This is not exactly the same as Bare Knuckle Boxing as practiced in the contemporary West – but might be nearer to the ‘bare knuckle’ equivalent (under the ‘London Prize Fighting Rules’) practiced in the West prior to the advent of the Queensbury Rules and the implementation of ‘gloved’ fighting (in the late 1800s). Indeed, the further back in time the comparison is taken – the nearer the two forms of combat become – with Western boxing originally involving throwing and kicking, and used as an unarmed augmentation to fighting with staffs, swords and pistols, etc. A book I read in my youth in the UK was entitled ‘Cross-Buttocks and Claret’ - referring to bloody public spectacles of punching, kicking, tripping and throwing!
My father (Peter Wyles) – from the working-class slums of Leicester was taught by his father (Alfred Gregory Wyles 1916-1976) the bare-knuckle style passed-on by his father (Archibald Britton Wyles 1887-1941 – born in Duddington, Northamptonshire). A bolt upright – two-armed affair that relied on a solid and repetitive jab occasionally follow by a straight-right – the closed hand of which would habitually be used to protect the chin when not being thrown (the 'point' of the chin 'sits' in the 'eye' of the closed-fist). Coupled with elaborate foot-work and ‘swaying’ from the hips – no hooks were used. The arms were used like ‘bats’ to ‘catch’ and ‘hit’ away any incoming blows – including head-butts and elbows. Correct-positioning overcame rapid and continuous movement whilst power of punch overcame diversity of punch. I suspect that in an era when people in the West had never encountered Asian martial arts (or ‘French Savate’), the general paradigm around ‘fighting movement’ would have been quite different and premised upon historical Western institutions involving fighting arts and any innovations that had developed out of these entities.
Modern weaponry and service in the professional military (and particularly experiences of combat) may have developed variants and styles of fighting all over the UK. Brutal hand to hand fighting to the death on the battlefield may have ended in unarmed combat when weapons broke, bayonets snapped and ammunition ran-out. Fighting in fairgrounds and outside public house is, of course, a British institution and I have met a number of Romany people in the UK who have been brought-up fighting ‘bare-knuckle’ in what they call the ‘Gypsy Style’! Generally speaking, these Romany people have treated both my Asian and Western martial history with a great respect. As Romany people have had to fight to defend their very existence throughout the years – obviously as a people they have developed a very healthy respect for the fighting arts!
Mr and Mrs Chan did initially live in a privately-purchased house not far from here - but this property was lost in a business-deal gone wrong. Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993) came to the UK in 1956 - and settled in 'Sutton' - then in 'Surrey' - because this is where a number of the Chan Clan had previously settled after making the journey from the British Colony of Hong Kong to the British Mainland as 'British Citizens'. A number of British governments had requested Colonial Subjects to migrate to an economically 'booming' UK to carry-out all the menial employment tasks - such as 'sweeping' and 'cleaning toilets', etc. Maser Chan left his wife and Hong Kong and came to the UK on his own where he got a job washing-up in London's Chinatown. In his diary he records that whilst travelling on a bus in Sutton - he was 'spat at' by a British person. He worked hard for ten years until he had earned enough to bring his wife and two young daughters from Hong Kong (all of whom arrived in the UK in 1966)! Initially, the Chan Family lived in a comfortable three-bedroomed house in Orchard Road (next to the local school). From between 1966-1980, the Chan Family (two parents and two daughters) ran the very successful 'King Wah' Chinese Take-Away situated in Grove Road (believed to be the 'first' such Chinese Take-Away in the Sutton area). It was through cooking and selling their Hakka-Chinese food to the general public that the Chan Family made their fortune in the West! Due to a business deal going wrong around the early 1980s, however, the 'King Wah' Chinese Take-Away had to be sold - meaning that the family had to move-out of their home in Orchard Road. They were re-housed by Sutton Council (now a Borough of Greater [South] London), in 'Killick House' - a high-rise Council Estate completed in 1966 as part of the money given to Sutton Council to house the local working-class. This is typical of a number of similar structures built all over Sutton - with many being 'sold' into private hands since the mid-1980s. Killick House consists of each individual living-structure consisting of a two-floored flat with the bedrooms on the ground-floor and a livingroom and kitchen on the upper floor. There was a shared utility room next door where we would hold ad hoc gongfu classes when no one was making use of the washing-machines that used to be stored there. Master Chan's two daughters, until about 1972, used to attend the nearby 'Crown Road Council School' (now closed) when they lived in both Orchard Road and Killick House. This name for the school has been given to me by a Librarian working for Sutton Library Services - although I seem to remember the school as being called 'Sutton District', or something similar. After this, Master Chan's two daughters secured professional employment - one in accountancy and the other in insurance.
