September 1, 1998
P.O. Box 4657
Santa Clara, CA 95056
First let me congratulate you on your stewardship of Wushu Kung Fu magazine. I especially enjoyed the recent September issue featuring stories and histories of the Southern traditions. The information and photos of the elders are most inspirational. I took keen note of your comment that "journalistic objectivity may be sacrificed in some of these accounts." With this in mind, I feel I must comment on your article about Lily Lau. Although the story is well written, Lilys "tone of voice" comes across as whining, complaining, self-righteous and worst of all completely self-serving. Where is the sense of martial valor and kind, generous humanity that you get from some of the other stories? Furthermore, some of the things Lily Lau says or implies in the article are either not quite true, misrepresentation, or in at least one case a lie.
At the beginning of the article is the statement that Lily Lau is "the" Grandmaster of Eagle Claw. She is the Grandmaster of the Lau family of Eagle Claw. But what about Grandmaster Shum Leung in New York City? His lineage is through Chan Tze Ching and Ng Wei Nung. Chan Tze Ching was an elder brother to Lau Fat Mang. This means that Leung Shum is not under the Lau line. There is also Leung Fu, my teacher, who is the Grandmaster of Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw. This system originates out of Malaysia and has stronger roots in Shaolin Temple style than any of the other Eagle Claw groups. Leung Fus only connection to the Laus is that he is a sworn blood brother, not a student of, Lau Chi Kin, who happens to be Lilys youngest brother. Fu Leung and James Lau trained together in Lau Fat Mangs gym in Mongkok HK. Lily mentions the fact that her brother had run and subsequently closed the gym. Leung Fu was also a disciple of the late Chan Hon Chung, of Hung Gar fame. Master Fu is nearly as old as Lily and in no way ever came under her line or belonged to her organization. His organization spans seventeen countries and over thirty-two years of teaching. He was the Grandmaster of Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw long before Lily Lau ever arrived in America.
You may recall that Gini Lau, Lilys sister, used to title herself Grandmaster in her advertisements. She doesnt do this any more, but the two sisters run separate organizations. Gini was however trained by her father for a time, and by her brother and elders or relatives of the family. Lily doesnt mention the name Francis Lau, her older brother, in the article, or the actual name of her youngest brother Lau Chi Kin. They were both trained by her father and elders as well. They are not actually students of Lily Lau but Masters in their own right.
On a more important note, Lily claims to have schools in Concorde California, her first one, and in Greece, Puerto Rico, New York, Chicago and England. The truth and fact of the matter is, that with the single exception of the Concorde school, all of the other schools she claims to have were originated, trained, nurtured, supported and lead by Grandmaster Fu Leung of Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw. Lily did not build, teach or even speak in any of these schools during the twenty-year period that they were being developed. They are not hers, and she did not "work hard" for them. She was introduced to them by Leung Fu, after which she began a nasty, greedy attempt to discredit him and take over the schools by offering a few weak minded students more fame, profit and political power through the use of her family name and connections. In short, she stole the schools from Leung Fu. This is not the "Honor, morality and ethics" of which she speaks in the story. In fact, it goes against all of the traditional rules and values of both the Hong Kong Martial Arts Association and the Ching Wu Association that her father lived and died by. Lau Fat Mang was a Colonel in Chiang Kai Sheks army. As a soldier, he killed Japanese and Communists in order to save his country. Men like him lived by a chivalrous code of conduct. In such a tradition, one did not steal the students and schools of someone who is related by blood oath and is therefore a Kung Fu relative.
Sifu Dana G. Daniels
Bak Shaolin Eagle Claw
and disciple of
Grandmaster Fu Leung