Yuen Chai Wan


Yuen Chai-Wan (Ruan Jiwan, Yuen Lo Sei, Dao Pei Chai, Nguyen Te-Cong) (1877–1960) is the brother of the famous Wing Chun Master Yuen Kay Shan and the forth son of a Foshan Fireworks merchant and was known as Yuen Lo Sei (Yuen the Forth). As a Child, Yuen Chai had the small pox and was left with permanent scaring.This earned him the nickname Dao Pei Chai (Pock Skin Chai).

The Yuen brothers first learned the Wing Chun System from Imperial constable Fok Bo Chun. After Learning from Fok Bo for years they had mastered the Fist Forms, Dummies, Throwing Darts, Knives, and Pole. It was also said they learned Iron Fingers/Palm or a variation called the Red Sang Palm. Around 1933 they petitioned Fok Bo’s Classmate the great Bounty Fung Siu Ching, so move into the Yuen estate. The cared for Fung Siu Ching until his passing in 1936. The Yuen brothers officiated at Fung Siu’s Funeral and than were to forever part company.

Yuen Chai Wan like his Brother, Yuen Kay, taught very few students.In Foshan, Yiu Choi, was the only known student of Yuen Chai. Yiu Choi also learned for almost 15 years (There has been alot of descepancy to what Yuen Chai Passed down to Yiu Choi).

In 1936, After the Death of Fung Siu Ching he was invited to teach Wing Chun in Vietnam, at the Nanhai and Shunde Expatriates Associations. For Unknown reasons Yuen Chai relocated to Hanoi where he was known as Nguyen Te-Cong(Vietnamese translituration).

At this point Yuen Chai opened a school to support himself. There has been alot of misunderstandings about who and where Yuen Chai Wan was from. Some approaching rediculas suggest he was really a Vietnamese imagrant who had moved to Foshan for business purposes. The Vietnamese students have also tried to fill in the history of Yuen Chai by incorrectly attaching things to him that Leung Jan did. Or suggesting Yuen Chai Learned from Leung Jan. Which we know, is not fact, as there are abundant reconds, in Foshan, proving who Yuen Chai and his brother Yuen Kay Shan are, who they learned Wing Chun from, and What they taught.

It also seems Yuen Chai Wan passed down 2 seperate curriculums in Vietnam. He passed down to the ethnic Chinese the same curriculum he did to Yiu Choi in Foshan, with the addition of the Look Dim Boon Gwun and the Muk yan Jong. To his Vietnamese students he seems to have only passed down the Siu Lien Tao, Muk Yan Jong and Look Dim Boon Gwun. Later generations of his students seem to have added in large amounts of non Wing Chun material. Even changing the Traditional Yuen Family Oral Tradition of Wing Chun Descending from Ng Mui to Miu Shun to Yim Yee to Leung Bok Lao to Wong Wah Bo, Leung Yee Tai, Dai Fa Min Kam and Gulo Chung.

In 1955 Yuen Chai relocated to Saigon where he established a second school. Among his students in Vietnam were Nguyen Duy-Hai, Ngo Si-Quy, Luk VinhKhai, and others.

Yuen Chai Wan passed away in 1960 at the age of 84.


Sources:

  • Oral and written traditions Yuen Jo Tong
  • Oral and written traditions Yuen Kay Shan
  • Oral and written traditions Sum Num
  • Oral traditions Yiu Kay
  • Foshan Jin Wu Association
  • Leungs Publishing