Eagle Claw Kung Fu (Faan Tzi Ying Jow Pai) is known for its peculiar and powerful gripping techniques and for it's intricate system of locks, takedowns, and pressure point strikes. Eagle Claw is one of the oldest, most complete, most complex and devastating of the surviving Northern Shaolin systems.
The style is said to have started in 1130, at a time of Mongolian incursions into northern China, when General Ngok Fei learned hand techniques from a Shaolin monk named Jow Tong. Ngok Fei adapted and taught these techniques (called "Elephant Style) to his army which went on to many battlefield victories. Later during the Ming Dynasty the hand techniques were combined with the Faan Tzi system by a Shaolin monk, Lai Chin, thus creating the system now called Northern Eagle Claw.
During the 1800's, the system was passed along to the Lau family. In the 1920's one of the top fighters in all of China was Eagle Claw master Chan Tzi Ching. One of his top students was Ng Wai Nung who went on to assist the famous Eagle Claw Grandmaster Lau Fat Mon. Recent inquiries to mainland China indicate that the only qualified instructors of Eagle Claw left in the world are either in America or Hong Kong.
Grandmaster Leung Shum, the godson and top student of the late Grandmaster Ng Wai Nung, operated the Hong Kong school of Eagle Claw from the 1950's until he came to America in 1971 to teach the system. He is one of the only instructors in the world qualified to teach the entire Ying Jow Pai system, including the famous 108 locking techniques of Ngok Fei.