Great Grand Master Lam Jo was a true legend of Hung Gar. One of the finest masters of his generation, he dedicated his whole life to the research and advancement of Hung Gar Kuen.

Lam Jo, also known as Lam Kwoon Kau was born in 1910 in Ping Chow, a small village in Namhoi district of Canton province. His parents passed away when he was still a young boy. He was adopted and raised by the famous Hung Gar Master, Lam Sai Wing who was the top student of the celebrated folk hero, Wong Fei Hung. Lam Sai Wing could not have children of his own so he loved and raised Lam Jo like his own son, gave him his family name and passed down his Hung Gar knowledge. He also taught Lam Jo the traditional art of bonesetting and healing, known as “Dit Dar” in Chinese. After the fall of the Ching dynasty and in the early days of the Republic, Lam Sai Wing was invited to live and teach in Hong Kong. Lam Jo followed his Uncle to Hong Kong and made the former crown colony his permanent home. After moving to Hong Kong, Lam Sai Wing set up the Southern Martial Physical Culture Association where Lam Jo assisted his Master by teaching Kung Fu and eventually taking over the school.

His lifelong journey in Chinese Martial Arts began when he was still a young boy. At 6 years of age, he began training in Hung Gar Kung Fu under the strict but caring guidance of his uncle, Lam Sai Wing. Extremely talented, young Lam Jo was not only a natural athlete but also very intelligent and hardworking. His natural flair combined with his conscientious attitude towards training allowed him to quickly learn and grasp the finer points of the art. Under the watchful eyes of his famous uncle, young Lam Jo diligently practiced everything day after day until he perfected every single move Lam Sai Wing taught him. He was born to be a Kung Fu man and destined to be a great master. Lam Sai Wing taught his nephew everything he knew, including the traditional art of Dit Dar medicine along with many secret herbal formulas which was only passed down to the next successor of the art. Not surprisingly, Grand Master Lam Jo was a famous as a Dit Dar healer as he was for his Hung Gar. Using his first hand knowledge and years of experience in Dit Dar, he healed thousands of people all his life.

In his teens, Lam Jo had already become a well known and respected figure within the martial arts community throughout the whole of Southern China. He was only sixteen years old when he began teaching the art of Hung Gar. He was admired by all and called Sifu (Master) at the tender age of sixteen. Initially he assisted his uncle in teaching at his Southern Martial Physical Culture Association which he eventually took over. Later, he set up his own Kung Fu school and Dit Dar clinic in Hong Kong. Lam Jo also taught Kung Fu at the first branch school of Lam Sai Wing’s and in 1933 he took over the second Branch School. After taking over the second branch school Lam Jo changed the name of the school to Lam Jo's Chinese Martial Art School. Great Grand Master was an excellent teacher and taught his art openly to all those willing to learn. He was extremely accurate in his teaching and always ensured that his students completely understood even the most intricate aspects of the art. Following the footsteps of their master, many of his students went on to open Kung Fu schools of their own throughout the world.

Grand Master was one of the most celebrated Kung Fu masters of his time. He often demonstrated his skills and the power of his art to the public and was invited to many important events. In the 1930’s the British Military invited him to perform Kung Fu in front of hundreds of foreign and Chinese spectators. The audience was amazed by Great Grand Master’s powerful performance. The photos and articles about his amazing performance were published in a London newspaper as well as local newspapers in Hong Kong. The art of Hung Gar had now become internationally renowned.

On December 8, 1941, Hong Kong woke up to find itself in the midst of World War II. The Japanese military had invaded Hong Kong and a great darkness had fallen upon the people of Hong Kong. This was the beginning of almost four years of hardship and deprivation. Great Grand Master did all he could to help ease the suffering of the people. People looked up to him and recognized him as a leading figure within the community. The cruel treatment by the Japanese military soon resulted with a civil disorder breaking out in the streets of Hong Kong. Lam Jo came forward as a leader to try to maintain the peace and lead them to safety. The Japanese were well aware of Lam's status and influence and wanted him on their side. They pressured him to work for the Japanese and offered him many privileges. Lam Jo, however, refused everything offered by the Japanese which resulted in his studio being burned down. He was now a wanted man and had no choice but to flee to China. He eventually ended up in his native village of Ping Chow. There he taught, Hung Gar Kung Fu in secret until the end of the war. Lam Jo returned to Hong Kong once the Japanese invasion was over. His deeds and efforts to help those in need during the time of Japanese occupation are still remembered to this day.

Back in Hong Kong, Lam Jo reopened his school and Dit Dar clinic. He also became the chairman of the Physical Culture Association, the Martial Arts consultant for the Paper and Boxes Association Union, and the Dit Dar Herbalist of the Restaurant Workers Union. Lam Jo carried on teaching his art openly to the public and continued to treat patients using his superb Dit Dar skills. Whilst treating the rich he never over-charged and while treating the poor he charged very little or nothing at all.

Great Grand Master Lam was a treasure of Hung Gar, a true Kung Fu genius who dedicated his entire life to the art of Hung Gar and taught more than three quarters of a century. A man of principles and strong moral values, he possesed more knowledge and experience in the art of Hung Gar than most would dream of. Lam Jo contributed much to the art of Hung Gar Kuen. Thanks to his dedication and almost a century of hands on experience, the style of Hung Gar Kuen has been enriched and further developed in many different ways. Using his extensive knowledge in Kung Fu, he added a number of different weapon and two-man weapon sets to the style. Furthermore, he devised the famous Tiger Crane Two Man sparring set. More over, Lam Jo enriched Hung Gar with the principles and techniques of the Northern styles. He combined power and stability with speed and mobility to an already formidable system.

 

 

 

 

 

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LAM JO