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Shaolin Hung-Gar 

& Tai-Chi Institute​

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                Lam Sai Wing                    (Nicknamed the Butcher) 

Lam Sai-wing (1861 – 1943) was a Hung Gar martial artist. He was a student of the Chinese martial artist, acupuncturer and folk hero of Cantonese ethnicity, Wong Fei-hung.

Lam was born in Nanhai district, Guangdong. He followed the customs of his ancestors and learned the traditional martial arts and traditional Chinese medicine Dit Da of his family; from his father Lam Che-chung, grandfather Lam Bak-sin and granduncle Lam Geui-chung, and progressed to learn from Wu Kam-sing (胡金星), a northern Chinese boxer known only by the surname of Kang (康), and Chung Hung-san (鍾雄山). He later learned from Wong Fei-hung, and also assisted with him to work as guards in the entertainment venues. He was eventually considered an expert in Hung Ga ("Hung family fist", a style originating from the Southern Shaolin Tiger style, known for its efficiency and widespread at the time in various secret societies), and may have also studied Fut Kuen ("Buddhist Fist", a style practiced by various Buddhist sects in Guangdong province).

He founded the Wu Ben Tang (Hall of Fundamental Study) in Guangzhou (Canton) where he taught his martial arts. Towards the end of the Qing dynasty, Lam gained first place at a large martial arts competition that took place at the Dongjiao ground.

Between 1917 and 1923, Lam served in the National Revolutionary Army of Fujian province as Chief Instructor in hand-to-hand combat. In 1921, his performance of Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist (虎鶴雙形拳) to raise fund for an orphanage in Guangdong won praise from Sun Yat-sen. Sun awarded him with a silver presidential medal and addressed him as Mr. Fuk-Hok (虎鶴先生).

In about 1926, he was invited by the Hong Kong Butchers' Association to teach martial arts. In 1928, Lam eventually moved to Hong Kong with his adopted nephew Lam Cho (林祖) (1910–2012), where he started teaching martial arts there. With the help of one of his disciples Chu Yu-zai, he wrote and published three books on the three primary forms (taolu) of Hung Ga: gung ji fuk fu keun ("Taming the Tiger Fist"), fu hok seung ying keun ("Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist"), and tit sin keun ("Iron Wire Fist").

Lam died at the age of 82 in 1943, at the Dit Da Clinic (跌打醫館) of the four-storey building (later known as Blue House in 1990) at Stone Nullah Lane during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. Whilst conditions were difficult during the occupation, there has been no indication that the occupation contributed to his death.

Lam Sai Wing's Legacy 

Lam and his students, which were said to have numbered over 10,000 during his life, are primarily responsible for popularizing the style in the 20th century. Some of his students became among the first actors and stunt people in the fledgling Hong Kong "kung fu" film industry in the 1940s. They included two men who would work as action directors on the Wong Fei-hung films that starred Kwan Tak-hing – Leong Wing-hang and Lau Cham, father of action director and star, Lau Kar-leung. Another student of Lam was Golden Harvest producer Raymond Chow.

The most famous student of Lam Sai-wing and the leader of the Hong Kong Martial Arts Community was Chan Hon-chung (1909–1991), the founding chairman of Hong Kong Chinese Martial arts association [1] and the only Chinese Martial Artist honored by the Queen during the colonial Hong Kong. Chan's best student Kong Pui Wai is still leading the association. Another famous student was Chiu Kao. His son Chiu Chi-ling made his name from movies and teaching Hung Gar worldwide.

Lam Sai-wing's kung fu was also continued by his adopted nephew Lam Cho, his disciple and successor, who resided & taught in Hong Kong with his own sons Anthony Lam Chun-fai, Simon Lam Chun-chung[1] and Lam Chun-sing. Simon Lam Chun-chung continues to teach his father's students and new students at Lam Cho's renowned studio in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Among Lam Cho's senior disciples, Kwong Tit Fu (鄺鐵夫) (died 1999) and Tang Kwok-wah (鄧國華) (1924–2011) taught in Boston.

Great Grand Master Lamjo school 1998

Sup Ying Kyun / 10 Patterns Fist

Twelve Bridges of Hung Ga

The form also introduces the 12 bridges of Hung Ga which are practiced with breathing from the Daan Tin pressure point and pronunciation of sounds. These 12 bridges and the corresponding sounds are as follows:

Gong (剛): hard bridge – usually practiced with the pronunciation of the “NG’ sound. The hard bridge emphasis the use of hard or brute force developed through use of dynamic tension training in the practitioner’s bridge. The use of hard power may be used to forcefully block or push away an opponent’s bridge. The Chyun Kiu (Bridge Hand) from the earlier Tit Sin Kyun sets embodies this concept.

Yau (柔): soft bridge – usually practiced with the “He He He” sound. The soft bridge emphasizes the use of soft power to deflect harder and more powerful attacks from an opponent (Yi Yau Jai Gung).

