SHIFU ALAN M TINNION

MASTER OF TRADITIONAL CHINESE FIGHTING ARTS


Grandmaster Chee Kim Thong
Grandmaster Chee Kim Thong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early Childhood

 
 

Shizu Chee Kim Thong was born in 1920 in a village near Putian in the province of Fujian (South East China). 

Shizu Chee’s martial arts apprenticeship began when His father, You Yuan, a Fujianese merchant unhappily found himself embroiled in a bitter dispute over the siting of the home he built, with another family belonging to the same clan as his own. 

 
 
Whilst still a very young child, You Yuan’s son was picked on so badly by some members of the rival family, that he was beaten unconscious.  Fortunately his grandmother, who was a renowned healer and had expert knowledge of both the healing and fighting arts of Shaolin, was able to tend his wounds and nurse him back to health: The young Chee enjoyed peace for a little while, but the feud did not end, it only simmered.
 
 
Shizu Chee came from a family line much practiced in various arts of Gong Fu for generations.  It was natural therefore in the circumstances that the young boy’s grandmother, a recognized master in the Monkey Style Boxing System (Hou Quan), should teach what she could to help him defend himself from bullies.
 
 

At the early age of six, therefore, his apprenticeship to the arts began – one he embraced fully and happily, to such an extent that his grandmother would have to lock him in his bedroom to prevent him getting into fights. On one occasion he slipped away from home to enter and win an important regional Gong Fu contest (an event that he was unable to conceal from his grandmother).

 
 
 
 

A time came when Master Chee’s grandmother advised the young boy that due to the feud he continued to be in great danger, and should leave the village and not come back until he had mastered the art of Gong Fu. He was therefore advised to make his way in the world, and at the age of 10 was settled to work and attend school in the great Fujianese port city of Xiamen, where he became an apprentice in a rickshaw repair shop. 

 
 

The owner of the business, a retired army officer from the North, knew several renowned Gong Fu masters (all soldiers in pre 1949 China being trained in some of the martial arts).  Destiny rewarded his already proven courageous and adventurous spirit, not to mention his great natural aptitude and love of the arts of Gong Fu, with an extraordinary opportunity: one which cannot be regarded as ‘mere chance,’ but as the first step on a road that was to bring this young boy eventually to a position of a supreme proponent, Preserver, and Teacher of the traditional arts in the much changed circumstances of the modern world.