East London Lau agr
East London Lau Gar Kuen
History of our club
Your teacher: Colin MacKenzie
In the early 1980's a young boy facinated by the TV series Kung Fu with the late David Carradine, searched for somewhere to study these strange and mystical Asian arts.
Being unable to locate a Kung Fu class, he decided to start studying Shotokan Karate under Sensei Francisco Espinoza (Spanish national Kumite champion). Little realisation that Sensei's own teacher was the greatest living Karate Master, Hirokazu Kanazawa.
Colin was fortunate to meet and take his first ever grading under Kanazawa Sensei in 1981.
After 5 years Colin stopped training for 3 years whilst studying, then once again searched for Kung Fu.
In 1989 he found a little 1 inch ad in a local paper for Lau Gar Kung Fu taught by a gentleman called Neville Wray.
Colin discovered that Sifu Wray was a 3 times international kickboxing champion (BKFA, IASKA, WAKO) and had studied with his Master since 1973.
For the next 10 years Colin threw himself into Kung Fu training. 3 evening classes and 2 weekend classes every week, Colin immersed himself in everything Sifu wray taught him. Along the way, he met and started training with Sifu Wray's own teacher; Master J Yau, the head of the Lau Gar style. He also trained regularly with Sifu Stan Brown in west London, and privately with Sifu Francis Cooper.
After about 11 years Colin decided to go before Master Yau and test for his black sash. Following success, he continued to learn more about Lau Gar Kuen and develop further his skills.
20 years later, Colin now holds a 4th degree black sash awarded by Master J Yau in 2013.
He continues to train regularly with his teachers, and along the way has also practieced Jujitsu, gaining a Shodan (1st Dan black belt), Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Bak Mei, Taijiquan, Bagua zhang, and most significantly XingYi Quan, which has become his number 2 art after Lau.
In 2000 due to work commitments, Colin relocated from Harrow to East London.
Starting a class first in Plaistow, he eventually moved to the current location in Beckton in 2004.
For detailed information about the Lau style, see
With a few breaks due to working overseas, and currently with the Corvid lockdown, we are hoping to reopen the club as soon as the gov gives us the green light.