Bik (逼): pressing bridge – usually practiced with the pronunciation of the ‘Hik’ sound. This bridge is used to block a straight punch. Bik Sau is the most illustrative example of this bridge.

Jik (直): straight bridge – usually practiced with the “Uh” sound. This bridge emphasizes the use of a straight bridge without stance turning. The bridge helps the practitioner practice straight attacks using the bridge for additional power.

Fan (分): dividing bridge – usually practiced with the pronunciation of the “NG’ sound. An example of the use of this concept is the Fan Gam Cheui, which is practiced within Gung Ji and Tit Sin Kyun. The Fan Gam Cheui is used for punching to the side of the practitioner. As Grand Master Lam Chun Chung says the punch must be executed at a 45 degree angle from high to low towards your opponent’s floating ribs or air gate. The reason for the 45 degree angle for executing the punch is that it is a means of unlocking a grip and attacking to the opponent’s floating ribs at the same time.

Grand Master YC Wong

Performing Iron Thread / Tid Sin Kyun

Tit Sin Kyun was a form passed down from Tit Kiu Saam (Iron Bridge Three), one of the ten tigers of Canton and a grandmaster of Hung Ga Kyun. The form was taught to Grandmaster Wong Fei Hung by Lam Fuk Sing, one of the students of Tit Kiu Saam.

Tit Sin Kyun is an internal form (Noi Gung 內功) of the Lam Ga Hung Kyun System. There is a common misconception that Tit Sin Kyun trains self defence techniques. Rather than solely training self defence techniques, Grandmaster Lam Chun Chung suggests that Tit Sin Kyun utilizes dynamic tension, breathing exercises and pronunciation of sounds to generate power in the practitioner’s bridge hands, improve rooting of the practitioner’s stance and improve the overall health of a practitioner by treating each of the five major organs of the human body (i.e. Liver, Heart, Spleen, Lungs and Kidneys).

The purpose of Tit Sin Kyun is to train the internal and external bridge hands. It is said that Tit Sin Kyun uses physical techniques in order to train the Sam Faat or intent and skill of the practitioner. The external bridge hands trains the bridge, eyes, body, hip and stance whereas the internal bridge trains the heart, soul, intent and qi. The Practitioner must train until both the external and the internal bridge hands are blended together so that the Qi flows through the bridge hand resulting in an exponential increase in power generation to the bridge hand. When training in Tit Sin Kyun, it is essential for the practitioner to train until he or she attains a state of stillness in motion and motion in stillness.

Ding (定): stabilizing bridge – usually practiced with the “TZE” sound. Ding Bridge helps the practitioner train his bridge hand so that to achieve greater circulation in the arms through the use of dynamic tension resulting in greater power in the practitioner’s bridge hands. Grandmaster Lam Chun Chung often recommends the Ding bridge as an exercise that for the elderly to assist in improving circulation.

Chyun (串) – Inch Bridge – usually practiced with the “HEI” sound. This bridge emphasizes the use of inch force. In other words, the generation of force where there is short distance between the practitioner’s fist and the target. The Chyun Bridge is executed with the support of a twisting hip and stance to generate sufficient power to attack an opponent’s solar plexus. The Chyun Bridge is executed with a Biu Ji or finger jab. Again, this is to be differentiated from Wing Cheun where the practitioner only tenses upon the moment of impact. The Wing Chun inch punch relies upon speed and body structure and positioning to generate force. In Tit Sin Kyun, the practitioner focuses his necessary strength and applies such strength into the target area. As Grand Master Lam Chun Chung says, the practitioner literally ‘press’ the fist or palm onto the target area.

Tai (提): Lifting Bridge – usually practiced with the “HEI” sound. This bridge emphasizes the lifting of the bridge. The most obvious lifting bridge is the Long Sau, used to be block an back fist to the head.

Lau (流): Flowing Bridge – usually not practiced with any sounds. The bridge emphasizes the training of dynamic tension in the bridge whilst moving it.

Wan (運): Sending/Transporting Bridge – In Tit Sin Kyun, the Wan element is used for changes between techniques and directions. This bridge emphasizes the training of dynamic tension in the both bridges whilst moving them. This bridge trains the necessary power so that one could use the bridge hand to controlling one’s opponent and to use the opponent’s force against him.

Jai (制): Controlling Bridge – usually practiced with the “NG” sound. This bridge again emphasizes pressing down and controlling the opponent’s bridge. 

Ding (訂): Settling Bridge – usually practiced with the pronunciation of the ‘Dik’ sound. This bridge embodies the Chinese saying Sai Leung But Chin Gan (or to use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds). In Tit Sin Kyun, the bridge is practiced whilst applying dynamic tension to one finger to force down the opponent’s bridge.

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