Hung Gar also has different origin stories, commonly acknowledged to have originated from either the Northern Shaolin Temple between the Ming and Ching dynasties then branching out to Fukien, or from a Fukien tea merchant named Hung Hei Goon.
While it originally starting with high, narrow stances, Its more modern approach is characterized by wide, low stances with longer arm techniques which imitate the power of a tiger ready to pounce and crane movements which are balanced, sudden and elusive. These elements are combined together to find or create openings in the opponent making the art seen as predominantly offensive in nature. Its movements are hard, strong and powerful using mainly hand attacks and stances with only a few kicking techniques. The synthesis of these characteristics is commonly attributed to Hung Hei Goon in modern Hung Gar training .
Hung gar training builds up the practitioners strength in the arms and legs and raises the level of internal and external energy (chi) by means of intensive stance training, breathing exercises and physical body strike conditioning. Each motion of hung gar has a different way of breathing which has a calming effect on the nervous system. Energy is focused in the dan tien (two & a half inches below the belly button). This way, the focus of the body is lower, the weight is closer to the ground and the hung gar student becomes immovable, like a rooted tree. Hung gar is an intense and rewarding way to unite mind, body and spirit and has been integrated into the Lau Kune Do way of training since it began.
"The path is never ending; always strive towards self conquering, follow your uniqueness and cultivate your own perfection".
"The art is the means to self conquering, the tool to shape the life you want to live and the person you wish to be."
Wing Chun was developed in southern China approximately 300 years ago. Like many styles, there are different origin stories making it difficult to know the exact source, but the most popular is its founding by a Buddhist nun named Ng Mui. It is said she was a master of Shaolin Kung Fu and used this knowledge to create a method focused on the weaknesses inherent in other Shaolin systems. This new system was well guarded and passed on to only a very few dedicated students. Later, the style became known as Wing Chun, after Ng Mui's first student, a woman named Yim Wing Chun took the art forward teaching her husband and many others to follow.
Wing Chun techniques are eminently suited to those of small stature and it falls into the category known as Southern Shaolin Boxing (fast hands, strong legs). A unique aspect is the presence of "softness" developing what's known as "listening Jing" within its dynamic motions to intuitively connect with the opponents energy and intention allowing the practitioner to seem at times to always be a step ahead.
Wing Chun is a system based on linear attacks with dominance focused on the central line of the body and economic parries with an anchored elbow and low kicks. This is an ideal system for crowded, close range fighting that was very common to the Southern areas of China due to many people and confined spaces. The muk jong (wooden dummy), chi sau training (sticky hands) and the centerline attack theory are the hallmarks of the Wing Chun system all of which assist the student at honing their skills and polishing the details necessary for success and growth.
Lau Kune Do Temple of Martial Arts serving Newport Beach and Costa Mesa areas teaches a unified system of several traditional Chinese martial arts styles representing both "internal/soft" and "external/hard" styles of training. The Kung Fu curriculum is comprised of both Wing Chun and Hung Gar primary roots with Northern Shaolin influences. It endeavors to help improve mental and physical health by building self-confidence and securing personal wellness and success. Over the years, the essence of these arts has been optimized for training and use in our modern times while retaining their effectiveness. It is a spiritual and philosophical path towards self-realization and peace of mind. This process is ongoing and as with all arts, continues to evolve and improve over time. With such a variety in training options, the art is approachable for anyone that seeks to better themselves through committed training.
As a fighting system, Lau Kune Do emphasizes light and agile footwork combined with highly effective central line attack and defense techniques to neutralize threats of all types and sizes with a minimal amount of effort. This is balanced with the inclusion of Hung Gar and Shaolin influenced training creating a strong physical and energetic root for sweeping, leaping and powerful body control techniques. The Lau Kune Do system utilizes multiple weapon training sets in single, double and chained weapons as well as the traditional Wing Chun butterfly swords, 6.5 pole and wooden dummy techniques. These help to unify the actions of the body and mind while teaching the student to extend their Qi (universal life force/bioelectricity) through the weapon as an extension of their own body further cultivating physical, mental and sprititual conditioning.
All of the teaching encompasses a reverence for Eastern traditions while embracing a Western approach to knowledge transmission and student development. With his background in communications, coaching and athletics, Sifu McIntyre has a unique method for helping students learn not only the arts, but to conquer themselves and the many challenges they are faced with in modern life.