All genuine Chinese gongfu (family) lineages possess a TCM (folk) prescription for 'Iron Fighting Wine'! These pages written in Medical Chinese ideograms are highly valued and treasured - even though they possess a number of different (but related) names - all variants of theme! As we value Traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu - this bottle is heading to a very good and esteemed Instructor of that martial art living in the UK! Brewing and bottling Dit Da Jow is a family affair that involves an element of profound spirituality.
The tradition from Banana Village in the Sai Kung area of the New Territories is that all the warriors of the Chan (陳) Clan should come together and train very hard to purify the mend and body of any bad karmic traits, and share and discuss personal combat experiences and the ‘secret’ teachings hidden within the style. Often, but not always, this regular training should within, without or near a Buddhist, Confucian or Buddhist Temple, as well as being within or near the Chan Clan Hall. When our Hakka-Chinese Chan Clan migrated to the London in 1956 – these traditions were maintained but adjusted to fit-in with the new culture! Now, we must rent a hall to train – or train for free in a local park! Many people train quietly within their own living space and no longer congregate to train. When Master Chan-Tin Sang (1924-1993) passed away I took-over as the Head of the Ch’an Dao Martial Arts Association and I decided to switch from 'closed' lessons to 'open' lessons to benefit humanity. This involved the teaching of the Sunday morning Gongfu classes designed for Chinese children only (as a cultural practice). I felt the parents and children should have a set venue that was neutral to all and safe for the children. Traditionally, the parents had to be a) present and b) supportive of their child throughout the lesson. When our ‘hidden’ training hall was discovered around 1995, the general people took an interest in what we were doing and asked to join in. This is how we opened our doors and let the entirety of humanity in. What follows is a chronology of all the training halls we have used for 'public classes'. This vital history evolves around a set of old photographs of Sunday morning training within Highfield Hall! Highfield Hall is on the road to Carshalton and the small hall used to be a swimming pool in the old days. The swimming pool had been filled-in and the resulting space declared a 'training hall'! The Hall is actually referred to today as the 'Sports Hall' and it was often dark and so cold in the winter that we had to bring our own heaters in to warm-up the air for the students who used to get cold hands and feet despite training hard! However, the hall was usually used for Badminton matches, and I liked its austere image and the rent was very reasonable (and still is)! We moved house around 1998 and relocated to a part of Sutton bordering with North Cheam and the training hall nearby (Club Constellation - next to Cheam Leisure Centre). When Sutton Council sold that hall into private hands, we relocated again to a very rustic training hall opposite Sutton Cemetery in Sutton Common. Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993) taught in various 'private' and 'secret' places known only to the participants around Sutton. I Trained with him in Hong Kong (when we were both visiting the Chan Ancestral Village) and in a large Utility Room situated in a High Rise Block of Council Flats which still exist in Sutton (near to Sutton Bus Station) not far from where I now live - next to Sutton United's Football Ground. Our last public training hall was in Stoneleigh (although for a three-month period during the Summer of 2010 we trained in a small park just off St Dunstan's Hill near Cheam Village - whilst a new roof was added to the Stoneleigh hall):
Ch'an Dao Training Hall (Public Classes) Chronology:
Highfield Hall (Sports Hall) - Photographs Available - 1994-1998.
Club Constellation CLOSED - Photographs Available - 1998-2007.
Youth Centre 21 (Sutton Common) DEMOLISHED - No Photographs - 2007-2009.
Sutton Life Centre now occupies the land the above once occupied.
Den Lane Scout & Guide Hall (Stoneleigh) - No Photographs - 2009-2011.
If you know of any more pictures of students diligently training in Ch'an Dao martials arts - please forward to me!
In late 2011, I decided to switch to 'closed' teaching to focus on building the inner and outer strength of those who have shown loyalty and respect to the Chan Clan and our Family Gongfu. This change of emphasis is normal within traditional Chinese gongfu practice and a reflective of the conditions of the time. Sometimes the Chan Clan will 'open the gate' whilst at others the gate will be firmly 'locked'! The public lessons in the training halls represents training 'outside' the gate as there are many life-lessons to be learned. However, there is a time when this type of training must undergo a complete frequency change if the students are to develop into entirely new avenues of endeavour and experience. If more photographs come to light regarding Ch'an Dao students using our old training halls - then we shell add them to this article.
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.