Toronto Hong Luck Kung Fu and Lion Dance and Dragon Dance
Choy Li Fut

Choi Lee Fut Style
( Choy Li Fut )

Choi Lee Fut Fist, also known as Choy Li Fut and as Cai Li Fo Quan in Mandarin, is a style with a long-standing tradition that traces its orgins to the renowned master Chan Heung and to Shaolin Temple.

Heung learned his craft from three accomplished masters, Choi Fook, Lee Yausan, and his uncle, Chan Yuen Woo. All three masters were boxers from the famed Shaolin Temple. Heung combined what he learned from his three teachers and formed one system which he called "Choi Lee Fut" in their honour.

At Hong Luck Kung Fu Club, Master Paul Chan has been studying and teaching Choi Lee Fut for over forty years.

Today, we pride ourselves on continuing the legacy of Chan Heung and the Shaolin Temple.

Chan Heung
At seven years old, Chan Heung (pictured on the left) began learning martial arts under his uncle Chan Yuen Woo. Yuen Woo was a famed master from Shaolin Temple, and taught his nephew the Buddha Style Fist or Fut Ga Kuen.

After years of study with his uncle, Chan Heung had become a consummate warrior by the early age of 15. To further his skills, Chan became a student of Lee Yau San, a Shaolin practitioner of the Lee Family Fist. Yau San was Yuen Woo's sihing or elder brother at Shaolin Temple.

Becoming proficient in the Lee Family style, Chan Heung was then referred to the Shaolin monk Choi Fook to further his martial arts knowledge. After years of intensive study with the Buddhist recluse, Chan Heung revised what he had learned and formed a new system. He combined his knowledge of 3 martial arts systems and called it "Choi Lee Fut" in honour of his teachers.

Three styles that constitute Choi Lee Fut ( Choy Li Fut ) are as follows.

Chan Yuen Woo and the Buddha Style Fist
Chan Heung learned the Buddha Style Fist, or Fat Ga Kuen, from his uncle Chan Yuen Woo. Yuen Woo was a famed master of Shaolin Temple.

The Fut Ga Kuen style specializes in palm techniques. Both the left and right hand are used in attack and defence. Long and short-range footwork is employed.

Lee Yausan and the Lee Family Fist
Lee Yausan also received his training at Shaolin Temple.

Lee Yausan taught the Lee Family Fist, or Lee Ga Kuen. It is a style of martial arts that employs wide stances, relies on strong leg endurance, and uses large strides to evade attacks.

Traditionally, the Lee style used the left hand for defensive movements, and only the right hand for attacks.

In Choi Lee Fut (Choy Li Fut ), both hands are used in attack and defence. Many of the Lee style's arm techniques are essential to the Choi Lee Fut system.

Choi Fook and the Choi Family Fist
Choi Fook is a legendary figure who was a monk of the famed Shaolin Temple.

Living in solitude on Lau Fu mountain, Fook was a holy man that spent many years immersed in meditation and martial arts practice. His abilities were so far along developed that he is said to have smashed stones with simple kicks and punches.

Choi Fook taught the Choi Family Fist, or Choi Ga Kuen. It is a style of martial arts that employs long, medium, and short-range techniques. Emphasis is placed on agile footwork, and "looseness" in kicking techniques. In this style, kicks are delivered in combinations, and they are combined with arm attacks.

One distinct characteristic of this style is that attacking and defending are done simultaneously. Arm movements should alternate in continuous combinations to strike an opponent.

These fundamental principles are key to the practice of Choi Lee Fut.

When Chan Heung founded Choi Lee Fut ( Choy Li Fut ), he left behind a set of governing principles to guide and inspire practitioners of his style.

Listed below is just a portion of the original Chinese text.

Fundamental principles of Choi Lee Fut ( Choy Li Fut )

Body Positioning
1) The body is held erect and straight. The shoulders and limbs are loose. All movements are extended without shortening their range. Unlike other southern styles that use only short-range techniques, Choi Lee Fut uses long and far-reaching movements.

2) Footwork, based primarily on the Lee Style, is strong but agile. Switching from stance to stance is a split second affair. It is said that, "Slow walking is silent as meditation. Fast stepping is quick as a wind-cloud turning in the sky."

Leg techniques
3) All leg techniques are fast "as a meteor shower," or a "blink of an eye." The movement of the legs should not be seen. Kicks are performed in combinations, and are combined with hand techniques.

Hand Techniques
4) All long, medium, and short-range hand techniques are coordinated with stances. Both right and left-handed techniques are used in attack and defence. Switching from technique to technique is smooth so that any combination can be used. The "gyong jee" fist is Choi Lee Fut's unique hand technique.

5) Power is generated using the whole body in both "hard" and "soft" techniques. The movements are strong enough to "level a mountain," but not stiff or tight. Techniques are "soft" but not weak; the hands move like a wheel using circular movements to parry an opponent's attack and simultaneously counterattack.

6) Inhalation saves energy (the yin principle). Exhalation helps the release of power (the yang principle). Shouting combination with hand and leg techniques adds power to punches and kicks. Shouts also startle the mind of your opponent.

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