Publisher’s NoteOne of the problems with long traditions of kung-fu is how the full transmission of knowledge gets lost. Most students do not get the full information, and among those who do, they often forget details over time. That is why I approached Sifu Daniel Kun and Sigong Henry Lo to document their full transmission up to black sash in their book, Kong Han Ngo Cho: Weapons, Forms, Fighting.This book is almost 500 pages and contains all the curriculum from white to black sash. Included are solo sets, two-man sets, weapons, and history and… plenty of application principles and theory. This is the marrow that informs the techniques taught in the forms. Today is a brief excerpt from the book on the “Five Attacks and Two Element theory.” Enjoy! —Mark V. Wiley
by Daniel Kun and Henry Lo
Five Ancestor Fist’s fighting principles are grounded in a direct approach that is based on utilizing the whole body for close-quarter fighting. This principle is referred to as the Five Attacks, or Ngo Giak. The Five Attacks refer to:
1. Striking: Da—or striking—implies hitting an opponent with an open or closed hand.
2. Kicking: Tiak—or kicking—implies any strikes done with the legs or feet.
3. Seizing: La—or seizing—is the skill of restraining an opponent by manipulating his own limbs and joints against himself.
4. Throwing: Sut—or throwing—is the skill of taking an opponent down to the ground by using one’s body as a fulcrum, e.g., shoulder, hip, leg, etc.
5. Bumping: Dong—or bumping—is the skill of using one’s body, e.g., shoulder, back,, etc., to strike an opponent’s body.
The core of Five Ancestor Fist powers consists of using two elements:
Strength: Zi—or strength—relates to the notion of utilizing isolated power in one particular limb, e.g., arms or legs.
Energy: Ging—or energy—refers to using the whole body to generate power by utilizing a particular energy that is referred to as Ki (氣) or vital energy.
These two elements are developed by practicing a series of forms (lo), referred to as Chien Lo, or Battle Forms. These forms are the fiber of Five Ancestor Fist; without them the system does not exist. Within Kong Han there are three crucial Battle Forms:
Sam Chien (三戰): Translated as “Three Battles,” Sam Chien emphasizes the development of one’s body structure and, most importantly, the proper breathing pattern associated with tensing certain areas of the body. This helps with coordination of the body, mind, and spirit, and also taps into Ki or vital energy.
Tien Ti Lin Chien (天地靈戰): Translated as “Heaven, Earth, Man Battle,” Tien Ti Lin Chien continues with the emphasis on body structure and the development of Ki begun in Three Battles. However, wherein Three Battles concentrates on the development of the body (i.e., man), this particular routine more fully develops the Ki or vital energy that comes from the earth and heaven, with which it creates a cosmic trinity (i.e., heaven, earth, man).
Sam Chien Sip Li Kun (三戰二十拳): Translated as “Three Battles Cross Pattern,” Sam Chien Sip Li Kun continues to stress what was emphasized in the prior forms and introduces new elements; for example, the theory of the Ten Character pattern, or Sip Li, which is a popular pattern within southern Chinese styles of martial arts. Whereas Three Battle consists of going up and down a linear line, here the practitioner goes in a cross pattern, which covers the four corners. This pattern and theory was envisioned to be useful when fighting more than one assailant.
**The complete theory of application for Kong Han line of Ngo Cho Five Ancestor Fist, plus its forms and drills, is documents in detail in Daniel Kun and Henry Lo’s comprehensive book.