Hard Style (Kai He)


In this article the Hard Style (Kai he) will be described. Kai he means opening and closing. The Style is better known as the Wu Style, Hao Style or Hard Style.

When Tung Ying-Chieh (Dong Yingjie) as a teenager lived in the Hebei province nearby Beijing (Peking) in the beginning of this century, he was very interested in martial arts and studied various styles.

Tung got the opportunity to practise with Li Xiangyan, who was very good and respected, but not very known, because he preferred to live in peace.
Tung, who is the grandfather of Kai-Ying Tung (Dong Jiying), lived and practised Tai Chi with Li and they became very close friends.
When Li had taught Tung for some years, he told Tung to go back home and practise alone, but that he would come to visit him from time to time.

Several years after Tung had practised with Li, he heard that Yang Chengfu was teaching in Beijing. So he went away to study with him. This was the beginning of a long acquaintance between Tung and Yang, who modified the Yang Style as it's being taught today.
Tung travelled with Yang when he went to other cities to teach such as Shanghai og Canton in the 1920's.
It was at this time when Tung was in Suzhou, about 80 km. west of Shanghai, that his old teacher Li came to visit him. Tung was very happy and honored to see his old teacher. Li told Tung that he knew, he was eager to learn, so he was glad that he had found a teacher like Yang Chengfu. He also told Tung, that his Kungfu still wasn't good enough, even though he has been practising with Yang for several years. Li warned Tung that there in the south of China was many known fighters, who would challenge him, and if he lost it wouldn't be good for the Tung family name and even Li would lose face. Li said that was why he had come to teach Tung how to develop and use Jing, internal energy, in his martial art. He taught him The Hard Style, which brings the Jing forward and out in the fingers and the palm.
Tung continued to help Yang Chengfu. Later on he moved to Hong Kong, where he taught for many years.

Li's Style was called Wu Style or Hao Style and later Hard style. It is characteristic by being compact and by its use of Jing. The Style originate from two basic Chen Styles.
It was made by Wu Yuxiang (1812-1880) from Yongnian county, with point of origin in the basic from the Chen family old Style, which he had learned from Chen Qingping.
They were passed on through Li Yiyu (1832-1892) to Hao Weizhen (1849-1920), who was Li's teacher. The Sun Style is very similar to the Wu Style, because Sun Lutang (1861-1932) also practised with Hao.

This Wu Style must not be mistaken for the more known Wu Style, which was taught by Wu Jianquan (1870-1942).
Today the Wu Style is very rarely seen or taught, and not in the way Li use to teach it. But it's being taught by Tung's grandchild Kai-Ying Tung (Dong Jiying), who has been teaching the Yang Style since 1969 in the US and who is now teaching in Los Angeles and visits several countries in Europe and Asia.
Master Kai-Ying Tung says that his grandfather didn't teach many The Hard Style, only one in Hong Kong and a few in Macao. Kai-Ying Tung him-self has taught a few in Thailand and in the US. He only teaches students, who he has taught for several years. Master Tung learned The Hard Style when he was a teenager, at the same time as he learned The Yang Style. He says the purpose with The Hard Style is to develop good Kungfu with Jing, even if it also has benefits to the health and other things.

"When practising the Form, the Jing is brought the palms and fingers directed by the Mind and the concentration" Master Tung Says.
"Even though you use force in the palms and fingers, the movements are still relaxed and in agreement with the basic principles in Tai Chi Chuan such as: the shoulders are relaxed, the waist are loose, the spine is straight, the body flexible and the movements co-ordinated" he says. The Hard Style has some special characteristic. One is that there always are made a "followstep" in every movement. This means that the back foot is moved forward, after you have taken a step.
The ball of the foot on the back foot is in the ground about a footbreadth behind the front foot. The heel on the back foot is slightly raised and most of the weight is in front.
"The hands makes more circles in The Hard Style and the movements are more circular than in the traditional Yang Style" Master Tung says.
First part of the Form, looks a lot like the sequence form the Yang Style. You start with an other version of "Embracing Peacocks Tail" continues into "Single Whip" and "White Crane Spreads Its Wings", which is done with the left hand instead of the right. Then comes one single "Fair Lady At The Shuttle", after this comes "Brush Knee And Push" and then "Play The Guitar", where the wrists are bend in a 90° angle, one is up the other down. "Step Forward And Punch" is done with a horizontal circle, where it's in the Yang Style is done with a vertical. "Retreat And Seal" finish the first part.
The circular movements can be seen in ex. "Single Whip", where the arms opens in such a way, that you can clearly see, why the Form is called opening and closing.

