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The southern Shaolin form of Yap Mun Kuen / Jap Mun Kyun (入門 拳) is a masterpiece of compactness and conciseness. In the mid-1980s, this small but fine Kungfu fist routine became known. In a few years, it made friends all over the world.

Traditional origins

The Yap Mun Kuen has been distributed under various names. Sometimes it was simply called the South Shaolin form, sometimes more correctly as the introductory form of the Wu family, and there are also quite meaningless Chinese-sounding names for this form on the Internet.

Here we tell you, how the YAP MUN KUEN was created.

Wu Shaoquan (1909-1967, Cantonese Ng Siu Tsuen 吳少泉), father of Wu Mei Ling (cant. Ng Mei Ling 吳美玲), together with his wife Xiao Yanzhen (1923-2012, cant. Siu Yin Zan 蕭燕珍) was a significant kung fu Teacher in Guangdong Province in the first half of the 1900s.

Wu Shaoquan's Kungfu came directly from the legendary Huang Fei Hong (1847-1925, cant. Wong Fei Hung, 黃飛鴻), who contributed significantly to the spread of Hung-Gar-Kungfu / Hung Kuen / Hung Kyun (洪 家 功夫) Has. His student Lin Shi Rong (1860-1943, cant. Lam Sai Wing 林世榮) was an important teacher for Wu Shaoquan. If you would like to learn more about Wu Shao Quan and the Wu family tree, you can read the article Read "Hung Kuen of the Wu family" .

The classic forms of Hung-Gar-Kungfu (mandarin Hong Jia Gongfu 洪 家 功夫) are considered sophisticated and deep. The Gung Zi Fok Fu Kuen (工 字 伏虎 拳), the Fu Hok Seung Ying Kuen (虎 鶴 雙 形 拳, the tiger crane form) and the Tit Sin Kuen (鐵線 拳, the iron Thread form). These routines show the variety of subtle yet powerful Hung Gar techniques. Regardless of their length, they were taught to all students. Beginners started with Gung Zi Fok Fu Kuen and learned the basics of Hung Gar Kungfu with discipline and dedication.

Creation of the form "Yap Mun Kuen"

Wu Mei Ling came to Constance in 1986 at Lake Constance and had built the German-Chinese Wushu Academy with Martin Rüttenauer (since 2012: Wushu Taichi Academy). Since 1987 the two have also been traveling to China with their students and external students from several European countries. The trips included an intensive training part. On the one hand, training took place in the beautiful parks of the city of Guangzhou (canton), in the midst of the local groups, which were primarily devoted to taichi and qigong. The training continued on the beautiful beaches of the then lonely island of Hainan.

Yap Mun Kuen
Training mit Schülern im Guangzhou Park ca. 1987

Wu Mei Ling was now facing a challenge. Despite the intensity of the training, there was not enough time to teach the students a complete Hung-Gar form and in this way to give them a self-contained form as an introduction to the Hung-Gar-Kungfu or the traditional Kungfu of the Wu family. The Dan Gung Kuen (front half of the Gung Zi Fok Fu Kuen), which beginners learned traditionally, consists of more than fifty exercises.

Wu Mei Ling therefore decided to redevelop an introductory form.

Meaning of "Yap Mun Kuen"

She chose YAP MUN KUEN as the name of the routine. This literally means to step in the door, in the figurative sense introductory form. The Yap Mun Kuen contains important basic kung fu knowledge. When you have learned this routine, you have taken a step beyond the doorstep - that means the name of this form.

Die Bezeichnung Yap Mun Kuen ist Kantonesisch. Das ist eine südchinesische Sprache, die in der Provinz Guangdong und in Hong Kong gesprochen wird. Es ist eine sehr prägnante Sprache. Drei Silben, im richtigen Ton ausgesprochen, reichen aus, wofür wir im Deutschen eine recht lange Abfolge von Wörtern benötigen. Die südchinesischen Kungfu-Stile und deren Formen werden, ebenso wie die Meister, sinnvollerweise kantonesisch und nicht hochchinesisch-Mandarin bezeichnet. Wenn Mandarin sich eingebürgert hat, wie für Wu Mei Ling, dann bleiben wir hier bei dieser Bezeichnung.

