Shifu Lorne Bernard
Teaching Since 1989
Shifu Lorne Bernard is an internationally renowned traditional kung fu master who has dedicated his life to the mastery, preservation and propagation of authentic traditional Chinese martial arts most especially the Flying crane branch of Fujian White Crane Kung Fu. He is a closed door disciple of 4th generation Grand-master Lee Joo-Chian and is also the official heir of the flying crane branch tradition. As such, he is the representative of the Flying crane style in the western world and is in charge of the style’s propagation.
Shifu is an “old school” teacher who is very adept in self-defence and versed in the use of more than 18 types of traditional weaponry, Chinese medicine, internal work, etc. He presently teaches at the White Crane Kung Fu academy in the city of Laval, Quebec, Canada. This school is the official north-American headquarters of the Flying Crane style. Over the years, several of his students have excelled in martial arts and have opened their own clubs in the Montreal area and in the United States. Besides teaching in his own school, Shifu Bernard regularly holds seminars in various martial arts schools and events. He is also the owner of a well-known martial arts supply store called “Kontact sports”.
Lorne Bernard’s Martial History
Lorne Bernard was born in Montreal, Canada in 1964. Although he had been exposed to western boxing and some Judo at a young age, he did not commence serious martial arts training until 1982. In that year, he met Shifu Augustine Wu and commenced his training in the rare Fukien White Crane (Fukien Bai he chuan) system -flying crane style. In time, Lorne Bernard eventually became the first Caucasian instructor in the history of the Flying Crane style.
In 1989, he went to visit White Crane Grand-Master Lee Kiang-Ke and his son Lee Joo-Chian in Malaysia. During his five month stay, he was fortunate enough to further his understanding of the system's history, theory, fighting applications, and weapons techniques.
Upon his return, Mr. Bernard took charge of his teacher’s original school in downtown Montreal. The following year, he arranged for the flying crane system's present leader, Shifu Lee Joo-Chian, to come and teach in Canada for a period of three months. Shifu Bernard continued his closed door lessons with master Lee and went on to honor the latter by winning two first places medals at the Canadian Chinese Kuo Shu federation’s new tournament.
Since then, he has returned to Malaysia on numerous occasions thereby forging very close bonds with his Kung fu family and learning directly from the highest ranking Fukien White crane masters in the Orient. The head of the system, Grand-master Lee Joo-Chian has also returned to Canada for several extended stays.
In 1993, Shifu Bernard wrote the first English language book on Fukien White Crane Kung Fu. Ten years later, he wrote a second work entitled “Shaolin White Crane Kung Fu: A rare art revealed”. In following years, Shifu Bernard also produced a series of DVD’s featuring the style’s grand-master Lee Joo-Chian and a new book on the Lee family’s white crane heritage.
Shifu Bernard continues to sponsor visits from senior White Crane Masters to the Western hemisphere. These and other efforts have helped him develop a reputation as one of top western experts on the rare Fukien (Fujian) White crane system.
In 2017 Master Bernard was finally designated as an official closed door disciple of grand-master Lee Joo-Chian. This great honor and privilege means that Master Bernard is named an official heir of the system. As such, it is his duty to best preserve and share the incredible knowledge and traditions of the flying crane style.
Shifu Bernard and his students have distinguished themselves by winning several first place medals in Canadian and international Kung Fu tournaments. They have won medals in forms, weapons, light-contact and full contact fighting. In 1989, Shifu was elected vice-president of the Eastern Canada Chinese martial arts federation. Between 1994 and 2014 he was the federations' president. In these capacities, he has played a prominent role in promoting traditional Chinese martial arts in Eastern Canada and has had the opportunity to meet and befriend many great martial artists from different styles and backgrounds. Although he does possess a Master's degree in political science, he has decided to consecrate most of his time to the study and dissemination of authentic traditional Chinese martial arts.
Since master Bernard’s career became teaching martial arts, he was able to make the time to also learn Cha Chuan (a northern kung fu style) with Master Xu Gong-Wei and Wing Chun kung fu (1988-2002). In the year 2000, he decided to study under the guidance of famed Bak Sing Choy Lay Fut Master Chiu Kwok-Chung. Eventually, he came to realize that it might be best to focus upon fewer styles so as to excel in them. Consequently as of late he practices exclusively White Crane and Choy Lay Fut.
Shifu Bernard sums up his martial career as such: “I am very happy as I wanted to learn and preserve authentic Chinese martial arts (chuantong wushu) before they had completely disappeared. I feel that I have had some measure of success as was lucky enough to have studied with several great masters. I can only thank them for their kindness and generosity. I feel confident that I can pass along a good percentage of precious knowledge that was handed down. So I am living my life’s dream!”