditation. The breathing exercises evolved into a fluid self defense system that was much softer in execution of movement than what developed later. It included techniques, mimicking five animals - tiger, white crane, dragon, snake and leopard. These were developed, in an effort to protect the Honan temple.
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