The Leung’s White Crane history is a compelling story in
itself. The dreams and passion of three young brothers would
create one of the most influential and commanding martial arts
and lion dancing schools in North America. Its rich history of
35+ years proves its stability, dedication and drive.
It all started in China as 3 little children prancing around the
house with banging kerosene cans and blankets tied to baskets,
mimicking the ancient lion dance. The Leung brothers - Kuen, Kwan,
and Allen – would take that energy and train in martial arts with
the village master in the Hung Gar (Tiger/Crane) style. The
brothers soon found themselves working in a Hong Kong garment
factory, working and devoting their time to Martial Arts and lion
dancing. Almost every penny earned was used to enroll them under
the White Crane Academy instructed by Master “Kwong Boon Fu” who was
a student of the great grandmaster of white crane “Ng Siu Chung”.
They practiced on their downtime from the factory eventually
graduating and all becoming Masters in the White Crane form. Each
of the brothers would find their niche as Kuen found his in the lion
dance, Kwan would concentrate in the martial arts, and Allen would
immerse himself in the sparring and drumming.
Chance had brought them to the US for a better opportunity.
After careful consideration, the brothers decided to open a school
of their own. They found a small studio in Oakland Chinatown, and
would open its doors in 1971 with 4 students. It eventually rose to
over 25 students taking in students from all walks of life, making
it one of very few schools to do such. The school would eventually
grow and so its operations relocated to San Francisco’s Chinatown in
1973. There the brothers established the name Leung’s White Crane
Dragon and Lion Dance Association.
Success at a large scale would come in the 90’s for the Leung’s. A
huge shock would be made in Eastern World in 1992 as the Leung’s
took 2nd place in the Hong Kong Urban Council World Lion
Dance Tournament. A place so high for a US team was unheard of in
Asia as lion dancers Darren Low and Benson Louie would dance the US
into a position to be reckoned with. The following year the Leung’s
launched a Junior Lion Dance division (which included Allen’s son
Clifton) which competed and took 1st place and 3rd
place shocking the crowds as the juniors looked just as good as the
adults. A few years later an all-girls division would be developed
by Sharon Kwok.
LWC opens in Oakland
1971 starting with 4 students.
LWC relocates to San
Francisco with Wei Mo Association in ‘73, also establishing the name
under Leung’s White Crane Kung Fu association @ 32 St. Louis Alley
on Jackson Street.
LWC deeply gets involved
in community work with Chinese Hospital, and Chinese Benevolent
associations including other numerous charity work for the Chinese
community. The Charity work continues to this day.
LWC makes its debut in
the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade as the finale and to be
remained at that position there until present day. This Parade is
the largest Lunar New Year Celebration outside of Asia.
Martial Arts is the main
concentration during the 70’s.
LWC permanently changes
uniform to the colors of white, green, and red
LWC converts to the new
hybrid of lion dances introduced in Hong Kong and Macau.
LWC debuts show of
hybrid lion dances in Vegas at Caesars Palace which would open the
doors for the many shows to come.
LWC debuts in first
major film and television shows including music videos, and cameos.
Their appearances also including morning talk shows and commercials.
LWC called upon for kick
off campaigns for numerous high authority figures including former
mayors of San Francisco, senators, congressmen and governors.
LWC competes in the
international scene winning 2nd place at the Urban
Council World Lion Dance Competition in Hong Kong marking the first
and only USA team to such a feat.
LWC junior lion team
division debuts and takes 1st and 3rd place
LWC continues to travel
performing all over the country and in Asia.
Development underway of
all female lion/martial arts/dragon division
Western Lion King Title
LWC celebrates their 30th
Launch of Global Website
Girls Dragon Team and
competes winning 1st Place western dragon title.
Continuing to compete in
all over North America placing in Winnipeg, Hawaii, San Jose, San
Leung’s White Crane Day
established August 18th, 2001 in San Francisco.