A special tribute to Grandmaster Wan Kean Chew PJK, PKT This is my personal tribute to a living legend, a Taoist practitioner

who lived and breathed taiji all his life. The essence of taijiquan fills his being. To many of us, including his disciples, he is affectionately and respectfully known as simply “Master Wan” or “Master”. Master in line with his principles of simplicity and being one with nature, leads a very low profile in Penang, Malaysia. In reflection, Master on his “outing” days position himself in the outdoor grounds of Golden Sands Hotel, at Tanjung Bungah, Penang, giving taijiquan lessons to hotel guests. His prowess in taijiquan has earned him the due recognition of the hotel management to the extent of a long term engagement at the hotel for promoting the wonderful Chinese art of taijiquan to tourists who visit Malaysia. In fact Master derived pleasure whenever challenges are thrown to him, as he would then have the opportunity to verify his taijiquan skills. Those who have been closely associated with him would have confirmed without doubt that his skills only got better and more refined with the passage of time. It was at this venue that Master got to meet also boxing and martial artists who came from across Thailand, enjoying a short holiday after their championship bouts there. Master was ever ready with pleasure to test his taijiquan skills with these champion martial artists, some of who became good acquaintances with Master. In all their meetings Master never fail to prove how powerful and effective taijiquan is in real life application. Master quotes from the Dao De Jing : “ When two great forces oppose each

other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield. The gentlest thing in the world overcomes the hardest thing in the world. That which has no substance enters where there is no space”. Relaxed, rooted and rounded, calmed, still and listening, Master’s use of intrinsic force with the notion of “whole body with the mind moving as one” served to confirm his belief that “the mind can move mountains”. Master is always accompanied by his daughter Miss Wan Kim Eam during his outings, who witnessed Master’s wonderful display of taijiquan skills. A more elaborated profile of Master is documented in an ebook in pdf format for easy reading. Master Wan was born on 6 May 1939. He was a school teacher in his thirties’ and has been practicing taijiquan for at least twenty years. His mastery and skills just got better and better with the passage of time. In 1986, Master, at the age of 47 won the National Taiji Push Hand tournament in Malaysia. Master passed on in the morning of 8 April 2011. As a student of my beloved Master, I shall treasure the times I had the privileged of learning taijiquan in his house; the long tea drinking and discussions on the theory and practical aspects of taijiquan and internal arts, and most importantly his philosophy. I shall never forget the push-hand techniques with Master and the honour of being able to have had a taste of the powerful moves of Master (not to mention the pain that goes along with it). The experiences and his teaching I have gone through shall forever remain in my mind indefinitely.

Looking back, I wished that I had remained in Penang to continue learning from this great “Immortal Master’. As it is, family and work commitments and advancement of my career has deprived me of such a treasure. The Penang Wan Taijiquan Association, which was founded by Master and located at OFA Club in Penang, has lost a true and fearless Master/Warrior. It is hope that the disciples and students continue to practice in accordance to Master’s teachings. The Senior Management of Golden Sands/Rasa Sayang Group of Hotels showed presence on the funeral day to pay their respects and mentioned that they would like to see a suitable replacement at their hotel grounds to continue the tradition of taiji activities there. The senior disciples has yet to identify someone who can take over Master’s place. Master is truly an exceptional martial artist of the highest stature in the martial world. His passing on is a personal great loss to me for a martial father. May Master continue to hover over us with his spiritual guidance for all times.

Paul Wong 12 April 2011

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