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Founder of Choy Lay Fut

Chan-Heung, Founder of Choy Lay Fut

Choy Lay Fut History

"Maneuver the staff with the power of the dragon's slashing tail. Unleash a smashing fist as the majestic tiger instantly strikes."

​This is the motto of Choy Lay Fut.


Choy Lay Fut stresses fast and powerful stance transitions coordinated with devastating combinations of smashing swinging fists, grabs, throws, roundhouses, uppercuts, punches, strikes and kicks. Although Choy Lay Fut's roots reach back to the 6th century A.D., its synthesis by Master Chan Heung into a unique style occurred in the 1830's. Intitially, Choy Lay Fut was a secret, emergency combat style used during the turbulent period of civil wars in ancient China. It has slowly become very wide-spread and today is a very popular style of Kung Fu.

The name Choy Lay Fut comes from the names of Chan Heung's two main teachers, Choy Fook and Lee Yau San, and the word Fut (which means Buddha).

The founder of Choy Lay Fut Kung Fu was a devoted martial artist named Chan-Heung. Heung was born on August 23, 1806, in King Mui, a village in the San Woi (Xin Hui) district of China's Guangdong province. 

His first teacher was the Shaolin Monk named Choy-Fok. With a foundation firmly in place, Choy-Fok then brought his young student to learn from the famed Master Lay Yau-Shan. From him, Chan-Heung developed the ferocious fighting techniques and fast movements of the Lay-Kar Kung Fu system.

After both his teachers were satisfied with his progress they sent him to learn the advanced "Buddhist Palm Style" from the 'Green Grass Monk'. Combining the best of these three styles with his own knowledge and experience, Chan-Heung developed the Choy Lay Fut style of Kung Fu.

10 Rules of Choy Lay Fut
Choy Lay  Fut’s rules of conduct were established by Chan Heung when he formed the Choy Lee Fut system. They apply to all practitioners of Choy Lee Fut, regardless of school, country or master affiliation. Through them Chan Heung aimed to instill martial virtue (武德, Mandarin Wu De, Cantonese Mo Duk) on Choy Lee Fut practitioners both in his day and in the future. Being part of the Shaolin lineage with its monastic element, this aspect of the training was very important to Chan Heung and continues to be in Choy Lee Fut schools worldwide.

These are the 10 rules of Choy Lee Fut as set out by the founder of Choy Lay Fut, Chan Heung.

  1. Practice Choy Lay Fut everyday and do not forsake its way without reason​.

  2. You should practice not only to improve your skill and body but also to develop a good and patient heart. Never use your skills to commit injustice or injury to others.

  3. You must pay utmost respect to your teachers and seniors.

  4. Pay your fellow classmates respect through trust, friendship and honesty. Do not bully them in any way.

  5. You are not to fight among your brothers of Choy Lay Fut and to prevent this, when in times of trouble, we use the tiger claw action as  a sign that we are Choy Lay Fut practitioners.

  6. Do not drink alcohol and eat meat in excessive amounts. Alcohol takes away one’s sense of control and meat slows down the body. Therefore, the two taken excessively can damage your body and spirit.

  7. When practicing Choy Lay Fut, do not show others your skills without consideration, as it may cause trouble to yourself and to others.  If you judge a person to be of good nature, then you may pass on your knowledge.

  8. Never misuse your skills on others or put yourself above them, as it only causes trouble. Practice kung fu to build a strong foundation for your body. Practice everyday and do not forsake its way.

  9.  All of the above are rules that the founder wishes us to follow, so to disobey these is to go against his wishes.

  10. If you cannot abide by these rules, you may leave or if you break them then it is up to your Sifu’s discretion to assess your status within the school.

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