Professor Bing Fai Lau

Prof. Bing Fai Lau was born in Chung Shan China, Leong Doo (county) Sept. 23, 1906.  He came to Hawaii at age 13.  He worked in Oahu’s pineapple fields to help pay for his tuition to Iolani School.  He would sleep in a tent while the dorms were being built at the Nuuanu campus.  He would graduate in 1928 as

Valedictorian.  Prof. Lau served at various positions at Iolani School over a 50 year period, including as accountant, business manager, coach, and athletic

 

director.  Prof. Lau was also highly respected throughout the Chinese community in Hawaii.  In May of 1950 he was elected the President of the Chung Shan

 

Society at the United Chinese Society hall.

 

 

Prof. Lau studied kung fu from 1919 to 1935.  He studied from Bing Nan Yap, Yang Kong Bing, and he studied Hak Ga in Kalihi from one of the three best at the time in Hawaii – Wong Ku Fat.  From 1919 to about 1935, Prof. Lau studied strictly kung fu and then he found out about Prof. Henry Okazaki and started to train in the Danzan Ryu system under the supervision of Charles Wagner and James Chang.  Prof. Lau also 1942 Esther Asumi throwing Sig Kufferathattended Prof. Okazaki’s massage classes at the Nikko Sanitarium as well.  Prof. Lau’s teaching partners at the Kaheka Lane Dojo were Prof. Sig Kufferath and Esther Azumi (Takamoto).

Prof. Lau passed away at the age of  93.  One of the most important lessons he gave me was about a concept of “two brothers” always working together, he called this “Hing Dai Sau”.  Hing Dai Sau is the cocept of connecting your energy – that is your energy is always trying to come back to you.  You therefore have to connect this energy in order to make your techniques more proficient.

Wong Koo Fat

wong-koo-fat

The Hawaiian Islands has long been a home to many martial artists from all over the world. Numerous styles exist in a small area, some publicly known and others only taught within tightly held circles. There is an indigenous Lua, Filipino Eskrima and numerous Japanese Jujutsu and Budo, Western boxing and various Chinese Gung-Fu to name a few. One of the most famous styles among martial artist here during the mid 20th century came down through the Chinese Hakka influence.

grandmaster-wong-koo-fats-1950-kalihi-boxing-clubOne such Hakka boxing master was Wong Koo Fat. He first learned Chinese martial arts from a woman and later became a merchant seaman. Before moving to Hawaii, Master Wong distinguished himself as a rough and tough bouncer for Hong Kong’s Wan Chai District.

After moving to Hawaii in the 1940’s, Master Wong was approached by many of his friends to teach Chinese Gung-Fu. One such friend was Mr. Wah Kam, a local merchant who owned a crack seed store near the University of Hawaii. Often robbed by local hoodlums, Mr. Kam and his Hakka friends approached Master Wong and they began their training in the old style Hung family Boxing.dim-mak

Master Wong later opened up a martial arts gymnasium at Pula’a Lane, North King St., in the Kalihi District of Honolulu. Eventually, his martial arts skills became known to the community as the “Tiger of Kalihi”.

– Professor James Muro