Sometime after Hung I-Mien returned to Taiwan he was out one morning exercising. Chang Chun-Feng saw him working out and called him over. Hung had previously watched Chang practicing near the Round Mountain area and thought what he did looked very strange. He said that he could not understand why Chang would walk around in circles or why he would stand for long periods of time holding one posture, move one step, then hold another posture. It was very different than anything he had seen before. When Chang called him over, he showed Hung some Hsing-I and Hung became interested. Shortly afterwards Hung's two brothers, Hung I-Hsiang and Hung I-Wen also became interested in practicing with Chang.
The Hungs told their father that they had met a very good martial artist and were interested in studying with him. The elder Hung invited Chang to his house and asked if he would teach his sons on a regular basis. Chang agreed and the Hung's father helped to support Chang, giving him a place to stay when he needed it. Some of the classes Chang held with his original ten students where held at the Hung's home.
Hung I-Mien said that the first art Chang taught to them was Hsing-I Ch'uan. The practice sessions were very difficult. Chang would have them hold postures for long periods of time and constantly tell them to get lower in their stances. Commenting on the purpose of this practice, Hung said that the standing helps improve the practitioner's intention. He also said that in the standing practice the student should quiet the mind and calm the heart. The eyes should not flinch, but be fixed with a steady gaze.
Hung would often complain to Chang, saying that the practice was too painful. Chang responded simply by saying, "If you can't take the pain, go home and don't practice." Today Hung states that the only way to get good kung fu is to practice very hard and experience the pain.
Hung I-Mien believes that in practicing the Hsing-I five elements as an introduction to the internal martial arts, the student can clearly understand the way the body should be trained to move in the internal styles. His feeling is that Hsing-I is a more direct expression of the internal principles and thus a student who starts out with Hsing-I is able to develop some internal skill relatively fast. Hung states that it is a good idea to learn Hsing-I's five elements before beginning Pa Kua Chang practice. This is the manner in which he was taught by Chang.
After learning all of Hsing-I's five elements, Chang started teaching Pa Kua's circle walk practice. Hung said that along with the study of the Hsien T'ien and the Hou T'ien Pa Kua, Chang Chun-Feng also taught other developmental exercises such as the Tien Kan (Heavenly Stem) exercises, and had the students hit bags and other objects to develop their body. All totaled, Hung I-Mien studied Chang's Pa Kua Chang for 10 years, Hsing-I Ch'uan for 8 years, and studied how to treat martial arts injuries for about 3 of those years.
Hung I-Mien did not say that he studied Chang's T'ai Chi at all, however, he did say that he thought the Hsing-I Ch'uan was like middle school, Pa Kua Chang is like high school, and T'ai Chi Ch'uan is like college. He added that although T'ai Chi is the most refined and can potentially be the highest level of these arts, he had not ever met many who could apply T'ai Chi in fighting. He said that good T'ai Chi fighters are few and far between. Hung said that Chang Chun-Feng also taught many weapons, but he did not specifically state that he learned any weapons from Chang. When asked about weapons he said that once you learn the movements and principles of Hsing-I and Pa Kua, you will know how to use any weapon and you can use any object as a weapon. So saying, he picked up the stool he was sitting on and started wielding the stool as a weapon while executing Pa Kua Chang movements.
Although Hung I-Mien taught a number of students, he was never a professional martial arts teacher like his brother Hung I-Hsiang. He was involved in the family business and taught martial arts as a hobby. Today Hung I-Mien is retired from teaching and does not practice much anymore. He said his kung fu was at its best when he was between the ages of 31 and 40 when he was practicing the most. He remarked, "If one stops practicing, the skill
Hung I-Hsiang at his school, late 1970's. During the height of martial arts popularity in the 1970's Hung had over 200 students in his Tang Shou Tao school.
and act immediately. This ability requires the development of t'ing ching, or "listening" skill. He continues by saying that in martial arts fighting, there is no set way or set technique. It is important to respond to the opponent's movement in the most appropriate way. To accomplish this the student needs to develop a sense of sight, sense of touch, sense of movement and a keen awareness. The eyes take in without focusing and the body responds immediately.
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