• Tien Shan Tzi

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Chow Gar Tong Long is a southern Chinese martial art and is one of the four major schools in Southern Praying Mantis. It is an aggressive style with emphasis on close range fighting. These skills are developed by utilizing a range of training techniques which have been developed over several centuries.

At Champions Kung Fu, we teach in the traditional way, exactly as GM Ip Chee Keung was taught by the late GM Ip Shui, who was in turn taught by his late GM Lau Sui.

There are many different forms in the Chow Gar system. These are used to help the students develop their fast, sharp punches and iron shirt.

The below video shows the London Kung Fu family, along with some of the Champions Kung Fu team and some beginners doing the first and most important form, “Sarm Bo Jin”.

 

 

 

Basic Movements

The basic movements in Chow Gar are referred to by the Chinese term “San Sau”. The movements are used to help students understand fighting applications, and to learn about how to generate power and use speed appropriately.

Shock Power

The highest level of Chow Gar is to have heavy shock power in all movements. Shock Power requires extensive training. As the power in the arms increases along with speed, and body strength, techniques require shorter distances and produce greater force. Once the techniques require very little distance and do not use any momentum, this is referred to as having shock power.

It is difficult to develop shock power because during training, so called “physical power” is easier to develop and overly improving physical power will prevent students from obtaining shock power. At the same time, having a lack of physical power also makes shock power impossible to develop correctly, so a careful balance is required.

 

Lineage

Chow Ah Naam

Chow Ah Naam founded Chow Gar. He lived in the Southern Shaolin Temple, training under Abbot Sim See Yan. Although proficient in other martial arts, he combined his experiences and training to create a new system which he named Chow Gar Praying Mantis.

Wong Fook Go

Wong Fook Go was initially a lay person but later became a traveling monk. While training with and learning from Chow Ah Naam, he traveled throughout Southern China promoting Chow Gar.

Lau Soei (1866-1942)

Lau Soei was an accomplished teacher of the martial arts in his home village before meeting Wong Fook Go. He is the oldest grandmaster for whom we have a photograph. Lau challenged Wong and was defeated, so he started learning Chow Gar from Master Wong, and reached an extremely high level.

In 1913, Lau Soei moved to Hong Kong and established a Southern Praying Mantis school there. Initially, he would teach his system only to members of the Hakka community. Near the end of his career, he opened his teachings to the general public. Yip Shui was one of his first non-Hakka students. Lau Soei died in 1942.

Yip Shui (1912-2004)

Yip Shui continued on the tradition of Lau Soei after living and training extensively with Lau Soei. He established a reputation for the effectiveness of the Chow Gar style by meeting all challenges. He worked hard to teach and promote this style. He was known and highly respected throughout Hong Kong, and was the first Cantonese to master the system. Yip Shui died in 2004.

Yip Chee Keung

Yip Chee Keung  was made the new Grandmaster at a ceremony held in Hong Kong, as shown below.

 

(Video courtesy of our Hungarian Kung Fu brothers – Chow Gar Budapest)

He has reached an extremely high level, with superb shock power, iron shirt, stances and all aspects of kung fu.

 

 

(Video courtesty of our kung fu brothers London Kung Fu).

Other GM Ip Chee Keung Chow Gar Schools

GM Ip Chee Keung, currently runs a small handful of schools. London Kung Fu, who have classes in Hounslow on Mondays and Thursdays. Chow Gar Budapest who run classes in Budapest 4 days a week. As well as the head office in Hong Kong, and of course Champions Kung Fu.

We also have good relationships with several other schools across the globe.

Bonus Facts – Chow Gar in the Movies

Random fact: The closest to Chow Gar to appear in classic kung fu movies was in the movie Invincible Shaolin, where Lo Leih (who we believe did study another branch of southern mantis) learns something similar to our mantis system. Previous Chow Gar grandmasters were regularly invited to appear in kung fu movies, but believed that movies were not a good place to show real kung fu, as they are for fighting.

Lucky Chinese knots…

Recently at the school.. during discussion on preparation for Chinese new year celebration. . the subject of knots used in Chinese crafts came up…thought I’d share this from China High Lights. ..https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/culture/knot.htm

Chinese Knots

Chinese artistic knotsA Chinese artistic knot

Can knots be a form of art? It is in China. There is a long history of using knots for decoration on clothing or to hang from the ceiling or on a wall. Skilled knot artists weave complex knots that you might see sold as souvenirs that you can take back with you. They have a long history and a symbolic meaning even today.

