Five Ancestors

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This article is about the martial art. For the folklore figures written with the same Chinese characters, see Five Elders.
Wuzuquan
五祖拳
Ngochokunchar.jpg
Also known as Ngo Cho Kun, Wu Chu Chuan, Five Ancestor Fist
Focus Striking, weapons training
Country of origin China
Creator Taizu-Wuzuquan style (predecessor): attributed to Zhu Yuanzhang
Bai Yu Feng style: Bai Yufeng
Ho Yang Pai style: Chua Giok Beng
Tai Zu style: Gong Po Chan
Yong Chun style: Li Jun Ren
Famous practitioners Lo Ban Teng (Jakarta), Liem Tjoei Kang (Surakarta), Kwee King Yang (Surabaya), Sim Yang Tek (Singapore), Chee Kim Thong (Malaysia), Lo Yan Chiu and Tan Ka Hong (Philippines), Ng Seow Hooi (Malaysia)
Parenthood Fujian White Crane, Iron shirt, Luohan (martial arts), Monkey Kung Fu, Taizuquan, Dim Mak
Descendant arts Okinawa karate, Nam Pai Chuan
Olympic sport No
五祖拳
Five Ancestors Fist
Pinyin: wǔ zǔ quán
Minnan: ngó chó kûn

Five Ancestors Fist (Wuzuquan or Ngo-cho Kun) is a Southern Chinese martial art that consists of principles and techniques from five styles:

The combination of these five styles and their characteristic techniques were during the creation of the Five Ancestor System, consolidated by a sixth influence; Xuan Nu also known as Hian Loo(玄女拳).[6] 'The Lady in the Green Dress,' who introduced the most deadly of its techniques Dim Mak lethal strikes to the pressure points of the body.

History[edit]

The original concept of Wu Zu Quan has its origin in the early practice by Southern Tai Zu martial artist in venerating the Five Ancestors or Wu Zu 五祖 dating as far back as around 1600's the Five Ancestors are (1) Tai Zu 太祖 for the emperors of China (2) Guan Nim 觀音 the goddess of mercy that is recognize and venerated by both Taoist and Buddhism (3) Lo Han 羅漢 the warrior monks that were always ready to assist China's emperors in safe guarding the empire's rural areas against bandits, pirates and foreign invaders (4) Da Mo 達尊 the person instrumental in introducing Buddhism to China and (5) Xuan Nu 玄女 believe to be the lady monk responsible in advancing pressure point and herbal science of medicine.

In the 1800s some Tai Zu masters will redefine Wu Zu to Wu Zu Quan. The two most prominent Tai Zu masters that will create and redefine Wu Zu to Wu Zu Quan were (1) Li Jin Ren 李俊仁 his Wu Zu Quan will be known as Yong Chun Wu Zu Quan 永春五祖拳 and (2) Chua Giok Beng 蔡玉明 his Wu Zu will be refer as Wu Zu Quan Ho Yang Pai 五祖拳何阳派. Both founders created their version of Wu Zu making it about martial arts. While many Tai Zu martial artist embraced, and join either Yong Chun or Ho Yang Pai Wu Zu Quan, others did not they continue to retain the original concept of Wu Zu. And because of the shared roots, history, tradition such as the green lion, the martial art systems the many forms, the concept and principle of the Sam Chien, Wu Zu and Wu Zu Quan will become one and inseparable.

Later in the late 1950s another version of Wuzuquan history-origin will be revealed thanks to the late Grand master Chee Kim Thong from Malaysia putting the founding of the art around 1300 AD attributed to Bái Yùfeng,[1] a famous 13th century monk from the original Henan Shaolin Temple in the North of China to whom Five Animals style and Hóngquán (洪拳) have also been attributed.

It is believed during the fall of the Ming dynasty many Bai Yu Feng disciples will flee to Fujian province integrating with Fujian martial art system such as the Yong Chun White Crane. Thus, the history of Wu Zu Quan have four versions:

  1. Tai Zu Wuzuquan 太祖五祖拳 early Tai Zu martial artist venerate the Five Ancestors.
  2. Yong Chun Wuzuquan 永春五祖拳 founded by Li Jun Ren 李俊仁 sometime in the late 1800s base in Yong Chun Fujian China. Both Li and Chua were close martial art friends.
  3. Ho Yang Pai Wuzuquan 鹤阳派五祖拳 founded by Chua Giok Beng at the same time sometime in the late 1800s.
  4. Bai Yu Feng Wuzuquan 白玉峰五祖拳 a northern system that migrated to Fujian China and integrated with Fujian Tai Zu system.

Some practitioners also credit a sixth influence of the Xuan Nu (玄女拳) system, with its emphasis on flowing movements and humility, for refining the art of Five Ancestors. [2]

Styles[edit]

Characteristics[edit]

One of the primary characteristics of Five Ancestors is its reliance on the Sam Chien (literally "three battles":三戦) stance and the corresponding hand form of the same name, which it obtained from Fujian White Crane. The "three battles" refer primarily to the three stages of Wuzu practitioners can achieve: combat preparation, combat tactic and combat strategy; all of which must be mastered in order to attained a good level. "Three Battles" has multi-faceted meaning: conceptual, physical, and spiritual.

