THE ORIGINAL NAME FOR CHOY LAY FUT
Master Dave Lacey wishes to make a statement to clarify the name "Choy Lay Fut" used on his website and in other martial arts articles on him. The Choy Lay Fut name was a "general term" he used throughout his martial arts career for it was not till later that he was made aware of the true history behind his martial arts origin. The ORIGINAL and most appropriate name for his martial arts was FUT GAR (Buddhist Family style) referring to the martial arts of the Buddhist monks of the Shaolin monastery. The Fut Gar pugilism was first taught and propagated by Master Cheung Hung Sing. One of master Cheung Hung Sing's disciples, Lui Charn had a brilliant student by the name of Tarm Sarm whose exceptional fighting skills in the dueling arena earned him the nickname "Kuen Sun" (Fist God). Tarm Sarm later established a gwoon (school) in Siu Buck (Little North) called Buck Sing Gwoon. He continued to engage in many dueling matches with other skilled fighters and never lost a fight. Whenever anyone asked him what was his kung fu style Tarm Sarm would simply reply - "FUT GAR". To pay tribute to their teacher, students of the Buck Sing Gwoon respectfully refer to their martial arts as Buck Sing Fut Gar (aka Buck Sing Choy Lay Fut).
Tarm Sarm, founder of Buck Sing Fut Gar
A Brief Account of Tarm Sarm's LegacyTarm Sarm was a student of Fut Gar master Lui Charn, a disciple of Master Cheung Hung Sing. In the early stages of his training at his sifu's school Tarm became frustrated that he was unable to beat his fellow senior students in sparring. He began to employ his own innovative martial skills to develop better and more tactical fighting techniques and would put them to the test against skilled fighters from other kung fu schools. These dueling matches gave him the valuable combat experience he needed to boost his confidence as a fighter. He was now anxious to show off his combat skills to his sifu and this time he was able to easily win his sparring matches with the senior students. This however did not impress master Lui Charn and he scolded Tarm Sarm for using what he considered "unconventional" moves and techniques. Tarm Sarm viewed his sifu's demeanour as a personal insult to his dignity. When he saw that his sifu was being unreasonable in his outburst he became indignant and proposed they let their martial skills do the talking. The outcome of the sparring match was embarrassing for master Lui Charn as he was knocked down time after time. Realizing he had humiliated his sifu in front of his students, Tarm Sarm knew he could no longer stay with the school as his presence would only cause feelings of resentment. He felt there was no further need to prove himself and decided it was time for him to leave.
Tarm Sarm departed and returned to his family home in Hoi Ping where he continued training and teaching the Fut Gar pugilism. When his school became too crowded he decided to venture further north to a place called Siu Buck (Little North) and established his martial arts school there. As his name and reputation spread it attracted many students to join his school. The name of his gwoon (school) was called Tarm Sarm Buck Sing Gwoon but later shortened to Buck Sing Gwoon. The name "Buck Sing" was chosen by Tarm Sarm's top disciples for it was the most appropriate name for their gwoon as "BUCK" commemorated the area where the school was located (Siu Buck) and "SING" (Victory) to symbolize their sifu's many martial arts combat victories. Out of the great respect the students had for their sifu Tarm Sarm, they chose to call his martial arts Fut Gar Buck Sing (aka Buck Sing Fut Gar). When other Fut Gar schools began to use the new name "Choy Lay Fut" for their martial arts, Tarm Sarm ardently rejected it. Whenever Tarm Sarm heard his students utter the word, "Choy Lay Fut" it would offend and infuriate him. He scolded them and forbade them to mention that name.
Master Lacey at Great Grandmaster Tarm Sarm's gravesite - 2002
|Footnote: When used in the proper context, the name "Fut Gar" is put before Buck Sing i.e. "Fut Gar Buck Sing Gwoon" and not "Buck Sing Fut Gar Gwoon". As Fut Gar master Tarm Sarm was the founder of the Buck Sing Gwoon (school) and the Buck Sing Fighting Arts and not the founder of the Fut Gar Martial Arts, it is appropriate to put Tarm Sarm's name before Buck Sing (i.e. Tarm Sarm Buck Sing Gwoon and not Tarm Sarm Fut Gar Gwoon). Whether Buck Sing patriots of the Tarm Sarm lineage prefer to call their martial arts Buck Sing Fut Gar (aka BSCLF) or Fut Gar Buck Sing, it is not a matter of who or which is right but a matter of preference. The important thing to remember is that "Buck Sing" is the common denominator.
