Our school has a rich and long history dating back to 1967, when Grandmaster Woo opened up the Bamboo Hut Club in Boston, which was the first authentic kung fu school in Greater Boston. It was known for their legendary lion dance and unforgettable performances. In February of 2003, Shaolin Hung Gar Martial Arts Academy, most recently known as Chiu Mo Kwoon, was opened. This is where Grandmaster Woo continued his teachings. To serve our community and students better we have moved the school to this location and is now called Hung Gar Kung Fu and Lion Dance Academy. You may learn more of his achievements here.
Traditional Hung Gar kung fu is the main style of martial arts taught at the school. We also train in the use of all kinds of techniques that span the northern and southern systems, as well as both internal and external styles. Our practice of kung fu is the result of centuries of expert masters who have roots stemming from the ancient schools of China. Through their dedication to finding the fullest potential of Hung Gar, these individuals laid out the foundation. We would like to share the teachings to the community, the people, and the whole world. We wish to see young children grow up with the mental acumen and physical vitality that kung fu practitioners acquire through strict and rigorous training. We want to cultivate strong moral character in people from all levels of society. Our goal is to equip all types of people with essential martial skills, enabling them to have the most fundamental self-defense abilities.
All pictures shown above are of the Bamboo Hut Club.
Our lineage comes from a number of world-acclaimed Masters one of whom was Master Wong Fei Hong, a 19th century Hung Gar Master who lived in Canton, China. Although there were many masters before him, Kung Fu enthusiasts should recognize his name as he ranks high in the hierarchy of the Hung Gar tree. His martial arts exploits have been glorified by movies of Jet Li and many others who have dramatized his involvement in the political struggles and upheavals of China during his time, along with his student, Lam Sai Wing, more widely known as Butcher Wing due to his occupation. Lam Sai Wing was legendary for his many martial arts exploits including the famous theatre incident. Lured into an opera theatre, he was ambushed and attacked by over two hundred sailors. With only a few students with him, he fought single handedly against the spear- and sword-wielding sailors. Attacked from all sides, Lam Sai Wing fought like a mighty tiger, easily parrying the sharp weapons with a metal chain. Wielding his famous Water fist, he broke so many hands and arms that at the end of the fight, the lucky ones, numbering over eighty, ran to a nearby hospital to treat their broken limbs. One can only imagine what happened to the other, less fortunate sailors.
Lam Sai Wing had many students; the most prominent of whom was Lam Cho, his own nephew. Lam Cho who was a martial arts prodigy. A brilliant young boy, he could remember a form after only a single glance. At age sixteen, he was already a formidable fighter in his domain. At that young age he received the authority to oversee the Gwoon (Kung Fu school). This was not well received by the martial arts community that sent many older Masters to challenge his skills. This fine lad defeated and bested them all. Lam Cho, passed away peacefully in 2012, at the ripe old age of 102. His student, our Great Grandmaster Tang Kwok Wah, passed on in 2011 at 87 years old. Well known for his expertise in everything about Hung Gar, he was also highly respected as a great Chinese doctor. A quiet, reserved man, he shunned fame and publicity and prefered to devote himself to the perfection of his art.
Tang Kwok Wah's student is none other than our Grandmaster Winchell Woo. He has 70 years of experience in both Northern and Southern Kung Fu and is one of very few traditional teachers around. Known for his broadmindedness and good nature, he is respected in this region for his incomparable martial arts knowledge and matchless abilities. Money cannot buy the skills he teaches today. Many high-ranking martial artists in America today value Sifu Woo's skills, recognizing him as a 10th degree black belt Grandmaster and often honoring him as Grandmaster of The Year. With an inexhaustible amount of martial arts knowledge that he draws from Hung Gar, he has also developed many other styles that have resulted in many useful innovations in our practice and training methods. From his teachings, we have garnered large amounts of martial arts knowledge and skills to handle real and practical situations.
