Lau Gar (Liu Jia)
Founder: Lau Soam Ngan
The creator or Lau Gar is uncertain the founder however, was Lau Soam Ngan (Three Eyed Lau), a tiger hunter and stick
fighter, from Guang Xi province, in Southern China. Stories of how master Lau learned the system vary among lineages. Some
claim Lau was a monk who escaped the burning of the Shaolin Temple; others claim that there were more than 5 survivors of
the burning of the temple and that he was one of the students that escaped; still, others say that Lau was a student of the last
Abbot of the Fukien (Fu Jian) Shaolin Temple (who was fleeing from the Qing troops). However, the most popular and widely
accepted story is that master Lau learned the system from a monk on retreat from/at Kuei Ling (Gui Lin) Temple, on Bak Pai
Shan, in Guang Xi province. The style became quite popular throughout Southwest China; however, there is currently, no
information as to how/when Lau Gar left the Lau family. The family tree appears to skip at least 2 generations after Lau Soam
Ngan, and continue with master Tang Hoi Ching and master Wan Goon Wing (who was either a classmate or student of Tang
Hoi Ching). Yau Luk Sau, of Kwoloon, was the student of both Tang Hoi Ching and later Wan Goon Wing; in Guang Xi
Province, at the end of the 1800’s. Master Jeremy Yau, Grandson of Yau Luk Sau, is said to be the inheritor of the system.
There are two primary proponents who represent the system to the public; Gordon Liu, a famous Hong Kong actor and Lau
Kar Leung, a famous Hong Kong director.

The Essence of Lau Gar

“Show respect for their Instructors and fellow members. Show loyalty to the Style. Try their best to help fellow members”. The
founder of Lau Gar, Lau Sam Ngan, believed that
Gee Yau Bok Gaik (sparring practice) was more effective than forms training
to prepare the student for real life situations; therefore, the style contains very few forms. Lau Gar is a short-middle length
system that utilizes lots of hand and short fist techniques, executed from firm stances; and also excelling in
Kwun Jorn
(stickwork). The fighting techniques are based on Shaolin’s Five Animals. Lau Gar emphasizes firm stances, short fist
techniques, blocking, and striking. The system is also known for its punches, kicks, and throws. Stances are very low and
fierce. Hand techniques come in the form of punches, Phoenix Eye Fist, and palm strikes; while leg techniques include swinging
kicks and thrusting front kicks. Lau Gar Kuen is referred to as the most polite form, due to the salutations in the beginning
section of the form. Lau Gar’s 5 Animals emphasis is that of the Crane.

Training in Lau Gar

The training is designed to strengthen the mind, body and spirit of the practitioners through vigorous forms training and Chi
Kung. Lau Gar emphasizes the external (physical) training of the body as well as the internal (mind/spirit) aspects of
cultivation of chi. Like all Shaolin derived systems, Lau Gar has a significant internal content, as well as soft techniques; though
these require significantly more training, as the power that makes them effective is not of the obvious (external) type. The
mental training & fighting strategy are derived from Buddhist philosophy; particularly, the concepts of change (impermanence)
and emptiness (void). Lau Gar was invented for fighting: Punching, Kicking, Striking, Clawing, Gouging, Butting, Takedowns,
Rolling, Break falling, Attacking nerves & accupoints, Seizing techniques (Joint locks and throwing), Forms practice, weapons,
chi kung, and Fighting strategy. Forms include:
Far Kuin (Flower Fist), Lau Gar Luk Hup Kuin (Fist of six co-ordinations), and
Bac Pye Jurn (Palm of the Bac Pye mountain). The complete set of Lau Gar contains fist forms, palm forms and weapon
forms. Today Lau Gar forms are incorporated into the Hung Gar system.
© 2005, Red Mantis’ Southern Five Kung Fu Association