Melbourne BSG – 1993
Master Dave Lacey – Hong Kong 1980
|Master Dave Lacey is a 4th generation patriot of the Buck Sing Fut Gar (aka CLF) fighting arts. He prefers to call his Buck Sing fighting arts "Fut Gar Buck Sing" or "Buck Sing Fut Gar". Although he has learned forms from several other kung fu styles in the past, he has long abandoned them and has in the past 16 years committed himself solely to the teaching and training of the Buck Sing combat techniques. After spending many years revising his fighting techniques and combat strategy, devoting much time, effort and thought into studying and analyzing the moves, he was able to develop better strategic skills that enabled him to create new fighting techniques that would give him the tactical advantages in combat. As his martial arts evolved he implemented revolutionary changes to his martial arts training curriculum for his post 2001 students giving them the necessary drills that would help enhance their speed, power and endurance and taught them the techniques and forms he created that were more realistic for real combat. He eliminated teaching the "conventional" kung fu forms as he felt they contained too many wasteful, unnecessary and impractical moves for they were designed more for demonstration purposes and not for actual combat. Among the kung fu forms he created is his unique form for his Fut Gar wooden dummy that he designed with specifications to allow him to use all his hand techniques efficiently and not restrict his moves. As the wooden dummy form is complex and difficult to master properly because of the intricate and tricky footwork, Master Lacey has only taught it to three of his most trusted and loyal students who have remained faithful to him for 17-25 years to this day. His new and extensive training curriculum is a complete contrast to the one he used when he was teaching in Australia. He has purposely made significant changes in evolutionizing his martial arts as he wished to diverge from those ungrateful former students in Perth (W. Australia) who had betrayed and forsaken him since 1987. He can clearly see the distinguishable difference in the new breed of students he had produced over the years whose martial arts talents, skills and abilities in their performances far exceed that of any of his former "senior" students he had in Perth. From watching the performances of his present day students on his youtubes they clearly show they have a much higher standard of martial arts skills – a reality that can't be denied by those profane and dishonorable students of former years. These "former students" could also see that Master Lacey's American students are doing kung fu forms that he never taught in Australia.
|Sifu Nick Lizos (Melbourne BSG) with 2nd generation
Buck Sing master Tarm Fei Pang, Hong Kong - 1998
|Master Lacey wishes to make it very clear that the Buck Sing Gwoon, the name he chose for his school in 1985 (sanctioned by master Tarm Fei Pang, son of grandmaster Tarm Sarm), now based in Melbourne, Australia and the US is an INDEPENDENT kung fu school with it's own distinct training curriculum (martial arts drills, conditioning, fighting techniques and forms) that bears no resemblance to the curriculum taught in other "Buk" Sing schools. His school is not affiliated with that of his brother or that of his former students in Perth. Their curriculum is totally different from Master Dave Lacey's Buck Sing Gwoon school. Unlike them, he does not teach Tai Chi, Muay Thai kickboxing, kung fu aerobics, Wing Chun or Northern Shaolin and Jow Gar kung fu forms.
Master Lacey is a true blooded Buck Sing Fut Gar patriot devoted to the training and teaching of this style. His loyalty and allegiance is to the legacy of the legendary master fighter Tarm Sarm, founder of the Buck Sing Fut Gar fighting arts. He has no interest in teaching other kung fu styles. To be a true Buck Sing disciple one has to know and follow the Buck Sing Fut Gar doctrine. Master Dave Lacey is who he is because he knows and follows the Buck Sing Doctrine and has adhered to the Buck Sing code "COMBAT NOT SPORT" AND THE COMBAT PRINCIPLES – "Combat Mentality", "Combat Intellect", "Combat Posture", "Combat Strategy", "Combat Deception", "Combat Timing", "Combat Distance", "Combat Speed", "Combat Reflex", "Combat Footwork" and "Combat Moves".
