Chan Tai-San kung fu in America

10 Aug

In the United States (mainly the New York City area) the late Chan Tai-San taught a lot of people. When he first arrived, he mostly taught in schools belonging to other teachers; 7 Star Praying Mantis, Yee’s Hung Ga and Fu Jow Pai most prominently. He taught their students so they were not really his students in that sense.

Once Chan Tai-San was able to arrange to have his own locations (first the Church that eventually burned down and then the Chan family association building), he was able to teach people who could better be considered his students. Of course, virtually everyone who was training with Chan Tai-San had also previously studied.

After the late Stephen Laurette introduced Steve Ventura and myself to Chan Tai-San, a group that more resembled full time students of Chan Tai-San began to form. Laurette, Ventura and I all trained with Chan Tai-San at the same time. As others came, mostly through advertisement we were doing for Sifu Chan, they also trained with us. So everyone training at the same time created a kind of cohesiveness.

As I have said previously, after an article on Chan Tai-San and Lama Pai appeared in Inside Kungfu Magazine we set up true public classes.

So people still ask me, “did person X study with Chan Tai-San”? There a lot of people who studied with Chan Tai-San in various permutations. But there are also a LOT of people who studied with Chan Tai-San’s students who now want to lead you to believe they are direct students.

“How much did they learn from Chan Tai-San”? In many cases it is impossible to say exactly, but keep in mind that Chan Tai-San did not speak English. If a person doesn’t really speak Chinese, that should raise a few flags.

“Why can’t they explain the applications or demonstrate the same things”? You’d have to ask them that. Of course, people perform things differently, have different interpretations, but there was a LOT of material that Chan Tai-San stressed with his real students.

People have short memories, and everyone likes to tell stories, so it is inevitable that stuff like this happens….

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