The school ran across the bottom of the four roads mentioned above, with the Main-Gate being situated at the end of Sydney Road. After it was closed, this land was used to build a number of high-rise Council Estates in what is now called the 'St James' area of Sutton. Again, many of these Council Flats have been sold into private hands. Although life was generally good in the area, around 1970, a tragedy occurred, which saw a young teenage Chinese boy (who had been subjected to months of racist bullying at this school) one day took a knife into the classroom and stabbed the main protangonist to death (a single blow to the heart)! Master Chan's youngest daughter (herself about fourteen years old at the time) had to accompany the police when they went to the young boy's parents to explain (in their local Hakka-Cantonese dialect) what had happened and what their son had done (the mother collapsed in absolute grief). After this, life went on as before with good memories obscuring the bad. Racism definitely existed then as it does now - but there was also many good people who refused to sink to these depths. Generally speaking, everyone helped one another get on - and this is why another place for gongfu practice was outside on the 'concourse' near the main entrance (c. 1983-1993)!
The early Ch'an Dao website was esyablished around 2000 - when the net was 'new'! Initially, the early website was 'managed' by its creator and we received a bill every six months or s0 - until it was established that we owned the site and could 'self-manage!
Email: For Your Files - How I Realised 'Enlightenment' or the More Modestly 'Self-Awareness' - This Experience Cleared the Path for Me to Encounter You! (22.11.2021)
What is interesting is that after decades of effective inner and outer martial arts practice, I have arrived at a profound 'stable' state of mind, body and spirit (whatever that is). This journey has traversed many inner and outer levels or states of being. Mostly, this has included a logical approach to physical training motivated by 'doubt' a) in the process itself, and b) in my ability to keep-up the practice or c) to carry-out the prescribed practice correctly. This 'doubt' was inward whilst the physical 'outer' Chinese martial arts techniques were superb and highly effective. This 'doubt' (which ceased to function about 14-years-ago in c. 2007) acted like a force of magnetism drawing my 'uncertain' inner-being toward to the solid and stable outer-structure of the martial arts techniques and how they might be used in self-defence (function) and mind and body health and fitness (longevity). There is now a great awareness. A great all-embracing sense of psychological being that appears to be united with mind, body and environment. This unity I term 'spiritual' because all this seems 'transcendent'. Of course, whilst being driven on by the inner doubt to practice physical martial arts (as a form of 'armouring' against external attack), I also committed myself to intense Ch'an meditative practice as a means to 'uproot' this doubt which all motivating throughout my entire life to 'take action' in many different arenas - it also contained an element of 'weakness'. As I interpreted this 'weaknesses' as a major problem that a) held me back in a state of fearful 'non-action', or b) sabotaged physical actions so as to render all exertion completely pointless! The mind 'cleared' and 'expanded' - it became all-embracing so that the body stopped appearing to be 'outside' of it and took its place entirely within psychological awareness. Although I had my initial experiences of the realisation of a 'still' and 'empty' mind with its awareness expanding and embracing all things around 1990 - it took another 15-years for this experience to settle-down (2005), and about another two or three years for all vestiges of 'doubt' to completely dissolve (2007/8). What did happen around 1990, however, is that my physical use of outer Chinese martial arts technique deepened, expanded and matured, and since the time of 'teaching' in my own right (as opposed to 'training' under a teacher) - I have never lost a fight in the training hall. (Around a year before this experience, I was following a strict Chinese (Mahayana) Buddhist 'monastic' regime and sitting in meditation for hours a day practicing the hua tou 'Who is hearing?' Suddenly, whilst sitting in my 'cell' and without warning, my mind 'ceased to move' becomingly utterly and completely 'still'. This was accompanied by deep sense of permanent ecstasy! My Chinese teachers correctly taught me with 'silence' - whilst my Western teacher Richard Hunn (1949-2006) - my Western Ch'an teacher - correctly taught me with words! Ironically, he drew my attention to the authentic Chinese Ch'an texts. 