Martial Arts School Champaign, IL - Kung Fu Academy Champaign, ILDragon Claw Academy

Background & History

The research and history of Lung Shou Pai is still ongoing as we put together an even more comprehensive background. Most martial art styles have become what they are today only through many centuries of study, trial and error, and patiently passing down their skills and philosophies from generation to generation. Many styles began as an effort to defend one's self, or to overcome physical inadequacies, while others merged and became a new combined style. Temple styles such as Shao Lin were developed from breathing and meditation exercises, and the study of animals living in their natural habitat.

The Shao Lin Temple style was refined over the centuries by the Shao Lin Monks and earned wide spread fame throughout China. The original 72 forms were enlarged to 170 forms, which were subdivided into five styles. These highly sophisticated styles were called the Five Formed Fist (Wu qin quan), they were designed after the five animals; the Tiger, the Leopard, the Crane, the Snake, and the Dragon.

From the Tiger they learned strength and staying power; from the Leopard they learned speed and patience; from the Crane they learned grace and self-control; the Snake gave them suppleness and endurance; and from the Dragon they learned spiritual calmness.

Shao Lin Kung Fu's effectiveness through the centuries became legendary and many great teachers and styles emerged. One of these teachers was Grandmaster Li Nung-Ti (1796-1870). He studied the Shao Lin style of Wu Qin Quan (Five Animal Fist), and in 1830 developed a family style called Lung Shou Pai (Dragon Claw System). Grandmaster Li Nung-Ti had two disciples; they were his brothers Master Li Tan-Foy (1806-1875), and Master Ling Chang-Wu (1831-1901).

There is little known about Master Li Tan-Foy except that he was taught Lung Shou Pai by his brother, and was also a student of Tai Chi Chuan. It is said that he had a hand in training Master Ling Chang-Wu because he was the elder disciple of Grandmaster Li Nung-Ti.

Ling Chang-Wu was Grandmaster Li Nung-Ti and Master Li Tan-Foy's nephew, and was an important part in the development of Lung Shou Pai. Between 1896 and 1899, he moved his family, because he wanted to be relatively safe from the rumbling of the turmoil of the Boxers Rebellion. Knowing the boxers had very little chance of winning against the influences of western and Japanese foreigners, his love for China made him return to the Society of the Fist of Righteous Harmony.

During the Boxers Rebellion he lost his right hand, but his ability and his techniques with his left hand were so fierce the boxers called him Ti Sha Shou (Left Hand of the Devil). He was killed in 1901, near Peking (Beijing). Grandmaster Ling Chang-Wu managed to perpetuate the art of Lung Shou Pai by teaching his only son, Ling Kat-Klung (1876-1969).

Grandmaster Ling Kat-Klung practiced Lung Shou Pai every day of the week, seven hours a day, constantly improving on his father's teachings, and the Lung Shou Pai principles. He sought out other martial artists who were also practicing in secrecy, because of the revolutionary state of China.

After his father's death, Grandmaster Ling came to the United States to start a new life. He lived with a cousin in California for a year, then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. He taught his art of Lung Shou Pai to his son Robert Kuan Ling (1920-1961) and Norman Pedelahore (1945- ).

Master Robert Kuan Ling and his wife were tragically killed in 1961, in an automobile accident. They had two children, Charles Robert Ling (1945- ), and Cindy Li Ling (1947- ).

Charles and Cindy Ling studied the family art of Lung Shou Pai in the same classical manner as the generations before them. Charles was the link that would cause the art to be passed on to a person not of Asian descent.

Norman John Pedelahore was born in New Orleans, LA on 8/7/45. He was introduced to Grandmaster Ling Kat-Klung when he was seven years old by his close friend Charles Ling. Because he wanted to test his grandson's ability, Grandmaster Ling allowed the outsider to study the family art of Lung Shou Pai, not knowing at the time that one day the student he called New Boy, would become a son and carry on his precious family art.

Norman studied directly under the supervision of Grandmaster Ling for ten years, learning the techniques and principles of the family art. In 1959, he was adopted into the family by the Pai Shi Tea Ceremony and became Grandmaster Ling Kat-Klung's second son. In 1962, Norman and his family moved to Slidell, LA, a city about 30 miles from New Orleans.

Because of his health and age, in 1965, Grandmaster Ling retired from teaching and named Norman John Pedelahore his successor to the art of Lung Shou Pai. The responsibility of teaching and perpetuating Lung Shou Pai's values and principles are now placed squarely on his shoulders.

Shifu Trey Crake in 1979 began his training with Shi-gong Pedelahore. He received over 35 years of professional instruction directly from Grandmaster Pedelahore. Shifu Crake received his 9th degree and Grandmaster in November of 2015 and was given the torch of the Lung Shou Pai system to pass on, along with Grandmaster Bob Metye.

Shifu Aaron Chen, began his training with Grandmaster Crake back in 2005 and continues his education with Grandmaster Crake directly. Shifu Chen’s desire is to perpetuate the LSP system and techniques.