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About 5 Family Style


The Five Families Style of Kung Fu includes Choy, Lee, Fut, Mok, and Hung Gar (family) Styles. It is arguably one of the oldest Chinese Martial Art systems that is known to this day. You might come across the names Choi, LI, Fat, or Muk, sometimes they are spelled differently, but still all refer to the same people who were known for their teachings at the Shaolin Temple. Very rarely did anyone learn the entire system so it is not uncommon to find schools that teach Choi-Lee-Fut style, or Hung style Tiger, Crane, and combinations of many others. Ark Y. Wong was one of the few that mastered the entire Five Family Style.


One of the most well known styles of Kung Fu, and also the most practiced by people all over the world is Choy-Li-Fut. It is easiest to learn, and can be learned rather quickly. This style was taught to the military because of its effectiveness. The Mok and the Hung styles are much harder to learn, and could spend a lifetime trying to perfect it. The Hung style is complete with the Five Animals, Snake, Tiger, Dragon, Leopard, and Crane. If you take all of the actual animals, and combine all the different types of movement, you have the Dragon. The Dragon is the serpent body of a Snake, the ferociousness of the Tiger, the twisting side hitting movements of the Leopard, and the wing, leg, beaking movements of the Crane. The combination of the other four animals gives rise to the mythical Dragon, which embodies spirit of all the animals combined.


Many stories exist about the founders of the Five Family Style of Kung Fu, the explaination below is one of many. Naming the beginning contributors is just a way of showing respect to teachings that began then and have lasted through many centuries.


CHOY (Choi)GAR- The system was founded by Choy Gau Yee and is a long and short arm style. (No relation to Choy-li-fut system which was created much later). The Choy system teaches mostly kicks, side punches, and circular long and short fists. However, it is mostly known for its combination or blending of Fut and Li Gar methods.


LI GAR- Founded by Li Yao San (also one of Choy-li-fut's originators), this seldom-taught system features a strong medium-range attacks. The Li system has a lot of slaps and poking techniques against vital points on the body, and is known for its rapid and baffling footwork called “rat steps”. However, it is mostly known for its heel palm work.


FUT (FAT) GAR – Founded by Lau Soam Ngan, it is a middle length hand system, not often taught in present times. The Lau system consists of many open-hand techniques for blocking, slicing, chopping, and cutting techniques. However, it is mostly known for its Monk's hand work.


MOK GAR – Founded by Mok Ching Giu, who was famous in Canton for his powerful kicks, this system places emphasis on short-hand techniques and strong kicks. The Mok system is known for its precise blocking system and for its simultaneous block-strikes, and is also famous for its Chicken heart strike (3rd knuckle punch).


HUNG GAR – Founded by Hung Hei Gung, it uses external strength and dynamic tension exercises and is excellent for developing muscles and strong low stances. The Hung system is known for its power punching used out of a low horse, although it aims for a natural relaxed grace. However, it is mostly known for its long arm work. Hung Gar is the system containing the Five Animal Forms, Snake, Tiger, Leopard, Dragon, and the Crane.


Within the Five Family System are also the extraordinary skills (Juer Chi), these includes several levels of Iron Palm as well as such skills as Iron Body / Iron Shirt, light body skills, and vital point striking (dim-mak). These skills are the very coveted and the higher secret skills given to only an extremely select few.

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