Emails: Yang Family Fist and Hakka Gongfu (3.5.2017)

From what I see, the Southern Mantis looks like longer movements that have been ‘shortened’ to fight off the back leg (perhaps due to a lack of living or training space). My theory is that genuinely ‘Northern’ Hakka martials arts were either lost or modified after the Hakka-Punti Clans wars, and the Taiping Rebellion of the middle 1800’s, which occurred in and aground Guangdong province.

Northern Hakka Gongfu (Email 29.4.2017)

When I wrote my Hakka martial arts article, I had communicated with a number of Mainland Hakka gongfu masters who all told me the same story – namely that their arts originated in Northern China. This is exactly what Master Chan had told me, and it seems to be a Western myth encouraged by ignorance of the subject matter, that suggests that Hakka martial arts originated in the South.

Hakka Gongfu: Iron Ox Cultivates Land (鉄牛耕地)

As the legs sink into the earth, the ox bends the knee and extracts the limb – this is the squat-kick, and as the broad back carries the plough and the farmer – this is the back-raise of the gongfu practitioner. Finally, for many Hakka gongfu practitioners, standing in ‘Horse Stance’ (馬步 – Ma Bu) is actually holding the ‘Ox Stance’ (牛步 – Niu Bu).

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