Fu Jow Pai Tiger Claw System

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Fu Jow Pai (Chinese: 虎爪派, literally “Tiger Claw System”), originally named “Hark Fu Moon” (Black Tiger Kung Fu System), has its origins in Hoy Hong Temple. The system “was modeled after the demeanor and fighting strategy of an attacking tiger. The striking movements are lightning fast, agile and powerful. Techniques unique to Fu-Jow Pai are ripping, tearing, clawing and grasping applications.”

Fu-Jow Pai techniques simulate the unique fighting movements of the powerful and spirited tiger.”

The concept of the fighting arts of Fu-Jow Pai as the name dictated was modeled after the demeanor and fighting strategy of an attacking tiger.

The striking movements are lightning fast, agile and powerful. Techniques unique to Fu-Jow Pai are ripping, tearing, clawing and grasping applications.

The training encompasses both physical and spiritual development. It emphasizes strenuous exercises as well as spiritual discipline. The practitioners not only can be benefitted from it in health or self-defense aspects, also can develop a stronger and self-confident personality within.

Influences: Fu Jow Pai Grand Masters trained in the following additional styles:

  • Wong Bil Hong mastered Hung Gar under Wong Kei-Ying and his son, Wong Fei-Hung.
  • Wong Moon Toy mastered Hung Gar under Lam Sai Wing and Mizongyi under Lau Chook Fung and Doon Yuk Ching before training in Hark Fu Moon with his uncle, Wong Bil Hong.
  • Wai Hong also learned (most notably) Hung Gar, Mizongyi, Choy Lee Fut, and Tai Chi Chuan.

Contributions: In 1971, Wai Hong sponsored the first full-contact kung fu tournament in the US and which became the model for future US full-contact tournaments. He also founded the Eastern United States Kung-Fu Federation, which he led for eight years. Fu-Jow Pai has appeared in multiple movies, documentaries, and tournaments.

Fu Jow Pai Learning

History: Fu Jow Pai history starts at the Hoy Hong Temple in the Guan Dong, or Canton, Province in southern China during the Ch’ing Dynasty. It was here that a battle amongst two masters in kung fu would take place. One of the masters was Wong Bil Hong. While the two masters engaged each other in a battle to the death, a Shaolin monk watched them. During the fight, both masters were suddenly thrown apart — the monk had interfered with the dueling masters.

All three engaged in battle, however the monk’s superior ability quickly overwhelmed the two masters and made them submit. The monk began to act as a mediator and settled the master’s differences. Then, after much thought, the monk accepted the two as his new disciples in the Hark Fu Moon, Black Tiger, system. Wong Bil Hong began training and remained at the temple until he mastered the system. He later became recognized as the first known successor in Fu Jow Pai history.

Unfortunately this era in Chinese history was a time in which religious rebellions raged across the Empire of China. The Ch’ing government viewed the Shaolin Temples as the hub for anti-Manchu activities*, and subsequently viewed Shaolin monks as a threat. As a result, Shaolin monks became oppressed and eventually persecuted.

Fu Jow Pai Logo

Many temples were destroyed. Due to this high level of hostility, Wong Bil Hong’s master’s name became anonymous and personal history erased for protection against government prosecution.

However the Hark Fu Moon style was preserved through Wong Bil Hong. Wong Bil Hong kept the system guarded and secret for most of his life. There are only two known disciples under him: his servant and his nephew, Wong Moon Toy.

Wong Moon Toy had mastered two additional styles, Hung Gar and Mi Chung I, when Wong Bil Hong took him in as a disciple of the Har Fu Moon system in 1927. Despite his mastery of the two other systems, training was still arduous and rigorous: Wong Bil Hong took his nephew to the Lor Fow mountains where he trained his nephew away from distraction and devoid of influence from the outside world. Under direct instruction from Wong Bil Hong, Wong MoonToy became tempered and altruistic in nature.

Wong Bil Hong stayed in the Lor Fow Mountains for seven years, forging Wong Moon Toy into a genuine kung fu master. After returning from the intensive training in the mountains, Wong Bil Hong renamed the system “Fu Jow Pai of the Hoy Hong Temple” in honor of the anonymous monk. Not too long after, Wong Bil Hong passed away leaving his legacy to his only two disciples. The servant passed away not too long after the great master’s death. Wong Moon Toy would then inherit the system from his uncle and become the second generation successor.

Grand Master Wong Moon Toy

After inheriting the Hark Fu Moon Style, now known as Fu Jow Pai of Hoy Hong Temple, Wong Moon Toy moved to Chinatown in New York City. While there, Wong Moon Toy earned his living placing lead printing blocks into a printing machine for the local Chinese newspaper. On the side he would teach bodyguards Hung Gar or Mi Chung I; however he would never divulge the secrets of Fu Jow Pai. One day two school teenagers knocked on his door. An elder brother explained to the hardened master about the two teens beginning kung fu training. Again Master Wong Moon Toy withheld all information about the Tiger Claw system instead taught Hung Gar and Mi Chung I. One of the teenagers, Wai Hong Ng, began to follow the master around and to work. Master Wong Moon Toy took him in and would train him at work. Over time, Master Wong Moon Toy presented the two teenagers, now young adults, with an invitation they could not refuse: to be taught the secrets of Fu Jow Pai. They were to meet up with the master in his apartment on August Moon. On that day they arrived at the apartment ready to begin their secret training; however, as is customary to Chinese tradition, five other students showed up to give moon cake to the master. It was then that Master Wong Moon Toy took in the seven as the new disciples of Fu Jow Pai.

Grand Master Wai Hong

After many years under the teachings of Master Wong Moon Toy, the seven disciples decided that the power and strength of Fu Jow Pai should be known to the public. In 1957, Fu Jow Pai was incorporated and it opened to the public on October 1st. Unfortunately a few years later in 1960, grandmaster Wong Moon Toy fell ill. Before he passed away, he named Wai Hong Ng the heir to the Fu Jow Pai system. Wai Hong Ng then became the third generation successor of Fu Jow Pai.

Grandmaster Wai Hong Ng then spent numerous years promoting Fu Jow Pai and Chinese martial arts as a whole. After nearly 10 years assessing the prospects of Fu Jow Pai, grandmaster Wai Hong Ng decieded to make Fu Jow Pai more easily available to all who wish to learn and strive to reach its standards. In 1968 on August Moon, grandmaster Wai Hong Ng formally organized the Fu Jow Pai Federation, Inc. In 1971 the federation was chartered in New York and allowed the name of Fu Jow Pai to be readily accessible to the public for the first time.

Currently Grandmaster Wai Hong has retired from formal training. However he can still be seen teaching to some dedicated students in the park. Although New York City will always be the heart and birth of present day Fu Jow Pai, there can still be found schools of the fourth generations scattered around the world. Fu Jow Pai is still strong with those who keep it closest to them.