Jow Gar (Chow Gar) Kung Fu

Jow Family Fist (Jow Gar) takes its name from its founder Jow Lung (b. 1891). He came from the village of Sa Fu in Canton Province. When he created the system it was a combination of Hung Gar’s strong movements and the kicking and swift footwork often associated with Choy Gar. In fact, the saying goes that Jow has the “head of Hung” and the “tail of Choy”. It is said to have the mobility of Shaolin, the low stances and hands of Hung and the kicks of Choy. Jow Lung and his four brothers started training with their uncle, Jow Hung – one of the top fighters in Sun Wui County. After much arduous training Jow Lung was the obvious successor to his uncles teaching. Jow Hung, just before his death, gave Jow Lung training on the Pa Kua staff technique.

After his uncle’s death Jow Lung went to Siu Hing County and began training Choy Gar with Choy Kau. Absorbing the essence of Choy Gar continued practicing both styles.

Jow Lung, founder of Jow Gar

Jow Lung, founder of Jow Gar Boxing

As often happened in Southern China at that time, Jow Lung left the area to find work. He ended up in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. A fight with a gangster in that city changed his life. The altercation caused the gangster’s death and Jow Lung felt he best hide. He left the city proper and lived for several days on wild fruit and berriers. As he travelled further he came to a monastery. He met the Abbot there who understood his troubles and welcomed him if he could deal with the simple life. After months of monitoring Jow Lung the Abbot decided to teach him Shaolin. For three years, under the Abbot’s tutelage, Jow Lung combined all his knowledge including that of the Shaolin style into the beginnings of an individual style.

Jow Biu

Jow Biu

Canton, 1915. A chief trainer is needed for the Chinese army there. General Lee Fook Lam opens the position and over 100 people show up for the post. He divides the applicants into ten groups and holds an elimination tournament. In his division Jow Lung defeats every other fighter. He is appointed to this important position.He calls for his four brothers – Jow Hip, Jow Bil, Jow Hoy and Jow Tin — to help out with the teaching of the soliders. As they work together under Jow Lung they perfect a new approach with they decided to call Jow Gar – truly living up to the idea of a “family” (Gar or Chi) style. These men became known as the “Five Tigers of Jow Gar.”

In 1919 Jow Lung developed a cold which turned to pneumonia. Seeking treatment too late, Jow Lung met fate at the age of 29. At Lung’s death the family elected Jow Biu to head the style. Jow Biu resigned from training the soldiers and devoted himself to promoting this new form of Boxing. By the end of the first year he had established 14 schools. A few more years and the number had grown to more than 80. 1936 One of his top student, Lee Ngou, opened the first school  in Kowloon, Hong Kong. This Hong Kong school produced several more top fighters. dvd24141cAmong the roster was Grandmaster Chan Man Cheung who himself produced two fine students: Hoy K. Lee and Dean Chin. These two teachers transported the style of Jow Gar to the United. Other top instuctors include Sam Hing Fai Chan who studied directly from Lee Ngou.

See our DVD collection on Jow Gar Boxing

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