Lau Gar Kuen/Liujaquan



Lau Gar Kuen - What is its History?

A search for information.....

This is my first post - so I hope its a worthy topic....

I have read a few of the available websites with regard to the history of Lau Gar Kuen/Liujaquan. Most of the sites seem to contain pretty much the same information, usually taken from the UK Lau Gar Syllabus under Master Jeremy Yau, and thats the information that normally ends up being posted.

In the UK Syllabus it states that the style can be traced back to the Shaolin Temple and that the master acknowledged as founder of Lau Gar was a stick fighter and tiger hunter called Lau Sarm Ngau or Liu San Yan.

Various books also bear this out with rgard to the Southern Chinese Shaolin roots of Lau Gar, however none of the sources I have come across have anymore detail than this. Who was he?

Some theories claim he was a monk that escaped the burning of Shaolin, other theories state he was taught by the last abbot of Fukien/Fujian Shaolin temple whilst he was fleeing from the Ching/Qing/Manchu troops. Yet another source states there where more than 5 survivors from the temple and that he was a student of the Shaolin temple who fled.

The Lau Gar websites state that Master Lau learned the fighting arts from a monk on retreat from the Kuei Ling(guilin) Temple situated on "Bac Pye Shan" in Kong Sai(Guangxi) Province.

Does anyone know what Bac Pye translates as? or where Bac Pye Shan actually is? does anyone know which temple it was on Bac Pye Shan?

Some sites state that it is difficult to find a teacher in mainland China that teaches only Lau Gar. I was wondering how master Yau's grandfather came to learn only Lau Gar and what Lau Gar is taught in Mainland China with, other than Hung Gar.

Interestingly master Yau Luk Sau travelled to Guangxi Province which is where Liu San Yan is said to also have learnt. He trained under Master Tang Hoi Ching, who some sources state was a merchant seaman who had lost his son and befriended Yau Suk Lau although other sources state, that it was
Master Wan Goon Wing, that he served as son and with whom he continued his studies for a further six years.

There is no information about how Lau Gar, left the Lau family, no information seems to be available about who taught who previously to master Tang Hoi Ching or Wan Goon Wing? any ideas?

There are some sources that claim the Yau family had also received some training in Wing Chun, hence the similarities between Jorn Sau and one of the Wing Chun Forms. Although Colin I think has already pointed out that there are many similarities between most of the Southern Styles of Kung Fu because of their origins, which could also account for this.

Websites also state that the current keeper of the Lau Gar style is Master Yau, however is Master Yau Keeper of Lau Gar end of story the world over, or the Keeper of the Yau Family Lau Gar, or the keeper of Lau Gar in the UK? Is Lau Gar practiced outside of the Uk - if so under who and what is their lineage? Their is a rumour that Master Yau's Grand Father (Yau Luk Sau) taught another student the entire system, and that there is another lineage in Guangxi.

Please will any Lau Gar practitioners take no offence at these questions and observations, I am not questioning Master Yau himself, it is a genuine curiosity I have born from a love of the style and a respect for my Sifu - and for Master Yau.

Please feel free to answer or discuss any of the points above or post any snippets of informtion you may have


Niel Stewart


nice webpages!

i would guess that your description is about as good as it might get as far as the history of your style. i am not a lau gar practitioner, but i know that from any digging i have done into the history of mantis boxing that most of the info has already been divulged, and there are about 600 years worth of blank pages in the most complete accounts.
but happy hunting to you anyway!

you never know what a little effort may yield, and some of the folks in this forum are truly exceptional MA historians. welcome to the club!


Lau Gar Staff and Lau Gar Kuen is also taught in Hung Gar.


It uses a pretty long staff, supposed to be about 7 feet long and you use an opposing grip on the staff. I'm just learning it right now (1/3 of it), seems to be a lot of quick whips to the face after parrying another staff and is a fast staff set.


MTS Alumni
Aug 13, 2002
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East Texas
Originally posted by CWong

It uses a pretty long staff, supposed to be about 7 feet long and you use an opposing grip on the staff. I'm just learning it right now (1/3 of it), seems to be a lot of quick whips to the face after parrying another staff and is a fast staff set.

Sounds pretty fun! I love almost any type of staff!!