What Is a Chinese Knot?

A Chinese knot is a knot that is tied and woven from a single length of cord or rope to be avariety of shapes and of varying complexity. Each shape has its own symbolic meaning, and nowadays you can find them as decoration, gifts for special occasions, and adornments on clothes.

Most knots are double layered and symmetrical and have two cords entering the knot from the top and two leaving from the bottom. Each kind of knot is named after its shape or the symbolic meaning that it carries.

Knot weavers can use a variety of colors, but they usually weave deep red ones as in the picture above. The color red signifies good fortune.

History of Chinese Knots

People may have originally made them to record information and convey messages before people started to write. One hundred thousand year old tools have been discovered that were probably used to tie and untie knots, and there is a reference to knots in ancient literature. But it isn’t known when they first started to be used symbolically or woven for art.

It is known that there were used for artistic decoration and to symbolize and express thoughts and feelings in the Tang Dynasty era (618-907). The Tang Empire was a large one that covered most of regions of modern China, and the traditional art form was carried on by succeeding generations as part of their culture.

Ancient and Modern Use of Artistic Knots

Colorful Chinese knotsSeveral styles and colors of Chinese knots

Even today, Chinese knots are rich in symbolic meaning, and they therefore hold sentimental value when given as gifts or passed down through families.

For example, in ancient times and even now, lovers may give a knot as a token of their love. The ‘true love knot’ and the ‘double happiness knot’ are given or used at weddings to express mutual love and growing old together in fidelity. Knots connoted love and marriage in Chinese culture.

Knot Etymology

This connotation can even be seen in Chinese words. The Chinese word for ‘rope’ is ‘shèng’ that sounds similar to the words for ‘spirit,’ ‘divine,’ and ‘life.’ Knots had a spiritual meaning and were used for worship.

The word for ‘knot’ itself is ‘jié’ and is related to many other terms that reinforce the symbolic meaning of the knots. For example, ‘tuán jié’ which means ‘to unite,’ ‘jié hūn’ means ‘to marry,’ and ‘jié guŏ’ means ‘bear fruit,’ ‘result,’ or ‘outcome.’ So a knot given to a marriage partner or a couple means all these things and having children as well.

Modern Usage of Artistic Knots

Along with being symbolic gifts or messages, knots are still used if they wear traditional Chinese clothing or as good luck charms. They are a means of fastening traditional garments instead of buttons or wooden pegs. Now, silk is most widely used to make these clothing knots.

They are used as jewelry such as even rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. They are sold as handicraft novelty items too.

Handicraft Shopping on China Tours

Chinese knotTake a Chinese knot home with you.

https://youtu.be/BbLJP8Gzgsw

Nurturing Yourself – with Tai Chi

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from: MIND OF ISADORA site….

It’s been a year since I had my back surgery. It went well but healing has taken all this time. When your back isn’t aligned other joints are affected. Because of that, my knees weren’t behaving. My dancing career helped with those joint issues too. Everything is back to the way it should be for a senior. But, it’s only been 2 weeks. My mind was remembering the peaceful tai chi class I used to take. I went into my e-mails so I could contact my teacher. There in my inbox was her smiling face. I was elated. My first class will be tomorrow. I thought this type of exercise might be of interest to you. I reposted the Tai Chi nurturing I had written in 2014.

Hope you enjoy …. Isadora 🙏

The mind is everything … what you think you become … Buddah

Ni Hao – Hello ( Chinese )

Tai Chi is an ancient type of exercise similar to martial arts that has been practiced in China for centuries. The fluid slow movements make it safe and effective. If you simply incorporate this practice into your lifestyle it will be of great benefit to both mental and physical health.
Tai Chi is popular among senior citizens and those suffering from limitations that prevent them from doing other types of exercises. Some people find it to be easier than meditation for quieting their mind.

How does this ancient type of exercise prevent putting any strain on your body?

Tai Chi is a combination of elegant movements that are performed in a slow and flexible manner. They flow into each other. It looks like a well-choreographed slow motion dance. The movements are soft and fluid without jerking the body from one position to another.

