Chu Gar Boxing

The Background (as outlined in Cheong and Draegers book : “Phoenix-Eye Fist”)

The story starts with the Southern Shaolin Temple in the Fukien province. This second temple was a major center and was said to have 128 fighting monks attending at one time. One of the female masters there was Leow Fah Shih Koo, a Buddhist nun. chugar_cheong1Loew left the temple and took up residence at Bai He Tong (White Crane Cave) where she practiced her two main arts: boxing and herbalism. Eventually she adopted two girls whose parents had met death in a bandit attack. These were named Chu Meow Eng and Che Meow Luan. The Chu sisters showed great talent and eventually developed, under Leow’s tutelage, their own style which they called Shaolin Chu Gar. Eventually they, too, found a disciple in an orphan cow herder named Ooh Ping Kwang. After the death of the sisters Ooh, more than forty years old now, married a local girl and began to promote Chu Gar. He taught a number of student but none better than Lee Siong Phew (1886-1960). In 1030 Lee moved to Malaysia, settling in the Ayer Itam area of Penang. Though he had many challenges he is not known to have been defeated. Cheong Cheng Leong, at the age of eleven, knelt and became Lee’s top disciple. Now he is recognized as the leader of the system.

The System
Phoenix Fist is also known as Chu Family (Chu Gar or in Mandaring Chu Jia) Kung Fu. It is a tight, close fighting system with the Phoenix Eye or index finger fist as its main weapon. This is the only fist used. To facilitate the first knuckle attacks, Phoenix Fist uses many flower hands to turn the attacks away and dropping tiger stance along with high cats to keep changing height. This is pure short-range style with fast and changeable footwork. Yet the stances themselves have the authority of some “deep stance” styles such as Hung: wide horse; Dodging Horse, Hanging Horse and no use of the Half Horse or, say, Wing Chun. Though a short range style there is also a good amount of kicking always coordinated with hand actions. The so-called “shadowless” kick is a Chu Gar goal. These kicks are used in conjunction with Phoenix Eye Fists, spearhands, Tiger Claw, Palm and finger spear attacks.

The four most common kicks of Chu Gar are
Lightning Kick: to the groin with the ball of the foot
Heart Penetrating: to the heart area with the heel
Leg Checking: to impede the opponent’s movement
Parry Kicking: circular actions to counter the opponent’s leg attacks .

Hand techniques are more varied. They are based on 9 patterns which form the core of Chu Gar hand work.
Bow Drawing Hands;
Golden Duck
Stealing Hands
Aggressive Hand
Dodging Horse Strike
Side Body Horse Strike
Plucking The Moon From The Sea
Thrust-Penetrate-Tear Hand
Deflect Striking Hand

Form: Kai Shan Opening the Mountain

See our Malaysian Kung Fu masters DVD
Cheong’s Phoenix-Eye book