Person Featured: Adrian Chan-Wyles
Location: Back Garden - 29 Siddalls Gardens, Tiverton, Devon EX16 6DG
Time of Year: Late Summer - August-September
Year: c. 1987
Photographer: Cousin visiting from Oxford - with her family.
I would often practice Shukokai Karate-Do (and our Chinese gongfu family style) in the back garden of my parental home during the Summer Holidays of the academic year (when I was studying at college in Hereford). Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993) had given me the task of surreptitiously practicing various lineages of Japanese Karate-Do and studying the Chinese cultural origins of these martial arts! My cousin caught me performing the various 'Katas' - the 'middle' photograph is 'Yoi' in Japanese Karate-Do - or the 'Ready' and 'Alert' posture and attitude assumed prior to (and after completing) the performance of the various 'Pinan' Katas - and then carried-on watching whilst I performed the Chinese gongfu 'Basic Form One' [小形一 - Xiao Xing Yi] (the 'lower-block' performed in 'Horse Stance' in the third photograph on the right) - and the 'flying front-kick' found in the '3rd Advanced Form' (離拳- Li Quan) from our Longfist style (first photograph on the left)! From 1983-1984 I practiced one-year of Wado Kai (Southern Karate-Do) in Reigate and Redhill, I then trained in the Shukokai Karate-Do Federation (SKF) between 1984-1987, and then Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-Do (1987-1989) - both in Hereford. I also occasionally trained in the odd Dojo here and there around Devon (usually 'Shotokan') and I trained in Goju Ryu in Finchley (North London) a few times. However, as I matured and my mind and body developed into the inner and outer structures required by our family (Hakka) gongfu style - my experiment with other martial arts ended around 1993 as I started moving out of my youthful days. Eventually, once a style is properly practiced - then the inner (chemical) and outer (physical) body transforms into the 'shape' the style requires so that the correct 'functions' (or 'techniques') are developed. This means that eventually the techniques of other styles cannot be practiced in a deep or fundamental manner as the building blocks are completely different. Of course, this does not mean that nothing can be learned from other styles - but the profound knowledge must be transformed (or 'translated') into the dialectical language of the style that has been regularly practiced. In other words, when traditional martial arts are practiced over long periods of time - the inner and outer mind and body 'change' due to the continuous effort being exerted in a particular direction. When young, however, the energy channels in the body are still malleable and flexible - but this changes with age and experience.
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.