A professional can give you lessons and advise on the movements and their pattern. The techniques are free flowing but there are a few guidelines that are important to keep in mind. Always keep your posture straight but your arms loose. It’s important to never apply force in any movement and to stay totally relaxed in order to refrain from putting any strain on the joints.

Many people are acquainted with the hand movements seen when Tai Chi is being performed in parks, at the beach or in gyms. The flowing movements help strengthen muscles. The quiet thoughtful concentration creates a calming effect that helps the body decrease tension, anxiety and stress. It can be performed alone or in a group. Apart from these benefits, Tai Chi works on your psychological level by improving concentration and focus to strengthen your mind.

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My Tai Chi Dance teacher – Sui

Each movement or posture carries defensive or offensive applications. In order to understand these applications it’s vital to grasp the awareness of the concept of Yin and Yang. Yin is the soft female principle and Yang is the masculine principle.

Tai Chi movements:
• releases tension and relaxes body


• it tones and strengthens muscles

• it improve respiration

• it helps increase emotional balance

• it improves balance

• it improves circulation

• Harmonize body and mind

What precautions ought I take before practicing?
Tai chi is mild enough for pretty much everybody. However, it is a sensible plan to talk with your doctor before making an attempt tai chi.

This is a professional video for those who wish to see the technique.

Tai Chi for Beginners, 8 Lessons with Dr Paul Lam – first lesson

I hope you’ll take time to find an exercise that helps you to become healthier both mentally and physically while creating a calming lifestyle in the process. Our bodies are our temples gifted to us from a greater creator who has gifted us with its care.
Zai Jiau – Good-Bye (Chinese )
Namaste …
Isadora 🙏

Namaste
I honor the place in you
in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you
which is of Love, and of Truth,
of Light and of Peace.
When you are in that place in you
and I am in that place in me.
We are One.

Sharpening Your Mind And Body

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from: WHEN WOMEN INSPIRE site…

Wellness clinics can provide the break for your body and mind to be well again

Help keep your mind and body aligned and in sync with these suggestions. Photo by kosal ley on Unsplash.

Keeping your mind in sync with your body and keeping them both sharp is something that we often neglect to do in the 21st century. We lead busy lifestyles in the modern world; full-time jobs, children and other things take up the majority of our time, which can leave us feeling emotionally and physically spent. However, it doesn’t have to be this way! There are a few things that you can do to sharpen your mind and your body, so carry on reading to find them out.

Wellbeing Clinics

Wellbeing clinics are new but also incredibly old too. Mind clearing processes and body relaxation techniques have been around for thousands of years, however they’ve only just became available to the wider world. Companies like the Mountain Top clinic offer incredible services to get your mind and body working together well again, as well as honing them to be as sharp as you need them to be. They provide the break that your body needs to be well again, so it’s definitely worth looking at.

Tai Chi

Chances are you will have heard of Tai Chi, but what actually is it? Well, Tai Chi is an old traditional Chinese martial art that was originally intended for self defense, however over the years it has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that incorporates many valuable philosophies and lessons for the student. You can teach yourself some Tai Chi yourself at home in your back garden, however going to an instructor and being part of a class pushes your body and brain that bit further so you can get more out of your training. Tai Chi is also brilliant for curing any muscle related painsthat you might have because of the stretching and muscle use that is involved, so don’t worry if you think you’re not up to it because it’s for all levels!

Extreme Sports

This is a huge departure from the other two things that have been talked about here, but they still serve the same purpose. Extreme sports such as paintball sharpen your mind and body in a fantastic way. You’re going to have to use your body to roll, dive and run around depending on what you’re doing, and in the example of paintball you’re going to have to actively use your mind to shoot other players out! This requires a combination of knowledge, skill, courage and fitness; all of these things go towards honing your body and mind whilst playing a game that is fun and exciting, so if you’re looking for something that isn’t calm then this is definitely for you!

Doing any one of these things is going to benefit your body and mind. Why not visit a wellbeing clinic for a week or two in order to clear your mind, maybe even try out Tai Chi for some regular applied exercise, or you could take the plunge and try out an extreme sport which will train you and test you. The choice is yours!

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