Born in Canton City, China, Sifu Woo earned a reputation as a skilled fighter while still in junior high school. The son of a US Marine, he was already an American citizen when he moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1960. In 1967, Sifu Woo received his Master Certification and in the same year opened the Bamboo Hut Club, the first authentic Kung Fu school in the city of Boston. In the 1970's Sifu Woo was a founder of the New England Kung Fu Federation and hosted the first Beijing Wushu team in New England. In 1992, he hosted the Shaolin Monks while they were in Boston on their world tour. While practicing Kung Fu for over 70 years, Sifu Woo was also a partner in several national and international companies engaged in trading commodities, manufacturing, and entertainment.
Hung Gar Kung fu is a Southern Style Kung Fu (Nam Kuen), which trains both internal and external martial arts. Power is generated using a combination of hardness as well as softness through a rich arsenal of traditional techniques. The techniques demonstrated in the style's forms focus on their effectiveness and utility instead of the flashiness of "how it looks."
Self-defense and effective fighting techniques are the emphasis of Hung Gar Kung Fu. The Hung Gar practitioner combines internal and external power, while strengthening the body, ligaments, bones and muscles.
The foundation of Hung-Gar are the twelve bridge hands:  GONG (HARD),  YAO (SOFT),  BIC (FORCE),  JIK (STRAIGHT),  FUN (SEPARATE),  DENG (STABLE),  CHURN (SPEAR),  TIE (LIFT),  LAU (STREAM),  WON (DELIVERY),  JAI (CONTROL),  DING (NAIL IN).
The bridge hands contain all the energy and give the practitioner the skills to apply power that is subtle and strong with the ability to change as a technique is applied. Hung Gar fundamentals are based on the constructive and destructive concepts in the Five Element Theory. Offensive techniques include The Eight Tigers, The Swoop Crane, The Roaring Leopard, The Flying Dragon and the Zigzag Snake. Kicking techniques include: Tiger-Tail, No Shadow Kick, Fish-Tail, Iron Broom, Moon Shadow Kick, Circular and tri-star kicks. Defensive techniques include Kaylin (Chimera) Stepping and Butterfly palms. Hung Gar also includes a broad array of weapon skills including swords, knives, and short/long weapons. When combined, a Hung Gar practitioner is able to deliver the twelve bridge hands using this arsenal of offensive and defensive techniques resulting in a complete expression of martial arts at the highest level.
Grandmaster Winchell Woo's purpose is the carry forward the spirit of traditional martial arts and cultivate the students character. Moral culture must be strictly adopted and the Hung Gar philosophy exhibits not only a person's ability, but how he/she treats others, family, friends and teachers. The philosophy triumvirate shows the true personality of his/her internal moral character.
Civility - The true philosophy of a martial artist does not need to use the force or fighting to conquer his / her opponents. Courtliness, good faith, heart and honesty also play a major role in promoting the true martial arts. To posses and enlightened martial self-cultivation, the martial artist must be conscientious and treat people in a sensible, practical manner in order to promote the true martial arts spirit.
Martialism: The purpose of practicing martial art is to build physical fitness with high martial spirit and a grace to help others. Nowadays, Kung Fu martial art has evolved to ainclude physical health and fitness. This becomes a new physical fitness culture within our daily life.
Moralism: The true virtue can win over the war without fighting. The virtue of life's moral character plays an important role of a martial artist. Self discipline and morality are closely linked together in martial practice.
The overall virtue of a person can be cultivated through the martial arts, lion dance and traditional cultural sport.
Hung Gar Kung Fu's highest level of skill is represented by the twelve bridge hands. These skills give the Hung Gar practitioner access to an arsenal that can be applied in any situation. Bridge hand power is shape shifting, used to nullify and break an opponent's power to spear through their defense. This power can be broken down into basic component physical and gravitational forces and is generated without using strength.
