Choy Li Fut, my personal favorite orthodox Kung fu style.

Oct 26, 2022

This episode features a good friend of ours Choy Li Fut Master Brandon Dunng. Brandon is a CLF encyclopedia, cool, and a genuine teacher.   He has that stern yet caring countenance like those kung fu masters that are always contemplating while staring at their beautiful Chinese landscape view.

I won't define the culture of Choy Li Fut since info is everywhere.  Still, I encourage you to look into its history abroad and in the United States.  There are some great characters for martial arts screenwriters who might get inspiration for new romanticized action stories.  I wish Hollywood would realize that instead of another retelling of another Bruce Lee story, there are so many amazing American martial arts legends.  A good example is Chuck Norris.  Forget doing another Texas Walker but do a movie about him and his fights or the story of Choy Li Fut's grandmaster Lau Bun or San Soo's Jimmy H Woo and don't get me started with all the legendary African American masters.  Common movie screenwriters!  This is an untapped gold mine!  I'll post my top ten American masters that would be great inspiration for movies later.

Choy Li Fut or Choy Lay Fat or CLF is my personal favorite, aside from its cool yet not too "Chinese Opera tainted" Kung Fu forms, CLF's combat techniques are easier to comprehend at lower levels and at higher levels, interesting results start to happen.

The whirling arms and strong low kicks are taught using large circles, for me, large circles aren't useable in a street fight IF large circles are all you do, but that's normal for practically all Kung Fu styles. It's up to you to take the techniques and practice a combat technique from its original large circle down to its smallest. You'll discover if, when, and how to apply them realistically in street combat.

Studying and applying these techniques using "San-Sau";

  • quickens your arm circles.
  • naturally exposes how to "whip" your strikes.
  • those "impractical" large arm and foot circles become useable and practical in defending yourself in the street.
  • forces you to use your stance at any height level. I wasn't taught to stay in horse stances like in the movies (that was only for punishments.... which I got some), I was drilled to smoothly go from horse stance to horse stance, no matter how high from the ground. "San-Sau" taught me how to weaponize my horse stances.
  • at much higher combat levels you start understanding a term I call "Harvesting". "Harvesting" means, every strike or movement (seed) leads to another even more destructive technique. The simplest model would be a boxer's hook (seed) places your opponent's head or body to the most ideal place to launch a slew of destructive combinations, but unlike boxing, which attacks from the front, Kung fu combat is practiced by attacking from all sides.

This is my personal discovery of what "San-Sau" gave me to further understand my Kung Fu so please take this article more as a story rather than educational. I don't have the mental budget to deal with the politics and experiential differences out there.

Stay safe and happy my martial arts brothers and sisters.  

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