"All creeds tend to split into two, each of which in turn splits into two more, until after a certain finite number of generations...there are fewer human beings in any given region, no matter how large, than there are creeds...." Eric Bell, mathematician.

Th Fu style is a complete system of Chinese martial arts, and includes forms of tai chi, h’sing yi, pa kwa chang (ba gua zhang), leung yi ch’uan (‘yin-yang boxing’), and weapon forms. 

'Complete system' is traditional Chinese terminology to used to describe a style, such as this one, which contains a highest level form. Some, but not all, styles of kung fu are complete systems. the highest level form in kung fu is the iron wire palm. The high level form in the Fu style is the Dragon palm pa kwa set. Having a way to progress helps the student avoid stagnation & maintain interest. Weapon forms are taught after 'empty hand' forms to train the projection of energy/momentum outside the body. This type of training has many health benefits, and for the long term practitioner, is an effective form of self defence.

An 'internal' system is one which primarily focuses on training a person's intrinsic energy. The other extreme is the ‘external’ systems, eg Shaolin kung fu, Eagle Claw kung fu, or karate. Their primary focus is on developing 'external' muscular strength, rather than internal body awareness, which is taught later on in some external schools, or not at all in others. 

A style can be internal or external, but cannot really be both (in practice, the emphasis is either on one or the other). There are physical advatages to internal over external systems. It is impossible to reach the highest level (iron wire palm) in external styles if the person's training is begun beyond about 12 years of age. This is because the highest level of Shaolin relies upon control of certain hormones in the body. These hormones no longer exist in the human body after puberty, and many years training are needed before this level is even reached. The advantage of internal styles is that they do not rely upon these hormones to reach the highest level. So people can begin training at a later age and still potentially reach their birth potential. [See "The Secrets of Chinese Meditation" and "Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality" both translated by Lu K'uan Yu for detailed explanations of these techniques]. The disadvantage of the internal styles is the extreme difficulty of performing the movements exactly right (to the millimeter), without which they are ineffective, and not internal. It is this whole-body co-ordination that generates the spiraling force inside the body.

The ‘three related' arts, tai chi, h’sing yi, and pa kwa are all internal styles and, from the late 1800s, were often taught together. Tai chi goes from soft to hard and kung fu goes from hard to soft. The approach is different, the goal is the same.

The traditional meaning of the word 'grandmaster' is someone who develops a complete system, and a 'master' is someone who earns their living from teaching.

The Fu style was developed by Grandmaster Fu Chen Sung (1881-1953). The forms were further refined by his son, Fu Wing Fai (1907-1993). From 1929 they lived and taught in Canton and Hong Kong. For political reasons, (their support of General Sun and the social democratic forces, who fought the communists after the War with Japan), this style is not well known in mainland China.

Most of the remaining masters who stayed in the Chinese mainland post-WW2, left (or were killed) before or during the turmoil of the cultural revolution, when the death penalty was often imposed for practicing any traditional arts. A common slogan of this time was "We must destroy the old to make way for the new." No one could practice in safety on the mainland during these years, so most stopped practicing or left the country. [The exception to this was the Red Guard, who preserved the external styles for the armed forces]. For this reason, the Fu style was able to retain the inner essence of the internal systems. Fu style pa kwa has lately been recognized as the 6th ‘official’ style of pa kwa by the communist government. Most practictioners are these days found in Hong Kong and North America.

All the internal styles rely upon utilizing the basic laws of physics, leverage and momentum. The Fu style in particular emphasizes directing the body’s energy through the waist, using coiling power, and using ‘rippling body’ stepping. This trains the practitioner to use their body in a healthy manner and react correctly, as the situation dictates.

Fu style yahoogroup:



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