Program Director – Sifu Lou Illar
Chief Instructor Sifu Lou Illar has over 40 years experience in Kung Fu studies. As a professor of Communication Arts and History, Lou Illar authored the only text on the history of Chinese in Louisianaa, and assisted in a published translation of Lao Tsu’s Parting ot the Way by Dr. Paul Lin.
In the 1980’s Lou Illar was installed as Liaison for the Chinese Traditional Arts of the Republic of China and was twice placed into Inside Kung Fu Magazine’s “Hall of Fame” in 1983 and again in 1987 (see photo below). Inside Kung Fu Magazine has been one of the largest martial arts publications in the world. Over six million readers in hundreds of countries received the monthly publication and the magazine has served as an international vehicle for the promotion and preservation of traditional Kung Fu.
At the time of his first induction into the “Hall of Fame”, Lou Illar suggested that he be listed in a newly created category entitled “The Humanitarian of the Year”. Inside Kung Fu Magazine cooperated with this suggestion and ever since that request was made, Inside Kung Fu Magazine has honored annually a Kung Fu teacher as “The Humanitarian of the Year”.
In doing so Inside Kung Fu Magazine cooperated with an image that forever altered the purpose of Kung Fu instruction in America.
Thousands of children around the world now understand Kung Fu to offer an open hand to individuals with disabilities. Having raised thousands of dollars through Kung Fu entertainment for the benefit of disabled children, in 1990 Lou Illar was asked to lobby for the American Disability Act and ardently he visited with Congressman and Senators on Capitol Hill.
Sifu Illar’s work with Individuals with disabilities was part of the foundation of the studio in the 1970s and influenced his most renowned work, the feature film Sidekicks, which he wrote in 1993. See Sidekicks on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llm_Loqq1Qs
“One of the best underdog fairy tales to emerge in years Jonathan Brandis stars as an asthmatic high school kid who daydreams himself into elaborate,Walter Mitty-esque fantasies at the side of long time hero Chuck Norris who plays himself and who superbly spoofs many of his martial action hits. The supporting cast is excellent with two past Oscar winners.”(Video and DVD Guide 2003 by Mick Martin and Marsha Porter by Balantine Books)
Lou Illar has a long track record of being an entertaining martial artist; he has always managed not only to perform Kung Fu but also to preserve it within its traditional moral perspective. In this web site you may read a number of published interviews he managed with some of Kung Fu’s greatest talents, as well as other interviews done by other relevant writers that are equally as important.
Lou Illar has demonstrated his Kung Fu skills on national television and in Taiwan over the largest television network in the world. He has been internationally recognized for his traditional approach to the art and practice of Kung Fu by some of the premier organizations in martial arts. Through all of this, he has managed not only to develop internationally recognized champions, but also to teach famous entertainers, actors and professionals of all types, in order to serve throughout the United States his Kung Fu children with disabilities, the elderly, and an understanding of Chinese Culture.
In 2004, Lou Illar was honored with an invitation from the US Department of Health and Human Services to serve on their committee and to assist in the development of a National Initiative on Physical Fitness for Children and Youth with Disabilities. The program developed was called “If I can do it, You Can Do It” which offered older children and professional athletes an opportunity to work with individuals with disabilities. More recently the concept has been picked up by the National Football League in their effort to offer all kids 60 minutes of exercises in school.
In addition to his doctoral studies in Communication Studies at Ohio University, Mr. Illar possesses an M.A. Degree in Rhetorical Studies from West Virginia University, and M.A. Degree in Labor History from Southeastern Louisiana University.
In addition to writing numerous articles for magazines, newspapers and movies, Lou researched and wrote the only history of the immigration of Chinese into Louisiana which may be found in every State Library in Louisiana, The Americanization of Chinese New Year, an intellectual study of the history of Chinese New Year in Louisiana.
After teaching Communications at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and completing his latest book, Believe Me or Your Lying Eyes, which in a small way discusses the future of global Martial Arts,
Lou Illar has left academia to continue his writing and maintain his Kung Fu studio and the exceptional individuals that choose to study there. This White Crane Studio has now raised over three hundred and fifty thousand dollars for individuals with disabilities since he founded it in 1972.