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The Legend of Jow Lung

Available now at on "Kindle Unlimited", or $8.99 in paper. Volume One, 46-pages, graphic novel format, retells the story of the founder of Jow Ga Family Kung Fu. You've read the entry in Wikipedia, now see history illustrated with compelling details. Proceeds support Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute, 501c3 nonprofit.

Summer 2020, the school is closed for instruction, and closed for training, for all ages.
Lead staff are working separately to secure stronger footing for the school and nonprofit by soliciting donations to help cover ongoing monthly costs.
Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership encourages all martial arts practitioners to train as best they can, in a safe and respectful manner.
We want everyone to stay strong and stay healthy.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions.
See you soon.
-HTCMLI Teaching Team

Gear up to reduce training down time.

It is said that there are two things you train in martial arts: the 'seen', and the 'unseen'.

Sometimes it is described as external and internal energy, or strengh/power and chi. But let's keep it simple, because it is challenging to train that which you cannot see. The simple answer is that self-defense takes hard work over time.

At Hung Tao Choy Mei we believe there is no easy way to learn self-defense. There are no short-cuts to defending yourself. It takes time to become stronger, to learn to take a hit and not go down, to move fast and efficiently enough to get away, or to control an aggresive move. It takes training to move simply when adrenaline courses through your veins, making you physically shake, or to persevere when you're physically and mentally exhausted. It is repetitive training that helps you tactically make a bad situation into a close call, or to avoid what could be dangerous when stress is clouding your mind. 

So we gear up and we spar. We learn how to be stronger but with control. We learn how to remain calm to be faster and smarter. We learn how to breath to build confidence, endurance, poise. And that takes time.

For the average person it means coming to class 3-times a week;  reviewing forms and meditation at home or elsewhere. Several months of training builds up the big muscles in the legs for strength and endurance. Half a year changes your muscle-memory so that your reaction time shortens. You learn to be relaxed and confident under stress. In a year the average person learns how to knit together the seen and the unseen to defend against multiple attackers.

In our school, you will go on a personal journey of training both of what you can see and that which you cannot.



Partners and performing friends.

Over the decades we have made many friends while performing, while producing performances, and organizing community events.
Here are just a few:

John C. Good, Executive Director

Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, 1629 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20006
202.289.4440 ext. 3
WALA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization dedicated to serving the legal needs of the Washington, Maryland, and Virginia arts and cultural communities.  

Ms. Wuiping Yap, Asia Heritage Foundation  

Nonprofit that produces festivals (such as and dance performances in the metropolitan region. 

Dale Marcelin, Universal Capoeira Angola Center

Meistre Dale is our neighbor and good friend on the second floor. 

1351 U Street, Second Floor, Washington, DC 202-232-2387

Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute is a 501(c)(3) leadership development organization focusing on developing life-long skills for adults and children of Washington, DC.
     HTCMLI teaches adults of all ages. Some of our adult martial artists have experience from other self-defense systems. Others are passing through DC and staying for a brief assignment, or have no prior martial arts training.
    During the summer, the school teaches free Kung Fu, Chinese Lion Dance, Chinese Thunder Drumming to DC schoolchildren. Children learn how to participate in gala events on traditional stages, or open floors, attend field trips to historic DC area locations and museums.
     By participating in the Leadership Institute's programs and attending the Institute's classes, students of any age develop life-enhancing skills along with positive values, a sense of purpose and direction, and a commitment to community development. Confidence and skills developed through our program equip students to set personal goals, and enable students to reach those goals while overcoming life's inevitable challenges.
     The Institute's training program develops physical strength, a strong will, a quickened mind, and an ethical and moral base from which to evaluate one's own actions and the actions of others. Students learn self-reliance, personal responsibility, pursuit of excellence, and to become successful leaders in their chosen fields.
Training at the HTCMLI is preparation for living a meaningful life.

