Every genuine martial arts style or system contains a rich mosaic of principles and techniques that at the most brutal assist in the surviving of the combat experience, and at the most sublime provide a psychological and physical pathway of self-development and self-transcendence. The best styles of Okinawan and Japanese karate confirm to his blue-print, and I would say that Wado-Kai, Shukokai and Goju Ryu are prime examples of the best that this genre has to offer. All these styles (two Japanese; Wado-Kai and Shukokai – and one Okinawan; Goju Ryu) have their historical roots within Chinese martial arts which probably are linked to the Fujian province of Southern China. Indeed, Wado-Kai and Shukokai derive from the Okinawan karate of Master Gichin Funakoshi – the Okinawan martial artist accredited with transmitting his style of Chinese martial arts to Mainland Japan. I practiced these styles only as an accident of fate – they happened to be prevalent in the areas I lived in to pursue my education throughout the 1980s. No one at the time (not even my close friends) knew of my Hakka Chinese gongfu background. I saw no reason to explain this, an they saw my familiarity with certain techniques as me just being talented in these areas (I was viciously fast and very good with kicking and moving, as in the traditional Northern martial arts in China, a student perfects kicking first – whilst due to cultural differences in the West – it is punching that is perfected first with kicking usually appearing uncomfortable). On the other hand, as I entered my late teens, Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993) directed me to develop my punching to a very high degree. This is where Wado-Kai (correct alignment) and Shukokai (correct hip and shoulder twist) assisted my development tremendously! Goju Ryu, on the other hand, has a special place in my heart. Its all-round body-conditioning reminded me of our own Hakka Chinese gongfu style which developed tremendous power, endurance and strength! The bones certainly hardened, whilst the mind became calm and broadly aware. Master Chan Tin Sang was an extraordinary teacher as he entrusted me to enter the training halls of other styles, dedicate myself to their ways, learn them fully and then integrate these lessons and skills into the Ch’an Dao System. This could happen as each karate style brought out a particular aspect of our own fighting system. I have the utmost respect for all legitimate styles of martial arts training and see no reason why there cannot be a positive cross-training that enhances rather than diminishes. As the US at the time was emphasising Japanese martial culture throughout the West as a means to side-line and obscure Chinese martial culture (due to the Cold War), European cuntries with no historical connection with Japan suddenly found themselves hosting (usually at their own expense) Japanese ‘ambassadors’ of various karate styles and associations. This arrangement all came crashing down when President Carter established full diplomatic relations with Mainland China in 1979, and Westerners started travelling en masse to China to train in gongfu – and Chinese teachers came to the West to teach – although the effects of this change would take around a decade to fully manifest itself. In the meantime, I trained in Japanese karate at the tail-end of this time period and consider it a very interesting and unique experience.
The British Nationality Act of 1948 granted the right of all people born within British colonies to be 'British Subjects', or 'British Citizens' and therefore entitled to settle in the Mainland UK. Master Chan Tin Sang came to the UK in 1956 and the story was hat he worked hard at all kinds of jobs in and around Sutton, and eventually saved enough money to send for his wife and two young daughters. I was told this took about ten years and always assumed that 'Por Por' (i.e. our Chinese grandmother Cheung Yuet-Tai - known in the UK and Cheung Yat-Tai) came to the UK in 1966 - but these Immigration Papers record that she was granted permission to leave Hong Kong and fly to Britain in late 1968. From what her daughters have told me, the air-tickets Master Chan sent from the UK arrived two-weeks late due to a postal delay. In fact, the air-tickets arrived on the morning of the day of the flight - and Por Por had to quickly pack a few small cases, and rush to the local school to extract her children! This she did, and they eventually made their way to Sutton in South London. Master Chan Tin Sang went on to open one of the first Chinese Restaurants in Sutton - the King Wah - situated on the opposite side of the road from the Masonic Lodge and the Post Office in Grove Road. We have never managed to find a photograph of the King Wah.
Madam Cheung Yuet-Tai was born in the New Territories (Hong Kong) in 1924, and passed away in Sutton during January, 2011. She was 86 years old, and in her 87th year (her 87th birthday would have been on the 3rd of September, 2011). She had been suffering from kidney problems for quite sometime prior to her passing. In 2001, Madam Cheung Yuet-Tai 'confirmed' Master Chan Tin Sang's 1991 'Transmission' to me - and also passed on to me one of his jade rings, a gold and jade clan-leader's ring, and gold wristwatch.
Ch'an Dao Transmission Certificate (1991) Master Chan Tin Sang to Adrian Chan-Wyles (Hand-Written Copy)
My ordinary Chinese name of 'Chan Hung-Yu' is used above - with 'Chan Tin Sang' as the deciding authority. This ritual took ten years to complete, with myself ritually accepted as a 'son' of Master Chan Tin Sang. This is a typical (non-commercial) Hakka Chinese arrangement. There is another version of this document but it is safely secured away. I know of individuals who received only 'verbal' transmision and this has been suitably witnessed and acknowledged by the broader Chinese community. I place this here, for my descendents to find and hereby 'transmit' this style to their safe-keeping.
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.