Wha Duc Lung Martial Arts Association

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The History of the Chin Woo Kung Fu System

During the Ching Dynasty, the Emperor was afraid of the Han (Chinese) people might restore the Ming Dynasty. In the fifth year of the reign of the Emperor Yung Ching, a November announcement forbade the study of martial arts. All provincial governors were authorised to stop the practice of kung fu, whether it was bare hands, sticks or weapons. Anyone calling himself a kung fu master, or anyone learning kung fu was open to arrest.

As many people had studied kung fu to keep fit, this prohibition caused their health to deteriorate. Towards the end of the 19th century, China’s morale was low too; her relationships with foreign powers were placing her in an inferior financial and political position. But it was at last the end of the Ching Dynasty, and during the second year of the reign of the last Emperor, Fu Yee, that a European strong man arrived in Shanghai and gave performances of his powers.

He issued a challenge of hand to hand combat to any Chinese, but in Shanghai no master was strong enough to beat him.

In March of 1909, Master Fork Yuen Kap arrived in Shanghai from Tainjin, to take on the European. The story goes that the European ran away when he heard of Master Fork, others say Master Fork beat him in a contest. In any event he stayed on in Shanghai and taught kung fu. He established a school and called it “Chin Woo Physical Training School” at the north gate of Shanghai. During the summer holidays, many people came and joined it. In August of 1909, Master Fork was poisoned and died. Undaunted by the death, the disciples of Fork Yuen Kap kept up the sprint and continued to operate the Chin Woo school by employing famous masters such as Chen Zhin-Zeng (Eagle Style), Lo Kuan-Yu (Northern Praying Mantis) and Geeng Cia-Kuan (Hsing Yi).

Five years later, in 1915, the members bought a new building, reorganised the school and re-named it “The Chin Woo Athletic Association”. They opened more classes, improved some of the forms, published books and magazines. Many provinces opened their own Chin Woo branches and in 1918 the Hong Kong Chin Woo Athletic Association was formed. In 1920 the Shanghai Chin Woo branches in 1918 the Hong Kong Chin Woo Athletic Association was formed. In 1920 the Shanghai Chin Woo sent five representatives to Singapore and Malaysia, who gave charity performances all over Malaysia and now there are more than thirty schools in Malaysia and Singapore.

The Story of Fork Yuen Kap

Master Fork had learnt the “No Trace Style”. He had learnt it from his father, though not without some difficulty. As a young man, Master Fork had suffered from yellow jaundice, and his father had refused to teach him kung fu. His father was a famous kung fu master and was weary of teaching such a weak child kung fu in case the child might lose in a fight the family would lose face. All his brothers were healthy and had received tuition from his father. So Master Fork decided to spy on his father’s training sessions, and learned the style in secret.

Some years had passed, and one day some of his father’s enemies came and challenged him to a contest. Some years earlier, his father, who was a kind of “Securicor” guard, had beaten these men when they tried to rob his employer. Due to a rheumatic complaint, the elder Fork was now unable to fight. His three sons fought on his behalf but all three were beaten. The situation was grave. Suddenly the “untrained” Fork Yuen Kap emerged and set on the robbers, giving them a sound thrashing. Thereafter, his father taught him all he could and in time the young man became a guard in his turn.

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