1351 U Street, Second Floor, Washington, DC, Abdur-Rahim Muhammad, 202-232-2387

A traditional Kung Fu school teaches not only Kung Fu but lion dance and drumming. And at HTCMLI we have many drums. We have many Chinese Thunder drums and we have many traditional African drums. And we always have Kung Fu.
The big drum of southern China is a cultural fixture. It is common to see a drum and drummer in the back of a truck, or on a boat, continuously beating loud rhythms to announce the approach of the lucky lions, or the passage of a venerable moment or person. The drum is played alone, or with other percussive instruments or in groups of synchronous beating of other drums. The drums are like town criers letting people know of a chance to let good luck roll into their lives. Usually they mean a break from a hectic urban routine, and a chance to relax and smile at the work of the martial artists and lucky lions.
The Djembe drum of West Africa is a cultural fixture as well. The drum calls people together, to open their heart and to speak clearly and with truth. Djembe are usually played in groups, and invite dancers to partake in the rhythms.
At HTCMLI we teach both Thunder Drums and Djembe Drums and their deep cultural roots to openness, community and well-being.

Self-defense begins with strong legs

Hung Tao Choy Mei teaches adults fitness, focus, and self-defense. Kung Fu training requires no equipment, just hard work and a focused mind.  
     We teach Jow Ga Kung Fu to adults of all ages, for short or long stretches of time. We understand that adults have demanding work schedules, and go out of town, have looming deadlines, or are passing through on assignment. We have classes seven days a week, but you practice when you can. Our rates are low and we have no contract. We ask only that when you come you work hard. At Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership we put the community's welfare first. 
     We invite you to meet new people, take a free class, see if it's for you. Kung Fu will make you stronger, smarter, faster, slimmer and calmer and all you need to do is bring yourself.

The Hung Tao Choy Mei Kung Fu Leadership Institute offers a comprehensive course of traditional martial arts training. Private and group classes are conducted seven days a week. Beginning classes stress body conditioning, basic footwork, basic foot and empty hand techniques, breathing exercises, sticky hand exercises, one-step sparring, tumbling and empty hand forms.
Intermediate and advanced classes concentrate on advanced empty hand and weapons forms, two-man fighting sets, and free sparring. Students are never guaranteed they will be able to learn Kung Fu in "10 easy lessons". On the contrary, they realize after just a few lessons that complete mastery of the art is often a lifetime task, involving dedication and perseverance. Completion of the course involves several years of commitment. Perfecting the techniques will take much longer. The average student should be able to take care of himself within a years' training, but those wishing to learn more advanced techniques must study much longer.
The Hung Tao Choy Mei course includes the following:
• History & Philosophy of Kung Fu 
• Internal and External physical exercises (preparation for fighting techniques}
• Empty hand techniques. The student learns punching, kicking, hand techniques, forms, stepping, breathing methods, body movements and "Iron Palm" training.
• Weaponry involving the use of sword, staff, spear, daggers, Kwan, etc.
Hung Tao Choy Mei translates as Hung head, Choy tail or rather, head of Hung Gar Kung Fu, tail of Choy Gar Kung Fu. It is a Cantonese expression that helps describe Jow Family Style Kung Fu. It is also is the name of our nonprofit and school. 
Although our system does not have a colored belt ranking system, students must demonstrate their proficiency through formal testing conducted by SiFu Muhammad.

Paul Robeson Mural 1351 U Street NW Wash DC (front)

Paul Robeson Interactive Mural, 1351 U Street NW, Washington, DC
The mural concept stems from the Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institutes efforts to introduce Paul Robeson to the present generation and re-introduce him to previous generations through the Paul Robeson "Here I Stand" Award galas at the Lincoln Theatre. Lead muralists Cory Stowers and Andrew Katz, their artist conclave (Eric B. Ricks, Maria Miller, Serena Z, Ernesto Zelaya, Jaa), the funding of DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and permission of the building owner brought Paul Robeson, larger than life, to U Street NW.

Paul Robeson (1898-1976)
This is just the starting point in understanding the depth and indefatiguable efforts of an American master of the arts and civil activism. Read Robeson's autobiography (c1958; c1971: Here I Stand) and come to the mural at 1351 U Street NW, Washington, DC.

