Feng Shou

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Feng Shou (風手) is a Chinese Martial Arts style associated with Taoist Arts of the Lee-style as taught by Chee Soo, President of the International Taoist Society. Feng Shou came to London in 1930 when Chan Kam Lee an importer and exporter of precious stones taught a class in Red Lion Square in Holborn. Chan Kam Lee met Chee Soo and taught him the style in 1934. It is an internal or soft style. Feng Shou Ch’uan Shu means literally 'Wind Hand Fist Art'. The name comes from the ‘Earl of the Wind’, who in Chinese mythology was called Feng Po. He is depicted as an old man with a long flowing white beard, who stands on the green grass of the heaven’s highest pinnacle, dressed in a yellow cloak and wearing a red and blue hat. In his hands he holds the open end of a cotton sack, and wherever he points the mouth of the sack, the wind blows in that direction. He can turn a full circle, and send the winds unhindered across the whole world. If he moves slowly, then the wind from his sack will hardly move and it will feel like the gentleness of a morning breeze. But if he becomes angry or is surprised then he may turn very fast, and the wind will hurtle across the universe to create the devastation of a tornado.[1]

Feng Shou techniques[edit]

Feng Shou is a soft or internal style so the techniques are relaxed and generally involved circular motion with no blocking. The techniques are designed to use Qi instead of brute force or muscle power. In his training manual of Feng Shou Chee Soo details several areas of technique such as for example:

Partner exercises[edit]

  • Foot flow patterns which teach students how to avoid kicks, fluidity of movement on the feet and various kicking patterns.
  • Rollaways which is a repeated pattern of striking and warding off blows targeted at different parts of the body. Rollaways can also be practised with weapons such as staff and sabre.
  • Evasion exercises such as Teacup, Clockface and Four lotus petals. Strikes and kicks are avoided with stepping patterns in various directions orientated to the compass points.
  • Arm locks and wrist locks similar to Aikido.
  • Grip and breakout - taking turns to escape from different holds using soft techniques.
  • Sticky hands a free style exercise to develop sensitivity similar to Taiji Pushing Hands.
  • Qishu or throwing similar to Aikido and incorporating Chinese wrestling or Shuai jiao.

Forms[edit]

  • Chee Soo Shou Bei Fa - literally Chee Soo hand and arm technique, a series of defences against typical attacks.
  • Tu Shou or poisoned hands - slow defences and rapid striking patterns with usually three strikes to vital areas of the body.
  • Active Mist - similar to Tu Shou but with slow attacks and fast defence.
  • Weapons forms with staff or Gun, and sabre or Dao. [2]

History[edit]

  • 1930 Chan Kam Lee emigrated to Britain from Weihaiwei a British colony in China and established his Taoist Arts club in Holborn, London.
  • In 1934 Chee Soo met Chan Kam Lee and started his training in the Taoist Arts including Feng Shou kung fu.[3]
  • In 1950 Chee Soo established his first club in Manor road school West Ham.
  • Chee Soo was awarded a Guinness World Record for showing Feng Shou kung fu on television as part of the classic cult TV show The Avengers which was shown in eighty countries worldwide: "In 1965, Dame Diana Rigg (UK) became the first western actress to perform kung fu on Television when the combat choreographers Ray Austin (UK) and Chee Soo (UK/China) worked elements of the martial art into her fight scenes on The Avengers. Certificate presentation was done on The New Paul O'Grady Show."[4]
  • According to a British Movietone News documentary filmed on 21 May 1970 at Guildford in Surrey - UK, Chee Soo had over 2000 students studying Wu Shu in Britain as part of the British Wu Shu Association. He was only one of three men outside of Beijing qualified to teach Wu Shu.[5]
  • Chee Soo appeared in a BBC Nationwide TV interview on 21 September 1973 where he demonstrated Feng Shou Kung fu self-defence techniques and inner power live in the studio with presenter Bob Wellings.[6]
  • In 1974 Chee Soo published his first book "A Step by Step guide to Kung Fu".
  • Chee Soo and one of his London Feng Shou kung fu clubs were featured in a 1975 BBC Television documentary about the kung fu boom of the early 1970s and it's effects on teenagers contrasting traditional western boxing with hard and soft styles of kung fu.[7]
  • In 1983 Chee Soo published The Taoist Art of Feng Shou a definitive training manual with various details about the style.
  • From 1982 Chee Soo moved to Coventry and taught regular evening classes in Feng Shou Kung Fu at the Alderman Callow School in Canley where he also taught weekend classes for students and instructors of Feng Shou from around Britain and also from classes in France and Germany and the Netherlands. He also taught a week long course during the Summer.[8]
  • In 1990 Chee Soo moved to Ebbw Vale in South Wales where he continued teaching Feng Shou kung fu as well as visiting his students around the UK.
  • Since the death of Chee Soo in August 1994 there are now several schools teaching Feng Shou kung fu based in the British Isles with clubs in France, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, each of which emphasize different aspects of the Lee style Feng Shou kung fu.[9][10][11][12][13]

References[edit]

External links[edit]