OF OUR LATE GRANDMASTER
LIN BO YAN
(1903 - 1990)
Master Lin Bo Yan
Master Lin Bo Yan, who had rendered outstanding
service to the Wushu campaign of our country, was a member of the examing committee,
which was composed of "Renxie" and "Guozong". He had also held
the post of the technical adviser of "Guozong" and the chairman of Taijiquan
Master Lin Bo Yan was born on 18th. November 1903 in Dayang Village Longyan County
Fujian Province. He married the 14-year-old Zhang Ruo Lan at the age of twenty.
They have a son and two daughters. The son is named Lin Han Peng, born in 1930 in
Wuhan. The elder daughter Yun-Yun settles down in Hongkong. The younger daughter
Yu-Ting, graduated from Yi-An Technology College, lives with her parents. She learns
Wushu ever since she was a child and was a native Wushu delegate. Master Lin Bo
Yan was introverted, not sociable and was a person of few words. His only interest
for whole life long was Wushu. So he chose teaching Wushu as his occupation for
over sixty years.
Learning Zi-Wu-Gun in Childhood
His ambition has perhaps connection with the surroundings
of his childhood. Like other children Master Lin learned Zi-Wu-Gun when he was a
child, because Gun, as one of the "18 Arms", was very popular in Dayang
Village at that time. From then on he took more and more interest in Wushu. After
the succeeding of Xinhai-Revolution many elementary schools were set up in Dayang
Village. Master Lin's father was one of the founders and also worked as teacher.
In those days Master Lin was the youngest and the most noticed pupil. Afterwards
he studied in Guoming Primary School in the city and Jimei Pedagogical School. The
deceased chairman of Malaysia Chinese Teachers Association Lin Lian Yu, who recommended
Master Lin to teach at Zunkong Middle School in Kuala Lumpur, and the ex-vice director
of Wushu research group of native Guoshu Association Lin Wie Jue were classmates
of Master Lin at Jimei Pedagogical School. In those years there were Wushu classes
at Jimei Pedagogical School. The Bei Quan Master from Shanghai Central Chin Woo
(Jing Wu) Athletic Association Liu Zhan Chen was invited to lead the administration.
Another task was preparing to establish a branch Chin Woo Athletic Association in
Xiamen in order to cultivate Wushu trainers and leaders. Because of his introduction
Master Lin went to Shanghai for advanced study at Jingwu Sport Pedagogical School
and graduated two years later. Then he worked as a trainer at Shanghai Chin Woo
Athletic Association and was also the part-time Wushu conductor and teacher at Shanghai
Tongji University and Guangdong Public College.
Solid Tang Lang Quan Faculty
Master Lin was learned, grasped the strong points
of Nan Quan and Bei Quan and had both cream of inner and outer Gongfu. During the
study at Shanghai Chin Woo Athletic Association School he had learned Wu-Style Xiaojia
Taiji Quan from Xu Zhi Yi, the promising pupil of Wu Jia Quan, the venerable master
of Wu-Style Taiji. He had also learned Shaolin Tantui from the chieftrainer of Chin
Woo Athletic Association Zhao Lian He, Tang Lang Quan from Luo Guang Yu, Yingzhao Gong
from Chen Zi Zheng, Xingyi Quan from Geng Xia Guang, Yang-Style Dajia Taiji Quan
from Dong Ying-Jie. If you ask me which Master Lin's most favorite is, my answer
is Qi Xing Tang Lang Quan, which was learned from Luo Guang Yu. On the 1st. Guangxi Wushu
Sport Meeting Master Lin presented his astonishing talent for Qi Xing
Tang Lang Quan.
In the three fight (Du-Ji) competitions he was among the best of the successful
candidates. Master Lin profited much from the eight years occupation in Hankou.
He learned at first Wudang Jianfa from Wudang master Li Jing Lin. Then his best
friend Pang Yi-Zhi introduced him to work as Wushu trainer in Guangxi, afterwards
in Guangdong, where he saw with his own eyes the performance of Yang-Style Dajia
Taiji Quan by venerable master Yang Cheng Fu. Through the introduction of Pang he
respectfully offered himself as master Dong Ying Jie's disciple in oder to learn
Yang-Style Dajia Taiji Quan. Experts consider that Master Lin's attainments of Tanglang
are as well as those of Taiji Quan. But the Quan-Yi (skills of Quan) of Neijia Quan
and Waijia Quan are different, the Quan-Fa (methods of Quan) are distinct. Bei Quan
master Xu Xiou Huan, who came from Longdang County, said to him, "You have
learned several kinds of Quan. Hereafter you should permanently train Taiji and
Xingyi Neijia Quan, because Neijia Quan uses softness to defeat strength. Tang Lang
Quan is fine, but its Quan-Xing (character of Quan) is too hard!" Master Xu's
words had served as a great source of inspiration for Master Lin. From then on he
trained Taiji Quan hard constantly. The people, who have learned Taiji Quan from
him, are more than the people, who have learned Tang Lang Quan from him. Master
Lin began to teach boxing at the age of twenty one. In his early years he worked
as an instructor in Shanghai, Hankou and Guangxi etc.. After 1940 besides Guoshu
he taught also Chinese and geography at Zhongzheng Middle School in Singapore. One
year later the Japanese army invaded and occupied Singapore. During the period of
extensive checking of credentials Master Lin was arrested and was out of danger
after three days and nights.
Founding Taiji Gymnastic Society
In 1952 because of the recommendation of Lin Lian
Yu, the chairman of Malaysia Chinese Teachers Association, Master Lin assumed a
position teaching Chinese at Zunkong Middle School in Kuala Lumpur and simultaneously
had taught Guoshu at Sarawak Chin Woo Athletic Association for six years. In 1957
he came back to Singapore and was invited by Zhongzheng Middle School as a Chinese
teacher and held a concurrent job as Taiji Quan trainer at Nanyang University and
Singapore University. During that time he set up the Jiulong Tang Taiji Quan gymnastic
class in Lin's ancestral hall in Guangdongming Road. In 1967 this class changed
its name to Bo Yan Taiji Gymnastic Society. The former was a commercial organization
and was named as "Xiao-Pai" by the professional persons. The latter was
an amateur community and was named as "Da-Pai". From "Xiao-Pai"
developing to "Da-Pai" it spent 32 years. Master Lin had taught boxing
for 66 years until he was 87 years old. He educated his pupils with beneficial influence,
just like the wind and rain in spring. His pupils are spread all over the world.
Taoist Qigong Assist
Master Lin lived an earnest life without unhealthy
hobbies. His lifelong interest was teaching boxing. Besides he exercised Taoist
Qigong as supplement. He held the Taoist inactivism in high esteem. So he spent
his evening of life in quiet and happiness.
(selected from Liang Jun Yi's "Singapore Wulin Figures"
translated by Cao Jialin and Kai Uwe Pel