Sifu John Chow
A Brief History of Learning Tai Chi Chuan
preliminary martial arts training at age of 6 under father,
Henry Chow Fook On.
At age of 9, started formal training in the internal soft aspect
of the secret
martial art of my family art, Tai Tzu Chuan, which was created by our
famous ancestor, Chow Guan Yin (pinyin - Zhao Guan Yin).
This art is totally different from the usual Tai Tzu Chuan in public existence
which is a hard external Shaolin system.
Internal Tai Tzu Chuan emphasizes the 13 Postures training and is an
ancestral art of Tai Chi Chuan. It is usually passed down secretly along the
(Refer to documentation on arts that Chen Style Tai Chi was derived from)
(Refer to Peter Lim’s web pages on origins of Tai Chi Chuan)
(Refer to Grandmaster Zhao’s article from Chi Kung magazine)
(Tai Chi Chuan was originally referred to as the 13 Postures Boxing and
Was taught Combat Applications as well as Pushing Hands.
As Tai Tzu Chuan is an ancestral art of Tai Chi Chuan, the techniques are
very similar to Tai Chi Chuan.
Weapons training given because my father believed this is an effective
shortcut in skill acquisition. Special training given in the use of the
3) At the age of 14 years of age, Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan in the non profit
Tai Chi Chuan Association for Physical Culture which was under the patronage
of Grandmmaster Lu Tung Pau. (where Jiang Yong Gui was also an instructor)
Also studied Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan under Master Loh Kam Choon
at this time.
Also spent a short
while studying under Wong Li Sung.
This enabled me to synchronize the secret family tradition with its popular
public offsprings, and allowed me to interact with the public.
4) Picked up bits and pieces of information after coming to
including Chen Style Tai Chi Chuan, eg.
From Grandmaster Chen Xiao Wang the head of the
From Grandmaster Chok Seng Kam (student of Grandmaster Yap Siu Ting
of Cheng Man Ching lineage) of
From Grandmaster Cheng Tin Hung of Wutan Style of Tai Chi, a derivation
of Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan.
From Lau Kim Hong, Wan Kean Chew, Ho Ah
From Gao Yun Wu, Guo Zheng Fen, Lin Guan Zheng of
On the overall, the early learning period were responsible for my understanding and skills.
Grandmaster Chok, whose nickname in
is “Tiger of Penang”, had the most influence me the most because of his fighting abilities. The latest major influences were Lau Kim Hong and Wan Kean Chew who were very proficient in combat applications.
In all, I have great
respect for the Cheng Man Ching lineage in
of Yap Siu Ting in
This lineage, which will always have a special veneration in my heart, was truly tried
and tested in the rough period of the 1960s and 1970s, being challenged so often,
and issuing its own challenges as well. Because of the violent history it was forced to undergo,
slight differences to the Cheng Man Ching tradition
arts master from
I would have grave doubts about any Malaysian master who does not.
As a prime
example, I was
really shocked, terribly shocked, very very shocked
to meet a young 25 year old “Professor” of TCM (having studied only
2 years in
By the way, Nigel Sutton has paid the proper tributes and credits to the above 3 names in his
articles in his websites. Please refer. If anybody has any doubts about the authenticity or ability
of the Malaysia Cheng Man Cheng lineage, please read carefully first before shooting off the mouth.