Master Lacey with Buck Sing
Grandmaster Lun Chee, Calgary 2003
Master Lacey at the memorial service for
beloved Elder Lun Chee, Calgary 2008
|The late Buck Sing patriarch Lun Chee, the eldest and last surviving disciple of master Tarm Sarm has explained this concept very well. He said, "What makes Buck Sing combat techniques different and superior than others is not so much that we have different hand and leg moves (punches, kicks and blocks) than other martial arts styles. The reason our Buck Sing combat techniques are better is twofold. First, we have defined good combat principles and second, we use these principles to create, drill and apply them to our combat moves". As Master Lacey explains – "a technique is just a technique – it's how you execute it that makes the real difference". He has seen many Buck Sing practitioners performing kung fu forms and choreographed moves and techniques with no intensity or purpose except to follow a set pattern of movements. More often than not, many of their performances look weak, boring and sloppy for their moves lack the essence of real combat. This has been the general perception among many kung fu enthusiasts on traditional Chinese Martial Arts today. This explains comments on Master Lacey's youtubes such as -
Acquaffredd 75 – "If there were more masters like Him, traditional Chinese Martial Arts wouldn't have the shitty reputation they have in the western world today".
ClfDevil – "General Lacey is a great INSPIRATION to Buck Sing practitioners worldwide"
Firepalm – "speaking of Buck Sing, I look at master Dave Lacey and I am completely impressed. All his movements have fighting intention. I remember watching a CLF kung fu demonstration in Vancouver Chinatown and a young lady laughed and turned to me and said, "Larp Sup kung fu" (garbage kung fu) and while some might consider that a rude comment, I have to say I agree with her assessment. These performers had no spirit, speed or power, no "ging".
Teet Ma Lau – "This is the stuff I love to watch! This should indeed inspire many to seek out Master Dave Lacey's influence and teachings in Choy Lay Fut. Those who know him know that he values the preservation of real traditional Chinese Martial Arts (esp. CLF) in maintaining its true position in the world as a Fighting Art! Many do not practice kung fu the way it ought to be and those who truly value this concept would seek out such masters like Master Dave Lacey".
Ironsilk – "But how many people can be that exceptional as Master Lacey?!"
It has always been Master Dave Lacey's kung fu skills and not his demonstrations of forms that has made him one of the most reputable and respected fighters in the Buck Sing Fut Gar (aka Buck Sing Choy Lay Fut) fraternity today. There is no greater honor given by one fellow Buck Sing comrade to another than this one given to Master Lacey ~
"Dear General Si-hing,
All I can say is that nobody can deny the following facts:- 1) You are the first person to put Buck Sing on the world map. 2) You are a world renowned fighter, a true representation of the Buck Sing spirit and skills. 3) You are one of the very, very few (if not the only) Buck Sing masters who has been devoting his/her whole life to teaching our superb combat skills. 4) You probably trained more great Buck Sing fighters than any Buck Sing masters, except maybe Tarm Sarm. 5) No Buck Sing master has paid the same level of respect that you have paid to other Buck Sing seniors, such as Lun Chee Si-gung and Tarm Fei Pang Si-gung. 6) In return, no Buck Sing master has earned the same level of respect that you have earned from your disciples and me.
As a Buck Sing master, you have defined your own level of passion, standard and code of conduct."
In another private email to Master Lacey in 2002, a Hung Sing Fut Gar (aka Hung Sing Choy Lay Fut) elder had this to say – "You are a good example of a responsible teacher. You did not seek to deceive yourself or others. You care to ask when in doubt and not pretend to know. The eminent student of Confucius Manlius said, ‘The woes of man begin when they have the insatiable urge to be a teacher to others'. There is nothing wrong in being someone's teacher but the woes begin when they try to teach too much with too little knowledge". – Unquote.
As Master Lacey has stated repeatedly – "Buck Sing is for COMBAT and not SPORT". Unfortunately over the decades Buck Sing teachers have taught it primarily as a "fitness/recreational sport of choreographed forms for demonstrations at various martial arts events. Some teach as many as five different kung fu styles and even Muay Thai kickboxing to attract more students. This trend of learning and practicing kung fu forms dominated the training curriculum in these schools and students spent little or no time on training combat drills and techniques. Realizing that spending too much time on learning and practicing forms would only hinder his students progress in acquiring the skills to become competent Buck Sing pugilists, he decided in 1998 to exclude many kung fu forms that he once taught from his school's teaching curriculum and devoted all his time to training and teaching his students the combat principles that make Tarm Sarm's Buck Sing fighting techniques so very deadly and effective. Buck Sing practitioners who spend most of their time practicing long forms with movements that are wasteful, unnecessary and unpractical in real combat will never capture the true essence of the techniques. In combat one has to compete with time (speed) and space (distance) and Master Lacey knows this and that is why he has placed the utmost importance on hand speed, quick agile footwork and elusive body maneuvers. One viewer on his youtube commented – "I can't explain it in words any better, look at Dave Lacey's videos for good examples. If you watch closely, you'll see it feels different" – Unquote. Master Lacey's movements are "different" because he has been able to make his moves and techniques more adaptable and practical for today's western world of martial arts where a kung fu fighter has to face new challenges that were not prevalent forty plus years ago.
