Man Yan Tai Edit
Man Yan Tai (Chinese: 萬元大; 1 January 1920 – October 1996) born in Ping Che (Chinese: 坪輋) in Ta Kwu Ling, North District, Hong Kong, was a hakka Chinese born naturalized British martial artist, and a master teacher of Kong Sai Tiě Ngau Fong Ka (Kong Sai Iron Buffalo Style). He had 3 students who later became martial arts masters in their own right, including Wong Ming and Lay Wah Hing and Wai Yip.
Life in Hong Kong Edit
Man Yan Tai was an officer of local auxiliary militia force funded and administered by the colonial Government of Hong Kong. It is in those years that Man Yan Tai who was then 22, met Lee Tiě Ngau (李铁牛) aged 54, and started learning Tiě Ngau. Man Yan Tai became lee's last student. When Lee Tiě Ngau moved to Laam Ling in Konsai (Hong Kong area), Man Yan Tai followed him and started to completely learned the Iron Buffalo style. Yan Tai learned all of his skills and techniques from Lee Tiě Ngau and also from Lee Tiě Ngau's brother, Lee Kam Kong (李鑒工).
Life in Europe Edit
At the age of 35, after he had learned everything from Lee Tiě Ngau and his brother, he moved to Liverpool and then Manchester (England). One year later, he opened a restaurant in Manchester and only taught one Tiě Ngau to his student Wai Yip in Manchester. In 1967, he obtained British citizenship and then moved to Antwerp (Belgium) and opened there 3 restaurants.
Man Yan Tai had 5 schools in Hong kong where he used to teach Kong Sai Iron Buffalo style but he closed them all when he took the decision to migrate to Europe in the 50's. In 1977, he met for the first time a young martial artist named Wong Ming in the Chinatown of Antwerp who proposed a friendly dual to him as it became quite popular how Man Yan Tai never got defeated in either Belgium, England or Hong Kong with a style everyone thought disappeared in China during British rule. In 1986, Man Yan Tai accepted to have Wong Ming as a new full disciple in Belgium together with Ley Wah Hing in England (He taught them both at the same time everything about the Tiě Ngau Fong Ka (Iron buffalo Style).
Man Yan Tai is the first person to teach the Iron Buffalo style to few selected students in Europe. He only had Chinese students and tried once to teach only 10% of his knowledge to a a Belgian person from Antwerp. The reason being that for traditional martial art to continue in a immutable change, is to find suitable candidate through whom, ethics, culture, heritage which people have inherited and protected for over 5000 years After, could be sure to see its continuity in the west. he appointed his student Wong Ming to be the Sifu of that Belgian, but upon seen the character and lacks of moral and ethics within that belgian person, Man Yan Tai decided that it was not allowed to let anything related to iron buffalo kung fu instructed to that Belgian person anymore.
Man Yan Tai was well known for having a very quick wit and an acid tongue. His teaching style, along with the very direct nature of the art and its despising of superfluous talk, infuses it with a certain edginess. This is probably why he is well known for being split into many factions.
A well known incident once happened time in Chinatown,when a person provoked him verbally saying that this kung fu style of Iron Buffalo was neither efficient or lethal at all. Upon this, Man Yan Tai's reaction was swift, he threw kitchen knives at the challenger's feet, telling him to pick them up and fight him so that he could find out for himself how efficient and lethal he would found the Iron Buffalo style to be.
Fighting style Edit
Man Yan Tai was a master of Tiě Ngau. He named the techniques of his skills when he performed them. These principles are: attacking the eyes, cutting the breath, breaking the face, exploding the ears, breaking the kidneys, twisting the tendons, breaking the fingers, dislocating the joints, breaking the elbows and disturbing the nervous system. This technique being too dangerous, it was taught only to a limited number of disciples. Man Yan Tai seems to have also been good at handling weapons, his specialty being the wooden stick.Man Yan Tai was adept at using the staff. The Kong Sai Iron Buffalo style is mainly encompassed by few things which are the basic foundation from which the physical work outta be trained: the body drill, anchorage technique, striking power developing and hitting, and precision targeting.
Man Yan Tai has another brother, 2 daughters and 1 one son and 3 grandchildren living today in Antwerp, Belgium.