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.
In 1992, Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993) - passed on his family style of Hakka (Longfist) Gongfu to me. In 1993, he was involved in a car accident in Sutton, which led to him developing further medical complications, and following a stroke – he passed away in St Helier Hospital. I received a scrap of paper with Chinese writing on in 1992 – confirming the transmission – which was formally confirmed by his widow –Mrs Chueng Yat Tai – in 2002. This type of time scale is not unknown with regards to traditional Chinese transmissions. I moved to permanently live in Sutton around 1996, and quietly set-up a small Gongfu Training Hall after first securing permission from the local Chinese clandestine societies operating in the area. Due to the respect that Master Chan Tin Sang was held, a) permission was granted (which means the training hall was acknowledged as truly representing traditional Chinese spiritual and martial culture), and b) we were granted ‘exemption’ status from paying the usual monthly ‘fees’ to these groups. This goes on all the time within Chinese culture throughout the West, with many Westerners being completely unaware of it.
As a consequence, many supposed Gongfu Training Halls – even those that are commercially successful and interviewed for publication in Eurocentric magazines and journals – are not acknowledged as ‘legitimate’ by the Chinese community these groups claim to represent (regardless of whether any Chinese people train in them). Even in modern China, although the influence of these clandestine associations no longer exists, the idea that there is ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ representation of Chinese culture is still a very strong. Master Chan Tin Sang stated that if I decide to ‘teach’ in public (and if he is no longer alive), I am not allowed to lose any fight – be it in sparring or during a ‘honour’ fight (of which I have had many since). As I have taken on the leadership of the ‘Chan’ (陳) clan, I must represent all the ancestors going back thousands of years, and not let them or their descendants down! All opponents must either be taught and improved as both human-beings and martial artists - or ‘removed’ as a threat – end of story.
Many of those who read this (and were in our Training Hall in Sutton at any time since 1996) will know this to be true, as they witnessed the many fights (at the end of training sessions) that I was involved in. Fighting does not bother me at all, and I enjoy it as a physical, cultural and spiritual activity. I have no hatred in my heart whatsoever, and only cultivate love for existence. Insult me, my family, our friend, other people or our beliefs and I will deal with you in a firm, disciplined and ‘fair’ manner, in accordance with the law, and as a gentleman. Before this, you will have to survive one of our Ch’an Dao training sessions which have defeated professional fitness instructors, combat sports athletes as well as serving soldiers. If you doubt this to be true – we can start with a thousand squat kicks and see how well you fight after this! This is genuine Hakka gongfu and I suggest a quiet and humble approach whilst you build experience and strength.
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.