|Master Dave Lacey at the Buck Sing Gwoon - Melbourne, Australia, 1995
|Master Lacey is not one to rest on his laurels, which is why he is constantly thinking of new ways and methods to improve his Buck Sing combat skills and that of his loyal students who have stuck by him faithfully for many years. Over the last 12 years he has diligently worked on the development of his own innovative and creative Buck Sing fighting techniques that has become the recognizable and distinct trait of Master Dave Lacey's martial arts skills. Only those who have proven themselves worthy to be part of his "inner circle" disciples and students of his Buck Sing Gwoon family will ever get to inherit the full scope of the extensive martial arts knowledge and wisdom he has acquired from his evolutionary years of training in Buck Sing Fut Gar. He is content and proud of the accomplishments he has made and is appreciative of the many accolades and comments he has received from fellow kung fu practitioners around the world expressing their gratitude, respect and admiration for him and their amazement at the speed, precision and intensity in how he executes his techniques and the fluidity of his movements. His youtubes have generated great excitement among kung fu enthusiasts everywhere for at last someone had come forward to show the martial arts world the true essence of the Buck Sing Fut Gar (aka BSCLF) the way it was intended to be, for COMBAT NOT SPORT! Master Dave Lacey is proud of his Buck Sing heritage and feels it was his destiny and duty to restore Buck Sing Fut Gar back to its former glory as a highly respected and reputable "no nonsense" kung fu fighting style. He was determined not to dishonour Tarm Sarm's martial arts legacy by teaching it as a performing art of choreographed kung fu forms – a practice he found little interest in.
|Master Lacey's ‘lightning speed' captured at Singapore HSG Anniversary function – 2001
|To fellow martial artists who know him personally he portrays a demeanour of self confidence, a man who stands by his convictions and never shies away from his detractors or afraid to confront them face to face. The one thing he detests is arrogant martial arts pugilists especially those with an annoying or cocky attitude for they are the ones that incite him to have them test their martial arts combat skills against him. Master Lacey is known for letting his hands do the talking for when it comes to proving one's martial arts combat skills he believes in the phrase "action speaks louder than words and talk is cheap". With the many encounters he had with pugilists of different martial arts styles, he has never failed to shock or humiliate them with his speed. They found out that they were no match for his Buck Sing combat techniques. One thing is clear, he is passionate about his martial arts heritage and in defending the honor, the good name and reputation and legacy of Tarm Sarm and Fut Gar Buck Sing – the martial arts developed for COMBAT NOT SPORT!
|Internet's Kung Fu Forum
|In an email dated September 3rd 2002 on the internet's "Kung Fu Forum", Australian martial arts magazine journalist David Foggie had this to say:-
"Master Lacey tells it how he sees it and knows it. These pathetic fools on the forums talking badly about Master Lacey are simply that….FOOLS. Their contribution to the promotion of CLF or any martial arts is ZERO and will always remain zero. The reputation of Master Lacey and the Buck Sing Gwoon is known throughout the world. The respect given to Master Lacey is not only because of his dedication, devotion and loyalty to his teachers but also for his immense knowledge and skill in kung fu. He has always let his skills do the talking".
Ten Tigers – Posted 30th March 2005, New York City.
The man is amazing – his energy, his techniques, his power, his humour and especially his generosity. Basically, anything you asked him, heck, even mentioned – he would immediately demonstrate and explain – even at the dinner table! You had to see the waiters cringing everytime he started! And if you were "lucky" enough to be within range, you got to feel it. I was following him around like a child, hanging on to every word! He had some great stories of the past and he is THE man for dispelling myths about Gung Fu. He not only would tell you if something was bullshit or not, he would then show you why. He also has a great respect for other styles such as WC and HG and would be the first to say so. I only spent a few hours with him but I left with enough ideas, food for thought to keep me charged and inspired.
|More Comments on Master Lacey's Youtubes
|Hakwarrior – Posted 02/15/2008 San Francisco
Folks, you guys would love the general. He's hilarious to be around! Yeah, you may get TOUCHED a few times, but the general is one of the REAL DEAL kung fu masters out there and it's clear it's his passion. Nick, please tell the general I said hello for me.
