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Grandmaster of the Northern Shaolin System of Kung Fu, Chan Kwok-Wai Chan Kwok Wai was born in the southern part of China, in 1935. Even in childhood, his interest in the martial arts was very great. In fact, at age four, he was found spying on the local village master, trying to imitate his movements! The students who caught young Kwok Wai took him to the master. Unbelievably, he was not punished, but rather asked to show them what he had learned. The master was so impressed by the little Kwok Wai's natural ability, that he accepted him on as a regular student. And that was the first step of Grandmaster Chan Kwok Wai's training in martial arts. The village master was Chan Chuk Hsing and the style was Choy Li Fut. Master Chan Chuk Hsing taught Chan Kwok Wai for ten years.

Around 1950, Chan Kwok Wai moved to the city of Hong Kong and began his studies of the Lo Han style of Shaolin, under Master Ma Kim Fong. After a while of training in this interesting and important regimen of Shaolin, Chan Kwok Wai learned some interesting details about his quiet next-door neighbor, a Cantonese Master Yang Yeung Mo (Yim Seung Mo, Yim Shang Mo, Yim Yang Mo, Yan Shang Wu), who had been a Hung Gar teacher for quite some time and even ended up teaching Chan Kwok Wai some Hung, though Chan was not overly fond of the style. Chan learned that Yang Yeung Mo had studied other styles as well - Zhu Ran Men (Ziranmen) and Liu He (Six Harmonies) from Wai Lan Shang; Choy Lay Fut from Tan San. In his early thirties, Yang Yeung Mo was defeated in a match by Ku Yu Cheung, (Gu Ru Chang) a fairly famous Northern Shaolin practicioner, and had then decided to follow Master Ku, eventually becoming his top student.

Gu Ru Zhang and Tan San had a friendly bout and GRZ beat Tan San. Then they exchanged sets and students, akin to the trade-off in Bagua / Hsing-I.

Upon learning this, Chan Kwok Wai went immediatley to him to apply for training, and was very quickly accepted. With this master for another ten years, Chan Kwok Wai sacrificed his social life in order to dedicate all his time and energy in following his teacher's path, learning Gu Ru Zhang's Bak Sil Lum (Northern Shaolin), including the Damo or Fo Zhang (Buddhist Palm) that Yang Yeung Mo added to the system from Tan San's school of Choy Lay Fut. It was a synthesis of both Northern Shaolin's form and Choy Lay Fut's form - a southern and northern mix, which is taught, in either style, in either style is taught as one of the very last forms, if at all.

In 1925, Ku Yu Cheung died of illness in his late 40's, leaving daughter Ku Nai Ming, and elder Lai Gan Ching, who still lives in China, is a master of northern shaolin, and also studied and taught Choy Lay Fut as well.

There are very few that will make the sacrifices that Chan Kwok Wai did(I know that I probably could not), but those who do, usually end up with awesome skills, as did Grandmaster Chan Kwok Wai!

Throughout the years, he has studied with:

  • Wong Hon Fan , the "King" of Seven Star Praying Mantis.
  • Chian Jin Man, from Fan Tzi Ying Jow Pai - Eagle Claw.
  • Yan Chou Chin, a doctor and inheritor of Hung Sing Choy Li Fut style from Fut San.

Where is he now?

Ever since the early 60's, Grandmaster Chan Kwok Wai has been living and teaching in South America and has had over one thousand students. One of his top students, Horacio Di Renzo has founded the famous "Chan Kwok Wai Association" and the "Kai Men Kung Fu Association".