History Of Black Dragon Kung Fu

According to legend, in the year 520 A.D. a Buddhist monk named Bodhiharma

(Da Mo to the Chinese) entered China bringing a new form of Buddhism called Ch’an (Zen in Japanese). He ended up at a Buddhist temple located at the foot of the Sung Shan mountains next to a small forest. It was called the Shaolin Temple for shaolin means small forest in Chinese. It was his intent to spread the Ch’an sect of Buddhism. This new sect was a more direct form Buddhism which involved long periods of static meditation. Finding the monks of Shaolin to be in less than top physical form, Da Mo, who was believed to be trained in both Yoga and the fighting arts of India and Persia, developed a set of eighteen exercises based on breath work and isometric stretches called Ji Jin Ching, or Muscle Change Classics. He taught these to the monks of the temple and they became a part of their daily life. There is no doubt that forms of boxing already existed in China. But from the Shaolin Temple with its mandatory practice came a reputation of monks who were highly skilled in martial arts. Various styles of fighting developed, some based on the defense maneuvers or characteristics of animals.

As time passed, Kung-fu styles spread throughout China. In the year 714 A.D. legend has it that the Black Dragon style of Kung-fu was developed at the temple in Honan, China by a man named Wu Chen Pai. He is referred to as Si Jo which means founder. He named his style Sillum Wu Hok Lung. Sillum is Cantonese for Shaolin, Wu is his family name, and Hok Lung is Cantonesd for black dragon. In Mandarin it is Shaolin Wu Hei Long. At the temple in Fukien province a style had developed known as Five Animal Style. Black Dragon was a “cousin” style to this also using the animal styles of dragon, tiger, crane, snake, and leopard. Later, Black Dragon added eagle, monkey, and praying mantis as well as a drunken form which gives us the eight animals which we learn today.

Below are the Eight Virtues of the Shaolin Warrior






Self Discipline




The Black Dragon style is mostly known for its trapping and infighting preference. Although kicks are used, it is primarily a close range style. It also contains drills such as rolling hands, sticking hands, and push hands designed to increase your sensitivity to an opponent’s movement thereby improving your fighting skill.

In the 1940′s Si Gung Tai (grandmaster) Wu Han Su brought the system to the United States from China.

Settling in Seattle, he worked and practiced his kung-fu but had no students.

In the early 1970′s he moved to St. Louis Missouri.

In 1973 Si Gung Tai Wu met Ike Bear.

Thirteen years later, In 1986, Master Wu conferred upon Ike Bear the status of lineage holder of Black Dragon Kung-fu.

Two years later, living with family In Chicago, Master Wu passed away.

Black Dragon is a well rounded system containing grappling aspects (Chin’na), wrestling and throwing ( Shuai Chiao), pressure point strikes (Dim Mak), energy development (Qigong), as well as kicking and striking techniques.

The dragon is symbolic of the warrior’s inner spirit, and since inner growth is one of kung-fus goals, it became representative of some styles. The eight animals allow any body type or mindset to find a fighting style that suits them while learning from and growing through study of the others.

The following is a list of all Wu Family Black Dragon lineage holders, the time period of their position as Grand Masters and their geographic locations.

Lineage (Founder) Wu Chen Pai 714-762 Honan

Wu Mai (female) 762-780

Wu Ho 780-792

Wu Peng 792-827

Wu Chen-Wu 827-859

lineage break

Wu Hng-Tan 872-898

Wu Tai 898-920

Wu Cho-Pu 921-968

Wu Hng 968-991

Wu Ti (female) 991-994

Wu Li 994-1023

Ho Li 1024-1076

Wu Pak Fu 1078-?

lineage break

Wu Bin Lun 1120-1142

Wu Su-Lo 1142-1160 Fukien

Wu Jan-Fat 1160-1181

Wu Bin-Lo 1181-1212

Wu Tu-Rui 1212-1214

(Shared lineage) Wu Han-Ti 1214-1242

Wu Han-Li 1214-1251

Wu Ji 1251-1276

Wu He 1277-1301

Wu Chen-Mi 1301-1330 Fukien

(Shared lineage) WuFat 1330-1352 Fukien

Wu Han-Po 1335-1361 Kwangtung

(Shared lineage) Huang Chen 1352-1380 Fukien

Wu Mao-Su 1361-1394 Kwangtung

Wu Chen-Li 1380-1412 Fukien

Wu Fat 1412-1442

missing period

Wu Ping 1523-1576 Kwangtung

Wu Bin-Bai 1576-1578

Huang Jing-Lun 1578-1601

Bei Shang-Huan 1602-1643

Wu Bai 1643-1684

Wu Yi-Kuang 1685-1693 Vietnam

Wu Man-Kou 1693-1742 Vietnam

break or missing

Wu Too-Rong 1791-1801 Kwangtung

Wu Chen-Mai 1801-1842

Wu Chen-Lee 1843-1891

Wu Cheng-Fu 1891-1923

Wu Han-Su 1923-1987 USA

Ike Bear 1987-Present USA

(Shared Linage) Michael Lauck  USA

Tim Beuchel USA