The special features of the Yap Mun Kuen


Sifu Mei Ling's plan was to combine essential elements of Hung Gar Kungfu with movements from two traditional animal styles - tiger and dragon - that play an important role in Hung Gar Kungfu. A good teacher could then develop a deeper understanding of the traditional Kungfu of the Wu family with a talented student - regardless of male or female.


The form YAP MUN KUEN consists of two parts . During the preparation of the first part, Wu Mei Ling received support from Huang Daxiong (died 2007, cant. Wong Dat Hung 黃達雄), her father's pupils and teacher from Sifu Mei Ling. Huang Daxiong was a very versatile, spirited Kungfu artist, which later became known in Europe. Only the best should advise Wu Mei Ling on developing the routine. For the second part she was supported by Wu Runjin (1954-2007, cant. Ng Jeon Gam 吳 潤 錦), her brother, whom she later invited to her academy in Germany as a teacher. With his well-founded specialist knowledge and his humorous manner, the doctor and martial arts teacher Wu Runjin managed to build up a large and enthusiastic group of students in Germany and Switzerland.

The Yap Mun Kuen begins with movements from the Hung Gar Kungfu. According to the ideas of traditional Chinese medicine, “you direct the qi to the internal organs” and you concentrate on the inner strength ; This also gives smaller and older practitioners a powerful appearance in Hung Gar Kungfu. The hip is the axis.

The second part l of the Yap Mun Kuen emphasizes the principles of opening and raising , every movement belongs to one Kick or punch, the speed is faster. The hip moves the four extremities.

Sifu Wu Mei Ling developed a basic rule of thumb, the process of which can be learned in a manageable amount of time and offers the potential for a deep understanding of the Hung-Gar style.


For each exercise from the Yap Mun Kuen there is an application, both from the perspective of an attacker and from the perspective of a defender. The applications are considered practical. There are exercises for short-range fighting and for fighting with wide movements. Even a beginner can understand the basics of kung fu. You can find out more about form training and applicability in the article " Why form training is important ".


The health aspect of the Yap Mun Kuen is also well thought out according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. The blood can circulate well. The body becomes warm in a short time. The Yap Mun Kuen is good for your health, especially for circulatory problems. During the exercises, the hip has the function of an axis and the movements are coordinated with the breathing. As a result, the Yap Mun Kuen acts very well on the organs that have to do with breathing. You strengthen according to the theory of TCM the heart and lungs, as well as the function of the spleen and stomach. Therefore bones and muscles are trained and you develop good balance and strength in the legs. Wu Runjin summed it up in a masterly manner: "You concentrate and you are in a good mood".

How the original form of the Yap Mun Kuen came about

By the way, the idea for Yap Mun Kuen came about on a karate trip. How so? It happened like this: In March 1986 I organized a trip to Asia for the national women's karate team for the German Karate Association with its sports director Peter Betz. There were sixteen young women, all great athletes, and the national coach Hideo Ochi. After a stay in Hong Kong we traveled to Guangzhou, the hometown of Sifu Wu Mei Ling. We stayed there for about a week and, in addition to sightseeing and delicious banquets, training was of course on the program. The aim was to get an insight into southern Wushu or Kungfu, and Wu Mei Ling should convey this as a trainer. The karate athletes were talented and experienced and learned quickly. However, Mei Ling found that the traditional forms were too long to be taught in adequate depth in the given time. Together with Huang Daxiong she therefore developed a shorter form for the karate women. This form can rightly be regarded as the original form of the Yap Mun Kuen.

Hintere Reihe, 2. von links: Wu Mei Ling
Mittlere Reihe mit dunkler Jacke: Hideo Ochi

Spread of the Yap Mun Kuen

The Yap Mun Kuen is taught as a standard form at the Wushu Taichi Academy in Constance. After some of the China travel participants from the 80s and 90s passed the form on at home (sometimes more or less correctly), it can be said that the Yap Mun Kuen has arrived in Europe for many years and its permanent place in many training programs.

Yap Mun Kuen
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