Style :: Choy Lee Fat
Our style, Choy Lee Fat was founded by Chan Heung, who was born in the village of King Moy, in Kwantung Province, on July 10, 1806. When quite young, he showed great interest in the martial arts, and by the age of seven he was learning from his uncle. Several years later he became student of the Kung Fu master Lee Yau San for more advanced training. After a few more years, in order to satisfy his hunger to learn more of the martial arts, he went to Lor Fow Mountain and sought to become a student of the Sil Lum monk, master Choy Fook. To demonstrate that he was worthy to study with such a master, he showed his techniques. The monk in turn revealed his skill with remarkable foot technique that won his student’s deep respect.
After ten years of intensive training under the monk, Chan Heung graduated from Lor Fow. On his journey home, while passing through Nam Hung district, he heard of a famous master, the monk Ching Cho.
To further his knowledge of the art, he studied a few years more under this master, adding a fine polish to the art he had spent so many years acquiring.
Only after all this training did Chan Heung become a teacher himself. After two years of teaching, he combined the three major styles he had learned from his masters – the Choy style, rich in jumping and high kicks, the Lee style which had wide, swinging hand techniques, and the Fat of (buddah) style which had many low kicks and close-in hand techniques. He name the style “Choy Lee Fat” to honor his masters Choy Fook, Lee Yau San and the monk (of fat) Ching Cho.
Our founder left us with a couplet, a few words to guide us: “Choy Lee Fat is a direct descendant, in the true tradition of the Sil Lum school.”
Chan Heung’s foremost student was his son, Chan Koon Pak, who later became the second grand master of the Choi Lee Fat style. The third grand master of the style was Chan Koon Pak’s son, Chan Yu Chi. Our present grand master, Wong Ha, began to study kung fu with Chan Yu Chi many years ago in Canton China, when he was sixteen years old. World War II interrupted his study of the martial arts, but after the war he resumed his training under Chan Yu Chi.
In the early 1950’s Grandmaster Wong moved to Hong Kong, and though he was separated from his master, he satisfied his hunger for further knowledge by studying under his senior classmates.
At first Grandmaster Wong taught very few students, hoping only to pass the style on to future generations. After coming to Canada, he taught in a similar fashion for several years. Fortunately, after many requests by his senior students, he finally decided to open his club to the general public.