In this world of Martial Arts leaders there are times when you find those rare souls that give back so much but don’t pound on their chest to let the world know about their deeds. On this episode of the Action Martial Arts Power Hour we are doing the pounding and Sifu Jason Lau is our special guest on the Action Martial Arts Power Hour with Alan Goldberg, we are joined by comedian and actor Vince Cecere and this is a cornucopia of stories, laughs and interesting history.
About Sifu Jason Lau
Grandmaster Jason Lau grew up in Hong Kong in a martial arts family. Both his mother and father were performers and martial artists in the famous Chinese Opera. Grandmaster Lau’s mother trained him in the Northern Shaolin style from the time he could walk, and drilled him constantly.
When he was about twelve years old, a fellow classmate at LaSalle Academy helped him in a fight against several English boys. It was during this fight that Grandmaster Lau first saw Wing Chun in action. He was so impressed, he immediately found a school to learn the system. Master Jiu Wan accepted him as a student, and he began to train in secret, fearful that his mother would discover that he was training in another style.
Grandmaster Lau trained with Jiu Wan until age nineteen, when he left Hong Kong to come to America. He soon settled in an area of Brooklyn known as Flatbush. As Grandmaster Lau opened his school and got to know the local merchants, he discovered that crime in his neighborhood was widespread. He decided to use his Wing Chun skills to defend his neighborhood. He soon became well known and appreciated as a vigilante, both by the shopkeepers and the police.
As his reputation spread, he came to the attention of a retired General Mitchell WerBell III, who was scouting for instructors for his counter-terrorist training camp, SIONICS. General WerBell recruited Grandmaster Lau to teach hand-to-hand combat at the camp in Powder Springs, Georgia. Grandmaster Lau so impressed the General with his abilities that he soon became the camp’s chief instructor and the General’s personal bodyguard.
Shortly after General WerBell’s death in 1983, Grandmaster Lau again opened a Wing Chun academy, this time in Smyrna, Georgia. His school and his reputation grew in the Atlanta area, and he was often featured in news specials, magazines, and newspaper articles.
In the early 1990s, Grandmaster Lau was finally able to realize his dream of designing and building a Wing Chun temple. He and his students labored for two years to build the academy, nestled in a wooded Atlanta suburb. Grandmaster Lau formed his school into a family. He treats his students as if they were his sons and daughters, and the students treat each other as brothers and sisters. The school that he designed and built is their home.