A Brief History of the School
Sifu (master) E.Y. Lee (Lee Yet Wah in Chinese) began studying kung fu as a child in China. After moving to the United States, he continued his studies with Sigung (grandmaster) Lau Bun in San Francisco's Chinatown. From the late 1950s to Lau Bun's death in 1967, Sifu Lee trained in Choy Lee Fut and became an assistant instructor at Lau Bun's school. In addition, Sifu Lee studied Yang tai chi for several decades. In 1975, Sifu Lee founded the E.Y. Lee Kung Fu School, at which he personally taught until his death in 2013. He trained and authorized the following students to carry on his teachings: Mark Messner, Young Wong, Jun Aton, Mark Heinrich, Ian Petitpren, and Andrew Taylor.
A Brief History of Hung Sing Choy Lee Fut
Choy Lee Fut, the primary style of kung fu that we teach and the most popular style among full contact fighters throughout Asia, was founded over 150 years ago by Chan Heung in Gung Mui, China. As a child, Chan studied Fut Gar kung fu with his uncle Chan Yuen Woo. After that, he studied Lee Gar kung fu under the Shaolin monk Lee Lau San. He then studied Choy Gar kung fu under the Shaolin monk Choy Fook. He combined all three styles to create Choy Lee Fut kung fu, opening his first school in Canton, which is now called Guangdong. His most outstanding student was the orphan boy Jeung Yim. After Jeung learned Choy Lee Fut kung fu, he was referred to the mysterious Green Grass Monk, who taught him Buddha Palm kung fu. Jeung Yim was also given the name Jeung Hung Sing by the Green Grass Monk, which means righteous victory. He returned to Canton and developed his own Hung Sing style of Choy Lee Fut. In those days China was under the rule of the Qing (Manchu) dynasty. Many Chinese despised these foreign rulers and formed highly secretive revolutionary groups. Many new fighting styles, such as Hung Sing Choy Lee Fut, were developed to aid their cause. Hung Sing Choy Lee Fut practitioners were instructed in the skills of defensive warfare and spiritual discipline. This integration of both martial and spiritual training increased mental clarity and alertness, enabling the rebels to overcome their oppressors. Today, although both the Manchus and rebels are long gone, this mélange of internal and external strength makes Choy Lee Fut the most effective style of kung fu.
A Brief History of Yang Tai Chi Chuan
The Yang family first became involved in the study of tai chi chuan in the early nineteenth century. The founder of the Yang style was Yang Lu Chan, who studied under Chen Chang Hsing starting in 1820. Yang became a teacher in his own right, and his subsequent expression of tai chi became known as the Yang style, and directly led to the development of other three major styles of tai chi. Yang Lu Chan (and some would say the art of tai chi in general) came to prominence when the Chinese imperial family hired him to teach tai chi to the elite Palace Battalion of the Imperial Guards in 1850. He passed his art onto his sons Yang Pan Hou and Yang Chien Hou, who taught his son Yang Cheng Fu, who is largely responsible for standardizing and popularizing Yang tai chi as it is practiced today.