Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (5): Lau Bun—A Kung Fu Pioneer in America.

Kung Fu Tea

Lau Bun demonstrating a form in the late 1960s.  Source: http://plumblossom.net/ChoyLiFut/laubun.html Lau Bun demonstrating a form in the late 1960s. Source: http://plumblossom.net/ChoyLiFut/laubun.html

Introduction: Choy Li Fut’s place in southern Chinese martial culture.

Let me ask you a question.  What was the largest and most socially important martial art in Guangdong during the late 19th and early 20th century?  What was the first martial art to organize an extensive network of public commercial schools in all of the province’s major towns and cities?  Which southern Chinese martial art was the first to establish a permanent public school in the United States?

A few names often spring to mind.  Hung Gar is synonymous with southern boxing, and it was pretty popular.  But it’s not the answer we are looking for.  Wing Chun was an obscure regional style that few people had heard of until the 1960s.  And while many individuals studied one or more of the “Five Family Styles” they were…

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