Eagle Claw Style (Ying Jiao Pai)

eagleFNorthern Eagle Claw Kung Fu ( Ying Zhao Fan Zi Men) has a long and proud history. It is a combination of two styles: Fan Zi (Tumbling Boxing) and Yue Shi San Shou (Yue Family Free Hands). It is said to have been created in the Sung Dynasty around the year 1150 by the famous patriot and general Yue Fei (1103 – 41) (Ngok Fat in Cantonese). He was born in YunHe Village, TangYin county, Xianghou and became not only an expert in martial arts but an exceptional scholar. He is said to have created “108 Locking Hands” techniques of joint control and throws developed a high degree.

Yue Fei was truly a hero of China. Almost single-handedly repulsing Mongol invasions that threatened the Southern Sung (the Han people had already ceded the capital to the North to them), he was regarded with jealousy at court from his victories. As history records he was poisoned and his army dispersed. But historical records come to the rescue again as another famous general Chi Ji Guang mentions Eagle Claw and another style Ba Shan Fan (same as Fan Tzi) in one of the surviving martial records. At this time Fan Tzi is considered one of the best Kung Fu styles. There is a noteworthy mention in Chi’s book of the “Clutch of the Eagle King.”

An Eagle Claw manual on the fifty roads.

An Eagle Claw manual on the 50 roads.

It probably wasn’t until the Ming dynasty that Li Quan, a martial arts expert at the end of the Ming Dynasty took his specialty ,Fan Tzi style, (a form of Northern Long Fist much like Shaolin but with even more emphasis on acrobat motions such as tumbling) and combined with with the then-famous style, Yue Shih San Shou (one name of Eagle Claw at the time). This combination: Yuan Fei’s 108 Locking techniques, the Yue Style Kung Fu and Fan Tzi became collectively known as Ying Jiao Fan Tzi (Eagle Claw Tumbling Boxing).

NOTE: There is an unsubstantiated alternate story that Li Quan lived in the Sung and actually taught Yue Fei a nine technique style that he developed INTO Yue Shi.

A next important event occurs in the Ching Dynasty when Liu Shi Jun (1644-1711) crops up.

Of course it not only incorporated fist sets but weapons work such as spear, sword, saber, staff, hook blades, daggers and Da Dao (Big Knife generally known as the Kuan Knife) and in some branches the Yue Hammers.

eagleBThere are at present a number of grand masters in this style. Lily Lau started studying with her father who died when she ten years old. She worked with some of his disciples and is presently considered the senior member of the Lau family branch out of Hong Kong where Lau Fat Man finally passed away. Leung Fu is considered at present the Grandmaster out of Malaysia, another branch of the lineage. Many people believe and have even written that the only real Eagle Claw is outside China and in the U.S. at present but there are indications that Yue Style Branch is still extant in the mainland.


eagleCEagle Claw is a very complete system of Kung Fu. Highly refined it is practical in the fighting sense as well as an integrated method of health promotion. The many forms of Eagle Claw are graceful often utilizing very agile movements requiring gymnastic skills, great flexibility and a high level of coordination. The style’s famous signature is the bent finger position with thumb and digits tucked to resemble the shape of its namesake. Joint locks, pressure points, twisting movements and throws are cleverly combined with the more common movements of strikes and kicks typical of Long Fist Kung Fu. Eagle Claw stylists are often quite familiar with at least the externally available acupressure points of the human body. Strike are performed in a loose, snapping style but grabbing and joint attacking movements are often done with force and authority.

