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Châu Gia- Chu Gia (Jow Ga)

The traditional Chinese martial art Jow Ga is also known by the names Chow Gar and Zhou Jia. The style was founded by Grandmaster Jow Lung who, through his travels across China and Malaysia, developed the effective form of self defence which would later be taught to the Chinese military.

Grandmaster Jow Lung was born in the Sa-Fa Village of Guang Dong Province, China, in 1890. Jow Lung was the fifth elder son of a family of ten children, the other brothers being Jow Bill, Jow Hoy, Jow Hip and Jow Teen. The five brother began their martial arts training in the style of Hung Gar, as taught by their uncle, Jow Hung. Jow Lung proved to be the best and most dedicated of his uncle's students, winning his uncle's admiration. Such was Jow Lung's talent that his uncle introduced him to a new teacher, Master Choy Kau. Master Choy Kau was a disciple of Choy Gar Kung Fu and from him Jow Lung mastered the speedy hands and footwork that is Choy Gar's trademark.

In 1910, Jow Lung was forced to leave home to look for work. He ventured to Malaysia and ran into trouble along the way with bandits and gangsters, allowing him to test his skills. Legend has it Jow Lung killed one of the bandits with a powerful kick which has since been known as the 'through the heart' kick. In Malaysia, Jow Lung found himself running into more trouble with local gangsters and sought refuge in a Buddhist Temple in Penang named Kek Lok Si. It was here that Jow Lung befriended a monk named Chian Yi who shared Jow Lung's affinity for the martial arts and shared his knowledge of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, placing particular emphasis on the jumping and leg movements. Chian Yi also advised Jow Lung to blend the three styles he had learned into one overall style best suited to his needs and physical attributes. In 1915 Jow Lung returned to Guang Dong. He continued to devise his own style, blending the best of all his knowledge into a system that would give its practitioners unrivalled fighting skills. Jow Lung's style used both the upper and lower body in unison to create an effective overall fighting style. He imparted this style to his brothers and together they became known as the Five Tigers of Canton and the style known as Jow Ga, or Jow Family style.

It was at this time that the Chinese military was seeking a new head trainer for its troops under warlord general Lee Fook Lam. In order to find a new head trainer, a full contact open tournament was held, the winner of which would get the job. Over the course of several days, Jow Lung competed against one hundred other participants, in twenty-eight matches. He defeated a well-known fighter named Koon Kam Chi in the final elimination to win the tournament. With his newly appointed military position, Jow Lung set his brothers up to assist him in training the soldiers and in further developing Jow Ga. Not forgetting the kindness and helpfulness of his past master, Jow Lung would often refer to his art as Hung Tao-Choy Mei (Hung head and Choy tail). In 1917 the Jow brothers opened their first school in their hometown. In 1919 tragedy struck when Jow Lung contracted pneumonia and died at the age of 29. Jow Bill was chosen as Jow Lung's successor. Jow Biu resigned from his army post and began actively promoting Jow Ga Kung Fu. Within a year Jow Biu had established fourteen Jow Gar Kung Fu schools around China, a number which would soon expand to eighty schools.
In 1936 Jow Biu was invited to participate in a Martial Arts Gala in honour of the coronation of King George VI of England. The Gala took place in Hong Kong and as a result of his exhibition, Jow Biu was able to establish a school in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Further to this Jow Biu was invited as a special guest to demonstrate Jow Ga at the Fishery Port Association and the Medican Merchant Association. Jow Biu passed away in 1961 but his and his brother's legacy lives on through Jow Ga schools in China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, the United States, Canada, England, Germany, Australia and parts of Western Europe

In Italy the Châu Gia kung fu (vietnamese lineage of Jow Ga) has been introduced by M° Tran Ngoc Dihn. Th promotion and teaching of this traditional kung fu style aim the efforts of Master Sirto Edoardo (Hac Long School founder) and Master Giuseppe Ferraro (Vu Long School founder), both Master Tran Ngoc Dihn's direct students.

 
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