Considering its popularity outside of China, there are far too few good books on the Southern family of boxing. These can include Hung Gar, Choy Lai Fut (each of which you can find under their separate categories), Crane Boxing, Dragon Boxing, Mok Gar and many others. These styles tend to be "short fist" although there are exceptions such as Choy Lai Fut. Stances are strong and internal and external exercises are often taught almost simultaneously.
Other Southern forms which might interest you...
Hung Gar, Wing Chun, Animal Boxing, Tiger Boxing
New! KK015 Kong Han Goh Cho Kun
The Book II
by Sifu Daniel Kun
reg $34.95 Plum price: $31.95, 305 pages, English, good photography
Five Ancestors style claims a lifespan of at least 150 years and a wide range of weapons and styles from many sources. As a “short fist” fighting form, it is thoroughly conversant with those inspired skills. But even though Five Ancestors appears mostly as a short fist self defense style, the core of this fighting method was designed for military application. This spirit has been preserved and remains to this day. Here the powerful amalgam of five "influences" shows a pragmatic, day-to-day self defense offering, manifest in fast hands and serious weapons.
Applications abound, with grappling, kicking, disarming and control practices many and diverse. There is a heavy emphasis on functional usage, where applications rule and the forms reinforce. The practicality of Ngo Cho leads to some weapons that can be played either empty-handed or armed. The short dagger, for example, looks comfortable in the hands of a Five Ancestors practitioner.
Another famous weapon taught in this comprehensive book is the Sai. This is presented as a strong individual form and, besides this, a demonstration for two persons. Besides these distinctive Sai vs. Sai applications, the weapon is also pitted againt the Horse Cutting Knife. Then, if you know anything at all about Southern Kung Fu lineage, you will recognize the well known empty-hand form San Chien Sip Di, or the 3 Battles Cross Shape Form. This book and its predecessor form a compendium and curriculum enfolding the very core of Five Ancestors Kung Fu.
Training exercises are shown with clear and very simple instruction, but true to the style. Even before we get to the sophisticated strikes and counters, there are a number of sections dispaying strong and direct application.
Oh, yes, when you've reviewed as many texts as we have you become thankful for things like good photography. I take this book as an opportunity to point out a particularly good photographic presentation. Some color, high contrast, a keen clarity.
See Volume 1
New! KW045 The Way of Ngo Cho Kun Kung Fu
Translated & edited by Alexander Co
Under supervision of Master Tan Kan Hong
200 pages, photographs and illustrations
English, with Chinese accompanying most text.
First published in 1983
$21.95 PLUM price $19.75
This reprint— divided into three parts—makes this formerly out-of-print text available for modern readers.
- “Lian Kong Wat” Power Training Exercises
Background: As part of the history section, this book mentions successful bouts between Chua Giok Beng, the founder of the Ngo Cho style, and the challengers he had to face. As time passed, this style travelled to the Phillippines, broadcasting this new art and leaving a strong heritage, even to present day.
The Techniques: Before laying bare its martial skills, the Techniques section is prefaced by a special “power exercise,” part Qigong and part strengthening. Next stances, then hands strikes are shown, with a wide range from a quick jab to dropping to the ground “Dog Boxing.”
The form presented, Sam Chien, is clearly described and foundational for this art. An applications section follows. A final section devotes itself to weapons and training equipment. Especially interesting is the Chipo Sou, similar to a kettle bell, and—along with a large variety of weapons and striking equipment—is used for strength training and Chin Na grappling.
Want a complete survey and text on Five Ancestors style, or Southern Boxing in general? Here’s a strong contender.
Background information on this style .
New! KQ005 QuanZhou TaiZuQuan
The Art of Fujian Emperor Fist Kung Fu
Zhou Kun Min
241 pages, English, photographs, oversized book
reg $32.95 Plum price: $29.95
The subject is Tai Zu, a style named after an emperor. This author has trained with well-known masters including Dai Huo Yan, Lin Qi Yan and Lin Du Ying. Having a long career, Mr. Zhou has served as appointed Chairman of the QuanZhou City Wushu Association and a number of other related seats.
