An introduction of our Long Fist family
Long Fist Family is a popular martial art family in northern china. It is one of the main streams of northern shaolin system. The family has evolved through several hundred years and has many sub-branches over the years. There has been thirteen generations from the beginning of the family to my generation.
The martial art we are practicing was from Sang Dong province in northern china. The cores of the long fist we practice include ten empty hand sets, Tan-Tui(spring legs),weapons( knife, sword, staff, spears, ... ), shuai-chiao, and Chin-Na. Many of the empty hand sets are from Moslem martial art family. People sometimes call our family "Moslem family Fist". Chin-Na is my grand teacher and my teacher's specialty. In addition to the long fist, we also learned seven star mantis, Hong Jia (Hong Family), some southern shaolin, and some others. Some of the sets we practice were from Central Chinese Martial Art Institute, Zhong Yang Guo Shu Guan , in Nang-Jing. The institute was established in 1928 by the government to be the highest Chinese martial art institute in china. Many famous teachers were invited to teach in the institute.
The style of what I am practicing is called Jiang's long fist family. The name, Jiang, is from my teacher's last name and my teacher's name is Jiang, Chang-Gen. My teacher was ranked nine degree, the highest rank, by Chong Hua Guo Shu Huey, in Taiwan few years ago.
The custom of the naming for the style that a person is practicing is to put the teacher's name in front of the martial art family. Through this naming convention, it is easy to identify the lineage and the style. Also, putting the teacher's name in front of the style is the traditional Chinese way to respect the teacher. What we have accomplished is because of what and how our teacher has trained us. Like in Tai-Chi, there are Yang's Tai-Chi, Chen's Tai-Chi, Wu's Tai-Chi, and others. There is only one Tai-Chi family. In order to identify the lineage of one's practice, the naming convention shows us an easy way to identify where we learned. We also practice Yang's Tai-Chi, because the Tai-Chi we learned from is from Yang, Chen-Pu through my grand master Hang Ching-Tang.
My grand teacher was the first year graduate and ranked number one from the institute. From the institute, he brought in Lien-bo and Gung-li empty hand sets, San-Tsai sword, and some others. My teacher started Long Fist when he came to Taiwan in his early twenties. He is a senior student of my grand teacher. The seven star mantis we practiced was from famous Iron-Arm, Wang, Song-Ting. Master Wang also came from Sang Dong province. He was a good friend of my grand teacher before my grand teacher went to the institute. My teacher learned from master Wang through the introduction of my grand teacher. Empty hand sets like Shiao-Hu Yien (Little Tiger Swallow), Tan-Lan Sou (Mantis hand) are the popular seven mantis sets we practice. We also practice many Hong family sets. Hong Family was the style my teacher learned when he was in the military service. When my teacher was in the military, he learned from a Hong family master, Wang Cheng-Jung. From my teacher's description, the Hong family he learned is southern shaolin style with northern way of practice. The style is mixed between northern and southern shaolin style. His hometown is in Ze-Jiang province where southern shaolin was more popular, so he also learned a lot of southern shaolin sets before he went to military service. My teacher also learned many other styles when he traveled over China when he was in the military. Styles like Lio-He (Six Harmony), Luo-Han, Di-Tang, Yien-Ching, ... . In our Jiang's family, we have learned quite a variety of different styles.
In our training, we always started Long Fist as our core materials. After a few years, one may started something other than Long Fist. Long Fist family is one of the most complete martial art systems in China. My grand teacher practiced Long Fist all his life and became one of the best in China history. The reasons we learn styles other than Long Fist are because my teacher knows those styles and he teaches us to appreciate other styles of Chinese martial arts. I started practicing in the Chinese martial art club in my senior high school, Cheng Gong senior high in Taipei, Taiwan. Later, I became a senior student of my teacher and became an assistant following him teaching in many places till I left Taiwan and came to United States. Every time I went back to Taiwan, I still do the same thing following him like what I did before I came here. It has been more than 30 years that I have exposed to Long Fist family. The older I get, the more appreciation I have for this traditional martial art. I think it is one of the most complete systems in Chinese martial arts, and I have the opportunity to learn from the best teacher who also learned from the best martial art masters at his time.
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