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David Arnavat

I can personally attest to both the high level of physicality involved in this art, and the fact that it is truely a fighting art.
From my experiences in Tae Kwon Do, and it's tradition form, Tang Soo Do, I definitely see that more physically training is involved. Although, like Hung Gar, these arts do necesitate some leg strength in order to properly perform forms and certain techniques, in fighting it was not heavily emphasized. In sparring, stances were left to be used in forms alone, and the practicioner would use more of boxer stance in fightning. Whereas, in Hung Gar, what is done in forms should be done in sparring. Many times, I (and other students), are told to use proper stances during fightning. Thus, when the student of Hung Gar is practicing his forms, he is really preparing himself for a possible fightining scenario.
Another example of the level of physicality is in some of the exercises that are employed in Xiaolin training. Hung stance drills, finger tip push ups, three star blocks, and etc, all push a student's body beyond simple kicks, and punches. The additional use of Iron rings and sand jars works the all too underdeveloped finger and forearm muscles which are used in gripping, clawing, gouging, and striking opponents in a variety of different ways.
As for the fighting side of Hung Gar, I can still recall one of my first days in class, where Mr. Anta taught us how to whip someone in the eyes! Never in my prior martial arts training had someone taught me to strike the eyes of an opponent. Similarly, the overwhelming number of techniques that are employed against the groin, shin, knee, and other 'unorthodox' targets left me speechless. Most of the targets that I was originally taught to strike consisted of the traditional face, stomach, and the occasionally groin shot. This, and my dad's old idiom regarding his combat training during vietnam (When you fight, if you have to bite the guys b---s then you have to bite his b---s!) all prove how fighting oriented this art is. Gone is the idea of fair fighting, which is now replaced with the notion of survival. After all, how many thieves, murderers, and criminals use 'orthodox' techniques on their victims? By allowing for a variety of techniques, no matter how 'unorthodox' they may seem, Hung Gar levels the playing ground in a self defense scenario.
By the way, for those interesting in learning Mandarin Kung Fu terminology (and yes, I know, Hung Gar is traditionally Cantonese) here is a link you might want to take a look at:

http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/info/glossary.php

Manuel Reyes

Hung Gar kung fu is to me the best matial art. It has helped me in many aspects and I know I can do better and I know I will.

Another definition I heard of for Hung, is Red. Gar of course being family. But I've heard it reffered to as the "Red Family Art" or "Blood Family Art."

Julio Anta

Thank you David for your comments. I can see that you are truely learning the concept of Hung Gar what I call Chinese Street Fighting or gutter fighting. Down and dirty street survival.Your comments could have been an article in it self. I'm super proud of your accomplishments and understanding of Hung Gar Fighting. My Sifu Master Maio Perez calls the strikes to the eyes the equalizer. Since no one can build muscles in their eyes. In the very near future I will write an article on my Sifu and how I fell in love with Hung Gar a true fighting art.

Julio Anta

Manuel you are doing great. Remember Hung Gar is a life long expierence. Enjoy the journey. You are correct Hung also stands for the color red.

Julio D. Fernandez

This is a fantastic article; very informative. The responses and comments are good too. Thanks Dave. If I can add anything of value to what's already been said, it's that, to me, Hung Gar takes, more than anything else, committment and dedication. Some people are looking for a "magic pill" to just learn more and more in the shortest time possible; like they can just plug in and download all the information they need and, all of a sudden, they're telling Morpheus they know Kung Fu. Like many people in our Western culture, they don't like the idea of dedicating themselves to learning something worthwhile and putting in the time it takes to get good at it. In ancient times, martial arts took decades to learn. Even styles such as Hung Gar were "simplified" and standardized so that the practitioner could learn the basics of the style in, say, 8 years instead of 14. Lots of people today don't have that kind of patience. If you're one of those people, don't insult Mr. Anta by making a committment to master the Hung Gar style, only to back out of it later because you don't feel like putting the effort into it. One of the saddest sights I've seen since I joined the Anta Kung Fu family is people doing forms like Som Bo Gin with little or no enthusiasm. The student looks absurd and, in turn, makes the school look bad; plus they learn the wrong way to do a form. The key to everything in martial arts is committment and self-discipline. That's especially true with Hung Gar. I, personally, don't expect to become a red sash overnight, not even a black sash. And if I did, I'd feel cheated out the rewarding experience of enjoying the fruits of my labor, of truly earning my rank. I expect that my personal journey in Hung Gar is going to be long and difficult, but very much worth the effort and patience. Remember, the best things come to those who wait.