When a book is this thorough about its subject matter, it is difficult to boil it back to a 300 word description. But let's at least start by naming with the Tai Zu (Great Founder), Zhao Kuan Yu, the martial artist who started the Song dynasty.
The book does a good job of portraying the evolution of Great Ancestor Boxing, a colorful journey telling of constant study and battlefield experiences. The history section helps fill in Tai Zu’s framework, adding three representative forms and a rich discussion on Tai Zu tactics. Later sections attempt an honest presentation of those strategies that make Tai Zu tick.
The text is further enhanced by including key historical information; for instance, the texture of Minan culture and its connections with Taiwan. Then, there’s high interest in Quang Zhou city, acknowledged to be the birthplace of southern Shaolin.
We see in the applications section that Tai Zu, structurally similar to other significant Southern styles, has many movements as interchangeable as Lego blocks. Actions that are introduced here pop up there, and are tremendously consistent. This might be, in part, from the military influence of Zhao Kuan Yu and his famous general, Yu Da You.
From its reputation as a major style with a long military past, Tai Zu has stayed rooted in the people for 1000 years. Tai Zu is one of those few styles that embraces hard (yang) power and meets attacks directly and precisely.
Restocked! KP020 Pak Mei Kung Fu: The Myth & The Martial Art
by S.L. Fung
This engaging book contains little technical information on the famous Kung Fu style of White Eyebrow (Pak Mei) Boxing but it is one of the most thorough presentations of Chinese martial/historical research we've read. In taking on all the details of a particular style, Fung, grapples with legends, myths, propaganda, stories and even facts. The Pak Mei style is transformed into a pilgrim wandering here and there, popping up in mysterious places, evading persecution while always keeping faithful to the core mission. Pak Mei, the legendary originator of the style, has always been portrayed as the traitor responsible for burning down the Shaolin Temple. Fung challenges this version and supplies an intriguing account of Pak Mei style passed from hand to hand like a code, until the beginning of the 20th century.
This is exemplified in a little passage of code-talk between two members of a secret society meeting for the first:
A: Where were you born?
B: I was born under a peach tree.
A: When were you born?
B: On the 25th day of the 7th moon of the Kap Yan year.
A: Can you count?
A: What is 3 times 8?
A: Why is your face so pale?
B: My face may be pale, but my heart is red.
We won't give the whole cypher away but in the last line "my heart is red" means that my heart is HUNG.
This book includes sections on lineage, history, the Shaolin temple, philosophical theory as it pertains to Pak Mei, and more...
From the back cover...
"The origins of Pak Mei Kung Fu have typically been cloaked in a widely-held understood silence, partially due to the lack of verifiable information and partly due to a desire to defend a folkloric, romantic notion. As with many Southern Chinese martial arts, there is an oral tradition preserving the mythology, methodology, and ethics of this martial method. Conversely, an actual and unquestionable history exists pertaining to the chronicles of this system's genesis, formulation, and global migration. White Eyebrow Kung Fu, the literal translation of this combative system, was first introduced to the martial world of Guangdong Province, China during the early part of the 20th Century by Master Cheung Lai Chuen. Considered the modern-day founder of this fighting art, Cheung Lai Chuen drew upon his collective combative experiences to formulate a comprehensive system of effective and efficient fighting methods. This book provides the reader with an unadulterated presentation of both sides of the same coin: the fiction and the facts that shaped the history of what is known today as Pak Mei Kung Fu."
Unusual item! KH018 300 Years of Hakka Kung Fu
Hing Chao, Jeffrey Shaw & Sarah Kenderdine
regularly $42.95 Plum price $37.95, 243 pages, hardback, Chinese (traditional) /English
This is a special kind of book: a scholar's book, a collector's book, a lineage-holder's record. This is NOT a training text. It is also a catalogue of a special exhibition on 300 years of Hakka Kung Fu, held in Hong Kong. This beautifully bound hardback edition acquaints us with the Hakka people, "The nomads of China."
Taken for the record it is meant to be, this is an extraordinary compilation. The photos of the teachers are done with intensity; the stories of their martial associations cross all the borders—family, social, traditional. Most of these masters have 10 or fewer students at this point in time. And this scholarly work draws from each of them their tightly bound relation to lifelong practice. If you are not interested, or are completely unfamiliar with these styles, I urge you NOT to buy this book. But if you know something about Hakka boxing technique, and want to expose yourself to its stories, dreams and heritage coming from a people famous for mathematics, astrology and storytelling, this will be a text you will return to over and over.
