During the Ming Dynasty, over 300 years ago, a Tibetan Lama priest named Dai-Dot began developing the
Tibetan Hop Gar Demonstration
|Also called||Lama-pai, Lama, Tibetan White Crane|
|Country of origin||Tibet, Migrated to China|
|Parent arts||Lion's Roar Kung Fu|
Tibetan White Crane, Lama Pai or Hop Gar, system. During this time, he observed the battle of a great White Crane and an ape. Known as Pak Hok Pai or Bai He in Chinese, this form of kung fu offers the weak person, represented by the crane, the ability to both evade and conquer an attacker, represented by the ape (apes are much larger than monkeys.) Many techniques are used and these can be learned from a sifu, another name for teacher.
Hop Gar kung fu is rooted in the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet. Buddhist monks spread the seeds of this ancient art from Tibet through southern China. These spiritual masters developed an understanding of both mind and body through the practice of meditation. It was in this state of consciousness that Hop Gar was conceptualized.
Dai-Dot Lama (阿達陀尊) was born in 1426 and was a member of a nomadic tribe that traveled throughout Tibet and Qinghai. He was an active young man who practiced horsemanship, wrestling (Shuai-Jiao) and a special type of joint-locking (seizing and controlling skill). After being ordained as a monk in Tibet, he also learned a martial art that was apparently Indian in origin. For several years Dai-Dot retreated to the mountains to live in seclusion, studying Buddhist texts and practicing meditation. He also hoped to improve his martial art skill. One day Dai-dot's meditation was disturbed by a loud sound. He left the cave he had been meditating in to investigate and found an ape trying to catch a crane. He was astonished. Despite the ape's great size and strength, the crane eluded the great swings and pecked at soft, vital points. Dai-dot was inspired to create a new martial art.
The name "Tibetan White Crane" is associated with the lineage passed down from Wong Lam-Hoi through Ng Siu-Chung, whose training with Wong Lam-Hoi was later supplemented by training with Chu Chi-Yiu, another of Sing Lung's students. Nhg Siu-Chung sought to make the system more accessible to the general public. The White Crane style attempted to standardize the practice of basics and both modified and created hand sets to make them logical and systematic.
However, soon after Nhg Siu-Chung's death the style split into several branches and no longer remains unified. The Hong Kong White Crane Athletic Association attempted to standardize the teaching of White Crane but each disciple had already begun developing their own methods. Some disciples were content to remain within the Hong Kong White Crane Athletic Association while others, most notably Chan Hak-Fu, were not. Chan Hak- Fu decided to establish his own organization, the International White Crane Federation, in Australia in 1972. Chan Hak-Fu's White Crane is considered significantly different from the White Crane of his classmates. Things were further complicated in 1977 when Ngai Yuk Tong and several members of the Hong Kong White Crane Athletic Association decided to change the hand sets, making them "more economical" and removing repeated movements.