Fut Gar or Buddhist Style is a relatively modern Southern style of Kung Fu devised primarily from the combination of Hung Gar and Choi Gar kung fu. This style of kung fu is characterised by its evasive footwork, low kicks, punches, palm strikes, circular blocks and using the opponent’s force against him/her.
The words “Fut Gar” literally translate to “Buddha Family”. The word “Gar” in Cantonese means family. This name has been synonymous with the martial arts practiced in the Southern Shaolin Temple in Fujian, and used as an ambiguous term for their skills.
Although no one person is recognized with originating the style, it is believed to have grown from Luohan kung fu. As the name suggests, the art was originally a generic term for the kung fu style used by monks, although it is now taught as a distinct style of its own right.
Fut Gar has its origins at one of the Shaolin Temple’s in Guangdong Province. Early on in its history, the monks at this Shaolin (Sil Lum in Cantonese) temple were fortunate enough to learn martial arts from fighters that had mastered the 5 most popular systems of Southern Kung Fu. These styles were Lau Gar, Lei Gar, Mok Gar, Choi Gar, and Hung Gar. The names of the styles reflect the surname of the particular style’s founder.
A Shaolin monk named Leung Tin Jiu realized the value of encompassing different schools or styles together and took only the finest techniques of each style and discarded what he thought was useless or ineffective. Compiled mostly from Choi Gar and Hung Gar, this became Sil Lum Fut Gar or “Shaolin” Buddhist Style”.
A branch of Fut Gar developed by Leung Tin Chiu is currently being partially taught in schools worldwide and was headed by Chen Rong En 1922-2015, the only direct disciple of Leung Tin Jiu who was involved in spreading the style. The Leung Tin Jiu style of Fut Gar is best known in China for the Flying Dragon Staff Form, which is known as the King of Staff Forms within the Kung Fu community. The National Fut Gar Kung Fu Training Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the longest running school under the guidance of Grandmaster Chen. A newer school also closely monitored by Grandmaster Chen exists in China since 2004. In November 2007 an International Fut Gar Federation was formed to unite instructors of Fut Gar Kung Fu worldwide.
Fut Gar training includes self-defense, hei (gi) gung, weapons, traditional forms, exercises for health, philosophy and meditation, inner strength, discipline, and confidence. Well known offensive techniques include wide, circular hook punches and hammer fists. Evasive footwork and circular blocks are some of the defensive techniques used. Benefits of Fut Gar training include: strong fighting theory; short- to medium-range attacks; maneuverability and footwork; heavy focus on hand techniques; flexibility of techniques for all body types.
The Fut Gar style traditionally had three empty hand sets and nine weapons. The empty hand sets are:
Wu Dip Jeung (Butterfly Palm)
Sup Ji Kuen (Cross Pattern Fist)
Daai Ga Lou (Great Family Set)
There are now ten empty hand forms to practice starting with a hard, almost Karate-like form, all the way to an internal form similar to Tai Chi Chuan; they are:
Seh Ying Diu Sau (Snake Shape Hooking Hand Form)
Taai Ji Kuen (Prince’s Fist)
Bak Mou Kuen (White Hair Fist)
Loh Hon Kuen (Arhat’s Fist)
Daai Lin Wan Kuen (Large Continuous Fist)
Daai Gum Gong Kuen (Large Diamond Fist)
Chut Yap Bo (In and Out Step)
Mang Fu Ha Saan (Fierce Tiger Descending the Mountain)
Tien Jaang (Complete Elbow)
There is also various weapons training, which are: the staff, spear, straight sword, broadsword, butterfly swords, kwan do, tiger fork, three-sectional staff, and the monk’s spade. Some of Fut Gar’s weapons forms include: Hak Lung Do (Black Dragon Broadsword); Fuk Fu Gwun (Tiger Taming Staff); Ng Ma Gwai Chou (Five Horses Returning to the Feeding Post Staff); and Lung Chin Gim (Dragon Well Sword).
The Way of the Warrior: Martial Arts and Fighting Styles from Around the World 15 Sept 2008
by Chris Crudelli