The Shaolin school of martial arts has a history dating back to about 520 AD when the legendary monk Ta Mo (Bohdidharma) arrived at the Shaolin Temple of Sung Shan in Honan province northern China. Ta Mo organized the monks at the monastery to carry out solitary meditation, but became frustrated when the monks frequently fell asleep.
He introduced the monks to an exercise regime which was to improve their stamina and therefore their mental capabilities. These eighteen basic exercises are deemed to be the
beginnings of the Shaolin Martial Arts.
A second Shaolin school was constructed about a thousand years ago at Chuan Chow in Fukien Province in South China.
A Buddhist priest named Ta Tsun Shen is believed to be the founding father of this temple. The fame of this school was widespread and lots of fighting students went there to
improve their skills.
Both temples existed during times of war in China and were famous for supplying monks for military service to overcome marauding bands of barbarians. The monks themselves became rebels and the rulers of the time, fearful of their
fighting skills ordered the destruction of the temples and the massacre of the occupants.
With the passing of time and history the Shaolin art was disseminated throughout China and abroad. Naturally after so many years many different schools were born. The Nam Pai Chuan System owes its origins partly to the teachings of Monk Seh Koh San (Cho Si / Ancestor) who became the abbot of the Shaolin Shuang Lin Temple in Singapore.
The students taught by Cho Si belong to the second chamber 49th generation of Shaolin. Amongst Seh Koh San’s students was Master Quek Heng Choon who trained with Cho Si until his demise. The training was intensive he had to remain inside the temple walls to study martial arts for at least 3 years, during which time he wasn’t allowed “even half a step outside the temple gates.”
After about 6 or 7 years of hard work Shi Gao Can said: ‘Your study of the arts has been successful, now you “can come down from the mountain” (leave the temple). Master Quek left the temple and started various martial arts schools in Cho Si’s name.
After Cho Si passed away, Master Quek returned to Malaysia to begin teaching, when in 1967 he was joined by a student called Christopher Lai Khee Choong.
Master Lai has dedicated himself to the development of the system by adapting it to the modern world. He developed the system by: introducing ranks (belts) and a formal syllabus: structuring classes: developing a modern self defence system: introducing Sanda competition fighting and more. GCMNPC is truly a blend of the old traditions in the modern context. He has travelled to other countries in order to pass on his personal knowledge, guidance and experience to students of GCMNPC. One such student is Sifu Gary O’Sullivan who now resides in New Zealand.
Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan has grown and progressed smoothly with classes in many cities in the UK and abroad. Today Nam Pai Chuan has finally become of age and is being taught in the sincere and dedicated manner as seen by Master Lai and his predecessors. It now has many sworn students of all races and creeds these are the 2nd chamber 51st generation.
Gary O’Sullivan (Our Sifu) has been studying Martial Arts since 1970 these include Tae Kwon Do, Wu Shu Kwan and Judo. Finally training with Master Lai in London. Gary has stayed with Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan ever since.