|Master Chan Pui|
Black Belt Magazine's
1988 Kung Fu Instructor of the Year
Grandmaster Chan Pui might not be the talented Kung Fu stylist he is today if he wasn't first a talented swimmer. What does swimming have to do with Kung Fu? In Chan's case, everything.
In 1956, Chan escaped to Hong Kong from Mainland China by swimming across the cold, shark-infested waters separating the two bodies of land. Once free of communist constraints, he began to make a name for himself first abroad, and since 1968, in the United States as well.
A 33rd-generation disciple of the Shaolin Monastery and an honorary director of the Shaolin Martial Arts Association, Chan, born in 1936, is still nearly the same
|lean and agile practitioner who studied under Wah Lum Praying Mantis Kung Fu founder Lee Kwan Shan in the mid-1940s. Chan was trained in the traditional manner, from 1946-49, he learned only the basics of the system, not commencing with forms training until he had three full years under his belt.|
|Following his escape from communist China, Chan taught Wah Lum to students in Hong Kong, then immigrated to the United States in 1968, settling in Boston. His reputation preceded him, and he was asked to teach at a club in Boston's Chinatown. He opened his own Kung Fu school in 1971, calling it the New England China Martial Arts Association, then in 1972, opened a second school in Boston's North District. By 1974, Chan had six Kung Fu schools in the New England area.|
The effervescent Chan fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams in 1980 when he opened the sprawling Wah Lum Kung Fu Temple, a replica of Chinese temples, in Orlando, Florida. The first of its kind in the United States, the Wah Lum Temple is a 3,000-square-foot complex located on 55,000 square feet of scenic land, where more than 300 practitioners learn not only Wah Lum Kung Fu, but Chinese language and customs as well. For the highly dedicated, there is a dormitory next to the main facility in which select students live while training with Chan on an individual basis.
Chan takes his responsibility as a Kung Fu instructor very seriously. "A teacher needs very good patience and hard work, "Chan has noted. "You are the example. If you are lazy, the students will be lazy. You must work to perfect a technique first, and then they will follow you. That's why the school is a success."
With schools in England and Bermuda, as well as the United States, Chan leads a busy life, but his energy seems boundless. In addition to teaching and coordinating activities at his schools, he gives frequent Kung Fu demonstrations and provides traditional lion-dancing exhibitions for Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center in Florida. In recent years, he has been conducting regular junkets to the Republic of China with his students.
It is this kind of continuing dedication to both his students and his art that earned Chan induction into the BLACK BELT Hall of Fame as the 1988 Kung Fu Instructor of the Year.
|Black Belt Magazine 1989
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