Favorites, Southern this time…

“Any favorites among the Southern styles?”

This question followed my last piece on some of the style less-represented in VCD format. Of course, in the over 1500 VCDs (video compact disks) we offer there are bound to be some gems. I just wrote about some lesser-known Northern styles so, as Stan Meador suggests, I now list some Southern style examples which may be of interest. Surprisingly, two of these are both from styles known as “Southern Shaolin,” not an easily defined branch of Kung Fu.

Click on the name to see more about this style. Click the picture to see a short video.

Luo Han Kung Fu

Southern Luo Han Shaolin: Coming from a Kenpo background I still have fond feelings for the directness and efficient grace of Kenpo’s parents, such as White Crane and Fujian styles. The teacher here is direct, precise and strong. The style is clear and anyone can immediately relate to the actions. Luo Han is a branch of Shaolin, often referring to the oldest and most direct manifestation of the style. Watch the smooth power of teacher Liang’s hand exchanges. He was a disciple of the great Wan Lai Sheng and is expert in Ziran and Six Harmony Boxing. Though we only have four VCDs in this series they give full flavor of this Southern fist.

Mei Mountain Southern Kung FuMei Shan or Plum Mountain Boxing: is one of the most unusual Southern styles just for its range of forms, if nothing else. Dressed with studded wrist bands and Hung Style uniform, most of the forms in this style follow a classic Southern curriculum but then the style also has Bagua Zhang! We have sets with the short chopper, double Sai, a number of Tiger Fists, a bench, bench vs. staff, double rods. Its a little like a Hung Fist from an alternate universe with a very unusual Tiger set spouting completely different vocalizations. A style onto itself that makes you say, “Well, yes, it could be done that way, too.”

Southern Shaolin “Word” Branch: This is the other Southern Shaolin I happened to pick. I like it because it challenges the clichés about Southern Fist. For instance, Southern styles can be Long Fists (ex. Choy Lai Fut). Not only that but this branch is extremely fluid especially in the stance and hand department; in fact some of the most fluid hand work we’ve seen anywhere. Is this possibly an inspiration for such styles as Kenpo and the Splashing Hands of Limalama? Who knows? One notable congruence is that both Shaolin styles represented have forms based on certain key “words,” hence the forms names in both styles. Does this distinguish true Southern Shaolin, I don’t know.


One Response to “Favorites, Southern this time…”

  1. Stan Meador says:

    Thanks! It is always interesting to know which of the 1500+ VCDs actually grab you attention!

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