'Neither be attached to the (realised) inner void - nor hindered by (the 'external') hindering phenomena'. It was deep within the 'silence' of my Chinese Ch'an Masters (including Chan Tin Sang [1924-1993] that I discovered the poignant meaning of Richard Hunn's spiritually 'vibrant' words. This is how I knew that Richard Hunn was correct in his understanding. Later, this dual instruction [into non-duality] led to the next shift in perspective This occurred a year later after a further period of intense practice, and was a product of a complete change or 'turning about' [see the 'Lankavatara Sutra'] at the deepest essence of the mind. It was such a profound and important 'first principle' that I nearly omitted it from the list of all the important events! I was once meditating sat on the ground outside 'returning' all sensory data 'back to its 'empty ground' essence - when a cool and refreshing Summer's freeze blew gently across my face. Suddenly, my mind instantaneously 'turned the right way around' immediately abandoning its previous 'inverted' functionality and appeared to 'expand', assume an 'all-embracing' position of being, whilst this 'new awareness' thoroughly permeated the physical-body and penetrated the physical universe throughout the past, present, and future! This permanent shift in psychological and physical manifestation changed 'me' from the DNA-chemical foundation upward and influenced all the views and opinions I now hold!) This includes not only transforming the experience of sparring with students (which is now unified experience premised upon wisdom, loving kindness and compassion) - but also manifested within the otherwise 'brutal' realm of 'honour fights' whereby unknown and unfamiliar individuals suddenly turn-up at my training hall and (disrespectfully) ask to spar! They wish to gain fame and fortune through 'out of control' violence which involves (for them) the 'beating' and 'exposing' a local (Chinese) gongfu teacher! How did this happen? I think whereas my opponents were still motivated by a deep and profound sense of 'doubt' (often involving a profound 'self-hatred') - I no longer experienced this 'doubt' which 'divides' human-beings during combat. Doubt by this time in my life had become nothing more than a profound sense of enhanced 'awareness' full of compassion and understanding. This is all held in place by a physical (martial) ability that can use 'gentleness' just as easily as 'harshness' to 'control' or 'regulate' physical interactions.
Signed: Adrian Chan-Wyles [陳恒豫 - Chan Heng Yu] (22.11.2021) - '釋大道' (Shi Da Dao)
Witnessed and Authenticated by Yau, Gee-Cheuk [邱芷芍] (22.11.2021) - 'Gee Wyles' - Wife of Adrian Chan-Wyles
Although Britain used 'opium' grown in India as a means to unnaturally pollute the minds and bodies of the Chinese people (so that they could be more easily controlled by the European invaders), it is also true that traditional Chinese medicine has for centuries used 'opium' as a means to control psychological, emotional and physical pan. Indeed, for thousands of years 'opium' remained the ONLY naturally grown plant that could perform this task. Obviously, a doctor genuinely 'relieving' pain and thereby reducing the suffering of another human-being is very different from a European invading force within China that mis-used 'opium' to 'stupify' the minds and bodies of the already healthy masses so that they could not effectively organise a resistance to Western occupation and annexation of their country! The result of this despicable behaviour has been the literal demonisation of 'opium' when in fact when it is used in the right hands it is a very effective and legitimate medicine. Indeed, even modern Western medicine makes use of opium-derivatives in the production of the pain-killer 'morphine'.
Description of 'opium' pipe owned by Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993). The 'smell' and 'taste' of the last 'smoke' is still evident.
Bamboo stem (main-body) = dark brown in colour.
Copper bowl and lower stem (all one design) = Reddish-brown in colour.
Length of bamboo-stem plus copper-bowl = 19.75 Inches - 50.2 cm - 1 Foot 7.75 Inches - 0.502 Metres.
Length of bamboo-stem minus copper-bowl = 17 Inches - 43.18 - 1 foot 5 Inches - 0.43 Metres.
Copper-bowl Diameter = 1 inch - 2.5 cm
Design on lower stem situated on the copper-bowl consists of six individual dots arranged around a single central dot (forming a flower motif). Four Old Style Chinese Characters are arranged equidistance around this 'flower'. A single row of Chinese characters run in a straight-line down back of the short copper stem (immediately behind) the copper-bowl.
It is a peculiar reality that a number of Westerners practice Chinese martial arts to make money – whilst denigrating a) the Chinese people b) Chinese culture and c) the ‘right’ (both ‘moral’ and ‘legal’) of the Chinese people to decide to their own destiny and political system! As someone of Anglo-Chinese extraction (and who lives within the UK Chinese community), I have even witnessed Westerners travel to Mainland China to study at university or at a Gongfu College – only to return to the West with Certificates and Teaching Qualifications after having experienced a fully enjoyable and productive visit – only to continue to hold and express anti-China racist views when in the presence of their fellow Westerners! This also occurs after these individuals have experienced generous reductions in their flight and accommodation costs, reductions in their education fees and benefitting from ‘free’ student travel whilst living in China! Who pays for all this? Certainly not the Western countries from where these people originate – but rather the average Chinese–taxpayer through their hard-earned pay-cheques!
