CHAN KOON PAK
While Chan Heung was content staying in his home village with his family, his students in America and Southeast Asia asked for his return. As Chan Heung was entering his later years, he did not wish to leave his home again. To fulfill his foreign students’ wishes, he sent his son, Chan Koon Pak to the United States.
When Chan Heung passed away in 1881, Chan Koon Pak returned to his home from his tenure abroad. While at his home village, Chan Koon Pak took over his father’s position to teach his family members and fellow villagers the Choy Lay Fut martial arts. Even after his death Chan Heung's teachings continued to flourish as many of his students opened schools to pass on what they had gained from their teacher. Cheung Yim opened schools in Futshan and Hong Kong, while Lung Gee Choy open a school in Canton.
When Lung Gee Choy died, and he left his school in Canton to his martial arts brother, Lee Yan. Not wanting to see his talents wasted by staying in a small village, Lee Yan convinced Chan Koon Pak to relocate to Canton. Initially, Lee Yan invited Chan Koon Pak to teach classes at the school left to him by Lung Gee Choy. However, Lee Yan later decided to relocate Chan as his relation with the style’s founder awarded Chan Koon Pak the a majority of the students. When asked to leave, Chan Koon Pak relocated to open a school on Bo Yuen Dai street.
At Lee Yan’s academy, the original Chinese characters for Hung Sing were changed to shake the stigma of the original anti-government sentiments. However, Lee Yan was not picky about who he took in as students and often accepted pupils of questionable character. Chan Koon Pak proved to be more selective. Chan Koon Pak wanted to distance himself from the reputation that his kung fu brother was giving Choy Lay Fut (with his poor choice of students), so he again changed the Chinese character Hung in Hung Sing (to now differing from both the original Hung character that his father had initiated, and the one used by Lee Yan’s academy), to distinguish his schools identity from Lee Yan’s.
Lee Yan later apologized to Chan Koon Pak for forcing his relocation and tried to make peace by changing the Chinese character in his school name to follow that of Chan Koon Pak. But as Lee Yan continued to maintain criminal elements in his school, Chan Koon Pak changed his school’s name once more by adding an additional character to the title, making it Hung Sing Jo Kwoon (with the “Jo” in the title implying “original” or “the first”).
Please see the Choy Lay Fut history section for more details.
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