Originally called Hark Fu Moon or Black Tiger System, Tiger Claw Kung Fu or Fu Jaw Pai was renamed by First Generation Grand Master, Wong Bil Hong in honor of his master, believed to be a Shaolin monk.
At the time, there was Manchurian persecution of the Shaolin order so the name of his master was never revealed.
Wong Bil Hong was not eager to share the knowledge he had learned and during his lifetime only ever took on two students.
One of which was his nephew Wong Moon Toy who began his training in 1927.
After the death of Wong Bil Hong in 1934, Wong Moon Toy moved to the US and taught Tiger Claw Kung Fu and then in 1957 he opened his school called the Chinese Youth Athletic Club.
He passed away in 1960 after having named his successor, Grand Master Wai Hong.
Wai Hong has expanded to teaching of Tiger Claw Kung Fu (Fu-Jow Pai Kung Fu) to become one of the most popular forms of Kung Fu in the world today.
There are five animals of the Southern Chinese martial arts and the tiger is the one on which this system is based.
Developing the very yang qualities of aggression and fearlessness is an important aspect of the training and learning to attack like the tiger that attacks in a straight line and hardly ever retreats is a principal of Tiger Claw Kung Fu.
Combined with fitness and agility which are always important, the speed and power of the blows make this an explosive system but, the main emphasis is on the hands and the rotating of the wrist.
The Tiger Claw is when the wrist is drawn back, fingers spread with the tips locked and pointing forward to strike a blow while grabbing and twisting with the strength of a tiger.
Apart from the rigorous physical training and the obvious health benefits, the spiritual discipline is vital and helps develop self confidence and a better more adjusted personality.
In 1974, a movie was made called Tiger’s Claw and starred martial arts stars Cliff Lok and Sek Kin.
The fight scenes in the movie show the use of Tiger Claw Kung Fu and interestingly Sek Kin can be best remembered for his role as Mr Han in Enter the Dragon starring Bruce Lee.
Tiger Claw was also featured in a TV series called “Vanishing Son” starring Russell Wong who was a student of Master Tak Wah Eng who often appeared on the show and has written several books on Tiger Claw Kung Fu.
Over the last few years martial arts has gained popularity in the west as never before and people of all ages are learning Tiger Claw Kung Fu as self defense and or fitness.