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Lexic : L

Lau Team / Liu Team
Like Jackie Chan and his Sing Ga Ban, Samo Hung with his Hung Ga Ban or Yuen Woo Ping with the Yuen Clan, Lau Kar Leung also has his team of faithful martial actors/actresses to allow him to make materialize all his ideas.

Besides, many are his own disciples outside film sets. The team starts forming in 1975 when Lau accedes to the post of director. It will regularly expand thanks to new members and it will break up in 1985 with the end of the Shaw Brothers cinema production.

But, even during the whole period, the Lau team never was a homogeneous group, some of its members leaving it now and again for solo projects. In those conditions, this is no surprise that the whole team never appeared in a film by the master (The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter must be the one which is the closest to it). The group also appeared, in a more or less important number, in works not directed by the sifu but only choreographed by him or directed by one of the team members.

In the first members' circle, one can find the master's own family: Gordon Lau (14 films with Lau as director, 8 in derived works) and Lau Kar Wing (7, 7). One can make a census of the other faithful members: the young Hsiao Ho (13, 2 but this last figure must be underestimated), the right-hand man Lee King Chu (9, 7), the pretty Kara Wai (9, 1) or the too often forgotten Wilson Tong (9, 5). Not far behind, there are the transparent Wong Yu (8, 5) and the powerful Johnny Wang (6, 4). In a more detached way, Lo Lieh (4, 1) and especially Yeung Jing Jing (2, 2) can be added to the team all the same.

After 1985, the group stopped working with the director. One can only remember Tiger On The Beat in which, Gordon Lau in an important role into the bargain, many other former members have small cameos.

Arnaud Lanuque

Lin Shi-rong / Lam Sai-wing
Lam Sai-wing (or Lin Shi-rong) (1861-1942).

One of the 20th c. greatest Hung Gar (Hung jia quan) masters, Lam Sai-wing is also one f the most famous picturesque characters in Cantonese martial folklore since he was among the disciples of Wong Fei-hong himself. Familiarly named 'Wing the Butcher', he was given this nickname not because he was a fierce martial fighter but because it was his trade. Indeed, there were few martial artists, either disciples or even masters, who could make a living only thanks to their Kung-fu, therefore they had to have a job or a shop. Even the renowned Wong Fei-hong was the owner of a pharmacopoeia community clinic.

Lam Sai-wing discovered Hung Gar with his grandfather in Pingzhou, his native town in Guangdong province, then completed his training with different masters such as Wu Quan-mei and of course doctor Wong. He especially studied the wire boxing (Tiexian quan) and the Buddhist boxing (Fo quan). He used to live and teach in Canton (Guangzhou) but he had to exile himself to Hong Kong after a fight provoked by one of his disciples who had refused to pay the entrance ticket to a theatre. Despite his insistence on the wude (martial virtue) notion to his scholars, his reputation was tarnished by the aforementioned events.

Lam Sai-wing demystified Kung-fu by publishing 3 books: Fu hu quan (the boxing of the tiger waiting in ambush), Tiexian quan (the wire boxing), and Hu he shuang xing (the two images of the tiger and the crane).

In cinema, Lam Sai-wing was first played in the famous Wong Fei Hung series by one of his own disciples: Lau Charn, Lau Kar Leung and Lau Kar Wing's father. As a stout, blunderer and impetuous colourful character, he was mostly played for comical purpose. In 1955, the creation of a series was thought about showing Lam with another famous Wong Fei-hong's disciple, Leung Foon. Eventually, only one film was made; Leung Foon Yue Lam Sai Wing (Leung Foon and Lam Sai Wing), in which a very young Lau Kar Leung was destined to fight against his father in a rather spirited sword and spear duel.


Lion Dance

Once Upon A Time In China 3

The Lion Dance is a tradition of the Chinese New Year which has been practised since Antiquity. It is a kind of demonstration of the traditional wushu schools, practised mainly in Hong Kong and Canton.

Disguised from head to toe, the carriers (two of them: one for the head, another for the tail), perform acrobatics, under the rhythm of the drum, gongs and cymbals, in front of the crowd and shops. Each display is a celebration, yet it is also aimed at chasing evil spirits away and at bringing happiness and prosperity for the future, or on the occasion of a birth, a wedding, etc.

Today, there are lion dance competitions, each performance lasting about 10 to 12 minutes. Each wushu school has its own style and choreography, marked by the characteristics of its martial style. The lion can also be accompanied by lion cubs, monkeys armed with sticks, or clowns. This tradition can be seen in The Young Master with Jackie Chan and Once Upon A Time In China III.

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