Choy Li Fut Kung Fu
Our Kung Fu style.
Choy Li Fut 蔡李佛 is one of the five main traditional Kung Fu systems, it’s practiced worldwide. Bruce Lee started to learn Choy Li Fut towards the end of his life, this quote is what Bruce Lee had to say about Choy Li Fut Kung Fu. “Choy Li Fut is the most effective system that I've seen for fighting more than one person. It is one of the most difficult styles to attack and defend against. Choy Li Fut is the only style that traveled to Thailand to fight the Thai boxers and won.”
Within Choy Li Fut Kung Fu there are sub-categories or as we call them lineage branches. The most authentic lineage branch is King Mui, named after the village of it’s origin. Niel Willcott completed his training in King Mui village, with one to one tutelage with the last Keeper Chan Sun-Chiu. On April 22, 2013 the last Keeper passed away and three people became his successors of the lineage, they are; Chan Yong Jian, Chan Yong Fa and Niel Willcott. Now King Mui village is used as a museum and events centre for the celebration on Choy Li Fut Kung Fu.
The Choy Li Fut style of Kung Fu has many forms, each form containing practical application and detailed techniques. A form is a sequence of moves you will learn and rehearse. Each movement in a form has special meaning, shows a unique technique or a martial arts application. We have forms for hand to hand, a range of forms for weapons and weapons against weapons. There are forms to suit an individual students body type and temperament. For example the Snake form suits a calm, patient methodical mind. The Crane form suits a hyperactive and anxious individual. The Tiger is for solid and robust students. The Drunken form which mimics the movements of a drunkard suits someone with an unorthodox and rebellious nature. There are many more forms including ten animals and over fifty unique weapons. Niel Willcott will help choose and teach the best suited forms for you.
Choy Li Fut Kung Fu history
The lineage of Niel Willcott can be directly traced back over 3000 years directly to the Buddha, although our organisation is not religious we still keep much of the Buddhist tradition and etiquette. One tradition is choosing a direct inheritor to learn one to one from the master. Each master would choose one student to take over and inherit the lead role. In Buddhism the person in this role was called the Patriarch of Buddhism. After 27 generations of inherited Buddhist Patriarchs the title went to the Bodhidharma he then travelled to China creating Zen Buddhism and the physical training program he called Lohan. The Lohan physical training program over time led to the creation of Shaolin Kung Fu. The tradition of a single inheritor was still in place and was passed from Abbot to Abbot over the next 1200 years. From the first Abbot to Choy Fook 1835AD the last Abbot after the final fall of the Shaolin temple.
The inheritance was now passed to Chan Heung who studied in hiding with the last Abbot. Chan Heung created the Choy Li Fut style and naming it in honour of his teacher. The most direct line of the Choy Li Fut lineage stayed in King Mui village passing down to Chan Heung’s great grand son Chan Sun-Chiu. Chan Sun-Chiu known as the Keeper passed this knowledge onto his only living student Niel Willcott, the founder of our school Lohan Martial arts.
Niel can’t remember a time that he wasn’t either learning, practicing or teaching martial arts. He attended his first class at four years old. Learning Judo, boxing, Karate and many other styles, it was at the age of nineteen in 1996 that Niel started learning Choy Li Fut Kung Fu.
In the next following eighteen years Niel went from a beginner in a class to the youngest living 5th generation successor of which there are only two in the world Chan Yong Fa and Niel Willcott. In 2010 Niel was given the title of Grandmaster from his teacher the Keeper Chan Sun-Chiu. This is a formal title that Niel seldom uses he prefers his students call him Sifu, this is the traditional name for a teacher.In 2005 Niel competed at the 1st World Traditional Wushu Tournament in Zhengzhou in China. This was and still is histories largest martial arts tournament. Niel won two silver medals and at the age of twenty eight retired from martial arts tournaments. In 2000 Niel started teaching Choy Li Fut Kung Fu in Norwich, originally under the name of Hung Sing martial arts, in 2013 changing the name to Lohan Martial Arts. Niel has been invited to teach seminars in many countries and has a large international following.