founder of Choy Lee Fut kung fu Chan Heung began his martial arts
training at the age of seven with his uncle/village elder Chan Yuen
Wu. He was quick to learn and made remarkable progress, gaining a good
reputation and also many students. One day Chan Heung discovered that
a highly skilled instructor by the name of Lee Yau Shan had been
invited in to the neighbourhood. Chan Heung, a lover of a good fight
decided to his skills by ambushing him while he was leaving a
restaurant. Despite Chan Heung's best efforts, he could not make Lee
budge. Lee took the attack calmly before using his legs to throw Chan
Heung yards away.
Lee questioned the young man for attacking him in such a sneaky
fashion rather than challenging him properly to a fight. Chan Heung
felt ashamed, and replied that the attack was his own idea in an
attempt to test the inadequacy of his own skill, and that he did not
want to implicate his teacher for his own defeat.
Chan Heung soon realised his mistake and promptly enrolled in Lee's
school. He followed Lee for five years taking his skills to a new
height. One day they decided to visit a recluse monk by the name of
Choy Fook who they believed to be a skilful martial artist.
While the two men waited at the temple for Choy Fook, an old man
proceeded to chop wood with his hands. Lee commented to Chan Heung
that if this old man was showing off for their benefit then they must
reply with some of their own tricks. Lee got up, walked to a nearby
rice grinder and kicked it clean off the ground. The old man watched
with amusement before chopping off a corner of the stone rice grinder,
pulverising it in his bare hands and throwing the powder in front of
Lee, announcing that he was indeed Choy Fook. Lee now very apologetic
and respectful of Choy Fook left immediately.
Chan Heung realising his opportunity to further his training
immediately fell to his knees and begged Choy Fook to take him as a
disciple. Seeing that his request was a genuine one Choy Fook told
Chan Heung that he must obey the following three instructions or leave
1) he must stay with him
in the monastery for at least ten years;
2) he was forbidden to use
his skills to kill or to maim, and must not be boastful of what he
3) he must kick the rice
grinder back into it's original position.
For the next ten years, Choy Fook taught Chan
Heung kung fu with great discipline and precision. And with a
combination of hard work, dedication, natural ability and the karma of
a good teacher Chan Heung was able to complete his training within
After the completion of his training with Choy Fook, Chan Heung
returned to his village to begin putting together a martial art which
became Choy Lee Fut. The name comes partly from "Choy" Fook,
"Lee" Yau San and "Fut" meaning Buddha, it was
named this way to pay respects to his teachers and to Buddha.