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Jow Ga Kung Fu (Chinese: ??) (aka Zhou Jia) (Chinese: ????) is a form of Kung Fu. It was founded by Jow Lung who was born in 1891, on the eleventh day of the third lunar month in Sa Fu Village of the Canton Province, and died in 1919. His father was Jow Fong Hoy and his mother’s maiden name was Li. At the time of its inception, this particular style of Kung Fu was labeled as having the head of Hung Gar, the tail of Choy Gar and the patterns of the tiger and leopard, or simply Hung Tao Choy Mei. It was so labeled because the essential techniques incorporated the muscular and mighty movements of Hung Gar and the swift footwork and complex kicking of Choy Gar, making it a very effective form of self defense with emphasis on simultaneous attack and defense.
Jow Lung ?? had an uncle named Jow Hung Hei ??? , A top fighter in Sun Wui county. He taught Jow Lung and his brothers Jow Hip, Jow Biu, Jow Hoy and Jow Tin “Nam Siu Lam Hung Gar”.
Jow Hung Hei recognized Jow Lung as his best student due to his hard work. Due to the return of a chronic illness, Jow Hung Hei would teach him the remaining techniques and the Pa Kua staff fighting techniques. Only a month later Jow Hung Hei died.
The death of his uncle did not stop Jow Lung from continuing his studies learning Kung Fu. He traveled to Siu Hing County to become the student of Choy Gau Gung ??? who taught the Choy Gar ?? Kung Fu style.
Constantly exploring the strong points of each style with his brothers (Hung Ga’s Steady Power & Penetrating Strikes and Choy Ga’s Fast Changes & Fluid Footwork), they came up with the name “Hung Tao Choy Mei (Hung’s Head & Choy’s Tail)”.
Due to family hardships, Jow Lung (age 19) left home (first to Singapore then to Malaysia)to find work. While there, he was involved in a fight that fatally wounded a gangster. On the verge of collapse from exhaustion and starvation he sought refuge at a Monastery. Abbot Chian Yi/Hong Yi being most sympathetic to his plight allowed him to stay. After several months of keen observation, the Abbot had no doubt as to Jow Lung’s character and began teaching him Bak Siu Lam (Northern Shaolin) Kung Fu that he learned in Honan Province. The Abbot encouraged Jow Lung to combine all 3 of the Kung Fu systems he had mastered into a single style. He stayed in the monastery for over three years before achieving this goal. After returning home Jow Lung instructed his brothers on the new style.
In 1915 General Lee Fook Lam of Canton needed a chief trainer for his army. He issued an open invitation for anyone interested to compete in a elimnation tournament. Out of 100 applicants only Jow Lung had defeated all his opponents and was then appointed to the position. Jow Lung sent for his brothers to assist with the training of the soldiers.
In 4 years they taught and steadly refined the teaching methods and material into a new system which they decided to call it “Jow Ga Style”. Due to the system’s effectiveness and the fame of their fighting abilities, the brothers were honored with the title “Five Tigers of Jow Ga” (?????).
Sadly, in 1919 – Jow Lung , due to exhaustion from teaching and promoting the Jow Ga Style, died at the age of only 29 from Pneumonia.
After the death of Jow Lung the family met and elected Jow Biu to assume leadership of the system. Jow Biu resigned his position with the army and began promoting the Jow Ga system of Kung Fu. Within one year he had established 14 Jow Ga schools throughout China and within a few years the number had grown to more than eighty.
In 1936 the first school was established in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The Hong Kong school produced several notable masters. Among them, Chan Man Cheung, Lui Chu Shek, Wong Kun Leung, Lee Au and many others. Jow Tin and Jow Hip also came down to Hong Kong to teach, many of their disciples are still teaching in Hong Kong.
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