Carl Totton's "Lohan Chuan"

kal

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Hi,
Does anyone know about this style called Lohan Chuan taught by master Carl Totton?

http://www.taoistinstitute.com/classschedule.html

I am interested in this quote:

CHINESE KUNG FU & CHUAN FA: THE CORE SYSTEM™ & QIGONG
  • Kung fu is an ancient Chinese martial & health art for mind-body integration, internal and external strength, self-confidence, and high level martial skill. Class features the Southern Shaolin and Taoist 5 Animals kung fu hand & weapon forms, & chi kung. Includes the Core System™ and Automatic Dim Muk™ self defense techniques based on the Monk Fist style or Lohan Chuan Fa, the secret art only taught to the elite monks who guarded the Shaolin Temple gates.
Is this the same Lohan Chuan that is mentioned in the Bubishi and is credited as being one of the ancestors of Okinawan Karate?

 

DavidCC

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Well, considering the number of people who would love to have definitive information about the transmission of kung-fu to okinawa, and the considerable efforts they have put forth to document that link (and so far have not been able to do so); also considering the inaccuracy of the statement that there was a secret Shaolin Kung Fu taught only to the guards at the gate; also considering that this guy has abolutely NO information about who his teacher was I would have to say

:bs: :BSmeter:
 

Flying Crane

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My sifu learned six Lohan sets from sifu Wong Jack Man in San Francisco. He has taught me two of them because they have some technical similarities to Tibetan White Crane, which is my specialty under him.

My sifu has also expressed that the original Lohan system was a compilation of the best techniques at Shaolin temple, and was practiced by the temple guards. I asked him how many sets comprise the entire system, and he said that he didn't know, but he heard that there may have been a complete set for each of the 108 arhats. I don't think anybody could actually master that number, if it is true, as the two forms I have learned are plenty challenging. I cannot imagine trying to keep up with 108 forms if they are all of that same level.

I tend to view these oral mythologies as an interesting story that may, or may not, be based in fact on some level or other. But I think it's pretty difficult to document either way. The oral history that gets passed down from generation to generation often gets "built up" over time, to make the origins of an art seem more noteworthy and impressive.

I do find it amusing when people feel the need to Trademark phrases like Automatic Dim Mak. I just don't see the need to do something like that and it comes across looking like a silly business proposition.

But that's my two cents...
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Hi,
Does anyone know about this style called Lohan Chuan taught by master Carl Totton?

http://www.taoistinstitute.com/classschedule.html

I am interested in this quote:

[/size][/font]
[/list]Is this the same Lohan Chuan that is mentioned in the Bubishi and is credited as being one of the ancestors of Okinawan Karate?



Carl Totton is the founder of the Taoist Institute...I used to drive by it on my surface street route from Glendale to Burbank.

Mr. Totton was a long-time student of Ark Yuey Wongs, a prominent kung-fu instructor in the Los Angeles area, and in the Chinese kung-fu community in general. "Mok Ga" or Mok Gar" is a discipline ascribed to training gate guards and wall soldiers at Xiaolin, if only by self-ascribed oral tradition. The emphasis in the skill set was on speed in tight spaces, with linear driving into an opponent while overpowering him with multiple fast, hard strike sequences. Rumor within the system has it that the skills were developed this way to be practical on the catwalks just inside the walls.

Haumea "Tiny" Lefiti was a Samoan who studied the system in Taiwan, becoming a "papered" sifu. His instructor reportedly drafted him letters of recommendation to present on his return to the Mainland, which he did to Master Wong. Upon joining Master Wongs Kwoon, Tiny was put in charge of teaching the Mok Ga sets for Master Wong...ostensibly a nod to his skill and lineage. Among the students "back in the day" were Carl Totton. Among other students that were intermittently active in the kwoon around this time were American Kenpo Founder Edmund K. Parker (deceased), and Ron Chap'el (on this board as "Doc").

