Wah Lum Kung Fu of Tampa

Kung Fu - Tai Chi Chuan - Praying Mantis Style

The WAH LUM KUNG FU System is a Traditional Kung Fu system from China, rich with a
long lineage and diverse history.

The history dates back approximately 400 years and initially began with a Kung Fu master named Wong Long. Wong Long trained in the art of Shaolin Kung Fu and after many years he acquired an incredible amount of talent at his art. Throughout his entire training, no matter how he excelled at his art, one of his older Kung Fu brothers was always slightly better. Time after time, Wong Long would test his skills against the other monks, only to be beaten by the same classmate.

Eventually, Wong Long decided that if he was going to ever beat his classmate, he would have to train even harder than his friend. One day while he was out in the forest training, he sat down to rest and began hearing a very strange screaming noise coming from the trees. Upon closer inspection, he found the noise coming from a cicada, which was being attacked by a Praying Mantis. Much to his surprise, it was the mantis which was winning the fight over the much larger cicada.

Wong Long was totally amazed that such a small insect could defend and defeat this larger opponent. He decided to catch the Praying Mantis and put it in a cage, so he could observe its movements more closely. Day after day, he would poke at it with a reed watch the mantis to see how it would react.

Eventually, Wong Long developed a number of basic movements which the Praying Mantis used, that he could imitate and incorporate into the Kung Fu system which he already practiced.

Day after day Wong Long would practice these new techniques, all the while still observing the Praying Mantis defend and attack the reed. Gradually, his repertoire of techniques continued to increase until he had enough to establish a new style of Kung Fu. This style he called the Praying Mantis Style.

Soon Wong Long decided he had trained long enough with these new techniques and now it was time to test them against the other monks. So he requested a match with his older classmate (who always seemed to be able to best him) and decided not to tell him of his new discovery.

As the match began, Wong Long continuously used a strange fighting stance and unfamiliar fighting techniques. No matter what his classmate used against him, Wong Long always had some new way of defending and countering. Soon, his classmate decided he would not be able to defeat this strange new style, and so he stopped the match and awarded Wong Long the winner.

Once the match was concluded, his classmate and all the other monks began questioning Wong Long about this strange style. He told them it was movements he had learned from watching a Praying Mantis defeat a cicada. Furthermore, he had developed enough techniques so that he could create a system called "Praying Mantis Style."

From that time on, all the Shaolin monks gathered together to help Wong Long develop this style even further. Today, there are twelve separate styles of Praying Mantis Kung Fu. One of them is the "Jut Sow (wrestling hands) Style", more commonly known throughout the USA as: WAH LUM KUNG FU

After Wong Long initially developed the Praying Mantis style of Kung Fu, it began to spread very rapidly throughout the Shandong Province. Soon the original style branched off into several other types. One such branch was "Jut Sow", another was "Plum Flower".

Eventually, after several generations of practitioners, one of the students of Li San Jin (lightning hands), taught this style to Ching Yueng, who later became the abbot of the Wah Lum Temple. Where the practitioners of the Jut Sow style lived and trained.

While Ching Yeung was the abbot a young student arrived at the temple and wanted to seek refuge. Permission was granted and this new student was taken inside and given a place to sleep. His name was Lee Kwan Shan Early in the morning as the monks were outside practicing their Praying Mantis techniques, this newest arrival began practicing his own unique style of Kung Fu known as "Tam Tui (seeking leg) Style." Soon, Lee Kwan Shan began questioning the other monks about this unique style and eventually they started to teach him their techniques.

After living at the temple for five years, Lee Kwan Shan decided to leave and travel throughout China. He traveled to many places, working as a guard on a caravan.

One of the places he stopped along his route was Sha Cheng, in Guangdong Province. Lee Kwan Shan liked this small village so much that he stayed for quite some time and began to teach his Kung Fu, which was a combination of the Tam Tui style and the Praying Mantis and he called "Wah Lum Kung Fu" out of respect for the temple. After he left, Lee Kwan Shan continued to stop by the village whenever he was in the area.

Eventually, Lee Kwan Shan decided to stop traveling and settle down. He was invited back to Sha Cheng by the residents and so this is where he decided to retire.

After Lee Kwan Shan arrived in Sha Cheng, one of the village elders brought their son to him and asked permission for him to be taught Kung Fu. Lee Kwan Shan accepted the young boy as his student and also decided that this would be his last disciple. So at the young age of six, Chan Pui, became a disciple.

Following the death of his teacher, Chan Pui continued to learn from the other elders, who trained under Lee Kwan Shan. After a number of years he then decided to leave mainland China and headed for Hong Kong, where he continued his training.

Eventually, his travels brought him to the USA, once here, he decided to stay and began working in Boston. After a few years, he decided to begin teaching the Kung Fu, which he had learned.

Within a few years Master Chan decided to move to Florida and open a temple in honor of the place where his teacher had trained. So in November of 1980, the Wah Lum Temple of USA was officially opened.

Sifu Haase has been practicing and teaching Kung Fu for over 30 years, and has been actively involved in the Wah Lum system for the past 25 years.

In November of 1987, Sifu Haase was given permission to open a Wah Lum club in Palm Bay, Florida. Where he soon began to train numerous students in the traditional art of Kung Fu. After teaching in a club atmosphere for five years, Sifu Haase then decided to open a full time school. So on Saturday, August 4th, 1992 Sifu Haase and his wife Cynthia opened the Wah Lum Kung Fu of Merritt Island, Florida, school. Once again, it was only a short time before numerous students were training at this new addition to the Merritt Island community.

The school continued to grow and prosper and after five years Grandmaster Chan asked Sifu Haase if he would open a school in Tampa.
For information
on training or Lion Dance performances 



1702 W Cass St
Tampa, FL 33609

News and Happenings:

Summer Classes for Tai Chi and Kung Fu forming now. Contact us via FaceBook or give us a call for more information.

Pui Chan Kung Fu Pioneer
The award winning film about Master Chan is now available on Hulu