Julio Anta

Awesome Julio, I could not have said it better. I'm truly proud of you and my new breed of students with this great understanding and attitute. I think that most of the unfaithful and ungrateful students are gone. As much as I would like for all of my students to make it to Black Sash and Beyond, Hung Gar is not for the weak, yet if they stay and not give up we will make the weak strong and the strong, stronger. The weakness is not in the body but in the mind. What the mind can conceive the body will achieve! Keep up the great work. The faithfulness and integrity that you and David A have are partly due to your spiritual up bringing as Christians. You will make an excellent Black Sash one day. I'll be super proud tying the covet Hung Gar Red Sash on you in the future.

David Landrian-Shrewsbury

I have read a number of books on Hung Gar, and this article is really a fantastically clear, concise summary. I am so proud to be a student of Master Anta, and humbly look forward to advancing my training along with those who have spoken out herein. I think the true test of a fighting school is the development of a true martial "family", and the ULTIMATE LOYALTY to the system, and our predecessors. As in life we will surely face tests of our metal, but I'm pleased to think that as brothers and sisters of that family we will be able to stand toe to toe with whatever comes, and to help each other do so.

I think a lot of the major points have already been hit here, but I'd like to make note of something that might be considered a little "softer", but I believe equally important. I think one of the most profound ideas that strikes me as special about Hung Gar kung fu is that one of the most respected founders Wong Fei Hung was not only one of the best fighters, but one of the finest doctors. This unique mix for the understanding in such detail to understand not only what will cause death, but what can sustain life is truly fascinating to me, and those imbued with that knowledge are unique and special individuals indeed. They must make wise and careful decisions each day as to how and when to use their special abilities. These decisions are what separates the patriot from the criminal, and a hero from a bully.

"Hard as iron, soft as thread" is something the Hung Gar practitioner will hear more and more as training progresses, and it applies in so many areas of life. I think the wisdom of Hung Gar kung fu runs very deep, and might not be visible to those who look on it casually. It's easy to see the hard, brutal Tiger style, but the calculating careful Crane is in there too (and equally deadly), you just have to be willing to see it. I can speak to this personally, being a sizeable guy, it's fairly easy to psyche yourself up to try to overpower an opponent and get yourself into a very bad position strategically. The essential lesson I've gotten from my own training thus far is one of careful timing and restraint of unfocused careless agression. Excessive force and lack of focus can get you in a lot of trouble an so many areas of life. Kung fu is the ultimate training to lear strategy!

It seems to me that a practitioner who can in a split second determine why you should do something (purpose/intent), what to do (technique), when to do it (timing), and how forcefully/quickly to do it (power/speed), and then EXECUTE THE PLAN...that person is truly an artist.

Julio Anta

David, thanks for the kind words and compliments. I am truely blesses to finally find such faithful students. I should let you and my other students that have written comments to write about Hung Gar. You have truely read about and are versed in our system. I truely believe that my Sifu, our Grand Master and I can rest assure that our system will continue to grow and flourish.

H2H

Great potted history of a littel known martial arts style.

