Lok Hup Ba Fa compared to Tai Chi

Lok Hup Ba Fa is one of the ancient Chinese internal martial arts.  It is considered a ‘soft’ style similar to Tai Chi.  The Lok Hup set is a sequence of 66 moves.  The version that Mr. Moy taught shares a lot of similarity to the Tai Chi set that he developed.  In the Tai Chi set, the external form guides the internal movement.  In the Lok Hup set, the internal movement is expressed by the external form.  A critical component of each Lok Hup move is an understanding of the intention of the move, which must be held in the mind to guide the body.

Learning the Lok Hup Set

The Introduction to Lok Hup Course is the starting point to learn the Lok Hup set.  It is highly recommended that you have completed the Introduction to Tai Chi course prior to starting to learn the Lok Hup set.  The best way to become aware of upcoming courses is to subscribe to the London Branch newsletter – The Plum Blossom News.

Regional Lok Hup Ba Fa Workshop – London, Ontario – November 30 to December 2, 2018

Registration is now open. Click to download the registration package.

The weekend workshop will focus on teaching the second half of the Lok Hup set.  Participants must have already learned the first half of the Lok Hup set.  The hall size is limited so please register to ensure your acceptance.  Priority will be given to Academy members.  The instructors will be Doug Nettleton and Mehrab Khan.  More information available in the registration package.

Getting More Information

The best source of information about Lok Hup is your instructor.  If they don’t have an answer they will know whom to ask.  This website has some additional resources that can provide some further information on this topic.  General information can be found in the About section.  We have gathered answers to commonly asked questions under the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.  Many of the answers to Tai Chi questions apply equally to Lok Hup.  If you have a specific question, please contact us using any of the channels on the Contact page.

Additional information on the forms is available on the National Website.

A Short History of Lok Hup

Lok Hup Ba Fa (Lui He Ba Fa), also known as Water Boxing, means Six Harmonies and Eight Methods of Mind and Will.  The legendary Taoist sage, Chen Tuan, was identified by Mr. Moy as the historical originator of the this art.  The Lok Hup form was first taught in public in the late 1930’s in Shanghai and Nanjing by Wu Yi Hui (1887-1958).  Lok Hup is one of the last “closed door” internal art systems to become available to the public.  One of Wu’s principal students was Chan Yik Yan (1909-1982) who taught in Hong Kong and Singapore.  Another of his students, Liang Tzu Pang (1899-1974) later become one of Mr. Moy’s main teachers.  Master Liang taught in Hong Kong and was known as one of the top martial artists in Hong Kong.  Mr. Chan and Mr. Liang maintained a close relationship while they were both in Hong Kong.

Mr. Moy learned the arts of Lok Hup, Hsing-I, Tai Chi, push hands and other forms from Mr. Liang.  Mr. Moy recognized his debt to Mr. Liang by naming the Lok Hup organization after him “Gei Pang Lok Hup Academy” created in 1988.  After Mr. Liang’s passing, Mr. Moy continued to work closely with Mr. Sun (1917-1999), another student of Mr. Liang and also a prominent martial artist in Hong Kong,  to continue the lineage from Master Wu and many of the other masters of that generation.

The practice of Lok Hup Ba Fa is used to change muscle, ligament, tendon, bone, spine and internal organs so that the architectural structure of the body becomes ideal for storing and circulating internal energy.  Practitioners become more relaxed, flexible and stronger.  Mr. Moy developed his form in the late 70’s and began teaching it to mainstream students in the 1980s.  Seeing the benefits of Lok Hup on its practitioners, Mr. Moy decided to establish the Lok Hup Academy with a focus devoted to the research and practice of Lok Hup.

From Master Moy’s arrival in Canada in 1970 until October 1983, he only taught Lok Hup to students who had already achieved a fairly high level of skill and then only the first half of the form.  Master Moy started teaching the second half of the Lok Hup form widely in 1987 and started promoting formal, regular lok hup classes in which the entire form was taught.

What is Lok Hup?

Mr. Moy often spoke about the path of return to health through the transformation of the tendons and bones of the body.  This can be accomplished with the techniques that have been integrated into the Lok Hup Ba Fa set. One of the best ways to begin the process of the transformation of the body is through learning Tai Chi.  It is possible to start with learning the Lok Hup Ba Fa set, but the learning of the Tai Chi set establishes a foundation that makes the movements of the Lok Hup Ba Fa set more understandable and achievable.  Mr. Moy also spoke about the intensity of Lok Hup Ba Fa and how it has six times the internal benefit of Tai Chi.  The movements are somewhat more strenuous than Tai Chi, so it is recommended that the student have achieved a minimum level of strength and flexibility through the practice of Tai Chi before beginning to study this form.  Mr. Moy stated that it was his hope that all Tai Chi students will eventually develop to the point where they can study Lok Hup Ba Fa.

Lok Hup Ba Fa is called the “Six Harmonies and Eight Methods of the Mind and Will” because in the practice of Lok Hup the mind follows the will, the movement follows the mind.  Will and movement combine such that the heaven, earth, east, west, south and north are all in harmony.  The six harmonies are divided into the three external harmonies (head, arms and legs) and the three internal harmonies (upper, middle and lower dan tiens).  The connector of the external harmonies is the spine.  The connector of the internal harmonies is the Tu and Jen meridians.

The practice of Lok Hup Ba Fa begins with changing the muscular-skeletal system, continues with changing the internal organs, and completes with the circulation of the internal energy.  The culmination of training in Lok Hup Ba Fa is the perfect health of mind and body.  The 66 moves in the Lui He Ba Fa set are divided into two halves.  The first half focuses on the changing of the tendons and the transformation of the muscular-skeletal structure of the body.  The first half is primarily “external” in its emphasis.  The second half focuses on the massaging of the internal organs and transforming the internal structure of the body.  The second half is primarily “internal” in its emphasis.  To benefit from the second half, the transformations of the first half needs to be complete, so it is common for students to focus on the first half for a period of time before studying the second half.