SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HOONG KA AND CHOY-LI-FATT IN MEETING SINGLE AND MULTIPLE OPPONENTS

Hoong Ka, Hung Gar Kungfu

Sifu roland and others performing a typical Hoong Ka pattern, "Black Tiger Steals Heart"



Question

As Choy Lee Fatt is a school of kung fu well-suited for self defense againt multiple assailants and your Shaolin Wahnam school also has methods used for this purpose in level 11 and 12 of the Shaolin Kung Fu Training Program, which are "Single Unarmed Against Multiple Unarmed" and "Single Unarmed & Armed Against Multiple Armed" respectively, how might the tactics and philosophies of Hoong Ka and Choy Lee Fatt differ comparatively when dealing with multiple opponents? What are the similarities? What about in one on one combat?

-- Sunwukong


Answer

There are a lot of similarities between Hoong Ka and Choy-Li-Fatt because they came from the same source, Southern Shaolin. The differences are due to different emphasis the two schools place on techniques. Hoong Ka focuses on straight stances and straight punches, whereas Choy-Li-Fatt on diagonal stances and diagonal strikes.

In other words, a typical Hoong Ka attack is to move forward in a Bow-Arrow Stance and drive a level fist or a vertical fist into an opponent, as in "Black Tiger Steals Heart". A typical Choy-Li-Fatt attack is to move diagonally forward and swing an upward fist or a downward fist at an opponent, as in "Throw Ball in Waves" or "Whirlwind Smashes Waves". Please note that all these patterns are found in both school.

A colloquial saying sums up the difference in tactics, "hoong ka chet yap, choy li fatt chou chak moon" or "Hoong Ka enters straight-ahead, Choy-Li-Fatt enters from a side". This is expressed in their different philosophies, "hoong ka kuen fatt kong meng loui lok, choy li fatt seng yu chi chui" or "Honog Ka techniques are clear and direct, Choy-Li-Fatt techniques win with strategies".

Hence, a manifestation of a Hoong Ka practitioner in kungfu or in life is "If I beat you, it is because I am better than you", whereas that of a Choy-Li-Fatt practitioner is "If I beat you, it is because I am cleverer than you". In kungfu stories, a Hoong Ka practitioner would rather die fighting against odds than escaping using tricks, whereas a Choy-Li-Fatt practitioner when faced with odds would choose to escape rather than fight. One represents courage, the other represents wisdom. In Shaolin Wahanm, we value both.

Hoong Ka and Choy-Li-Fatt have different philosophies regarding fighting single-handedly against multiple armed or unarmed attackers. I clearly remember learning these two important philosophies from my siheng (elder kungfu brother), "Iron-Armed" Chiu Shi Khern when I was just a small boy learning kungfu from Uncle Righteousness. A Hoong Ka practitioner would adopt "pui sheng yong jin", which means fighting courageously with your back against a wall so that others could not attack you from your back. A Choy-Li-Fatt practitioner would adopt "fu lok khuen yeong" which means you fight like a tiger moving about swiftly in a flock of sheepish attackers.

-- Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit


Choy-Li-Fatt Kungfu

Tapio applying a typical Choy-Li-Fatt pattern, "Whirlwind Smashes Waves", on George


The above is reproduced from the thread 20 Questions for Grandmaster: Choy-Li-Fatt and Kungfu against Other Styles in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.

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