Choy Li Fut Spear

Column by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong
March 2002 Issue

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My last column described Choy Li Fut staff forms and techniques. In this column I will discuss Choy Li Fut's other popular long weapon - the spear. Unlike many other Southern Chinese martial art systems, Choy Li Fut also places a great emphasis on spear techniques. traditionally, the spear is a Northern Chinese weapon, employed mainly by the military. However, since Choy Li Fut also has Northern roots, besides its Southern Chinese founder, the spear is also a principle weapon.

One of the primary Choy Li Fut spear forms is the throat-locking spear form (saw hau cheung). This set emphasizes a special poking technique aimed at the opponent's throat. Another popular Choy Li Fut spear form is cross-pattern plum blossom spear form (sup ji mui fa cheung). This one is so popular many Choy Li Fut schools use it solely to teach spear techniques.

The plum blossom spear form (miu fa cheung) is the same form as mui fa cheung guen (staff) and is the same pattern for both staff and spear techniques. It is unique to Choy Li Fut in that one form serves two weapons. As students advance in the system they learn left and right 13 lances spear form (jor yau sup sam cheung), one of the most advanced weapons forms of Choy Li Fut. This spear form has 13 techniques where the left hand holds the forward part of the spear lance, as with northern kung-fu spear techniques, and also has 13 techniques where the right hand holds the front of the spear lance, much like southern kung-fu staff poking techniques.

Nowadays, my own Choy Li Fut organization is among the few to teach this unique form. The primary techniques of both staff and the spear are as follows:

  • Nah is a block or strike to the lower left, blocking a low attack, or also to strike the opponent's knee.

  • Pah is a low parry delivered with a pulling motion to the lower right.

  • Kum, which means "cover", is a circular, downward pressing movement that redirects the opponent's weapon toward the ground and away from the Choy Li Fut practitioner.

  • Cheung is a forward thrust.

  • Pau is a horizontal strike to the opponent's head.

  • Chau is a lifting backward movement, which blocks or strikes to the upper right.

  • Gort is a long weapon technique used to disarm an opponent by striking downward to his wrist.

  • Sot is a smashing downward strike to the head that starts from behind the Choy Li Fut practitioner and swings over his head to the front.

  • Jeh-lan (vertical blocking) is a vertical pressing motion with the weapon to the side to block a horizontal attack.

  • Dik-soy is used to either block a strike to the back of the head or to block a horizontal strike to the head or body.

  • Chum-tiu is a downward long weapon strike that doesn't hit the floor.

  • Hong, also known as the "blowing the flute position", is a single-ended long weapon technique used to strike horizontally to the head or to the opponent's knee when delivered from a kneeling stance.

  • Peet is a vertical block or strike to the upper right, upper left, or lower right.

  • Dah-siu-kei means "strike with a little flag" and is a long weapon strike that circles once over the head and then strikes horizontally to the side.

  • Tao-ding fa is an overhead circular technique with the staff or spear held at the center of the weapon shaft.

  • Suit-fai koi-ding, "snow flake flower", is an overhead circular technique done with a long weapon held single-end style.

  • Low-shi poon-gun, "old tree's root coils around", is a sweeping motion of one end of a long weapon on the ground, done as a foot sweep of the opponent.

As you can see, Choy Li Fut has as many, if not more, spear forms than most Northern Chinese kung-fu styles. It also incorporates a wide variety of unique spear-fighting techniques.
Doc-Fai Wong writes a bi-monthly column for Inside Kung-Fu.

March 2002 ? Inside Kung-Fu