Choy Lee Fut 蔡李佛
龍虎風雲會, The dragon and tiger met as the wind and the cloud.
徒兒好自爲, My disciple, you must take good care of your future.
重光少林術, To revive the arts of Shaolin,
世代毋相遺. Don't let the future generations forget about this teaching.
Chan Heung 陳享公 - the Founder (師祖)
The founder of Choy Lee Fut, Chan Heung (1806 -1875), was from the King Mui area of southern China. He was first taught by fellow clansman, Chan Yuen Wu for some ten years. Later, Chan Heung was referred to Lee Yau Shan with whom he spent several years. Finally, Chan Heung went to Lau Fou Shan ( Mount Lau Fou), where he spent some eight years with a monk named Choy Fook. As Chan Heung had absorbed a great deal of kungfu, he thought it only right to create a system of his own, drawing on his long years of learning under his mentors. Being a man of principles, he paid due respect to his teachers by naming his creation Choy Lee Fut. Choy and Lee being the surnames ( or last names) of his two mentors Choy Fook and Lee Yau Shan who both had taught him authentic Siu Lum kungfu. The Fut (Buddhism) comes from the fighting art of the Buddhist devotees.
Chan Koon Pak 陳官伯 - the Heir (繼承者)
Chan Heung had two sons, On Pak and Koon Pak. Chan Koon Pak also had two sons, Man bun and Yiu Chi. Chan Yiu Chi had two sons, Wan Hon and Sun Chu, and a daughter, Chan Kit Fong, who now resides in the U.S.A.. Chan Koon Pak, the second son of Chan Heung, was a very adept and intelligent person. At a rather young age, he had mastered the art his father had passed onto him. But Chan Koon Pak, chose to become a merchant and settled in Kong Moon. Under persistent persuasion, he did come out for a stint as the head instructor of the Choy Lee Fut school in Kong Moon. Chan Koon Pak later moved to Canton, where he opened a kungfu school as a result of popular request.
Chan Yiu Chi 陳耀墀 - the Successor (繼任者)
Perhaps less known to many people Chan Yiu Chi (who was the second son to Chan Koon Pak), was also a classical scholar, and he never bragged about or showed off his deadly kungfu skill. At the time of his staying with his father, Chan Koon Pak in Canton, he engaged in the propagation of Choy Lee Fut to the world at large. Requests were received regularly, asking him to teach abroad in San francisco, Holland, the South Pacific and other overseas countries where there were substantial Chinese population. As Chan Koon Pak was in an advanced age, Yiu Chi did accept, as his father so desired, several posts as kungfu instructor in many secondary and tertiary schools, trade unions, sports clubs and worker's associations. His prominence in kungfu overshadowed his other fields of excellence ; that of poetry and classics.
Chan Yiu Chi was a fair and just man. He held no secret about the kungfu he was well-known for. Any question was answered in detail and he analysed kungfu objectively as a scholar of his standing would. Students showing potential were also taught Chinese medicine as he was also a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. It is worth noting that as a practitioner of medicine, he never refused consultation and only charged what the patients could afford to pay. Mr. Chan Yiu Chi died in 1965. His deeds are still fondly remembered with affection.
Wong Ha 黃蝦師公 - Grandmaster and 5th generation descendant, Founder of the Hung Hsing Choy Lee Fut Federation of Canada
At the tender age of 15, Grandmaster Wong Ha started working to help support his family in rural Guangdong, China, washing dishes and doing odd jobs in a restaurant. As the hours in a restaurant involved split shifts, most restaurant workers enjoyed gambling to pass the time in between work. Instead of following suit, he decided to take up lessons in kungfu. It became an important part of his life, and in fact was willing to spend a third of his entire income to pay for lessons. Choy Lai Fut’s founder’s grandson, Chan Yiu Chi, had opened up a school in the city of Guangzhou, and that is where our teacher studied the art for the next decade and more. Not only did his skills in martial arts improve over the years, he also picked up a second interest that complemented the kungfu — Chinese herbal medicine and Dit Da joint manipulation techniques.
Even during World War II, although life was difficult and times were tough for everyone around him, still he managed to maintain his skills. After the war was over and China drifted into a more peaceful, rebuilding state, he settled back into the Guangdong and Hong Kong areas, often travelling back and forth depending on where work was to be found. He and his kungfu brothers would meet on a monthly basis, and pool whatever money they could to buy food to send back to the village where his Sifu Chan Yiu Chi lived. While in Hong Kong, he began teaching Choy Lai Fut.
In 1966, he was sponsored over to Vancouver, Canada by the Beachcombers restaurant to work as one of their chefs. While working in the restaurant, some of the other Chinese workers there discovered that he was skilled in kungfu — and so his teaching career in Vancouver began. For about 10 years, he taught at the Hon Hsing Athletic Association in Vancouver's Chinatown, and in the meantime also taught at various other associations before settling into his own private school on Powell Street. Not long after that, he relocated to his present-day location on Jackson Street only a few blocks away in 1973. Over four decades, he taught over a thousand students the art of Choy Lai Fut. He remained ever faithful to the ancestors of the style, and every year until his death, he actively organized the 700-person annual celebration in honour of the Choy Lai Fut founder and his descendants. Not for a day did he stop training – he was still as spry and active as ever in his 80s. It is hard to believe, but he had the energy and feistiness of a man half his age. He often went down to his school to watch the students practice, and quite often gives pointers on how to improve. He was truly a remarkable man, and had the generosity and kindness to match his energy and youthfulness.
Choy Lee Fut - Wikipedia description page:
Choy Lee Fut Hymm