Sam Chien can also be said to allow development of the eight Five Ancestor principles and so, is considered the most important form in the style. Indeed, it is said that this form contains all the principles of the Five Ancestors system. Thus it is the first form taught to junior students, so that they may explore the essential points of Five Ancestors from the start of their training.

Although the exact method depends on the school, Five Ancestors is known for its large variety of power generational methods. Due to the distinct character of each ancestor, these methods change depending on the power required. Some schools teach tension forms that develop power, of which there are about ten, and fist forms that train technique, of which there are dozens. Others stress a relaxed body, instead seeking maximum transmission of the relevant jin. For the He Yang (何阳)branch/School, these 2 extremes are represented by the Lu Wanding/Lo Ban Teng (盧萬定) lineages representing the earlier. The teaching of Lu style is mostly in Indonesia (in the city of Jakarta and Surakarta/Solo). The latter is represented by the latter teaching of Shen Yangde/Sim Yang Tek (沈扬徳) whose style evolved from more direct in the earlier teaching In Xiamen to the "seeking maximum transmission of the relevant jin"when he had moved to Singapore. The Surakarta/Solo branch has a unique execution as it integrates the Lu and the earlier Shen's teaching. The style was popularized in solo by Lin Shui Gang/Liem Tjoei Kang (林粹刚) who was the nephew of Lu as well as an adopted son of Shen. In the surface, it seems to be counter-intuitive to integrate two opposite spectrum of teaching. However, the underlying principle of He Yang lineages are the same and the integration follows the principles taught by Coshu He Yang and proven as effective as the other lineages.

On top of this are miscellaneous hand forms, two-man forms (also known as form-drill) that may or may not include sticking hands, and forms for a comprehensive arsenal of weapons including rice bowl and chopsticks, umbrellas, even opium pipes.

Over the decades masters have added to this list introducing material they considered relevant to the time.

Five Ancestors is now taught in China, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark and Spain.

Governance[edit]

The peak international body for Wuzuquan is the International South Shaolin Wuzuquan Federation 国际南少林五祖拳联谊总会, which was established in 1989. Some of the early President of the Federation were Dr. Lo King Hui, Dr. Chee Kim Thong, Grand master Zhou Kun Ming, Grand master Yap Ching Hai, Grand Master Han Jin Yuan, Grand master John Graham. The twelfth President of the Federation is James Chee of Australia, who took over from John Graham of the United States in November 2011.[7] The current President 2013 -2016 is Grand master Henry Lo 盧思明 of Philippines. The Federation convenes annually in Quanzhou, Fujian China with discussions held regarding the preservation, expansion and unity of the art.

Ranking system[edit]

An internationally recognized ranking system for Wuzuquan practitioners was established at the 2010 International Shaolin Wuzuquan Federation conference, in Quanzhou China.[citation needed] A ten level (duan) system was agreed upon for the most senior grades, and mirrors the equivalent systems used in karate (dan) and taekwondo. The 10th duan is recognised as the highest level, whilst the 1st duan is the lowest. However, not all legitimate branches actively participate in the union.

The first group of honorary 10th duan Wuzuquan practitioners to be formally recognized includes both living and deceased masters. These masters are awarded the duan for their involvement in the promotion of Wuzuquan. These 10th duan practitioners include Chee Kim Thong (Malaysia), Yap Ching Hai (Malaysia), Kim Han (United Kingdom), James Chee (Australia), Lu Qing Hui (Philippines), Hsu Nai Jing (Singapore), Chen Hung (Philippines), Su Zai Fu (Quanzhou), Zhi Yuan Li (Philippines), Shan Fa (Taiwan), Huang Qing Jiang (Quanzhou), Lu Si Ming (Philippines), Hong Dun Geng (Hong Kong). [8]

John Graham of the United States was awarded the rank of 10th duan at the 2011 International Shaolin Wuzuquan Federation conference.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Han Jin Yuan: Fundamentals of Nan Shaolin Wuzuquan, Vol. 1, page 28, 2002.
  2. ^ Han Jin Yuan: Fundamentals of Nan Shaolin Wuzuquan, Vol. 1, page 29, 2002.
  3. ^ Han Jin Yuan: Fundamentals of Nan Shaolin Wuzuquan, Vol. 1, page 30, 2002.
  4. ^ Han Jin Yuan: Fundamentals of Nan Shaolin Wuzuquan, Vol. 1, page 31, 2002.
  5. ^ Han Jin Yuan: Fundamentals of Nan Shaolin Wuzuquan, Vol. 1, page 32, 2002.
  6. ^ Hian Loo (The Lady in the Green Dress)
  7. ^ James Chee's appointment as twelfth Chairman
  8. ^ List of 10th Duan Wuzuquan Masters
  9. ^ John Graham 10th Duan

External links[edit]