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Jowga Kung Fu
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                                           Jow Ga - History and development

Jow Ga is a system of traditional Kung Fu that was developed from three Shaolin systems; namely, Hung Ga , Choi Ga and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu.(Ga means: family) Jow Ga is known Hung Tao Choy Mei because the system incorporated Hung Ga Kung Fu's powerful upper body techniques and Choy Ga Kung Fu's swift footwork and complex kicking techniques from northern shaolin kungfu. Hung Ga kung fu is a southern style that was developed for close to medium range defese. This style emphasizes low stances and is especially known for its low horse stance. Kicks are generally low and hand techniques are powerful and direct using the strong stances to deliver formidable blows, namely, a tremendous thrust punch. This style also includes the five animal techniques of the leopard, dragon, tiger, crane and snake. This style primarily uses the tiger and crane, hard and soft animal techniques from its Shaolin origins. Hung means to stand tall with integrity. Choi Ga kung fu is also a southern style emphasizes long reaching hands and wide horse stances.

The “hang fist”, “throw punch”, “upper cuts”, hammer back fist”, “downward whipping punch” and “jab punch” are some typical and effective techniques of the system. This system is an aggressive system that emphasizes long range techniques and blitz attacks. The power is generated from the hips in a rotating fashion. Elusive footwork is also prominent in this system as are grappling, throwing, high and low kicks. Intercepting and jamming are favorite techniques employed. Northern Shaolin kung fu originated from the Shaolin temple that resided in Northern China before its destruction. The present system of Northern Shaolin specializes in long range fighting techniques. This system maintains that kicks are more effective than hand movements because the legs are longer than the arms thereby keeping the opponent further away. Low stances are not emphasized as they reduce mobility. This style requires constant mobility to be effective. Jow Ga utilizes these three systems combined into one. To defend one would use strong low stances and hold ground or may rely upon evasion tactics. To attack the Jow Ga practitioner can rely on Choi Ga long reaching arm techniuques combined with Northern Shaolin kicks and mobility. This system is suitable for all body types and can tailored to each individual. The student can master techniques most suited to him/her. This style requires hard work and discipline and is physically demanding. There are over twenty traditional hand forms, including tiger-crane, tiger-leopard, and the famous five animal form.
Training includes an internal breathing form called Iron Wire Fist, which is used to strengthen muscles, organs and bones. Additionally, there are over eighteen weapons sets including batons, the staff, spear, three sectional staff, wind sword, whip chain and double edge straight sword. Straight sword is the most revered and respected because its use demands a total knowledge of fluidity to master. The founder of the system was Jow Lung. Jow Lung was born during 1891 in Hsin-Hui Sheng Sha Fu village in the Canton Province of China. Jow Lung starting learning Hung Gar from his Uncle Jow Hung at an early age. Jow Lung's training began with basic stances and stepping. Regardless of age, those who practice Hung Gar suffer the most from basic stance and step training. Jow Lung never complained about the training and his uncle took a special liking to him. One day Jow Hung told Jow Lung that he didn't think he would live much longer due to symptoms of an old illness. Jow Hung told Jow Lung that he knew a unique set of Pa Kua Staff techniques that he wanted to pass on to Jow Lung before he died. Uncle Hung told Jow Lung that his Kung Fu technique had come to the point that if he learned the Pa Kua Staff techniques, he would be one of the best in the martial arts field. Within one month, Jow Lung learned the Pa Kua Staff techniques. Shortly after Jow Lung learned the Pa Kua Staff techniques, his Uncle Jow Hung died. After the death of his uncle, Jow Lung followed Master Choy Kau (Chi Ching Tsai Kong) and learned Choy Ga Kung Fu. It took Jow Lung only a few years to master the Choy Ga Kung Fu because of his basics in Hung Gar Kung Fu. At the age of 18, Jow Lung had a difficult time finding a job in his hometown through the introduction of his townspeople, so he traveled to Malaysia (Singapore and Malaysia were one country at that time).In 1910, Jow Lung and many others went to find work as miners in Kuala Lumpur. The bosses, who were described as gangsters, would often beat the workers. One day Jow Lung got into a fight with one of his bosses and fatally wounded him. Jow Lung fled to the mountains and found a temple named "Gi Leu." Because he hadn't eaten for many days and was exhausted, he asked an apprentice at the temple for help. The master of the temple Chian Yi, agreed to provide shelter for Jow Lung in the temple. Chian knew that Jow Lung had a natural talent for Kung Fu from the moment he saw him. Chian Yi taught Jow Lung northern Shaolin Kung Fu and medicine.

One day Master Chian Yi called Jow Lung and told him, "I have passed on to you the northern Shaolin martial arts and medicine, and now your skills are good enough to hold a special place in the martial arts field." Master Chian Yi then ordered Jow Lung to leave the temple. When Jow Lung went back to Kuala Lumpur, he felt like centuries had gone by, but he never stopped practicing Kung Fu. From continuous practice, Jow Lung realized the uniqueness of the three styles of Kung Fu he learned and decided to combine them into one, thereby developing Jow Ga Kung Fu. Jow Lung felt that he would not be able to spread his family's Kung Fu in Kuala Lumpur, so he went back to his hometown in China.

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