Friday, 20 February 2015

Leong Fu's Kung Fu Karato


Leong Fu was a Malaysian wrestler who during the 1930's challenged the worlds best
martial artists and defeated them all. In 1950 he retired undefeated and spent the rest of
his days teaching willing followers of his unimpeachable self defense technique known as
Kung Fu Karato: Atado.


His words were compiled into a massive tome which contained his own hand drawn
diagrams and step by step instructions on how to perform each move. Those unable to
access the book directly could learn and practice with the aid of mini magazine guides
which for a fee could be delivered by mail each month. I chanced upon a collection of
these guides in a flea market a while ago and recently rediscovered them under my bed.


I've halfheartedly attempted to learn Kung Fu Karato but have unfortunately not quite
become the invincible death punching master I hoped to be. No matter though because
reading through the guides is a massively entertaining experience on it's own. Leong Fu
uses hyperbolic statements throughout the series to vividly emphasize the effectiveness
of his self-defence techniques. Some of his lines are almost poetic in their clumsiness, at
times even coming across as satirical.


The drawings themselves also share a charming freehand quality. The box panel format
used to frame the diagrams and the frequent use of dynamic impact effects also helps to
enhance the overall comic book feel of the series. I have been experimenting with some
of them to create live demonstrations of Atado moves. Pictured are some GIFs completed
which translate beautifully into animation despite their uneven quality. I plan to develop
these sketches further to create a mini series on Leong Fu and the art of Kung Fu Karato.

11 comments:

  1. Hi. I am interested in this book can you email me how tp get a copy of it or PDF. my email is, taknik@gmail.com, many thanks
    James

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi! o am selling., check my facebook account tomjones2m2@gmail.com

      Delete
  2. Hi, can you email me I am interested to know more about Leong Fu and his books. my email is taknik@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Please email me how to get these books. My late father taught me from these books. Kissmea@the-charlesgroup.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i am selling check my facebook account tomjones2m2@gmail.com

      Delete
  4. Please email me how to get these books. My late father taught me from these books. Kissmea@the-charlesgroup.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been looking as well. Seems to be out of print or is collectors item that people treasure it too much to part with it

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have been looking as well. Seems to be out of print or is collectors item that people treasure it too much to part with it

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  7. I am quite surprised that after all these years, my dad's (Leong Fu) books are still in demand. When I saw those drawings on the website, it brought back memories , as they originated from those books. If I remember correctly, he employed artists to draw them and he would examine each one individually before approving them. When I was a kid, our home was situated right above the publishing and printing shop where he produced those books. It was situated along in Anderson Road, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia. At that time, these books seemed to be almost everywhere in the shop, and there was certainly not any shortage of them ! Now, it appears people are having some difficulty finding them. How times have changed! - Jeffrey Weng Fu Leong

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  8. i have this book., and it is for sale. e-mail me @ tomjones2m2@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete