The Shaolin Kung Fu Centre: Chinese Martial Art Southern Tiger Style from Past to Present

The Shaolin Kung Fu Centre has a distinguished lineage, tracing its roots back to the Ming Dynasty. During this time, Master Cheung Gau Yi combined his family’s hand techniques with Master Choy Bat Dat’s family’s stances and stepping techniques. This combination was then introduced to the Shaolin monks in southern China.

Nine Shaolin Monks Immigrate to Hainan Island

During the Qing Dynasty the government, threatened by the Shaolin monks, began persecuting them. Nine Shaolin monks immigrated to Hainan Island, where they began teaching Shaolin kung fu to the local people. The art was passed down over generations, and in 1860 the Hainan people appointed four national leaders to oversee training in one of four regions – the northern, southern, eastern, and western.

Tai Tai-Si-Gung (Great Great Grand Master) Lam Yu Lan

To select these leaders, a martial arts skills competition was held. Master Lam Yu Lan was one of the chosen and became responsible for the eastern territory. After the Japanese invasion of the island in the early 1900s, Master Lam Yu Lan moved his family to Vietnam. There he continued to pass down the art of tiger style Shaolin kung fu to his sons and local followers.

Tai Si-Gung (Great Grand Master) Lam Minh Hao


In 1945 Master Lam Yu Lan retired, appointing his second son, Lam Minh Hao, to be in charge. great Grand Master Lam Minh Hao had a very creative mind, a passion for martial arts, and the wealth of knowledge he gained from his father. From 1945 to 1948 he diligently promoted the art of Shaolin kung fu in Saigon, Vietnam.

Thanh-Lien Martial Arts School is Established

In 1948 Vietnam’s Hainan community, grateful for Great Grand Master Lam Minh Hao’s work, rewarded him by electing him as the leader of the Hainan Martial Arts Federation. They also raised funds to build a larger training facility for him to teach in, naming it Thanh-Lien Hall.

Thanh-Lien Becomes Renowned in Vietnam

From 1948 to 1995 Great Grand Master Lam Minh Hao taught thousands of students, making the Thanh-Lien Martial Arts School renowned in Vietnam. He sacrificed his personal life by not having a family, dedicating all his time to teaching students Shaolin kung fu’s self-defense techniques and, most importantly, the way to balance the mind, body, and spirit.

great Grand Master Minh Hao Passes Leadership to Grand Master (Si-Pak Gung Lam) Lam Van Ky

In 1995, when Great Grand Master Lam Minh Hao retired at the age of 93, he passed the leadership to Grand Master Lam Van Ky, who had been a good student of Great Grand Master Lam Minh Hao for over 45 years.

East Meets West – Tiger Style Kung Fu in North America


Thanh Lien Martial Arts School opened its first branch in North America

On June 5, 1999 the Thanh Lien Martial Arts School opened its first branch in North America, the Shaolin Kung Fu Centre, under the leadership of  Grandmaster Minh-Hung Ly. A student of Thanh Lien since he was 11 years old, Grandmaster Ly has been continuously and tirelessly promoting southern China tiger style Shaolin kung fu (Chinese martial art) to Canadians from all walks of life.

Grandmaster Minh-Hung Ly

With over 37 years of training in the system, Grandmaster Ly has imparted his knowledge to hundreds of students, both in-class and digitally by recording material onto DVDs. He is well-respected among his students and within the greater martial arts community. In 2001, Grandmaster Ly received the official stamp from Grandmaster Lam Van Ky at the main branch in Vietnam. This stamp is a symbol representing the entire tiger style system, and is used exclusively to certify instructors and masters that pass the grading set out by Grandmaster Minh-Hung Ly.


A New Generation of Masters


Master (Sifu) Zhi Yong

Master (Sifu) Zhi Yong has been training in the art of Shaolin kung fu since February 2000, and continuously strives to become stronger by sharpening his skills under the guidance of his Master, Grandmaster Ly.

In 2004 Master Zhi Yong had the honour of becoming an in door student of Grandmaster Ly. Since then, Master Zhi Yong has spent many hours instructing his fellow classmates, and students and assisting the school in whatever capacity he can.

Won 3rd place at the fourth international traditional martial arts competition in New York

On sept 21 2013 Master Zhi Yong won third place in the weapons division at the fourth international traditional martial arts competition held by NDT TV.

At the 15th anniversary on June 7th 2014 Master Zhi Yong was officially promoted to the level of Master, overseeing the development all students at the main branch location.