A biography written by Grand Master Tan Soh Tin in 2006.
GREAT GRAND MASTER TAN KEW LEONG
师 祖 陈 九 龙
Great Grand Master Tan Kew Leong （陈九 龙 Chen Jiu Long). He was the second Master of Master Ang Lian Huat. Master Ang learnt the Tai Chor “Tai Zu “ (Tiger) system and the famous “Song Jiang” traditional weapons from him. Originally from Taipei, Taiwan which was formerly known as Jin Men. （金门） He was married into a Chiu family whereby his first daughter had to bear the surname of the Chiu. Subsequently he got a son and bears the surname of Tan.
Great Grand Master Tan Kew Leong used to travel between Taipei （台北） and Zhang Zhou (漳州) and established a shop as a bone setter. Zhang Zhou is famous for the Shaolin “Tai Zu” style of martial art and also the “Shaolin Song Jiang weapons” which comes with the “Fighting Green lion”. He also has a family in Zhang Zhou. He has an adopted son Chen Huo Tuan who does bone setting as well.
The legendary General Song Jiang from the Heroes of the Marsh or Water Margin was famous for his war strategies and warfare formations. The formations use different weapons which can be single or double bladed, short or long. The formations are very much based on the eight trigram or “ba gua” which can be very directional. During the Chinese New Year the troupe will travel and perform in different villages together with weapons and lion dancing.
My Master Ang Lian Huat trains with Great Grand Master Tan Kew Leong and learnt from him most of the Shaolin weapons. Apart from all these he also learnt the external Chinese Medicine. The Green Lion was being taught in temples and martial arts schools all over in Zhang Zhou as an anti Ching cause. During the Chinese New Year these troupe would travel out of their county to all the nearby districts to show off their fighting skills.
Extract from a book about martial arts published in Zhang Zhou there was mention about Grand Master: “In the 40’s there was Master Chen Jiu Long who came from Taiwan to Fujian or Min Nan which is short for Fujien where he passed through, finally settling in “Zhang Zhou” Master Chen Jiu Long was a practioner of the “Taizhu” fist and he learnt his skills from “Wu Da Chao” who was renowned for his martial skill. Master Chen was a Chinese doctor and herb seller by profession in Zhang Zhou and was also known by his nickname “Chen Jiu Long Hao Da Dao” (Chen Jiu Long Great Big Knife).”
“He once taught a student “Wu Pu”, “Chang Tai Zai Tu Gan” from Chou village. His disciple Ni Hong Fei who was previously from Chang Tai city community Hospital was a retired doctor. Master Chen left Zhang Zhou for Taiwan to visit relatives from which no news of him was ever heard. His wife Huang Xue passed away a year before this book was published.”
Great Grand Master was a famous bone setter and medicine peddler. He established a shop in Zhang Zhou at Zheng An South Road No. 284 which still exist today. In 1949 in the midst of the civil war, Great Grand Master returned for Taipei and never set back to Zhang Zhou again. This Shop was famous in the 40’s because of a “big knife” straddle across the frontage of the shop, so much so he was known as Da Dao Tan ( 大 刀 陈 )。
In 1967 during the Cultural Revolution, his shop was targeted, martial arts was banned. The Red Guard tore down, confiscated and destroyed everything in the shop. At the same time our Great Grand Master passed away at the age of 76. He left behind 2 sons in Zhang Zhou and 1 son and 1 daughter in Taiwan. None of them however practiced martial arts。 His son in Zhang Zhou does some bone setting.
In 2006 April 12 – 22 Myself with two of my students Mr. Iain Armstrong and Mr. Dougal Simmons visited China to search for our Grand Masters. We were lucky and with the help of our friends from the “Wu Zu” style were able to locate the old shop. We were also lucky to be given a photo of Our Great Master demonstrating his power by a road side show。This photograph was well hidden in a wardrobe that the red guards had missed after confiscating all other martial arts weapons. This photograph taken on the 17th day of the 7th Month in 1931 at Zhang Zhou Old Bridge Road （旧 桥 头）．Great Grand Master looked so relaxed although he had 680Cattie (411 Kg) of granite boulders on him.
By Master Tan Soh Tin