José L. MELERO
EVOLUTION OF MARTIAL ARTS
and CHOY LEE FUT
In the past, most of the people who practiced Kung Fu were soldiers, warrior monks and people dedicated to the security of feudal lords, transport caravans etc…, As far as they spent most of their time on training these martial arts, people practiced the whole system: hand forms (striking, grabbing and joint locking), weapon forms (long, short and double weapons). However, they ended being experts only in some of these techniques.
In more modern times and due to the invention of firearms, martial arts stopped being practiced just as an exclusive system of war. On the one hand, soldiers and people with jobs such as policemen and security guards still practiced martial arts as a way of defense and hand to hand combat. On the other hand, the average citizen practiced martial arts for self-defense and as a sport.
At the beginning of the twentieth century and as a consequence of people devoting less time to the practice of martial arts (nowadays only three or four hours a week), they chose to subdivide the different martial systems in relation to the distance of the imaginary enemy: long distance “tae kwon do”, mid-distance “karate, kick boxing”, short distance “boxing”, short distance with grabbing and floor techniques “judo, aikido, sua jiao, etc”. In the same way, the training with weapons became a mere cultural training mainly used for the acquisition of some skills to improve one’s stamina, endurance and strength.
All this variety of systems and styles can be grouped into two big schools: external (hard) school and internal (soft) school. Choy Lee Fut is one of the few systems that includes both schools. It is an external system because students use a great power in their techniques and at the same time it is an internal system because that power and strength come from a relaxed body.
Choy Lee Fut is considered one of the most important styles of southern China because of its hand techniques but at the same time and apart from the practice of the “forms”, Choy Lee Fut also has the Northern Chinese Schools techniques which include the use of a great variety of versatile kicks.
In the School that I run Choy Lee Fut is taught like in ancient times, as a whole and complete system, but taking advantage of modern time’s technology.