Styles :: Thieu Lam Chu Gia

The Thieu Lam Chu Gia (Shao-lin Zhou Gar, "of Zhou family") belongs to the fighting systems generically known as southern styles. It comes from the synthesis of elements which are characteristic of the Hung Gar, Choy Gar and Wing Chun styles, with results that are particularly interesting with regard to the fighting efficiency.

The Founder Master

The birth of Chu Gia style is due to M Chu Long (Zhou Long), who was born around the mid XIX century in a country near Canton. After practicing for five years the Hung Gar style, under the guidance of his uncle, he moved to Singapore, where he met a monk, master of Choy Gar, who taught him for seven years. Afterwards, M Chu Long returned to his native country where he opened a school of martial arts; there he taught a synthesis of the two styles: Chu Gia style was born. M Chu Long used to define his school with this sentence: "Hong dau, thai vy", literally "in the beginning Hung Gar (Hong) style, at the end Choy Gar (Thai) style".

Then M Chu Long was chosen to teach martial arts to the regular army; in the same time he opened a gymnasium in Canton, and his name became famous through the whole country. Commandant Ly Phuc Cam introduced him a master of Wing Chun, Trinh Hoa, and the two masters taught each other their own techniques. So the Chu Gia was enriched by precious elements coming from Wing Chun, that M Chu Long put mostly in the advanced forms.


The Chu Gia style get to Vietnam thanks to the teaching of M Luu Phu, who was born near Canton in 1909 and died in 1971 in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). He started practicing Chu Gia style when he was very young, with M Chu Buu, one of the "brother" of M Chu Long, and as he had been training very hard, he was allowed to teach in his master's gymnasium. He stayed there until 1937, when the outbreak of the sino-japanese war forced him to move to Vietnam, where he start to teach his style. In a first time Chu Gia style was practiced only among the Chinese communities in Vietnam, then, after 1975, it begun being also taught to some Vietnamese practicing. A direct pupil of M Luu Phu, was M Sui Dau who taught until his death in 1991, and left the inheritance of the Thieu Lam Chu Gia style, to M Tran Ngoc Dinh.

M Luu Phu
M Sui Dau
Technical Characteristics

Thieu Lam Chu Gia style is characterized by low and very stable positions, very good to strengthen inferior limbs, and by a particular work on arms privileging the use of explosive force so to obtain the maximum power from the blows. To these elements, typical of Hung Gar style, long distance techniques, coming from Choy Gar style and techniques coming from Wing Chun, are added; all these elements together contribute to make the forms extremely varied. The aim of practicing Chu Gia is to get the maximum effectiveness of the blows, obtained not through stiffness and contraction, but using the powerthat comes from velocity and fluidity in the execution of the techniques.


The program of Thieu Lam Chu Gia include twenty-five quyen (forms) with open hands: the first two are not present in the program of the Zhou Gar schools in the rest of the world; they were introduced from M Sui Dau, to be propedeutic to the study of the techniques and basic movements of the style. In the first quyen there are elements characteristics particularly of the Hung Gar and Choy Gar styles, while, the last five forms are characterized by shorter and taller positions, typical of Wing Chun. The program also include different form with long stick (Con), butterfly-sward (Dao) and halberd (Dai Dao).

Styles | Binh Dinh | Thai Cuc Duong Lang | Thieu Lam Chu Gia | Bach Mi | Vinh Xuan