Lai Chung Ch’uan Fa is a modern form of kung fu that was developed in the late 20th century and mixes two traditional Shaolin styles, Hung Gar and Choy Li Fut.
Characteristics: Generally speaking, Hung Gar uses aggressive linear attacks combined with deep stances while Choy Li Fut emphasizes fast, circular movements with the shifting of stances. Hung Gar and Choy Li Fut were developed from Southern Shaolin Ch’uan Fa in the 17th and 19th centuries, respectively. By combining these two complementary systems, Lai Chung Ch’uan Fa provides a solid yin-yang balance with modern self-defense applications.
Also, Lai Chung Ch’uan Fa has come to incorporate elements from kickboxing, kenpo karate, Filipino combatives and other Southeast Asian arts. It encompasses everything from blocking and striking, to weapons training and empty-hand forms called kuens. It also has “exotic strikes” from Shaolin’s animal styles, drills such as chi sao, and a counter-grappling curriculum. This gives Lai Chung Ch’uan Fa a foundation based in southern Shaolin traditions and philosophy, but with a modern eclecticism that’s important for street self-defense and physical development.
Founder: The style was developed over the years by the late Master Ted Lai, who founded the Chinese Physical Culture Association of Fullerton in 1971 and was one of the first kung fu instructors to teach non-Chinese in early 1960s America.
The Name: Lai Chung Ch’uan Fa was named posthumously in honor of Master Ted Lai. Years after his death, the chief instructors of the CPCA of Fullerton recognized a need to both honor their teacher’s inclusive nature and to distinguish how his style of kung fu has evolved from his original art of Hung Gar and Choy Li Fut. Prior to that, he and his students had simply called his style “kung fu.” In 2007, the current instructors rechristened his style Lai Chung Ch’uan Fa as a tribute to their founder.
The Meaning: Lai Chung was the Chinese name of our late founder, Master Ted Lai. Ch’uan Fa is the Chinese term for “Fist Law” or “Way of the Fist.” Therefore, Lai Chung Ch’uan Fa means Ted Lai’s Way of Fighting.