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Martial Arts Guide

Style: Choy Li Fut

Description: Choy Li Fut is a popular style in China which employs both low stances and the high kicking techniques of the North.Choy Li Fut was founded by Chan Hueng in 1836 in King Mui, a village near Canton.

Born in 1816, Chan Hueng began his martial arts training at the age of seven when he went to live with his uncle, Yuen Woo, a famous boxer from the Shaolin Temple. As a teenager Chan Heung was capable of defeating all of the local challengers. As a result, at the age of 17 he began studying with Li Yau-San, his uncle's senior classmate from the Shaolin Temple. Chan spent four years with Li before moving on to train with Choy Fok, a Shaolin monk who lived as a recluse on Lau Fu mountain. There, Chan Heung learned both martial arts and Buddhism, finally leaving at the age of 29 to go back to his village, King Mui. There he spent two years refining all he had learned into a new fighting style. He named it after his two teachers, Choy Fok and Li Yau-San, and added Fut (Buddha in Cantonese) to pay homage to his oncle and the Shaolin roots of the system.

Chan Hueng passed on Choy Li Fut to his sons Chan On-Pak and Chan Koon-Pak, and to his nephew Chan Kau. From them, it continued to spread throughout Southern China, and then the rest of the country, and then Asia and the world. Today it is one of the most popular Chinese martial arts in Asia and in the West.

Source: From Shaolin Temple to Bruce Lee - 100 Kungfu Styles of the Past Millennium by Gene Ching and Martha Burr, Kungfu Qigong Jan 2000 (C) 2000 Kungfu Qigong Magazine &, used by permission. 2001