  • Paul's father escaped slavery, fought in the civil war, and became a Presbyterian pastor in Princeton, NJ after attending Lincoln University and Seminary near Oxford, PA.
  • 1917, 1918 All-American professional football player (while in college)
  • 1919 Valedictorian and Phi Beta Kappa Rutgers College; First African-American to play football at Rutgers.
  • 1920 Moves to Harlem, New York
  • 1921 Marries DC- born medical chemist and activist Eslanda Cardozo Goode
  • 1923 Graduates Columbia Law School
  • 1925 Body and Soul (film)
  • 1930 Borderline (film)
  • 1930 Othello, at The Savoy, London (theater)
  • 1933 The Emperor Jones (film)
  • 1933 Show Boat, Hollywood (film)
  • 1936 The Song of Freedom (film)
  • 1937 Jericho, London. Issued in the US as Dark Sands (film)
  • 1938 Entertains troops on front lines of Spanish Civil War
  • Well known in Wales for supporting miners' civil rights.
  • 1940 The Proud Valley, London. Issued in the US as The Tunnel (film).
  • 1942 Native Land (Robeson Narration and Song)
  • 1942 Criticized media for poor roles for Blacks in film, so stopped acting in films.
  • 1943-1944 Othello, Broadway (record breaking run)
  • 1949 World Congress of Advocates of Peace, Paris.
  • 1950 US State Department revokes passport.
  • 1953 USSR Peace Prize
  • 1958 Carnegie Hall Recital
  • 1958 (Kent v. Dulles) Supreme Court rules that the right to travel is inherent in the "right to liberty" and forces the US State Department to reinstate passport.
  • 1958 Publishes the autobiography Here I Stand
  • 1959 Last performance of Othello, Stratford on Avon, England (theater)
  • 1960 Retires from performing
  • 1976 New York Times publishes an obituary
  • 2004 Commemorated on US stamp.


Our lion dancers are students, and teachers of Kung Fu. They study Kung Fu for some time and then are introduced to the basics of lion dance. Dancers also learn to drum. Our lion dance teams get stage instructions just before performing, and they are not afraid of challenges or last minute changes. They might work in unison, or they may split up performing tasks. They sometimes play an ancient unwritten story passed down through many generations of lion dancers. They are art, dance, music, luck.

Lucky Lions are not just about color, expressive movement, excitement and surprise. They are an expression of teamwork, strength, endurance and spirit. They embody the qualities we admire in each other. Those same qualities allow us to make luck for ourselves and make others feel lucky.

Lion Dancer

On no traditional Chinese festive occasion would Lion Dance be left out.

     HTCMLI teaches and performs Chinese Lion Dance. Lion Dance brings luck and good cheer to the community. For the performer it also brings strength, agility and endurance. Two performers learn to work as a team to become a magical lion full of emotions and mischief. Escaped from the heavens, the magical lion sometimes needs to be enticed back to it's home with lucky lettuce. At HTCM lion dance is a fundamental component to training for children and adults.


Glowing musicians play glowing thunder drums

Cantonese Thunder Drum
The Cantonese Thunder drum draws attention with its size, color and big sound. All students learn how to play the drum as a regular part of their Kung Fu training. In China the drum or drums in unison announce an event whether it is sorrowful or joyous. It is not uncommon to see the big drum on the back of a moving truck, or boat in Hong Kong, players trading places keeping the beat alive as the drum and it's participants journey to an important event. Our drums and players are present for lion dances, demonstration of forms, or as a drum ensemble as a part of a festival.

Paul Robeson

The "Here I Stand" award honors famed actor and singer Paul Robeson -- whose 1958 autobiography bore that name -- as well as the individuals receiving the award. The "Here I Stand" award highlights the careers of artists and scholars who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the community at large. Robeson became one of the most well-known Americans internationally in the 1930s and 1940s at the pinnacle of a career that touched many corners of American life.
Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institute invited the following artist activists to the Lincoln Theatre to be honorees of the the "Here I Stand" award:

  • Chuck D | 7 September 2013
  • Common | 8 September 2012
  • Spike Lee | 4 June 2011
  • Rita Moreno | 18 September 2010
  • Judith Jamison | 2 May 2009
  • Dr. John Hope Franklin | 21 April 2007
  • Dick Gregory | 22 April 2006
  • Harry Belafonte | 9 April 2005