Grandmaster Lin Bo Yan

(1903 - 1990)

Lin Bo Yan

Tang Lang Quan 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 Credentials Committee.

Tai Ji Quan

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, 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 Tang Lang Quan, which was learned from Luo Guang Yu. On the 1st. Guangxi Wushu Sport Meeting Master Lin presented his astonishing talent for Tang Lang Quan.

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

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