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Hung Gar

Of the 5 major southern styles of Chinese Kung Fu (Hung, Lau, Choy, Lay, Mok) Hung Gar is probably the most popular worldwide. Hung is the surname of Hung Hei Kwan, the man who created the system and Gar means family in Cantonese. Therefore Hung Gar can be interpreted as Hung's family style or " Stand Tall with Integrity".

The style originated directly from the Shaolin temple. Legend has it that Hung Hei Kwan (a strong, large proud man) developed his Kung Fu under Monk Gee Sin Sim See who specialized in the Tiger style. The Tiger style represents fierceness and power and focuses on the development of aggressiveness and dynamic tension breathing skills

When the ruling Ching army destroyed the Shaolin temple, most of the practitioners were killed including Monk Gee Sin. Another monk named Jyu did manage to escape and later on changed his name to Hung Hei Kwan. The name "Hung" was chosen not so much as to represent the style but as a tribute to Hung Moi Chui who was one of the leaders of the Ming dynasty. Hung Hei Gwan vowed to restore the Ming dynasty and crush the Chings. He traveled throughout southern China to spread his art and to enlist supporters for his cause. Eventually he met and married Fong Wing Chun (not Yim Wing Chun founder of Wing Chun Kung Fu) who was an excellent Crane stylist. The crane style, which represents agility and swift movement, focuses on the development of whipping power, evasive tactics, waist movements and calmness of spirit. Through this partnership, the styles of Tiger and Crane became one and Hung Gar is now often referred to as the Tiger Crane style.

Technically Hung Gar Kung Fu has many versatile hand techniques for close range fighting and kicks for long range combat. It also involves the scientific coordination and use of all parts of the body, which allows a practitioner to develop movements and techniques that are simple and practical in self-defense and combat.

The Hung Gar system has techniques representing the 5 animals: Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, and Crane. There is a balance of Yin and Yang in that it contains hard striking techniques and soft evasive movements. There are also the 5 elements of gold, wood, water, fire, and earth. The most common element of this style is the unique use of the "bridging arm".