Chan Yiu Chi 陳耀墀 was a scholar, poet, herb doctor and master of Choy Li Fut 蔡李佛 and, although it is said that he stood out in all those areas, no doubt his fame in the field of Kung Fu surpassed the others very much.
Master Chan Yiu Chi 陳耀墀 in his younghood.
Chan Yiu Chi was a person of humble and generous character. As a doctor, he never denied his attention to any patient, even if he could not pay him, and he only charged whatever ammount the patient could afford.
He learnt Choy Li Fut from his father, Chan Goon Bak 陳官伯, youngest son of Chan Heung 陳享. It is said that he seldom removed Kung Fu from his thoughts, and that even when he was seating, his legs continued practicing. To him we owe the complete structuring and systematization of the Choy Li Fut style. He took care of recording each form in scripts, with his respective movements and applications; these writings are jealously guarded by the Chan family, but their copies have been passed down from master to disciple to us.
Chan Yiu Chi was a man of great success but also very envied. Many times other martial artists went to his school to challenge him. On one of those times, a man who flaunted his bodily strength and fortitude crushed one of the arms of a wooden dummy from Chan Yiu Chi's school, and challenged him to do the same. Master Chan Yiu Chi was a thin, weak-looking man with the manners of a scholar. However, he possessed a perfect mastery of the technique and, without even taking momentum, with a small and barely perceptible turn of his body, broke with a Kwan-Kiu 綑橋 another of the dummy's arms, which flied through the room.
Grand Master Chan Yiu Chi 陳耀墀
Another of these stories, which I have heard repeatedly from mouth of my Sifu Pedro Rico, tells the day that another Kung Fu master who taught in Guangzhou, called Gum Zai, went to Chan Yiu Chi's school to challenge him to a fight. Chan Yiu Chi rejected the duel on numerous occasions but, finally, at the insistence of Gum Zai, who was emboldening, his own wife urged him to accept the challenge. A large ammount of people had gathered around them. Chan Yiu Chi was smoking from his pipe, which he held in his left hand. When Gum Zai attacked, Chan blocked the strike with a Joeng-Kiu 揚橋 with his right hand and, then and with the same hand, struck his opponent's chest with a Tsang-Jeung 撑掌, who threw him back and made him fall to the ground. Chan Yiu Chi hadn't even released his pipe. Gum Zai began vomiting blood because of the internal wounds caused by the strike, and Chan Yiu Chi was quick to treat him with herbal medicine. Gum Zai was too proud to accept Chan Yiu Chi's help, and died a week later. This episode had no legal consequences for Chan Heung's grandson, as there were numerous witnesses that Gum Zai had begun the dispute, had come to provoke and attacked first. However, he made our master charge with great remorse for most of his life.
Among the students of Grand Master Chan Yiu Chi, those who belong to our lineage are Masters Wu Wan Choek 胡雲綽, Pun Fan 潘芬 and our master Pun Seon Seoi 潘顺遂.