The origin of Choy Lay Fut

Chan Heung (陳享), the founder of Choy Lay Fut, was a native of Ging Mui (京梅) in the county of Xihuui (新會), Canton (廣東). Chen Heung was born in 1806 (the 11th Year of the reign of Qing Emperor Jiaqing清嘉慶). When he was a young kid, he began to learn Kung Fu from his uncle, Chan Yuen Wu (陳遠護). Chan was a Shaolin disciple. After some years of training with his uncle, Chan Heung was introduced to Lee Yau Shan (李友山) to further his skill. Lee Yau Shan was a classmate of Chan Yuen Wu. In 1826 (the 6th Year of the reign of Qing Emperor Daoguang清道光), Chan Heung was referred to a Shaolin monk named Choy Fook (蔡福) to further his martial arts knowledge after 4 years of hard training under Lee Yau Shan. Choy Fook was a classmate of Lee Yau Shan and a guard of Shaolin Temple but became a Shaolin refugee living in seclusion at Luofu Mountain (羅浮山) after the burning of the Shaolin Temple by the Qing troops. Chan Heung returned to his hometown in 1833 (the 13th Year of the reign of Qing Emperor Daoguang清道光) after 8 years of training under Choy Fook. During that time anti-Qing activities of the Miao nationality (苗族) spread all over the southern part of China. Lung Tang (龍騰), the leader of the Miao nationality, was a friend of Chen Yuen Wu. Lung Tang sent his son, Lung Gee Choy (龍子才), to Canton. Lung Gee Choy finally became a disciple of Chen Heung. Lung Gee Choy later contributed his own power to assist in establishing the Choy Lay Fut system. Chan Heung revised, refined all that he had learned from his teachers with his disciples, and finally established main hand and leg techniques. Hand techniques include Kum (擒) -Slapping or pressing palm deflection, Na (拿) - shooting arm bridge, Gwa (掛) - back fist, So (掃) - sweeping, Chop (插) - yin/yang fore knuckle strike, Pow (拋) - upward power shot, Jong (撞) - small upward power shot, Chaw (爪) - claw, Bin (鞭) - swinging power shot, Pei (劈) - chopping and Lui Yin (擂陰) - yin/yang fist. Leg techniques include Chan (撐) - bracing, Ding(釘) - nailing, Liu Tat (撩踢) - kicking, So (掃) - sweeping, Jet (截) - blocking, Au (勾) - hooking and Dan (彈) - springing. Ng Lun Ma (Five Wheel Stance Form 五輪馬) and Ng Lun Chui (Five Wheel Striking Form 五輪搥) were the basic techniques that beginners must learn. In addition, Chan Heung spent his time recording his discoveries and knowledge into paper for his earlier and later students to follow. In 1836 (the 16th Year of the reign of Qing Emperor Daoguang清道光 ), Chan Heung formally opened his first martial arts school in the Yuanfuci Chen Family Ancestral Hall in Ging Mui Village (京梅鄉緣福祖祠) and established the Choy Lay Fut system, naming it in honor of two of his teachers, Choy Fook (蔡褔) and Lee Yau Shan (李友山), and used the word Fut (佛), which means "Buddha" in Chinese, to pay homage to his uncle, Chan Yuen Woo (陳遠護), and to the Shaolin roots of the new system. Choy Lay Fut's unique hand techniques contain 10 techniques/elements: Kum (擒) -Slapping or pressing palm deflection, Chuen Na (穿拿) - shooting arm bridge, Gwa (掛) - back fist, Sau (捎) - roundhouse punch, Chop (插) - yin/yang fore knuckle strike, Pow (拋) - upward power shot, Kup (扱) - fist slap, Biu (標) - outward, inside forearm strike, Ding (頂) - elbow or joint strike and Jong (撞) - small upward power shot. This core set of 10 basic strikes permeates throughout all of the handsets and fighting combinations within the Choy Lay Fut system. Choy Lay Fut has the characteristics of the hand techniques with the stress laid on the coordination of attack and defence, flexible footwork, unfolding and natural movements, vigorous and forceful fist rushes, mixed exertion of long and short forces, abundance in legwork and proficiency in jumps and leaps. In addition, there are 8 techniques. They are Yin (陰) - negative, Yang (陽) - positive, Kong (剛) - hard, Yau (柔) - soft, Hui (虛) - false, Shi (實) - real, Tou (偷) - stealing and Lau (溜) - sneaking. Choy Lay Fut was called Southern Fist, Northern Kick and Buddhist Palm Style (南拳北腿佛家掌), meaning a combination of the long arm techniques of the South with the quick agile footwork that characterizes Northern China's martial arts and Buddhist Palm Style. Although the Choy Lay Fut martial arts system was only established a hundred years or so, the style was popularized in Canton, Canada and the United States.

By Wong Chi Yuen. Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu Website here
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pekkwar history Master Wong Chi Yuen "Choy li fut"