Huo Yan Jia (founder of Chin Woo, 1867 - 1909) was the
fourth child in the family of 10 brothers and sisters.
During his childhood, he frequently became ill and,
as a result, was often taken advantage of by the other
children in his province. Ironically, Master Huos
father, who was teaching kungfu, refused to teach his
son the martial art. Therefore the young Huo was forced
to hide behind bushes and watch as his father taught
other students in the courtyard. Master Huo practiced
on his own for the next 10 years. His parents never
discovered this until he began to fight with his peers
and defeat them. Later, his father officially accepted
him and taught his younger son all that he knew. One
day, he fought with a foreigner and immediately gained
fame. It was during this time that many foreigners were
in China, and some referred to the Chinese as the Sick
Men of Asia. To keep the Chinese image, Master
Huo decided to organize the Chin Woo School to allow
all Chinese the opportunity to learn Chinese kungfu
and strengthen themselves in order to defend the country.
In 1909, a European wrestler was sent to Shanghai to
challenge any Chinese that would accept. News quickly
spread all over Shanghai. Later, some Chinese people
invited Master Huo to Shanghai to accept the challenge.
He seized the opportunity and emerged victorious. This
incident further escalated Master Huos reputation.
word of his victory further spread, so did the Chin
Woo spirit. Unfortunately, in August 1909, Master Huo
died, but on March 3, 1910, Mr. Chen Gong Zhe, Mr. Yao
Chan Bo and Mr. Lu Wei Chang reopened the Chin Woo school.
After Master Huo Yan Jia passed away, his younger brother,
Mr. Huo Yuan Siang, and his son, Mr. Huo Tong Ker, continued
to teach at the Chin Woo Association. Later, many famous
martial-arts masters were invited to teach in Chin Woo.
Even though they came from different schools, they all
followed Chin Woo regulations. Thus Chin Woo became
a famous and popular martial-arts association in Shanghai.
Chin Woo sponsored most of the martial-arts tournaments.
However, in 1966, Shanghai Chin Woo was forced to discontinue
their martial-arts activities due to communist regulations.
Those restrictions were later lifted, and martial-arts
activities were again alive in the Shanghai Chin Woo.
the death of Master Huo, Chin Woo was reorganized to
make it available to other parts of China and Asia.
In 1920, Shanghai Chin Woo sent representatives to Southeast
Asia. Mr. Li Hui Seng, Mr. Luo Xiao Ao, Mr. Chen Gong
Zhe, Mr. Ye Shu Tian, and Mrs. Chen Shi Chao made their
first stop in Saigon, Vietnam. They opened the first
Chin Woo School there and later in parts of Malaysia
and Singapore. To prove their skills, they were often
required to give demonstrations or accept challenges.
By 1923, these five Chin Woo Masters had opened Chin
Woo schools all over Southeast Asia and visited nine
different countries. Of the five masters, Mr. Ye Shu
Tian was considered the most knowledgeable in kungfu.
MASTERS OF CHIN WOO