What is now known as Fu Jow Pai (Tiger Claw Sect) was originally named Hark Fu Moon (Cantonese) or the Black Tiger System. Then it was known for a time as the Tiger Claw Sect of the Hoy Hong Temple. This was to commemorate the first generation founders experience as a student of his teacher, a guest monk at the temple whose name was never recorded.
Thus the first “official” master of the system was Wang Bil Hong (1841-1934). Hong studied under the Hung Gar teacher Wong Kay Ying, then under his son the famous Wong Fei Hong. Meeting a monk at Hoy Hong Temple he began to learn Black Tiger in 1876. What he learned he passed onto two disciples and only two. One of these was his nephew, Wong Moon Toy.
Wong Moon Toy (1907-1960) studied from Lam Sai Wing (another famous Hung Gar master), Lau Chook Fung, and Doon Yuk Ching (both teaching him Lost Track – Mi Zong style). In 1927 his uncle began instructing him in Black Tiger. His training at Lor Fow Mountain in Canton was isolated from any distractions and it went on for seven years. Under tese circumstances Wong was able to forge a true martial spirit and skill. In 1934 he moved to the US: Chinatown, New York City. He taught there for the next 25 years but only allowed his Hung Gar and Mi Zong out. He did accept some private students to whom he passed the Black Tiger.
A Chinese Youth Athletic Club was formed in New York in 1957. This was also the announcement publicly of the Fu Jow style. Wong allowed his seven disciples to proclaim the Black Tiger/Tiger Claw style to the world at large. This announcement was not, however, a call for students because even then the club was private. That is, it was known about but closed to further new students.
One of the disciples, Wai Hong (b. 1938), decided that to preserved and advance the art it must “go public.” He himself had learned Choy Lai Fut, Norther Shaolin and Tai Chi Chuan. Also an emirgree he had come to the US then been accepted by Grandmaster Wong. He became the successor to the style on Wong’s death in 1960. Wai Hong wanted to spread the benefits of Fu Jow to the world but was cautious about maintaining quality, meaning and tradition. In 1968 he transformed the Chinese Youth Athletic Club into the Fu Jow Pai association. This was the first Fu Jow Pai school dedicated to improving instruction, bonding community and advancing the system.
From this school the art spread and during the 70’s explosively expanded its name and influence. It was promoted in many colleges and universities. Wai Hong vigorously promoted fighting in tournaments. This was a change for the Chinese stylists often held aloof from competition. He was a seminal figure in the creation of the Eastern United States Kung Fu Federation and the United Kung Fu Federation of North America.
Fu Jow Pai is a dynamic and practically oriented system based on the ripping actions of the Tiger. It incorporates forms from other systems into its universe and also shows some unique to its own brand of skills.
Typical Fu Jow forms at core include:
Tiger Forms (Four of these)
Tiger Claw Staff
Tiger Claw Saber
Empty Hand Matching Set
Empty Hands vs. Saber
Matched Tiger Claw Staff
Saber vs. Staff
Li Gong (Power Training)
18 Tiger Claws
Tiger Claw Gong.