Training for Life
Column by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong
INSIDE KUNG-FU MAGAZINE
September 2007 Issue
Choy Li Fut Wooden Dummies and Training Devices
Choy Li Fut Kung Fu was founded in 1836 by Chan Heung of Xinhui, Guangdong province in China. He began his kung fu training with Chan Yuen Woo when he was just seven years old. Chan Yuen Woo's Kung Fu was thegFut" style of the Choy Li Fut system. The word Fut in Cantonese means Buddha and refers to the Shaolin roots of the style. This is because the original system came from Duk Jeong Sim Si, the Buddhist monk from the Southern Shaolin Temple. Chan Yuen Woo was a famous kung fu master in southern China. He trained the young boy Chan Heung in the art of open hand or palm fighting techniques from Shaolin kung-fu.?By the time Chan Heung was fifteen he was so proficient at his martial arts that he could defeat any challenger from the nearby villages. By the time he reached his seventeenth year, the youth was ready to learn more so Chan Yuen Woo took him to train with Li Yau San, whose skills in the martial arts also came from the Southern Shaolin temple. Li Yau San's teacher was the famous legendary Shaolin monk Ji Sin Sim Si who came to Guangdong province to teach kung fu in order to develop more fighters for the revolution against the Manchurian government. Chan Heung spent the next four years advancing his kung-fu skills under Li Yau San's careful eye.
It soon became apparent that after only four years of training that Chan Heung was again ready to move onto higher levels. In only ten years he had reached the advanced level of skill that had taken Chan Yuen Woo and Li Yau San twenty years to attain! The young man's potential was so great that Li Yau San suggested a Shaolin monk named Choy Fook , who lived as a recluse on Luo Fu mountain, as the best teacher for Chan Heung. Realizing that reaching his highest potential in kung-fu meant finding the monk and becoming his disciple, Chan Heung set out on the long trek to Luo Fu Mountain. He sought out anyone who could help him find Choy Fook. Finally he located the monk and handed him a letter of recommendation from Li Yau San. After Choy Fook accepted him as his disciple, he learned from Choy Fook until he was twenty-nine years old. During the years of training with Choy Fook, he learned all the eighteen Jongs which are handed down from the legendary Shaolin Temple. Besides the martial arts training, he also learned chi-gung and Chinese medicines from Choy Fook.
Jong in Chinese (also Zhuang) means training apparatus. The Choy Li Fut Jongs are not the same kind of Jongs we sometimes see in movies which are composed of many high poles commonly known as the gPlum Blossom Jongh (or Mei Hua Zhuang in Chinese). The Plum Blossom Jong is mainly for someone balancing on top to do kung fu forms, practicing fighting or for lion dancing.
In the Choy Li Fut system, the eighteen traditional Jongs are used for fight training and also for hand and arm conditioning. There are also wooden dummies and devices for weapon fighting training; those are swords, staff and folding fan Jongs. Some of the Jongs are wooden dummies and some are bamboo and wooden apparatuses. One Choy Li Fut Jong is a hanging bag apparatus. ThegCouple" Jongs have multiple small hanging bags.?There are Jongs have three wooden dummies in one apparatus. The largest Jong in the Choy Li Fut system requires a huge room to set up! It's rare to find another kung fu style that has as many Jongs as the Choy Li Fut system as well as all the illustrations, written forms and instructional scripts (or Kuen Po) that still survive today.
The 18 Traditional Choy Li Fut Jongs:
1. Sand Bag Apparatus (Sah Bau Jong)
2. Balance Arm Dummy (Ching Jong)
3. Scatter Hands Dummy (Sui Sau Jong)
4. Horse Dummy (Mah Jong)
5. Dragon Hand Apparatus (Chuin Lung Jong)
6. Three Star Dummies (Sam Sing Jong)
7. Small Ba Gua Apparatus (Siu Bot Gwa Jong)
8. Large Ba Gua Apparatus (Dai Bot Gwa Jong)
9. Small Plum Blossom Apparatus (Siu Moi Fah Jong)
10. Large Plum Blossom Apparatus (Large Moi Fah Jong)
11. Plum Blossom Staff Apparatus (Moi Fah Gwun Jong)
12. Three Star One Edge Swords Dummies (Sam Sing Do Jong)
13. Small Fan Wooden Dummy (Siu Muk Yan Sin Jong)
14. Large Fan Wooden Dummy (Dai Muk Yan Sin Jong)
15. Small Bamboo Grove Apparatus (Siu Jook Lam Jong)
16. Large Bamboo Grove Apparatus (Dai Jook Lam Jong)
17. Small Opening Door Apparatus (Siu Hoi Moon Jong)
18. Large Opening Door Apparatus (Dai Hoi Moon Jong)
Doc-Fai Wong writes a bi-monthly column for Inside Kung-Fu.
September 2007 Inside Kung-Fu