Lau Gar in Edinburgh

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by Pretty In Pink, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    To be fair lau gar guys do fight, the vast majority might only do so semi contact, but its still sparring and a few do full contact, less so now but more so back in the 70s and 80s, and a fair few went on to start the full contact kick boxing scene here, alfie lewis for example, pele reid would be another fighting in K1 and other places as would Nathan lewis and sean viera, so not exactly like the ninjas :D

    And although most other traditional chinese arts deride lau gar most do it out of jealously (Yau has made a lot of money) and none who criticise it for being non-traditional and looking like kick boxing when they fight can post a single clip of what they do in a sparring situation looking any better

    and the irony is whilst it might be only semi cotact lau gar schools typically spar allot more than most other chinese schools :D
  2. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    When I was growing up some of the guys from the local Lau Gar had ferocious reps as competition and street fighters*. They sparred a lot, did full contact and competed regularly. The club did offer "traditional" classes too...but most went there to learn how to ruck. And they were good at it.

    *Oh yeah, I am not allowed to use that expression, am I?
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  3. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Yep the guys were some serious fighters back in the day, I remember three of the guys going to a tournament (all black guys off to scotland) and being set upon in a road side café by about a dozen bikers (this was the 70 early 80s) police were called but no charges pressed as all the bikers were sent off to hospital and the guys went on to the comp

    just one of those stories you hear that everyone goes oh yeah right, but one of the guys was steve babbs and the story made the local news with interviews etc on one of the local midlands today programmes (one of my instructors showed the vhs of the programme in class one day)

    They were some tough guys who fought all over the place, the national squad used to train at the main gym in Birmingham on Sundays and when you saw the likes of Neville wray walking past you sort of knew these guys could fight lol
  4. butcher wing

    butcher wing Oi, Fatso!

    They did have a good rep for the semi contact stuff and I remember the Clash Of The Titans tournements too.

    Icefield I noticed you did LG for some time in the earlier days. Why did you move on if you don't mind me asking?
  5. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    ask away, i did lau for a long time, 10 years or so, got my third degree and spent well over 5 years training directly with Yau and his top student john russell in birmingham at the main blackbelt class on a weekly basis

    problem was i was the youngest guy in the senior class and i wanted to spar allot and put the theory into practise where as john taught a lot of forms, tai chi and other stuff
    Yau by this time was semi retired , he still came along every Thursday but did his own thing, ironically he only really joined in the classes when we did sticky hands sparring, when the forms and weapons were out he was only semi interested.

    I think thats one of the problems with the style, all the fighters tend to have big egos and be stubborn and ended up clashing with Yau and moving on to do their own thing by and large, meaning most of the remaining seniors were more interested in forms and getting ready for their next grading than fighting. I think that's another issue with the style: its been so popular for such along time that the original few short forms, emphasis on sparring and conditioning had to be abandoned for the new generation of students who wanted less hard fighting, more forms and line work and less hard work, More grades had to be added as people reached the top grade (2nd degree) and stayed around, and as more grades were added more forms had to be added to pad the grades out
    Lau Gar to an extent is a victim of its own success, everyone wanted to be like the early successful fighters but didnt want to train like they did, and as Jeremy Yau got older as all teachers do, he moved away from the hard sparring part of the art, and his seniors followed him
    I also became disillusioned that i couldn't make allot of the stuff in the forms work in sparring, around the time i moved house and found myself within walking distance of a very good kung fu teacher, a man skilled in both hung gar and clf and the hakka arts, who also wrestled and liked sparring.
    I still train with this guy off and on, and he was the one who introduced me to grappling and my MMA coach.
  6. EdiSco

    EdiSco Likes his anonymity

    Hello guys. I am just looking for something simple in Edinburgh mainly interested in Boxing although might also look at Judo and maybe even Muay Thai later - does anyone know of some good clubs in Edinburgh? just wana avoid bad clubs really. It'll be boxing I'll be trying out first.

    Thank you.
  7. pecks

    pecks Valued Member

    dude I think you should start your own thread, rather than hanging on the back of this one.
    it's in the KF forum for one thing, so people not interested in KF might not bother looking here.
    (having said that, ask Chadderz...)
  8. herbert

    herbert Valued Member

    however now he is here...

    go see the edinburgh lau gar guys.
    I know Jim Cairns and his son Mark. Both are honest legit men.
    Mark Carins is also a very successful kickboxer and instructor.
    Jim Cairns apart from being one or the better Guardians, is also a man to get to know.
    He hand makes weapons for people.
    I have a beautiful oak shafted tger fork he made specifically for my height and build. A nice 6kg
    I've also seen some butterfly knives and a kwon dao. both beautifully made

    These guys take their kung fu/kick boxing seriously.
  9. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Cheers! I'll make some time for a visit :)
  10. Marku85

    Marku85 Valued Member

    Did you go visit ?

    I heard Yee Gar is meant to be good too.
  11. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Ended up not going. I'm happy with my own place :)
  12. Marku85

    Marku85 Valued Member

    You train with Rick young ? , glad you found a place that works for you !

Share This Page