Videos of forms, techniques, and just stuff around the school. This section will be growing in the coming months, as we find time to upload the videos and post them here.
This is Small Tiger and Swallow. It is the twenty-sixth form we learn at Master Lu’s Health Center. It is performed here by Brad Ledbetter. The Small Tiger and Swallow set comes from the Seven Star Praying Mantis system. It’s very powerful and fast, and requires a good bit of flexibility and agility.
This is Master Lu’s Health Center’s Guan Dao form. Literally translated as “Spring Autumn Big Guan Knife,” it is the 24th form we learn. It is performed here by Gary Whitehead.
Gary is an interesting person. He is often described as a cross between Jack Palance and Clint Eastwood only with kung fu instead of guns. He’s hard as nails and trains regardless of injury or illness. In fact, he had open heart surgery in May of 2006, and was back in the studio within about 3 months. His determination and perserverence really is an inspiration to all the students.
A kung fu school is defined by more than its forms and techniques. The people and their stories are what really create the culture of the school. One July 4th, we were doing a performance for a local small town. We were on an uneven stage on the top of two flatbeds – pretty standard. It was hot and sunny as it always is in Utah and July. Gary was performing Guan Dao, as he usually does. When he went to spin it on his hand above his head, he got blinded by the sun and the Gaun Dao slipped off. It then bounced off of his forehead and back into his hand. Gary completed the form without missing a beat.
When asked about the incident later, Gary said, “When that thing slipped off, I wondered, ‘Where’d it go?’ And when it hit my head, I thought, ‘Oh, there it is.’” That pretty much sums up Gary.
This is Master Lu’s Health Center’s Seven Star Praying Mantis form. It is the seventeenth form we learn. It is performed here by Matt Stratton, one of our intermediate/advanced students.
Our system of Kung Fu is a set of forms from multiple systems. Master Lu’s teacher, Grandmaster Yin Chian Ho, learned forms from many styles. Grandmaster Yin systemized all he had learned into a coherent, consistent set. This form is nearly the same as Beng Bu Quan, or “Crushing Step”, from the Seven Star Praying Mantis system. You will see that this version of Beng Bu Quan differs from the original – it has been modified to be consistent with all of the other forms we learn. As such, it lacks some of the movements and some of the unique Seven Star Mantis ‘style’.
This is Master Lu’s Health Center’s Sun Bin Quan form. It’s actually more formally called “32 Hands of Sun Bin” or something similar. It is performed here by Matt Stratton. This is a favorite form around the studio because it is so different from other forms we use. As such, the techniques end up getting used a lot in sparring.
This form has an interesting story behind it. Sun Bin was a famous General and martial artist in China many centuries ago. When he was training, he had a fellow student under the same teacher. When the two students left their teacher, Sun Bin became a military officer, and his kung fu brother became a warlord.
As Sun Bin was the better student, his brother feared that Sun Bin would capture him. So, Sun Bin’s brother invited him to dinner, and betrayed him by having his feet cut off. Sun Bin’s brother nursed him back to health and set him free, feeling safe that Sun Bin could not defeat him.
Sun Bin went back to his Master to beg for help. The Master was very wise, and had Sun Bin create special shoes and crutches so that he could stand and move. The Master then created a special fighting system which Sun Bin used to defeat his brother and bring him to justice.
This is just one of the forms from that fighting system.
This is the tenth form we learn at Master Lu’s Health Center, 4th Road Cha Fist. It is performed here by Wes Walker.
There is a lot of Cha First out there, but not one quite like this one. Obviously that is due to this form being co-opted into our system some time ago, and having evolved away from the original.