Through the agency of US anti-intellectualism, many lies are told about China in the West and this is why the average Westerner remains both ‘ignorant’ and ‘racist’. China is a ‘Socialist’ country – which means its form of democracy is much more inclusive, regular and empowering to the average Chinese citizen than its Western counter-part. The Chinese people are working hard to build a Socialist society. Throughout the 20th century, the Chinese people fought against the tyranny of Chinese feudalism, Japanese and Western imperialism – and they did this successfully through the auspices of the Communist Party of China CPC)! Chinese people were killed in their millions by the Chinese Imperial (Qing) Government (from 1644 until its overthrow in 1911), by the corrupt Western-backed ‘Nationalist Government’ (192-1949), the Western imperialists (for hundreds of years until 1949) and the Japanese Imperial Kwantung Army (destroyed by the Soviet Red Army in 1945). It is the CPC that has built a strong China out of these ruins and saved the Chinese people from further pain and suffering at the hands of others!
Through the Chinese ‘Socialist’ education system, it is the CPC which teaches that ALL foreigners should be treated with respect and financially assisted whilst visiting China! It is interesting, therefore, that on a website I help to administer regarding the practice of Chinese Ch’an Buddhism (which is flourishing within ‘Communist’ China) I receive the following communication affixed to the bottom of a blog post I made (this response has no relevance to the topic):
By: Howard Johnson (email@example.com) Commented On: Seated Transforma... Date Commented: 07/03/20 03:26PM
Howard Johnson said:
Some good information in this blog but why the promotion of communism ? You do realise that this murderous ideology is responsible at least 100 million deaths.
Commenter IP: 18.104.22.168
Interestingly, a reader can tell the far-right political affiliation of a Westerner who nevertheless presents himself as an authority upon ‘Xingyi’ and ‘Tongbei’ whilst expressing disinformed rhetoric that only appears upon right-wing websites and within fascistic literature! By way of contrast to this the above nonsense – as no one in Russia or China believe that any ‘mass’ killings occurred that were perpetuated by the CPC – a recent academic report in the US states that since 1945 to now (excluding WWII), the US military has killed or murdered between 20-30 million people around the world in defence of its own capitalist system!
Many of these murders were perpetuated within Asia and involved US capitalist soldiers killing Asians within Communist countries. Furthermore, during the US (capitalist) invasion of the USSR (1918-1921) - the US, UK, Germany and their (capitalist) allies killed hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of Russians who were fighting for Socialism! Eventually, the US military was defeated by the Soviet Red Army and was forced to retreat. Another academic report states that when European (capitalists) settled the America – by around 1610 some 60 million indigenous Indians had been cleared from their ancestral lands and murdered! If we add the killings associated with WWI and WWII we do, indeed, approach the figure of ‘100 million’ documented deaths – but all committed by representatives of the capitalist system – and often aimed at ‘Communists’ whilst NOT being committed by Communists! If United Nations (UN) records are checked - the average reader will discover the true extent of far-right, racist lying as contained in Howard Johnson’s supposed ‘factual comment – as absolutely NO official or reliable records exist that ‘prove’ that any massacres ever happened in any Communist country! This is the triumph of ‘fact’ over US ‘anti-intellectualism’!
US Military Murdered 20-30 Million Since 1945
European Colonisation of the Americas Killed 60 Million
WWI Deaths – 21 million (23 million Wounded)
WWII Deaths – 75 million Deaths
Russian Civil War Deaths – 10 million Deaths
Arthur's Note: The US website 'Bullshido' is obviously designed by White American youths who are exhibiting the usual racist disregard for Asian culture that is common throughout that country. The authors of this site think that by racially misrepresenting the ancient and legitimate Japanese martial concept of 'Bushodo' (武士道 - Wu Shi Dao in Chinese pronunciation) - they are a) being 'funny' and b) making a 'point' about 'illegitimate' martial arts schools and instructors, etc. The problem is that they are using modes of Eurocentric racism to misrepresent Asian martial arts ('Bullshido' in place of 'Bushido') whilst simultaneously claiming to 'expose' non-authentic martial arts groupings and other such initiatives not only in the West - but also within Asia! The other of the below email obviously has an axe to grind with me - but preferred to be an internet keyboard warrior - rather than present themselves in-front me in person. None of my students are this ignorant, nor indeed this cowardly! Think for yourselves and make your own mind up! ACW (10.10.2021)
亚瑟的笔记：美国网站“Bullshido”显然是由美国白人青年设计的，他们表现出对整个国家普遍存在的对亚洲文化的种族主义无视。该网站的作者认为，通过种族地歪曲日本古老而合法的“武士道”（武士道 - 中文发音为武士道）的武术概念 - 他们是 a) '有趣' 和 b) 提出关于'的'观点'非法的'武术学校和教练等。问题是他们正在使用以欧洲为中心的种族主义模式来歪曲亚洲武术（'Bullshido'代替'Bushido'），同时声称'暴露'非正宗的武术团体和其他此类举措，不仅在西方 - 而且在亚洲！下面的另一封电子邮件显然有一把斧头要和我一起磨——但更喜欢成为一名互联网键盘侠——而不是亲自出现在我面前。我的学生没有一个这么无知，更没有这么胆小！自己想想，让自己的想法！ 釋大道
Thank you for your interesting 'anti-intellectual' email.
