Rare Choy Li Fut Kung Fu Forms

Column by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong
May 2006 Issue

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Choy Li Fut kung fu system has close to 190 documented sets or forms. These forms include hand forms, weapon forms, two person fighting empty-hand and weapon forms, three and four persons weapon fighting forms, lion dancing sets and sets for Jongs (dummies) or training devices. Each pattern or set of Choy Li Fut kung fu has a written script in a booklet. All the booklets were hand copied by the founder's grandson Chan Yiu Chi. Chan Yiu Chi handed down all the scripts to his sons. During the Cultural Revolution in China (1968-1978), half of the original form booklets were burned. The remaining booklets are now kept in King Mui Village by the 4th generation descendant, Chan Sun Chiu, the present Keeper of the system.

There are over 40 hand sets in the Choy Li Fut system. Besides the 12 mandatory Choy Li Fut forms taught in the King Mui schools, there are eight sets of Ba Gua hand forms and 13 sets of individual and multiple animal forms which include the five and ten animal forms. There are also the White Hair Form (Bak Mo Kuen), Drunken Form (Jui Kuen), Ultimate Less Form (Wuji Kuen), Lohan Taming Tiger Form (Lawhon Fook Fu Kuen), Buddha Palm (Fut Jeong Kuen) and Iron Arrow Long Fist (Tit Jin Cheong Kuen) sets.

There are rare forms which are almost never heard of or seen in public such as the Single Leg Form (Duk Geuk Kuen), Diamond Lohan Palm (Gam Gong Lawhon Jeong), Tai Chi Form (Tai Gik Kuen), Dragon Form Bagua Palm (Lung Ying Bot Kwa Jeong) and The Taming Tiger of Gong Character Form (Gong Ji Fook Fu Kuen). The Tai Chi Form in Choy Li Fut is also a soft form and has both open and close hands movements. It is completely different from and has no connection with the internal Tai Chi Chuan system's form. The Dragon Form Bagua Palm and the Gong Ji Fook Fu Kuen also have no connection with the Ba Gua or the Hung Gar kung fu systems.

The Gong Ji Fook Fu Kuen, is a very popular fighting set in Hung Gar kung fu. Because these three sets have the same names as the other kung fu systems, they are no longer taught. Nowadays, most Choy Li Fut practitioners have not heard of these forms at all.

As for weapon forms, there are over 60 sets. Just the staff alone has nine sets of double-ended and single-ended forms. The most advanced staff set is the Twin Dragon Holding Air (Seung Lung Gup Hei Guen). Besides the regular spear forms, there are Snake spear, Hook spear and Double ended spear as well. The rare spear form is the Left and Right Continuous Killing spear set (Juo Yau Kau Sot Cheong). Seven long handle broadsword forms can be found in the system. They are the ordinary long handle Do, Seven Star Do, Nine Rings Do, Horse Chopper Do, Choy Young Do, Lan Moon Jai Do and the famous Kwan-Do. Eight sets of the single and double broadsword and saber forms are found in the system; these sets include both southern and northern broadswords in China. Western military commander's sabers were imported to China more than five hundreds years ago, therefore the Choy Li Fut system has the rare single and double saber forms called the Jee Fai Do (commander's sword). Rope dart, three sectioned staff sets, hookswords, golden melon hammers, chain whips, iron fan, gim or straight sword sets, horse bench, farm hoe and rakes, double Tiger Shield and Rattan Shield forms sets are also part of the Choy Li Fut system. The famous Nine Dragon trident is the rarest weapon of all created by the founder of Choy Li Fut himself, Chan Heung.

There are 60 sets of two, three and four persons fighting sets of both empty hand and weapon forms in the system of Choy Li Fut. Eighteen Jongs (dummies or training devices) sets are in Choy Li Fut (which most of the other kung fu systems don't have). Just the Huge Opening Door Jong (Dai Hoi Moon Jong) alone is so big and spreading out it requires a large room to put it up. All 190 sets were written into booklets by my teacher Hu Yuen Chou's teacher, Chiu Yiu Chi, grandson of the Choy Li Fut's founder Chan Heung.


Doc-Fai Wong writes a bi-monthly column for Inside Kung-Fu.

May 2006 ? Inside Kung-Fu