Shang Tung Eagle Claw is one of the most aggressive forms of Chinese Kung Fu and one of the most challenging to learn. It was developed by Yeuh Fei, a general in the army. He is credited with developing several styles and weaponry and at one time was highly honored in the army. One set of weapon that was developed by him was the Hook Sword and Shield, which was used against the Calvary. Yeup Fei and his men were once called on to defend against the invading Mongolian Army and in defeating them brought honor and respect from the Emperor but also envy from the other generals. It was this jealousy and back stabbing by the other generals that caused Yeuh Fei’s downfall.
Yeuh Fei developed the 108 locking techniques of (what is now known as) Eagle Claw and which relied predominantly on kaleidoscopic locking and seizing techniques. This form of fighting was taught to the men under his command and made them victorious in their battles.
Like many other styles of Kung Fu, Eagle Claw introduced to the Shao Lin Temple. Here it developed into a more complete fighting style with the unification of the “Fann Tzi Mun”, (Somersault Boxing Style).
It is after the introduction of the Fann Tzi Mun and the exit from Saho Lind Temple that the history of the Shang Tung Eagle Claw became clouded in mystery. The system became divided and some how Eagle Claw was introduced in the Shang Tung mountain area, which was mostly controlled by bandits.
Because of this, the characteristics are one of power and speed and very aggressive and vicious movements from Shao Lin. Its techniques include locks, throws, breaking, tearing and dim muk (pressure point strikes). This calls for agile foot work, or Triangle Pattern because of the darting and angular steps for defense and attack.
Shang Tung Eagle Claw forms are very demanding, requiring endurance and concentration. Some forms average two hundred moves while the longer forms may average eight hundred to nine hundred moves. It’s weapon sets include: Darn Doa, Gim, Staff (Kwan), Sam Jit Kwan (Three sectional)/ Kwan Do, Cheung (spear), Hook Swords and Double Swords, to name a few.
Shang Tung Eagle Claw is a complete Martial Art, with it’s long range, short range and Ground Fighting Techniques, it takes the practitioner to the limits of their ability.