Lao Leong was a Taoist monk and Grandmaster of Tsong Quo Chuen . Recalled by Gichin Funakoshi as the “shipwreck of Ahnan” and by others as “Channan” and “Chinto”. He was the martial arts expert who stayed and taught Chinese martial arts longer when the Okinawa island still coincided with the Ryukyu Kingdom.
On arriving in Tomari’s fishing village in the mid-1800’s, Lao Leong found shelter in a cave on the hills near the homonymous village. After a while, he was welcomed by Tomari’s nobles. In return for food and service, Lao Leong taught them his art. Like any martial artist, he was determined to teach what he knew, so Lao Leong, being a Taoist, also took the path of least resistance. He modified his martial art to be more like the harder external styles that the Okinawans were used to. His main students were Kokan Oyadamuri (Oyadomari), Kosaku Machimora (Matsumora) and Matse/Matsoe, of which the first two remembered by Shoshin Nagamine between the “Great three of Tomari”.
After completing the seven-year pilgrimage to Okinawa agreed with his teacher, during which he had to live and train alone as part of his growth in martial art, Lao Leong returned to Ahnan. In various ways, Lao Leong remained in touch with some of his Okinawa students who, over time, taught what they had learned to their own students.
In Fuzhou, Lao Leong continued to deepen his style until he became the official heir of Tsong Quo Chuen with the duty of continuing the family art. He transmitted the complete Chinese system and the simplified portion for his Okinawan students to his nephew Kushubi.
Lao Leong taught 15 forms in Tomari, the most important of which are Eunibu, Chinsu, Chinpe, Rohai, Bassai, Wanduan, Wanshu, Juma, Jumu and Nichin. A portion of this program was learned and again simplified by Anko Itosu and other experts, thanks to which new kata were born that nowadays belong to the curriculum of many modern karate styles.
Matsuetsu Kushubi was the Grandmaster of Tsong Quo Chuen. Before his death, he passed the mantle onto A.F. Walker, his adopted grandson. Born in Shuri from an Okinawan father and Chinese mother, he spent the first part of his karate training with his father and Anko Itosu, but he also had other famous teachers including Kanryo Higaonna, then known as “Toono”.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Kushubi decided to move to southern China to learn the Chinese art that was the root of his learning. Using his familial ties, Kushubi was introduced to the family art by his uncle. Here in Fuzhou, Kushubi was introduced to his uncle’s teacher (who happened to be his uncle’s father, and also the head of the style at the time). After a few years and just prior to the invasion of China by Japan, Kushubi began to learn directly from Lao Leong. During the enemy occupation, Kushubi’s pregnant wife was killed by the invaders and he himself was put into a foreigner’s retainer camp run by the Swiss. It was here that he met an American, A. Walker, who soon became Kushubi’s friend and student.
After the war, A. Walker reconnected with Kushubi and petitioned to have him come to the United States. After a while, Kushubi reached California where he continued teaching the Okinawan martial arts along with the Chinese arts he had learned from Lao Leong. Kushubi taught the Chinese art that forms the most advanced curriculum of Tsong Quo Chuen as a complete system.
A. F. Walker
A. Flane Walker is the current Grandmaster of Tsong Quo Chuen, of the introductory curriculum Pyong Hwa Do as well as the Grandmaster of Sagawa Kara Fu.
His father, A. Walker, introduced him to martial arts when he was 3 years old. After reaching adulthood, his father sent him to train directly under Matsuetsu Kushubi, who at that time was living in California. There, Kushubi transmitted to A.F. Walker both the Okinawan and the Chinese martial arts. A.F. Walker learned, as a complete system, the introductory material from Okinawa and the Chinese portion forming the most advanced curriculum. Until his death, Kushubi continued to teach A.F. Walker and a few other selected students. Master Kushubi then transmitted the art to his adoptive grandson and heir A.F. Walker.
In 2002, A.F. Walker published the book “The Ancient Art of Life and Death: The Book of Dim Mak”.