For a showing of the captured movement study that was part of the original exhibit, see below.
Click to read some customer reviews of this well-received book
New! KK011 Kong Han Ngo Cho
Forms • Weapons• Fighting
Henry Lo and Daniel Kun
reg $39.95 Plum price: $34.95, 468 pages, English
Ngo Cho Kun, more commonly known as Five Ancestors Boxing (WuZu Kun,) is the official style of the Southern Shaolin Temple. This book thoroughly documents this famous style of Southern Fist. It includes empty hand techniques, internal organ Qigong, solo forms, partner forms, training sets, fighting applications, weapons forms and full-contact training.
If you are unfamiliar with Chinese history you may not know that the Southern region was radical and revolutionary. Clashes with the Manchu army, pirates, thieves and gangsters, all appear in a time and place where fighting—even empty-handed against guns—was not optional. This is a style that has been tested many times. It specializes in short, two-person mini-forms with a concentration in hands-on. practice. Fighting centers on building a technique vocabularly with interchangeable positions that can be recombined instantly. This book is a huge catalog of most of WuZu's foundational movements, especially those partner forms.
Henry Lo’s father was Grandmaster Dr. Lo King Hui, and his grandfather, Lo YanChiu was the founder of the Kong Han Martial Arts Club.. Looking in this text I find over 1300 photos, a complete training from white to black belt, and lots of the short usage patterns. These patterns are at the heart of this style and it shows this through the consistency of the moves. What you learn at level one is clear and concise and trains all the way up to the highest hand and weapons forms.
One of the most thorough collections of any style I have seen, all in one book. Without an instructor you might not catch every fine point but I have to elect this copious presentation as one of those books you can treat like an instructor. If you have little or no Kung Fu then southern styles like this are worth checking out.
Two versions of Five Ancestors Boxing
Giok-Beng’s Five are
Grand Ancestor: Taizu
Monkey King Boxing
White Crane Fist
And Li ZunLin's version
Ming Ancestor Boxing
Wing Chun style (location) White Crane
See Volume 2
KN006 Ngo Cho:
Southern Shaolin Five Ancestor Kung Fu
by Jose G. Paman
This new book adds valuable information to the knowledge we have of Five Ancestors style. As in the case of many great Southern styles the popularity of Ngo Cho is strong but highly concentrated. In the Philippines, for example, it is well known and highly respected as it is in some parts of Southern China. The combination of five styles is well surveyed by author Panam. Basics, which are essential in this system, are shown along with techniques and two important forms Three Battles and, for the first time, Double Banner Boxing. The author knows his stuff having taught this style for over thirty years. If you are interested in Five Ancestors or just Southern Kung Fu this is an important work. In addition it gives additional and strong information for the historical roots of Karate which now, it is apparent, was highly influenced by Fukien Kung Fu.
Background information on this style . See the DVD of this Kung Fu.
save 10+% for buying the text and DVD together, only $41.95
Back again! KD016 Dragon Form Fist
Leo Chu & Francis Au
$14.95, 64 pages, Chinese (traditional) /English
A number of these great little books started to come out in the BLE (Bruce Lee Era).Then they became unavailable for a long time. Now PLUM is bringing them back. This form, possibly from a branch of Choy Li Fut, we called a Southern Style Dragon Fist but it is really more a "middle" boxing. This book has the following: 64 pages, Large photos of the Dragon form, small photos at the bottom of applications for the movements, Chinese and English facing text and a picture of the author playing with the famous Shek Kin at the back. Though it looks like a paste up job from a Kung Fu magazine article; this is one of those fun, learn-a-form-in-an-afternoon type books. But neat.