Over all Eagle Claw is a beautiful and fascinating style


Eagle Claw is said to contain at least 25 fist forms, over 25 weapon forms, over 25 partner forms, 108 locking techniques.

eagleASome of the more important hand forms include:

Lien Chuan (Connected Fist- the primary form)
Fu Hu Chuan (Control the Tiger)
Hong Chuan
Shi Lu Xing Quan (10 Road Moving Fist)
Wu Shi Lu Lian Quan (50 Road Continuous Fist)
Eight Step Thrusting
Eight Face Five Section Fist
Swallow Fist
Five Flower
Canon fist
Soft Fist
Arhat Fist (LuoHan)
Sae Lhok Kune, Eagle Claw 46 Fist (created by Lau Fat Man)
Chiu Lao Tang (Eagle Claw Drunken Set specialty of Lau Fat Man)

Double Sabers
Three-Part Sick
Double Swords
Big Knife
Double Daggers
Steel Whip
Twin Headed Spear

Partner Weapons include
Single Saber vs. Spear
Double Saber vs. Spear
Short Staff vs. Long Staff
Empty Hands vs. Double Daggers
Kwan Dao vs. Spear
Saber and Crutch vs. Spear

Eagle Claw DVDs of interest


Here is some information on the Eagle Claw  lineage. Special thanks to Julian Dale for his help in compiling this.


Shaolin Monk Jao Tung (Elephant Style)
General Yue Fei, Founder

General Yue Fei

Yue Zhen (who taught EC in HuBei)
Yue Ti

HeNanBranch as Yue Style

Branch as “King”
Yue Style

SiChuan Branch
as Yue Style

Southern Branch

Fan (follower of Yue Fei)

FanJu (son)

Ying Long’s Grandfather

Fang Ying-Long (also learned from another Yue teacher Ji Ching)

records indicate that Yue style was brought to SiChuan by either Wu DaoRen alone or the team of Zhang TianHu and Tao RuJie
below, starts in HoPei, moves to ShangHai and continues down to Malaysia
and Canton area

HoPei/BeiJing Branch

Monk Li Chun ( combined Yue style and 108 Locking Hands with Fan Tzi)
Monk Li Chun
Tao Chi
(Li Ch’uan Monastery, Pao Tin, Hopei Province)
Monk Tao Chi
Fa Chun
Fa Chun
Liu Shu Chun
(Confucian Scholar who moved to BeiJing)
Liu Shu Chun (Lau Si Chun)

Liu Si Chun
Liu De Kuan-Liu Cheng You(LauSing Yao)
Liu Chi Wen (LauKaiMen)-ChenTziChing 
Liu Fa Meng (Lau Fat Mang)

Liu Cheng You taught his son Liu Chi Wen at their family home in BaoDeen, Liu Cheng You also taught his sisters son ChenTzi Ching who was from a neighbouring village

ShangHai Branch

Chen Tzi Ching expanded on the existing 10 Road Walking Fist of eagle claw by adding  two additional lines to create the 12 Road Walking Fist form. The original Linking Fist routine consisted of 33 techinques practiced in lines. Chen Tzi Ching re-orderd the techniques adding a further 17 of his own to create the now well known 50 Roads Continuous Linking Fist.

Chen Tzi Ching was requested by the famous Huo Yin Jia at ShangHai Ching Wu to teach Eagle Claw there, and garnering for him the title “Eagle King.” After a couple of years, Chen Tzi Ching was unable to manage the quantity of people wanting to learn Eagle Claw in Ching Wu so he returned to Hebei and spoke with his kung fu brother Liu Chi Wen (Lau Kai Men) who sent three of his students to assist in the teaching of Eagle Claw in ShangHai

Lau Chan Wen , Lau Tzi Chang , Lau Fat Man

ShangHai Ching Wu Association
Ning Wai Ng, Lo Yuen Kune, Lee Chop Ming, Law Wai Chiu

Guang Zhou (Cantonese) Branch

Lau Fat Man

Lily Lau, Gini Lau, Francis Lau , James Lau Chi Kin , Ng wai Nung (d. 1991)

Lily Lau

Billy Wong

Gini Lau
Julian Dale (head of European branch)
Ng Wai Nung (d. 1991)
Leung Shum , Shum Man Lock
Leung Shum
Benson Lee

Malaysia Branch

ShangHai Ching Wu Association
Leung Chi Mah
Leung Chi Mah
Leung Lee Fu
Leung Lee Fu
Dana G. Daniels , Steve Chin, Gianni Diangelis, Dino Bouras , Simon Wray , Panayotis Apotsos, Alvin Cardona