Hong Cha Kung Fu is a southern Chinese martial arts style that incorporates training and techniques that are characteristic of that region. Some of these characteristics are short-range kicks and punches, low stances, and ground fighting. Few kicks are utilized, with greater emphasis on hand techniques. Because of these traits, Hong Cha is similar to Hung Gar. Like Hung Gar and other Southern Shaolin-based styles, Hong Cha techniques are based on the Five Animals system: dragon, tiger, crane, leopard, and snake. Its training incorporates both hard and soft techniques with emphasis on proper breathing technique. Each animal form is performed with its own unique breath and sound. Hung Gar incorporates these animals forms too but with primary emphasis on the tiger and crane. Hong Cha, on the other hand, puts primary emphasis on the dragon and tiger. Additionally, both Hong Cha and Hung Gar incorporate the idea of the five elements (fire, water, wood, metal, and earth) in their training.
Hong Cha was promoted by Lao Kim, a martial artist from Southern China who traveled to Binondo, Manila in the Philippines and finally to Hong Kong. His student Johnny Chiuten and Johnny's student Rene Navarro and his student Jan L. Miller are promoters of this style in the United States.
Grandmaster Chiuten recently died;[when?] his students, Master Rene Navarro and Master Navarros' kung fu brother Dr. Jopet Laraya, are masters of the style in the USA-England and Hong Kong/Canada, respectively. Those individuals who have been promoted to sifu by Dr. Jopet Laraya include Sifu David Ellsmere and Sifu John Rivers of Canada. Great Grandmaster Lao Kim and Grandmaster Lao Ke Tong were friends. There are some[who?] who believe that Great Grandmaster Lao Kims' Hung Kuen was derived from the Hung Mun (Chinese masons), though his lineage has been difficult to trace. There are some[who?] who claim that Lao Kim learned the Tang Fung lineage of Hung Ga from Grandmaster Tang Fung, though Lao Kims' forms are different. Hong Cha is the phonetic pronunciation for the Mandarin "Hong Jia"(Mandarin Chinese for Hung Ga).
Since Grandmaster Chiuten's death, Dr. Jopet Laraya has assumed the title of Grandmaster after conferring with relatives of Chiuten. Dr. Laraya is a practicing Doctor of Veterinary Medicine in Hong Kong.