See other forms and DVDs of Dragon Boxing
KW042 Wing Chun Kung Fu Bamboo and Iron
Jook Wan Huen & Tin Heun Ring Method
by Tyler Rea
normally $19.95, PLUM price $17.95, 175 pages, softbound, illustrations, photographs,
I admit it: I love to design things, though my skill level at materializing my ideas is so deficient that being all thumbs would be a promotion. This exasperating limitation condemns masses of unrealized inventions to line the bottom of banker's boxes all over my garage. I feel an affinity for the guy who wanted to create a new soft drink but stopped at "6 Up."
Tyler Rea's new book has lots and lots of things to build and then—after you have built them—you can go ahead and hit them (assuming, of course, you are a better builder than I.) He first presents Jongs (wooden men) constructed from relatively inexpensive PVC, most them anchored by bench press plates. He shows us a number of special variations, including one customized to stick-fighting. Then there is the weight pipe training device, very economical and simple, a short length of PVC with 2 caps glued on. Next comes an old favorite, the metal rings, which I think of as a superb training device. Following are instruments such as weight-clubs standing in as butterfly knives. Finally, there is a section on freehand fa jin exercises from the mantis style. The illustrations in this book are plentiful with the line drawings being crisp and clear, in contrast to the photos, many of which are muddy.
While construction plans are not highly detailed, most of these are so straightforward you should be able to assemble anything here easily.
Then, maybe, you could lend me a hand...
NEW! KB022 The Bible of Ngo Cho Kun
regular price $29.95, PLUM price $24.50, 244 pages, photographs, oversized
First published in 1917 by Yu Chiok Sam (a member of the Ten Ngo Tigers), this book has been the treasured keepsake of lineage holders for almost a century. Yu was a disciple of Chua Giok Beng, the founder of Five Ancestors. Originally produced with a limited print run, this text has been unavailable for over 90 years!
This is an obvious must-have for long-time practitioners. One special feature of this book, and many Southern styles, is that the movements are so precise and specific you can almost just list the actions and learn the sequence. For instance, 38 forms (Roads) are listed in this book, along with their respective 'home styles'. The fundamental movements of the system are first described and illustrated in Section 1, then compiled in each of the short sets themselves in Section 3. Many Ngo Cho branches have fewer sets than this book contains, so "the Bible" is the only book containing these missing sets. In that sense, it is more than a text, but a manual and historic record.
In addition to the Forms, there is a section of 48 "impromptu movement methods," with some good descriptions of ground fighting (although, note that there are no pictures on this section.) There are also numerous little sections on the history, personalities and special traits of Five Ancestors Boxing. The applications against opponents are described rather than shown; still this re-issued text is a collector's prize.
KN009 Ngo Cho Kun Kung-Fu
Beng Hong 15th Anniversary Publication
regular price $11.95, PLUM price $10.25, 79 pages, photographs, oversized
This publication commemorates the 15th year of the American Beng Hong Athletic Association of Orthodox Ngo Chu Kun. It reprints articles by Mark Wiley and Alexander Co, and lets us peep through the keyhole to get some idea of the real workings of this famous Southern form of boxing. Among other topics are comments by other instructors, a history of Ngo Cho Kun, a note about the banner, a 15 year retrospective, some of the officers of the Beng Hong, the Gwoon, a little about Di Da Jiu, and numerous article reprints from popular martial magazines. Further information includes the Ngo Cho Kun distance learning program and discussion of the style's future.
KC029 Choi (Tsai)-Mok boxing Southern Shaolin -
By Lau Biu
learn about Mok Gar
$21.95 192 pages, photographs, softbound,
Choi Mok as derived from old sifu, Liu Shi Zhong (Lau Sze Chung), is a Southern Shaolin system. This book is a no nonsense exposition on the family hybrid styles, the cross between Choi and Mok (Mandarin: Cai & Mo). The majority of the book is devoted to APPLICATIONS. It's an excellent introduction to the style because it shows so many phases of person-to-person training. One of the early sections show quite a few different Bridge exercises (partners crossing their forearms against one another). The Southern blocking exercises and positions are strong and flavorful with the typical Southern "sunken bridge" predominating. The style utilizes many finger strikes and many of the movements look like Wing Chun or Southern mantis done with dynamic stances. Next are clawing movements, locking moves and the famous kicking motions associated with Mo style. There is even a section on the principles of the style applied to weapons such as staff and umbrella.
