Beloved Master B. P. Chan Passes Away
May 30,1922 to March 17, 2002
old generations of great masters is being taken away from
us; one by one we are losing the greats of our arts. Such is the
case with the passing of the Master B. P. Chan, a man of great
knowledge of the internal arts of Pa Kua Zhang and Hsing-I
I met Master Chan about 20 years ago when searching for a
master who could help improve my Pa Kua Zhang and Hsing-I Ch'uan.
At that time he was teaching at the CK Chu School in New York City.
For more messages from Grandmaster, see the Archives.
I was impressed the moment I met him. He was small in
stature, but very powerful, and his knowledge of the history of the
internal arts was impressive, to say the least. You could see how
much he loved his arts; when he taught his whole personality
changed. He would smile just talking about internal systems, and
gave great details of the fine points of the arts that few
understood as well as he himself.
Although his skills were highly advanced, he would never say he
was master of anything. When anyone asked him if he was a
master he would say he was not. He was a humble man who
did not look upon himself as anything but a student of the arts.
Of course, when you saw him in action, you immediately know his
skills were indeed at a high level. His power and speed were evident
to anyone who saw him.
Master Chan was never interested in opening a school of his own; in fact
he never had one that I know of. He taught at other schools.
In later years, he also taught at the William Chen
School in New York City. His whole life revolved about his
training and teaching.
He was a humble man who did not look upon himself
as anything but a student of the arts.
He was good friends with Master Joe
Sun Hwa who ran the Tai Chi Farm in Warwick NJ, and you would
find him there often teaching his Pa Kua to anyone who wanted to
learn. I would stop by the farm once a year to visit Master Joe
and Master Chan and spend a day listening to Master Chan's discourse on the
internal arts. I will truly miss his presence now that both
Master Joe and Master Chan have passed on, and the Farm
is nothing but a fond memory to the many thousand of people who
I would often ask Master Chan about his background, but he would
not talk about himself too much. At one time he mentioned to
me he was told not to reveal the secrets of his arts to anyone
who was not of Chinese descent. But Master Chan did not believe in this, and
took on any student willing to learn.
His background was indeed
impressive and he had many teachers of note in China. His
skills were many: Tai Chi, Pa Kua, Hsing-I, Tai chi Ruler, and
Shao-lin Ch'uan, to name a few.
His passing is another great loss to those who seek the best of
the best in the internal arts. But I am happy to say he had many
students, and his teaching will live on through those he taught.
I, for one, will never forget him. He is a part of me now, as well as
all those who trained under him. And he will live on
forever in the annals of Kung Fu history.
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