Teet Ma Lau – December 2009 Idaho
One marvelous credit to Master Lacey is his never tiring energy and devout heart in the propagating of real combat gung fu. He has blessed the lives of many with his gifts, talents and heart. One would be honored to know such a man as I have had the pleasure of Knowing and having received valuable lessons in the past.
Long Live the Black Panther of Buck Sing!
Satori Science – Posted 02/15/2008 Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
First Class! This video seems to show out GM Lacey, the best of everything I've seen so far, his hands were lighting fast. Some variations of larn sow and sweeps I hadn't considered before. I love to watch his chuen sow, notice how he doesn't even try to catch the on-coming strike, it just slides right into his block, that is real gung!
Charn Fu Gerk – Posted 02/20/2008 Melbourne, Australia
Awesome!!! So many good techniques in this clip. Master Lacey is so fast with his movements. I have to look closely a few times to see what he actually does and just as Satori Science noted, the punches just slide straight into his block with no effort whatsoever…..Heat seeking chun sow!
It's always an honour and pleasure to view any footage of the "General" Master Dave Lacey in action! Truly inspiring to hear him speak and give his insight and knowledge.
Sung 29 – Posted 02/15/2008 Calgary, Canada
Thanks for posting all of these great clips, I really enjoy watching them. It never ceases to amaze me how quick Sifu Lacey is when he demonstrates his combinations! I swear, I really have to focus on not blinking to catch what he's doing!
Teet Ma Lau – Posted May 2008 Idaho
I never tire of observing and experiencing Master Dave Lacey and his students perform. Thanks so much for posting these videos. It strengthens the veracity of Master Lacey's talents. To Master Lacey, though far apart in time and in circumstances, we are grateful for your valued instruction and Martial wisdom.
This is another excellent example of the superb product of a truly great sifu. It is becoming more and more rare that such a standard is maintained. Master Dave Lacey never compromised this, and every student ought to know that. He brings respect and honor to CMA's that it deserves by illuminating it through the standard that Buck Sing Choy Lay Fut has and should always demonstrate. I am most proud and fortunate to know such a man as he.
Always in our thoughts and All the very Best to you and yours and the Buck Sing Gwoon.
Vilmore – Posted 03/10/2008
I still see a difference between Buck Sing CLF and other CLF. The way a Buck Sing man turns a full 90 degrees to fight, the way that the power really comes sideways, the way that a charp chui BOOM! Comes in like a spear…. It's not just standing sideways in a form, it's Buck Sing ~ I can't explain it in words any better, look at the Dave Lacey videos for good examples. If you watch closely, you'll see it feels different. And don't just watch the form, it's less apparent in forms.
Diego – Posted 02/15/2008 Vancouver, BC
Awesome, thanks for posting. Who are the masters performing at 1.50 and 2.20 ~ first guy is black t-shirt and second white sweat shirt….very good. Thanks again ~ James
Buck Sing Gwoon – Posted 02/15/2008 Melbourne, Australia
Hi James (Diego), I'm really glad you're enjoying our clips. The people you are talking about are two top students of my sifu from the Bay area.
Clfguardian – Posted 03/07/2009
Good. I love how crisp and powerful Dave Lacey's moves are. Really inspires me to try and work harder on my CLF.
Franzzie – Posted 11/18/2009
Never seen a fighting style that is this quick….. It is just so overwhelming the victim can't react in time or can't defend itself almost more than just once. This style is stunning.
|These are but some of the many compliments by fellow kung fu practitioners expressing their respect, admiration and gratitude to Master Lacey for the efforts he has made to restore faith and pride in the Chinese Fighting Arts.
Master Dave Lacey has given 48 years of his life to teaching kung fu in Australia and America and for the students who have stood by him faithfully, he is much loved and revered as a Teacher and Mentor and a Father-figure whose teachings and martial wisdom and comradeship has blessed their lives forever.
"He has blessed the lives of many with his gifts, talents and heart. One would be honored to know such a man as I have had the pleasure of knowing. We are grateful for your valued instructions and Martial Wisdom" – Unquote – Teet Ma Lau
Melbourne, Australia - 1994
Hayward, N. California - 2003