Thank you also, for drawing my attention to this issue – as I was unaware of its existence. If you are referring by stating ‘finally been exposed’ - to an unknown event that seemingly happened ‘nine-years ago’ with zero impact upon my life - then you probably have a point! I have to say that the alleged ‘Complainee’ seems very unsure of themselves and not quite believing in their allotted task. I also have to say that as complaints go – this is very unconvincing and dare I say ‘cowardly’ as the ‘Complainee’ hides their true name behind the anonymity of the internet. The timing is also a little off, as Sutton Council closed all the affordable training halls in the area around 2010 – and I stopped the single Sunday morning (public) training class around September, 2011. This post was made on May 2nd, 2012 – some eight months after public classes ended – and was made by someone who joined the White American (racist) site ‘Bullshido’ who made only two-posts before never posting again. It is always better to check facts, dates and known history before placing all your eggs in one basket – as you may end-up with egg on your face...
Hahaha! I see you have finally been ‘exposed’ on Bulshitdo! It’s about time! Enjoy the infamy – loser!
F’ck China and f’ck you!
The Silent Majority!
For years I taught class of gongfu in a private and public capacity. The ‘private’ aspect involved my family’s Ch’an Dao School which involved a rented hall and two-hours of gongfu training on a Sunday morning. Initially, this only involved members of the British Born Chinese community in Sutton who were related to us (the Sai Kung Chan Clan), or who were associated through business, warfare or any other historical means. Just being ethnically ‘Chinese’ was not enough to train in our gongfu hall as we are of ‘Hakka’ Chinese ethnicity. This is the old way and very different to how many Westerners mistakenly view traditional Chinese culture. In this context, Chinese people of clans considered ‘enemies’ were termed ‘foreigners’ and excluded from consideration. However, although this was the reality, Master Chan Tin Sang (1924-1993) was of the opinion that we had to find a way of ‘evolving’ beyond this feudalistic attitude.
As more and more Westerners started enquiring about training, when I was promoted to the Head of the Ch’an Dao School, I decided to open our doors to a class of people we did not know and were not related to. This also included other Chinese people we did not know regardless of their surnames. Around this time (the late 1990s), I also started being approached by Mainland Chinese people living in the UK, who explained to me about how ‘New’ China was thoroughly ‘modern’ and how this attitude of openness and inclusiveness was being used in China to teach all foreign visitors about the beauty of Chinese culture and what it has to offer to the contemporary world! As this change in attitude dove-tailed with what Master Chan Tin Sang had in mind, I decided to transform our family style of Hakka gongfu and ‘revolutionise’ the way in which we managed our martial arts lineage!
Although I was brought-up in the old way, I never felt comfortable with its exclusiveness and ethnic clannishness. Although I was accepted as someone of mixed ethnicity – this acceptance only extended to my immediate Hakka clan and Chinese people who knew me. When outside of this group, I was subject to this ‘exclusive’ attitude and marked as a ‘foreigner’ who was not welcome within the inner workings of the Chinese community. When this happened – I would scurry back into my cultural safety zone knowing I had just experienced something very unsavoury! After 1949, Mainland China thoroughly rejected this feudal attitude and embraced ‘Internationalism’ which is designed to open-up the beauty of Chinese culture for anyone who would like to benefit from it! Since the early 2000s, I have defriended many Mainland Chinese people (living and working in the UK and in China via the internet), and have even started various academic projects and translation initiatives. Indeed, our family gongfu has evolved because of these experiences from an insular, feudal entity to a local practice premised upon universal principles!
Shifu Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - Lineage (Generational) Inheritor of the Ch'an Dao Hakka Gongfu System.