Reverend Sek Koh Sam
Reverend Sek Koh Sam, was the abbot of the Shuang Lin Monastery in Singapore. He was a scholar, physician, and highly martial artist. Born in 1886 in China, he was the second son of four brothers. His parents died while he was young, so he lived with his elder brother and sister in law. They were poor and struggle for a living. He left his brother at the age 13 to learnt Five Ancestor Fist from the martial artist, Cao Piow. He ultimately became the first disciple of Cao Piow.
Three years later, he went back to his family and followed his brother to Singapore. At this time, both Sek Koh Sam and his brother rowed boat for a living. After three years in Singapore, his elder brother drowned. At this time he decided to be a monk, at the age of 18. He study Buddhism under the Reverend Xing Liang, and he trained martial arts under the Reverend Wei Jing. Reverend Wei Jing was 48th generation of Shaolin lineage, and he had only three disciples. Reverend Sek Koh Sam was the only disciple to receive the full teachings of the Reverend Wei Jing, after training under him for over ten years. Reverend Sek Koh Sam is the 49th generation of the Chinese Buddhist monk lineage, the first generation being Bodhidharma (Damo).
Reverend Sek Koh Sam only started teaching martial art while he was the chief abbot of Zhen Yuan Gong in Medan, Indonesia. At that time he was over 50 years old, and he only accepted 5 disciples.
At the age of 63, Sek Koh Sam was requested by the Singapore Shuang Lin Monastery to succeed Reverend Song Hui as Abbot (Chief Monk). He undertook post-war repairs to some parts of the buildings in the Monastery which had been badly damaged. He was a well-known exponent of the Shaolin discipline of martial arts, and was especially known for his Monkey Lohan form, and for sharing his expertise with the community.
In 1954, Reverend Sek Koh Sam established the Singapore Sao Hua San Athletic Association. This was the first Shaolin martial arts school outside Shuang Lin Monastery. He introduced 'Yi Zhi Mei' as a set form, as well as 'Lohan Koon'.
He later established the Penang Shaolin Pugilistic Art Federation, and later in 1958, the Nanyang Shaolin Pugilistic Headquarter.
Reverend Sek Koh Sam died on May 16,1960, at the age of 75 years.
Further information about Sek Koh Sam and his disciples/decendents can be found at the following website www.sekkohsam.com
Ng Ser Kow
Master Ng Ser Kow (Ng Swee Gao) was born in Fu Jian, China. He was a strong willed man and early on he showed a strong interest in Chinese martial arts. In 1947 he left China for Singapore, it was there that he became the protégé of the Reverend Sek Koh Sam.
Master Ng trained under Abbot Sek Koh Sam for more than ten years, and became one of his favorite disciples. Master Ng Ser Kow trained to a high level of proficiency in the Lohan form, Monkey form, Staff, and various weapons.
The Singapore Sao Hua San Athletic Association was formed in 1954. Under the instruction of Abbot Sek Koh Sam, Master Ng was to be the head instructor.
Master Ng had numerous trainees under him, and during his stay in Sao Hua San he trained several well-known martial artists in Singapore. Several of his students participated in tournaments throughout South East Asia and these students gained recognition for their skills.
All of this further substantiated Master Ng contributions to the Sao Hua San Association. Also, he was the instructor of the Nanyang Shaolin Headquarters. In 1967, he participated in the Singapore Pugilistic demonstration. It was at this demonstration that the Nanyang Shaolin Pugilistic Headquarters became one of the top martial arts associations in Singapore.
Master Ng spent most of his life promoting Shaolin martial arts in Singapore. He was strict in his teachings, yet humble and did not seek recognition for his contributions to the association. He was a highly skilled martial artist, whos many contributions have benefited his fellow students. He will always be remembered as a caring master, and his teachings will not be forgotten.
He passed away on December 23, 1973 at the age of 47.
Lau Eng Guan
Master Lau Eng Guan was born in 1931 in Wei Ann, Fujian, China. In 1937, he followed his father to Singaporeto help his father in running his business.
He joined Sao Hua San Athletic Association in 1957, and trained in martial arts under Ng Ser Kow and Tay Shui Siong. He learnt the Mei Hua form, monkey form, Luo Han form, crane form and weapon sets.
He was approachable and hardworking, and he perfected the techniques taught to him in a short period time.
In 1966, the Sao Hua San Athletic Association celebrated their twelve anniversary, and Master Lau Eng Guan was commended for his contribution to the association.
In 1969, he was one of the few selected members from Nayang Shaolin Pugilistic headquaters of Singapore (of which Sao Hua San is an affiliate) to go to Berlin, Germany, for a martial art performance. During this period, he was under the strict supervision of Master Ng Ser Kow where he further sharpened his martial art skills, and other special martial art forms were taught to him.
When Master Ng Ser Kow died in 1973, Master Lau was elected to take his place as the head martial arts instructor for Sao Hua San Athletic Association. He was the instructor there until he passed away on April 5th, 2013 at the age of 82.