AS A MARTIAL ART, EAGLE CLAW KUNG FU HAS SOMETHING TO OFFER EVERYONE ON TOP OF BEING A GREAT WAY TO GET IN SHAPE. The Eagle Claw System of Kung Fu (Ying Jow Pai), is one of the great fighting styles of Northern Chinese Kung Fu. It was created during the southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 CE) by the famous military Warrior-General Ngok Fei or Yue Fei in Mandarin. To train his soldiers General Ngok Fei devised "108 Fighting Techniques": efficient blocks & strikes with grabs, locks and pressure point attacks for unarmed combat. The footwork of this system incorporated kicks, sweeps and trips to disrupt an opponent's balance and end battlefield combat quickly. Ngok Fei's army repeatedly fought and defeated the Jurchen forces that attacked China's northern border, earning a fierce reputation for the fighting style that came to be known as "Ying Kuen" or Eagle Fist. Because of his success and reputation for loyalty, General Ngok Fei became a national hero and the Chinese people praised him and his army with the saying "It's easier to rock a mountain than the Ngok Fei army." Ultimately, due to political treachery General Ngok Fei was called back from the battle lines and executed at the council of individuals working to undermine the Chinese government - prematurely ending the life and military career of one of the great figures of Chinese History. After the death of Ngok Fei his army disbanded and his techniques were disseminated amongst the temples of China. During the Ming Dynasty (c. 1368 CE), a monk named Lai Chin combined General Ngok Fei's 108 fighting techniques with the kicking and footwork of the Northern Faan Tzi System. As a result, both kung fu styles are now fused together to form one complete system known as 'Ying Jow Faan Tzi Moon', or more simply Ying Jow Pai, the Eagle Claw System.
Eagle Claw continued to be taught and passed on for several generations; the next known master was named Toa Gai, from him the system passed to Far Shing and then to Lau Shu Chun. The style remained within the Lau family and was passed to Lau Shing Yao who taught his son, Lau Kai Man, and his nephew, Chan Tzi Ching.
In 1910-1915 Chan Tzi Ching co-established with Fok Yuen Gop (Huo Yuen Jia), of the My Jhong system, the Shanghai Ching Mo Association. During that time, Chan was assisted by the highly skilled Lau Fat Mang who learned Eagle Claw from his uncle Lau Kai Man. Later, in 1924 Chan Tzi Ching travelled to Southern China and taught Eagle Claw at the Hong Kong Ching Mo Association where Ng Wai Nung was a senior disciple.
When Chan Tzi Ching left Hong Kong for family reasons, Lau Fat Mang was assigned to teach in his place and Ng Wai Nung completed his Eagle Claw training with Lau Fat Mang. Grandmaster Ng Wai Nung had the privilege of being a top disciple of Chan Tzi Ching and Lau Fat Mang, both highly respected Eagle Claw Masters.
Ng Wai Nung's top student was his godson Shum Leung who later would bring the system to America to begin the next chapter of Ying Jow Pai.
For a more complete history of the contribution and legacy of Grandmaster Shum Leung please follow this link to the NY School website.
Today, thousands of Eagle Claw practitioners in America have learned from Grandmaster Leung Shum's Eagle Claw Kung Fu Lineage which traces directly to Grandmaster Ng Wai Nung and other great masters from China. We are proud to continue and be a part of the legacy of Grandmaster Shum Leung and Ying Jow Pai.