Huo Yuanjia

1868 - 1910

huo_yuanjiaHuo Yuanjia was born 1868 in Xiaonan Village in Jinghai County in Tianjin, and his family's primary source of income was from farming. The Huo family had a long tradition of being practitioners of traditional Wushu. Huo Yuanjia, however, was born weak and susceptible to illness (at an early age he contracted jaundice that would recur periodically for the rest of his life) so his father discouraged him from learning traditional Wushu.

Because of his physical deficiencies, Huo En Di wanted his son to pursue scholarly interests instead of learning traditional Wushu. In his later life, Huo Yuanjia became renowned for his humility and educated judgment. However pursuing scholarly interests was a great blow to his ego which was fueled from the constant bullying by younger children during his youth. His father hired a tutor from Japan, Chen Seng Ho (Chiang Ho), who in exchange for being taught his family style of martial arts Mizongyi, taught Yuanjia the values of humility and perseverance. Refusing to accept the vocation his father had chosen for him, Huo Yuanjia hid in bushes and even dug out a small hole in the wall of the training area and secretly observed his father teaching his family's style of martial arts. Each day he quietly sat and watched, and each night he went to a tree grove and practiced secretly with his tutor. This continued for about ten years.

In 1890, a martial artist by the name of Duo came from Henan Province to visit the Huo family. His manner provoked a trial of strength with the boxers of the family. After seeing a demonstration by Yuanjia's elder brother, he was goaded into a fight. Huo Yuanjia’s brother was beaten, but to the family's surprise Yuanjia himself got up and defeated his brother's opponent. His father then officially accepted him and taught his younger son all that he knew. His name started to spread and he soon began defeating neighboring practitioners in local contests. These bouts made Huo Yuanjia famous in his village and the neighboring areas.

Huo Yuanjia began working with his father as a guardian. While escorting a group of monks, they were confronted by a leader of bandits named Zhao who gave them a letter threatening the monks with an attack from his army. Unperturbed, Yuanjia met Zhao's challenge and defeated him, injuring both of the bandit’s arms in the process; his many troops dispersed. Word of this feat spread fast further adding to his growing fame.

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Kenshiro Abbe

15/12/1915 – 1/12/1985

Kenshiro Abbe's introduction to the martial arts began with his father, Toshizo Abbe, a kendo teacher and school master. However, with the death of his father in a flood during a kendo weekend course on the 4th September 1918, he received little kendo training.

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Fumio Demura

Born in Japan 15/11/1938

At the age of 8 he began training in the martial arts under Asano Sensei, and started training under Ryusho Sakagami Sensei in Shito Ryu Itosu Kai karate when he was 12. Demura received his 1st Degree black belt in 1956 and won the East Japan Karate Championship in 1957. In early 1958 Demura began training in kobudo, a style of Okinawan weapons training, under the direction of Sensei Shinken Taira. Demura is renown for his abilities as a weapons instructor and taught famous martial arts movie performers such as Bruce Lee. In 1961 he won the All-Japan Karate Championships. Four years later, in partnership with Dan Ivan, Demura came to the United States to teach and promote Shito Ryu Karate.

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Grandmaster Lily Lau

lily_lauGrandmaster Lily Lau is the eldest daughter of the 7th Generation Eagle Claw Late Grandmaster Lau Fat Mang. On March 17 1964, Master Lau passed away at the age of 62. Lily, at the age of nineteen, rose to her father’s position and became the 8th Generation Eagle Claw Kung Fu Grandmaster. Not by choice, however, but due to the circumstances and cultural expectations. Since Kung Fu has been regarded as an integral part of the Chinese culture, Grandmaster Lau, determined to continue her father’s dream, through hard work and persistence, she has continued teaching throughout the years, spreading Eagle Claw Kung Fu.

She is the first and only woman to take over a Kung Fu System and teach openly as a Kung Fu Master.

Grandmaster Lily Lau wants to continue spreading the real Eagle Claw techniques throughout the world. She has schools worldwide: United States, Brazil, England, Greece, Puerto Rico and China. Master Lau travels frequently to these schools where she presents seminars and workshops yearly. Master Lau is diligent in her work and is focused on her ultimate goal; to spread as much Kung Fu in the world as she can. She would like to one day see all Martial Arts united.

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Hirokazu Kanazawa

Born 1931 in Japan (10th Dan)

One of the world’s most renowned and respected traditional karate masters alive, Kanazawa Shihan is the only karateka ever to have won the notorious ‘All Japan Karate Championships’ an incredible three times in a row. On one occasion he won the finals while nursing a broken wrist from an earlier event. In recent years, his eldest son, Nobuaki, has preserved the family reputation by winning the current All Japan Championships.

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