Grandmaster Woo recounts a story of his mentor Grandmaster Tang Kwok Wah:
"I remember one day a few decades ago, my mentor Grandmaster Tang hit me with a spear bridge hand. I tried to block and and the punch threw me across the room. The punch had so much power! Afterwards, Grandmaster Tang taught me the secrets to this powerful punch. It is a prime example of the bridge hand power as it contains five different directional powers in the upwards, lower, left, right and center directions. This punch is able to spear through an opponent no matter which direction they choose to block it."
Hung Gar Kung Fu uses the principles of mechanics and theoretical physics. The scientific model interprets how Hung Gar produces and delivers the power and force. The 12 bridge-hands' method and forms rationale is based on the Earth's longitude and latitude, the Earth's revolution around the sun (orbital force), and the Earth's self rotation (centripetal force). These combinations of physical mechanics principles are used to describe the actions of the bridge-hands. When launched the bridge-hand force power (Impetus force) expands along the circular orbit (centripetal force) maintaining structure throughout the arc. The 12 bridge hand mechanics also include: "gravity", "Inertia force", "momentum" ,"Resolution of force" and the "Magnetic force". The motion of the bridge-hands force is like an ocean waves rolling one after another. Forces are additive and combine in a flexible but rigid power, which by changing, overwhelms with an endless driving force toward the target. The various bridge-hands utilize the principles above to deliver devastating, continuous energy to break through and subdued the opponent.
This is the oldest form within the Hung Gar System which constantly helps develop oneself physically as well as mentally, internally and spiritually. This form originates from the Siu Lum (Shaolin) temple of Fukien province, developed by Hung Hei Gwoon after his intense training with Abbot Gee Sing. Gong Gee is the first set taught in the Hung Gar System demonstrating the essence of the style. This is known as one of the longest and toughest forms in the system which sets the foundation with its strong stance work and teaches all the basics of the Hung Gar System.
This is the most famous and popular of the Hung Gar forms first created by Hung Hei Gwoon, combining his tiger actions with his wife's Fong Wing Chun's soft & fluid crane system. However, this was later modified by the great master Wong Fei Hung using his knowledge and experience, to the version we see today.
This form utilizes the natural actions of the Tiger and Crane and combines these with Hung Gar's famous "12 bridge hands" creating a formidable set of actions. Fu Hok Seung Ying also helps develop the body's hard physical power (gong) and soft internal power (yao) leading to a better understanding of one's body and surroundings. This form is truly the essence of the Hung Gar system developing the practitioner's basics further and introducing more advanced Hung Gar theories.
Sup Ying Kuen was created by Wong Fei Hung as a bridge form between Fu Hok Seung Ying Kuen and Tid Sin Kuen. This advanced form teaches the five animals and five elements as well as other important concepts of the style. Each one of these animals and elements has their own unique characteristics, philosophy and movements which help to develop the practitioner's concept of the style. This form has a wealth of information there to be unlocked and this can only be achieved through hard work, dedication & patience. One must remember that a form can be learned in just a few years but may take a lifetime to truly understand.
Tid Sin Kuen, Iron wire Fist is the most advanced form taught in Hung Gar. This form was created by Tid Kiu Sam one of the "Ten Tigers of Kwuntung" who earned the nick name Tid Kiu Sam because of his amazing skills in kung fu, his iron wire training and 1000 pound horse stance. This form utilizes the mythical dragons limited footwork, movements and spirit with the combination of the 12 bridges, breathe control, sounds, emotions and the 5 elements. With each of these 12 bridges hands there are different sounds used to stimulate different organs and generate chi, moving it to specific areas around the body. This in turn would develop the practitioner's 12 bridge hands into unstoppable tools creating actions that are said to be "Hard as Iron & soft as thread."
Other Hand Forms:
Bak Siu Lum
Lau Gar Kuen
Ban Bo Kuen
Wu Deep Cheun
Basic Form 1-6
Lau Gar Gwan (Lau Family Staff)
Hang Che Pang (Monkey Staff)
Pek Kwa Dan Do (Single Broadsword)
Wu Deep Seung Do (Double Buterfly Knives)
Mui Fa Seung Lung Do (Double Broadsword)
Dai Pa (Tiger Fork)
Kwan Do (Big Knife of General Kwan)
Ng Lung Ba Gwa Gwan (Eight Diagram long Pole)
The lion dance has long been a part of Chinese culture and folklore. The lion is traditionally regarded as a guardian creature, symbolizing strength, courage and wisdom. Lion dance is widely performed in China as a ceremony to chase away evil spirits and summon luck and fortune.
