History

 

History

shaolin kung fu templeThe Shaolin style Gaocan Mun Nam-Pai-Chuan has its roots and origins in the traditional Martial Arts practiced by the Shaolin Monks of China over 200 years ago. Though much of martial arts history could be told in the form of legends and stories of martial arts heroes, it is widely accepted that Shaolin Kung Fu was brought into China and Japan/Korea in the year 525AD by a travelling Buddhist monk known to the Chinese as “Da-Moh” (Bodhidharma). He arrived at the Shaolin Temple of Sung Shan in Honan province northern China and organized the monks at the monastery to carry out solitary meditation, but became frustrated when the monks frequently fell asleep. He introduced the monks to an exercise regime which was to improve their stamina and therefore their mental capabilities. These eighteen basic exercises are deemed to be the beginnings of the Shaolin Martial Arts. He is credited with having taught Kung Fu to the monks in order to strengthen them for meditation and prayer. It is hard to believe that war-like nations like the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans did not possess a martial arts skill of their own. The truth is probably that Da-Moh consolidated these skills and had the organisational ability to propound it to his students. Through the years, the art has grown and developed into many diverse forms and schools but regardless of the style, they could all be traced back to Da-Mo (Bodhidharma). The Nam-Pai-Chuan tradition or style can trace its line far back to Great Grandmaster Hui Cheng of the Chek Chian Nan Hai Pooi Chee Temple in China. Master Hui was a direct decendant of the Southern Shaolin tradition taught by Buddhist monks in the tradition of Da-Mo. One of Master Hui Cheng’s student was Grand Master Seh Koh San.

 

Cho-Si Seh Koh San Cho-Si Seh Koh San was a legendary figure in martial arts of the far east. The Nam-Pai-Chuan school and style owe its origin largely to his teachings. He is the great grandmaster of the Nam-Pai-Chuan System. He belonged to the 2nd chamber 48th generation of Shaolin and was the Abbot of the Siong Lim Temple in Singapore until his death in 1960 at the age of 74. The art taught by Cho-Si Seh Koh San was known as “Shaolin Kun” or “Shaolin Martial Arts”. It was also commonly referred to in the far east as “Fatt Kah Chuen” or “Buddhist Fist”. The School of Cho-Si Seh Koh San still flourishes today and the students taught by him belong to the 2nd chamber 49th generation of Shaolin. One of his students was Grandmaster Quek Hen Choon, 2nd chamber 49th generation.

 

Grand Master Quek Hen ChoonGrandmaster Quek Hen Choon studied and trained under Cho-Si Seh Koh San until his masters death, after which he returned to Malaysia to teach. Master Quek was particularly renowned for his demonstrations of Ying Qigong (Hard Chi Gung). In the sixties, he demonstrated this by breaking marble table tops on his back and with his hands causing a sensation. He represents the original 50th generation of Shaolin and his students come from Malaysia, Singapore and China. In 1971 he started his own school Quek Heng Choon Martial Arts Sport School. In 1977 he initiated the Kuala Lumpur Song Shan Shaolin Wushu Association. Master Quek was the permanent Chief Instructor in this school and was considered to be the most important and most influential students of Cho Si Seh Koh San. Unfortunately Si Gung Quek passed away in February 2010. Master Christopher Lai Khee Choong, the chief instructor of the Shaolin system Nam-Pai-Chuan in Europe was a student of Grandmaster Quek.

 

Grand Master Lai Khee ChoongMaster Christopher Lai Khee Choon (Sifu Lai), 2nd chamber 50th generation of Shaolin has studied martial arts since 1959 and in particular Shaolin Kung Fu from 1967 – 1979 and is the chief instructor of the NPC system. In those years, training was intense in the traditional manner and was undertaken on a daily basis, often twice a day. Sifu Lai was trained by Grandmaster Quek and also trained with Master Leow Cheng Koon, who was the chief instructor of the Taekwondo Federation. Master Leow Cheng Koon’s brand of martial arts transcended Taekwondo and had incorporated other arts he had learnt, some of which include Chinese Kung Fu, Hap-Kido and Hwarang-Do. Master Lai found there was much to be gained by using modern Taekwondo training and teaching techniques in teaching and unlocking the traditions of Chinese martial arts. He helped in the formation of the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (WTF) in 1974 and was its first Secretary-General from 1974 until his departure in 1979. In 1977, Sifu Lai decided to emigrate to the United Kingdom, where he had undertaken his legal education. Since martial arts was part of his life, he felt the need to bring his school with him. Prior to his departure, he asked Grandmaster Quek to clarify the name of the style he had been taught. Grandmaster Quek gave his permission and stated that the style of kung fu he taught was “Shaolin Nam-Pai-Chuan”. The first ever martial arts of this form to be taught in Europe was taught in Swiss Cottage, London. The system became a member of the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts (BCCMA), the national governing body for Chinese Martial Arts in the UK. The system has grown and progressed smoothly with classes in many cities in the UK and abroad.  Today, the system has finally become of age and is being taught in the sincere and dedicated manner as seen by Sifu Lai and his predecessors.

 

Sifu Ryan PaceSifu Ryan Pace, I started my journey into martial arts at the age of just 7. My father was keen for me to learn an essential skill and art that would teach me discipline and to defend myself. I am a direct disciple of Sifu Lai who through himself and his senior black belts have taught me for over 25 years. I was one of the youngest ever black belts at the age of just 12 and in the same year I became the national junior NPC champion.  I am now a 6th degree black belt and one of my Sifu’s senior instructors. Through my time learning martial arts, I have trained under a number of instructors including those of other disciplines such as Judo, Jujutsu, Aikido and Taekwondo. One of my great life ambitions and achievements was to train with Si Gung (grandmaster) Quek in Malaysia. These encounters have given me an invaluable insight into the diverse and extraordinary art that is Shaolin kung fu. In addition I have also had the opportunity to train with Si Gung Leow Cheng Koon and his modern approach to combat strategy and the art. I have entered and trained teams in many competitions in my time and I was proud to produce the next national junior champion, who hailed from my current class Cardiff Central. I have also used the art to work as a doorman for a security firm and have taught many seminars on the art of self-defence regardless of age or gender. I am an advocate of keeping up with the current Knowledge and techniques of keeping fit and healthy and my classes offer a balanced approach from fitness to self-defence. Our classes, whilst rich in knowledge, are fun and are a great way to socialise, so you are welcome to come and train with us at any time.

 

 

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