Monkey Strike Road Number One, a very short, very basic Choi Mok form is shown. To say our supply is limited is an understatement. Note: We were happy to offer this rare style in Chinese but now we have a supply of the same text in English.
KS025 The Shooting Star of Hung Family Fist
by Ho Lap Tim
$10.95, 179 pages, softbound, English/Chinese
Master Ho studied from Deng Fang a disciple of the famous Wong Fei Hung. From his deep study of Hung he has developed this version of the "Shooting Star Form" with correct and definite elements of the Tiger and the Crane arts. This is perfectly permissible within traditional lineage as SiFu Ho has created a beautiful and obviously completely classical form that retains Hung's "flavor" while giving a new emphasis to certain combinations. The entire form encompasses 86 postures and has key elements from not only the Tiger/Crane but the 5 Element and Ten Animal forms of Hung Family Fist. Once again proof that the traditional methods can be flexible, beautiful and creative.
The illustrations in this text are of Sifu Ho himself performing all postures for the "Shooting Star Fist".
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KS017 Shaolin 10 Animal Form
by Kwan Tak Hing & Leung Ting
$19.95, English, 208 pages, softbound,
Printed in Hong Kong this book shows the form and skills of the Southern Shaolin Ten Animals. This is shown by noted Kung Fu movie actor and martial enthusiast Kwan Tak Hing. Mr. Kwan is a famous movie actor from the longest series of Kung Fu films ever made, those devoted to Wong Fei Hong the master of the Tiger/Crane style. He initially received his training from Southern master, Sun Pak.
This is a well done book produced with the help of Leung Ting, noted Wing Chun teacher. The movements of this Southern Style form include ground rolling and many sophisticated hand actions. Each animal is shown with some application and introductory comments on the nature of the different style:
Dragon Tiger Snake Leopard Crane
Lion Elephant Horse Monkey Bear
Not as common as its Northern cousin, Southern Shaolin Fist is a key style in those styles of Kung Fu such as Fut Gar, Choy Lee Fut and Hung Fist. This is a good introduction to one of the best known forms.
KH004 Hung Gar: Southern Shaolin Kung Fu Ling Nam
by Kwong Wing Lam
$29.95, 240 pages, softbound, photographs
"Never before have the secret oral teachings of the Hung Gar style appeared in English. Sifu Wing Lam, who traces his Hung Gar lineage to the Southern Shaolin Temple of the 1700s, transforms "back room" teachings into clear and concise how-to instructions. This is the complete Hung Gar book that martial students have been waiting for:
- Learn about the 300-year history of Hung Gar through recent findings and colorful stories about Hung Gar Masters and traditions.
- Study the underlying principles of Hung Gar and their sets: The Twelve Bridges, The Five Animals and the Five Elements.
- Explore the finer points of Hung Gar basics.
- Acquire applications and techniques such as blocks, arm locks, take downs, chops, strikes and footwork.
- Learn about traditional conditioning exercises and injury treatment.
- Examine the details of Hung Gar hand and weapon sets.
- Learn about Internal Training using the Iron Wire set.
Whether you are curious as to how Hung Gar differs from other styles, are a beginning Hung Gar student, or have practiced for many years, this book will add to your understanding of the Hung Gar style."
This is a catalogue of the Hung system. There is no form shown in its entirety. Rather, this is an overview of the entire system including some interesting notes on Kung Fu medicine. Also included are some good notes on Southern "Ling Nam" Kung Fu; many historical photographs and salient anecdotes about masters and grand masters.
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TC 203 Dragon Fist Rubbing Bridge
Lung Ying Mor Kiu
by Chow Fook & C S Tang
$27.95, Traditional Chinese Characters and English, 255 Pages Hardbound,
This is a rare book on the Southern Style of Dragon Style Fist. Some of this is in ENGLISH, most notably the instructions accompanying the form, and an incomplete introduction to Chow Fook. Among other sections those in Chinese cover: lineage, history of the Dragon Style, Key points and characteristics of the style, Details of the form Lung Ying Mor Kiu and information on the Founder and Lam Yiu Kwai, famous boxer. The co-author is C. S. Tang, a noted Bagua practitioner and student of Liu JingRu.