Lion dance is performed with two individuals under the lion head and body. Lion dance partners demonstrate energetic agile movements combined with strong kung fu stance work to make the lions come alive. During the Chinese New Year, the dancing lions travel through the streets, bringing joy and prosperity wherever they go. They will visit the storefront of businesses to "Choi Chang," pick the greens. Businesses usually tie a red envelope filled with money to a head of lettuce and hang the bundle high above the front door. The lion approaches the lettuce like a curious cat, consumes the lettuce with caution and spits out the leaves. Lion dances are also performed on other special occasions such as festivals, weddings and business openings.
Originating from southern China, our style emphasizes strong stances, firm and energetic actions and acrobatic tricks, which demonstrate the performers' kung fu skills. We offer a comprehensive lion dance curriculum covering exercises to build strength and stamina, kung fu foundations, musical instruments (drum, gong, and cymbals) and the role of Buddha. If you are interested in joining our team or booking a performance, please contact us!
We have done performances for:
Five Elements Tai Chi was created by Grandmaster Winchell Ping Chiu Woo in the 1980's when he was teaching in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was a joint venture between Grandmaster Woo's Springfield Martial Art Research Center and the Tiger Crane Tai Chi Association at Harvard University. Its name is based on an ancient Chinese philosophical understanding of the Universe's nature being made up of the basic Five Elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.
Each element has a unique power special to its nature, exhibiting a unique relationship with the other elements. One of them may either mutually reinforce or neutralize another. In order to correct the excesses and deficiencies of the martial art techniques based on the Five Elements, Grandmaster Woo’s Tai Chi combines Tai Chi Yin Yang theories with the Five Elements philosophy. Additionally, he has adapted Hung Gar Kung Fu's fighting techniques for the form. In short, Five Element martial philosophy, Yin/Yang theory, and Hung Gar skills are the heart and foundation of this style.
The theories, techniques, and basic structure of Five Elements Tai Chi originate from the martial arts of the Lingnan area in southern China. These styles have an ancient history coming from the Southern Shaolin Buddhist Temple. The most significant styles led to the forming of the "Hung, Liu, Choi, Li, and Mo" kung fu systems, which are named after the five famous masters of southern Chinese martial arts.
The essence of Tai Chi practice is the development and use of the body's internal energy, Chi. How Chi transforms, moves through the body, and works as a living force is explained and symbolized by the Five Elements philosophy merged with the Yin and Yang theory. The mutual reinforcement and restraint among the Five Elements techniques create an extreme power when utilized correctly. The methods Grandmaster Woo created can consistently express and convert a person's internal power to external power of both linear and circular force. It teaches how to use Hung Gar's external bridge hand techniques and the classical movements of the five animals and five elements as fighting tools of internal power. Strikes, kicks, throws, joint locks, etc. are all integrated into the soft and flowing movements of the form. While the martial applications of the form may not be obvious, they form the core of the style.
The philosophy of Five Elements Tai Chi is to naturally promote the health of the body. Tai Chi does this through practicing the movements, performing martial art techniques, and using authentic Taoist Qigong breathing methods. Mastering proper breathing is essential to directing the Chi to travel around the human body's 12 chi meridians and the 108 major points. Through the exercises, one can achieve a balance of yin and yang and maintain good health. Frequent practice of the Five Element Tai Chi form will promote healthy heart function, improve the respiratory system, enhance blood circulation, and reinforce the body's metabolism.
Five Elements Tai Chi is a unique system with its forms and actions different in many ways from other styles of Tai Chi. The end result of practicing Five Element Tai Chi is better health, the cultivation of internal power, and a superior knowledge of effective self-defense.