Hung Ga

Hung Ga (洪家) (Hung Family) began in southern China in the Ching Dynasty (1723-1736) during the reign of Yung Jing. Hung Ga was the number one style of the leading five Kung Fu family styles of the south. These were:

  • Hung Ga: Founded by Hung Hei Guen
  • Lau Ga: Founded by Lau Sam Ngan
  • Choy Ga: Founded by Choy Gau Yee
  • Lei Ga: Founded by Lei Gum Lun
  • Mok Ga: Founded by Mok Ching Gui

Each of these systems are unique. They possess distinctive and special techniques.

The founder of Hung-ga, Hung Hei Guen (洪熙官), surname was originally Jyu. His grandfather was an official of the Ming government and the family was very well off. Hung was originally a tea merchant before becoming a student of master Jee Sim and graduating from the south Siu Lam temple. Hung was a strong  supporter of the overthrown Ming government. In honor of the first Ming emperor Jyu Hung Mo (1271-1368) he changed his surname from Jyu to Hung. Hung Hei Guen would have referred to his kung fu as Siu Lam, but out of fear that the Siu Lam connection would get him and his followers killed, he called the art Hung Ga, Hung family kung fu to hid its true source.

Later, his followers would continue his practice, in honor of their respected master. After the burning of the Siu Lam temple in Fukien, he met and married Fong Wing Chun, a former student of the Buddhist nun Ng Mui. Fong Wing Chun was knowledgeable in the Crane style kung fu. He later moved to Fa city in Gwang Dung Province and later died there at the advanced age of ninety years. His tomb is still located there. Historical records at Fukien Chan Jau Fu Ji indicate that Hung Hei Guen killed someone there with a single punch. In addition to this as evidence of Hung’s existence. It also attests to the devastating power of Hung’s fist.

Hung Kuen became known for two things:

  1. The “thousand pound foundation” or horse stance.
  2. The “iron fist” and “iron arm” which would have been continuously conditioned on sandbags and wooden posts.

Here is an example from historical story. When Hung Hei Guen sank into a horse stance, more than ten people with staffs were unable to move him. This is a difficult achievement, requiring three to seven years practice. Some say that Hung Kuen is slow, this is untrue. Like many other kun fu systems, Hung ga emphasizes fast strikes. It is also believed that a firm root is the most indispensable part of  training. It is when people are mobile and flexible without a solid foundation, it becomes easy for people to lose. Thus, Hung Kuen emphasizes being solid first, and then being mobile and flexible second.