Choy Li Fut

Description and Characteristics of Choy Li Fut


Choy Li Fut is a Chinese martial art that combines several principles, concepts and techniques of different Northern and Southern Chinese kung-fu styles. The name "Choy Li Fut" is in Cantonese. In Mandarin, Choy Li Fut is called "Cai Li Fo". In 1836, Chan Heung developed the martial art to honor the Buddha as well as the Shaolin history. It was also developed in honor of three men who taught him three different martial arts,which in one way or another influenced the development of the principles of Choy Li Fut.First was the Buddhist monk who taught him Choy Gar, Choy Fook (Cai Fu). Second was his Li Gar teacher named Li Yau-San. And last but not the least was his uncle and Fut Gar teacher Chan Yuen-Wu.

As mentioned earlier, Choy Li Fut is heavily based on various ideas and techniques from both Northern and Southern kung-fu systems. As such, it has the Southern styles' Shaolin animal forms' powerful arm and hand techniques used with the Northern styles' agile footwork, circular movements with body twists and extended motion. It has the similar stances to Hung Gar without being as high as the stances from Wing Chun, granting the practitioner agility and grace of movement without compensating power, strength and balance. These stances usually differ depending on what kind of technique you are going to perform or what kind of strategy you are after. While other styles such as Hung Gar and Wing Chun have stances wherein the practitioner's torso is perpendicular to the opponent, Choy Li Fut makes use of a stance that angles the torso to the opponent. This angular position decreases the target areas exposed to the opponent and grants an extended reach for the practitioner.

Another thing that makes Choy Li Fut distinguishable is its unique arm and hand technique execution. It makes use of a so-called "whipping" motion that gains strength or power by twisting the upper torso. Aside from long-range and short-range punches and kicks, Choy Li Fut's techniques include but are not limited to sweeps, take downs, joint locks, grappling and pressure point attacks. These elements and concepts make Choy Li Fut a martial art that is excellent for self-defense and is particularly efficient when dealing with multiple opponents.

Hand Technique Elements

  1. Kum - Slapping or Pressing Palm Deflection
  2. Na - Shooting Arm Bridge
  3. Gwa - Back Fist
  4. So - Sweeping
  5. Tsop - Yin/Yang Knuckle Strike
  6. Pow - Upward Power Shot
  7. Chow - Claw
  8. Bin - Swinging Power Shot
  9. Pei - Chopping
  10. Lui Yin - Yin/Yang Fist

Leg Technique Elements

  1. Chan - Bracing
  2. Ding - Nailing
  3. Liu Tat - Kicking
  4. So - Sweeping
  5. Jet - Blocking
  6. Au - Hooking
  7. Dan - Springing

Hand and Leg Techniques Application Methods/Styles

  1. Yin - Negative
  2. Yang - Positive
  3. Kong - Hard
  4. Yau - Soft
  5. Hui - False
  6. Shi - Real
  7. Tou - Stealing
  8. Lau - Sneaking
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