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Julio Anta Bio

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    Julio Anta owns Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense one of South Florida’s most successful and recognized martial arts/fitness centers. Anta is a martial arts and fitness instructor.
    He is an international competitive bodybuilder. Julio is the 2017 South Florida Bodybuilding Champion 60 + overall winner and lightweight winner. He was the runner up in the 2019 North American Bodybuilding Championships 60 + Lightweight Division and the runner up in the Florida State Bodybuilding Championships 60+. He started competing in 1983 placing 3rd in the Mr. Jr. Florida and Mr. Miami.
    He was born in 1957 and began studying martial arts at 14 years old. He began bodybuilding shortly after in his late teens. Anta was also a Corrections Officer for 10 years and a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. He is the author of "Anta's Ageless Warrior Fitness" Book. Anta created "Anta's Art of Fighting without Fighting Anti-Bullying" program and DVD. He also created "Awakened the Warrior Within" Life Skills Program. Below are some of his credentials, certifications and awards:

    Certifications

    -Kung Fu Master
    -Judokickbox Red/Black Belt 2nd Dan (2nd degree black belt)
    -Contemporary Jeet Kune Do Instructor
    -Contemporary Jeet Kune Do Law Enforcement and Edge Weapon Instructor
    -Tran's Muay Thai Association certified instructor Level 3 Kru
    -Krav Maga Association certified full instructor
    -Krav Maga Association Israeli Counter Terrorism
    -Krav Maga Association Active Shooter Response Instructor
    -Krav Maga Association Israeli Law Enforcement Defensive Tactics Instructor
    -Krav Maga Association Israeli Combat Shooting Instructor
    -NRA Pistol Instructor
    -Haganah F.I.G.H.T. Instructor
    -CORE Krav Maga Instructor
    -Krav Maga Martial Arts instructor
    -Gracie Jiu Jitsu blue belt at Valenti Brothers Jiu Jitsu
    -Burn with Kearns MMA Fighter Fit Level 3 Instructor
    -Jeet Kune Do Athletic Association Action Strength Instructor
    -HKC HardStyle Kettlebell Certification
    -CICS Certified Indian Club Specialist
    -Elite Combat Fitness Instructor
    -Elite Kettlebell Instructor
    -Kettlebell Concepts Instructor
    -IYCA Youth Fitness Specialist
    -Battling Ropes Instructor
    -ICSDA SABER Edge Weapon Combatives Instructor
    -Fitness Kickboxing Instructor
    -Kardio Karate Instructor
    -Pilates Instructor
    -ISSA Fitness Instructor
    -Martial Arts for Peace Bully Busters
    -National Security Agency Child Safety
    -American Council of Martial Arts Cooper Institute

    Awards/Organizations
    -2019 North American Bodybuilding Championships runner-up 60+ Lightweight
    -2019 Florida State Bodybuilding Championships runner-up 60+
    -2017 South Florida Bodybuilding Championships 60+ Overall Winner & Lightweight Winner
    -ICSDA (International Combat Self Defense Association) Advisory Board
    -2011 PMA Best Martial arts School in Doral
    -2010 Century Gold Award
    -2010 Dr Rolando Espinosa K-8 School Award
    -2009 Best of Doral Martial Arts Award
    -2009 Century Mark of Excellence Award
    -2006 United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame Kung Fu Master
    -2006 World Martial Arts Union Hall of Fame Life Achievements
    -2006 Miami Dade County Certificate of Appriciation
    -2006 Captain of the runners up in the South Florida Dragon Boat Festival 250 Meter Kung Fu Cup
    -2005 EFC Black Belt Schools “Outstanding Martial Arts School”
    -2005 EFC Black Belt Schools “Hero Award”
    -2005 Proclamation “Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense Day” City of Doral
    -2004 Miami Dade County “Martial Arts Excellence Award”
    -2003 Florida Martial Arts Hall of Fame “Instructor of the Year”
    -2003-2004 Co-holders of the World Simultaneous Kicking Record
    -1998 Florida PBA Certificate of Appreciation
    -1983 2nd runner up Jr. Florida Bodybuilding Championships
    -1983 2nd runner up Miami Bodybuilding Championship

    For his full biography log on to Anta Kung Fu and Miami Kettlebell