Almost every punch is done with a horizontal clenched fist. Ex. in the movements "Fist Under The Elbow" and "Golden Cock Stands On One Leg", is the wrist on the raised arm bend in an angle, in stead of being straight up and down. Even though many of the names of the movements are the same as in the Yang Style, they are time to time slightly different.
There are two "Lotus Kicks" and "Shoot The Tiger With The Bow", and they are done with vertical, parallel clenched fists and a followstep. Some movements, such as "Double Wind Through The Ears", are in The Yang Style, but not in The Wu Style. There are fewer "Brush Knee And Push", but most of the movements are there, even though they are performed differently.
The self-defence applications are the same as in the Yang Style, with a exceptions. "Beginners should perform the Form a little bit faster then usually. If it's done to slowly, the Jing will be broken. If you are good, then the Jing will continue, even though you are performing the Form very slowly", master Tung says.
Tung Ying-Chieh used some of the movements from The Hard Style to make his Fast Form, which we know today as Family Style. These movements are "Cloud Hands", "Lotus Kick" and "Followstep".
"The Hard Style is not in conflict with the Yang Style. You can do them both. If you do so, you should begin by doing the Yang Style and then The Hard Style. If you do it the other way round, you will be filled with so much energy and need to take a break, before you continue", Master Tung says.


The names of the movements in Kai He

Download folder with the names of the movements

These names are some that I made up, because we have not yet received the officials. If someone has any additions or corrections, please let me know.

  1. Preparation - Yu bei shi
  2. Kai He - Kai He
  3. Kai He - Kai He
  4. Single Whip - Dan bian
  5. Raise Hand And Step Up - Ti shou shang shi
  6. Fair Lady Works At The Shuttle - Yu nü chuan suo
  7. Kai He - Kai He
  8. Brush Left Knee And Push - Zuo xi niu bu
  9. Kai He - Kai He
10. Brush Left Knee And Push - Zuo xi niu bu
11. Step Up, Parry And Punch - Shang bu ban lan chui
12. Retreat And Seal - Ru feng si bi
13. Carry The Tiger And Pushe The Mountain - Bao hu tui shan
14. Kai He - Kai He
15. Single Whip - Dan bian
16. Fist Under The Elbow- Zhou di kan chui
17. Repulse The Monkey - Dao nian hou
18. Fair Lady Works At The Shuttle- Yu nü chuan suo
19. Kai He - Kai He
20. Brush Left Knee And Push - Zuo xi niu buEnkelt pisk
21. Kai He - Kai He
22. Needle At Seabottom - Hai di zhen
23. Fan Through The Back - Shan tong bei
24. Turn The Body - Fan shen
25. Step Up And Push -
26. Kai He - Kai He
27. Single Whip - Dan bian
28. Cloud Hands - Yun Shou
29. Single Whip - Dan bian
30. High Pat On Horse - Gao tan ma
31. Kick With The Right Foot - You qi jiao
32. Kick With The Left Foot - Zuo qi jiao
33. Turn And Kick With The Left Foot - Zhuan shen ceng jiao
34. Brush Left Knee And Push - Zuo xi niu buEnkelt lotus spark
35. Brush Right Knee And Push - You xi niu bu
36. Step Forward And Punch Down - Jian bu da chui
37. Turn And Step Forward And Punch - Zhuan Shang bu ban lan chui
38. Kick With The Right Foot - You qi jiao
39. Kick With The Left Foot - Zuo qi jiao
40. Turn And Kick With The Right Foot - Zhuan you qi jiao
41. Step Up, Parry And Punch - Shang bu ban lan chui
42. Retreat And Seal - Ru feng si bi
43. Carry The Tiger And Push The Mountain - Bao hu tui shan
44. Kai He - Kai He
45. Diagonal Single Whip - Xie dan bian
46. Wild Horse Parts Its Mane - Ye ma fen zong
47. Kai He - Kai He
48. Single Whip - Dan bian
49. Fair Lady Works At The Shuttle - Yu nü chuan suo
50. Kai He - Kai HeSlå med dobbelt næve
51. Single Whip - Dan bian
52. Cloud Hands - Yun Shou
53. Single Whip - Dan bian
54. Single Whip Low Posture - Dan bian xia shi
55. Golden Cock Stands On One Leg - Geng ji du li
56. Repulse The Monkey - Dao nian hou
57. Fair Lady Works At The Shuttle - Yu nü chuan suo
58. Kai He - Kai He
59. Brush Left Knee And Push - Zuo xi niu bu
60. Kai He - Kai He
61. Needle At Seabottom - Hai di zhen
62. Fan Through The Back - Shan tong bei
63. Turn The Body - Fan shen
64. Step Up And Push -
65. Kai He - Kai He
66. Single Whip - Dan bian
67. Cloud Hands - Yun Shou
68. Single Whip - Dan bian
69. Push To The Heart - Dui xin zhang
70. Turn And Make The Single Lotus Kick - Zhuan shen shi zi bai lian
71. Step Up And Punch To The Crotch - Shang bu zhi(dang) chui
72. Kai He - Kai He
73. Single Whip - Dan bian
74. Single Whip Low Posture - Dan bian xia shi
75. Step Up And Punch To The Seven Stars - Shang bu qi xing
76. Step Back And Ride The Tiger - Tui bu kua hu
77. Turn And Make The Double Lotus Kick - Zhuan jiao bai lian
78. Shoot The Tiger With The Curved Bow - Wan gong she hu
79. Strike With Double Fists - Shuang bao chui
80. Step Back And Make Kai He - Tui bu kai he
83. Close Kai He - Shou shi Kai He

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©1998 Knud Erik Andersen