The words "Fut Gar" literally
translate to "Buddha Family". The word "Kuen" in Cantonese would translate
to "fist". "Fut Gar Kuen" would be "Buddha Family's Fist".
One style of Fut Gar Kuen has
its origins at one of the Sil Lum Temple in Guandong Province. Early on in
its history, the monks at this Sil Lum (Shaolin in Mandarin) temple were
fortunate enough to learn martial arts from fighters that had mastered the 5
most popular systems of Southern Kung Fu. These styles were Lau Gar, Lee
Gar, Mok Gar, Choy Gar, and Hung Gar. The names of the styles reflect the
surname of the particular style's founder.
These Shaolin monks realized the value of incorporating different schools or
styles together and took only the best techniques of each style and
discarded all techniques they thought were useless or ineffective. This
became Sil Lum Fut Gar Kuen Kung Fu or Monk Family Fist.
Primarily a wrestling
system, the style of combat known as go-ti boxing came into being in
approximately 2600 BCE. At the same time, religious practitioners were
developing a physical and mental training regime called "cong fu." Both
arts eventually became associated with Daoist monks and, over the years,
eventually fused into one system. As many Daoist monks are experts in the
system, most practitioners also follow Daoism. Many believe go-ti boxing
to be a precursor to modern kung fu martial arts.