Every once in while, someone will note that Mr. Parkers kenpo was heavily infused with and influenced by Mok Ga movement methods. Inevitably, a detractor of this idea will say, "Nuh-uh." I only wish I could be a fly on the wall when guys like Doc and Professor Totten get on the phone to shoot the shieze about the old days, with Parker and Lefiti on the same mat. Incidentally, Mr. Totton was a 6th degree black belt in kenpo under Mr. Parker at the time of Mr. Parkers' passing.

Anyway, back to the point. Wongs kwoon was one of the major influences in kung-fu legends that became treated as history. His was among the first to open to caucasians. Many of whom wrote books or articles, or passed on the stories they heard to others...who then wrote books or articles. The idea of the "18 Hands of Lo Han" presumably finds it's origins in the oral histories passed down in this school, though I cannot speak to that authoritatively. Martial art historians have -- over the last 40 years -- worked to prove or disprove many of these "legends", with mixed success. Regardless of what a historian finds, in the Asian cultures it is considered highly disrespectful to change stuff your sifu taught you, just because a historian said so.

In other words, Mr. Totton does his teacher right by sticking to the assertions that Mok Ga is for training temple guards (gate and walls), and that the history of kung-fu at xiaolin involves the shih pa loh han sho, as developed by Bodhidharma. To join the "BS" wagon because there is no documented proof of this oral history is to dishonor and disgrace the memory and spirit of his sifu. Remember: The spirits of the ancestors are still very much alive, and watching.

For more fun on other pop cultural icons in kung fu land, look up Lau Bun or plum blossom choy li fut on the web. You might find affiliations to old traditions.

As far as some other kenpo/kung-fu connections, or wether or not Doc might know what he's yapping about...pictures of Ark Wong as a young man in Chinatown, San Fran. Associate of Lau Bun.

Lau Bun passes; Ark Wong plays a role in picking his successor...a family member of Wongs.

James Wing Woo...kung-fu cat who helped Parker assemble aspects of kenpo...down from Califrisco, after visits by Parker to Lau Bun.

Lotsa good stuff on history on the plum blossom websites.

Living kung-fu lgends to hunt down and interview over drinks (with pretty waitresses around to make it interesting): Al Novak.

Old Mok Gar clip to watch (see if you can spot where a bunch of kenpo came from in this clip...lots of familiar moves and postures...also, think Parkers foot maneuvers)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOlZG8du418&feature=related

D.
 

Flying Crane

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Is the name Mok Gar used interchageably with Lohan? I don't recall seeing references to Mok Gar on the website, but I'll take another look.
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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I stand corrected :asian:

Wadn't aimed at anyone in parrticular; Hell, I like you. :)

Just been reviewing kenpo iconography for a side project. The kenpo patch has several axe head shapes embedded within it's shape. The Tong's used to employ kung-fu instructors to teach their enforcers how to dismantle people. Lau Bun was hired by a Tong in Northern California, both as a hatchet man himself, and as an instructor of future enforcers. These guys were quite literally given small axes with which to carry out their office, leading to their names.

Mr. Parkers affiliation with them, and in attempt to honor their history of "real deal" in the symbology of the system, prompted some of the axe imagery approved in the crest. One of those tidbits mentioned breifly in a book most will have forgotten about in a couple more generations, but with some profound implications for developing mo-bettah kenpo skills.

Lotta shady characters that later became honorable members of our rich, shared martial arts history in the US. Fun stuff, though.

These old "kung-fu killers" typically either switch off of the lethal aspects of the art, or refocus their energies on the esoteric side...can't spend your whole life lookig over your shoulder. Hence, you see a lot of the old names teaching Tai Chi or Qigong or TCM or some other such thing.

This link was a fun read...by one of Bun's "grandchildren" in kung-fu. Discusses his nefarious activities a bit. Also notes that issues of successorship upon a GM passing aren't associated with kenpo alone: Several different lineages cropped up after Master Bun's passing.

http://ezine.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?t=39874
 
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