Many traditional martial art schools claim to be true and authentic. Through Grandmaster The’ (pronounced “Tay”), the Shaolin Centers are able to trace the lineage of this classical Shaolin material to the Fukien Shaolin Temple in China where the last two Grandmasters (Chang Men Ren) were Su Kong Tai Jin (1849-1928) and Ie Chang Ming (1880-1976). Knowledge of the art is preserved and passed down as a sacred trust from Grandmaster to Grandmaster. In accordance with tradition, only one person can possess this title at any given time. Since the burning of the Fukien temple only three have done so. Each Chang Men Ren, in his time, has been the ultimate martial arts warrior, the supreme Wu Sen.
Great Great Grandmaster Su Kong Tai Jin
Su Kong Tai Jin was born in Fukien province in 1849 and abandoned as an infant because of the genetic condition called Hypertrichosis Languinosa, a rare affliction which causes the entire body to grow hair. Ostracized outside the temple walls, he rarely left the compound and devoted his life to mastering all the Shaolin Arts. Excelling in all his training he eventually became the Grandmaster of Shaolin, the Chang Men Ren.
When the Wu Sen of the Fukien temple learned that the Ch’ing Government had sent an army led by a traitorous monk to destroy their temple, Grandmaster Su and the council decided to take drastic action. They burned down the temple themselves and, taking their priceless knowledge with them, went their separate ways in hopes of one day returning to rebuild it. Grandmaster Su took refuge in the mountains of Fukien province where he became a teacher of the Shaolin Martial Arts. There he passed the knowledge, training and title of Grandmaster to Ie Chang Ming before his death in 1928.
Great Grandmaster Ie Chang Ming
Ie Chang Ming was born in Fukien province in 1880. Ie was so impressed with Grandmaster Su’s skill that he joined the old Master in the mountains to study. Eventually, Ie became the Grandmaster and carried on the Chang Men Ren mission of preserving and spreading the Shaolin Fighting Arts.
After the fall of the Manchu Dynasty, Chinese warlords struggled for power. One of Grandmaster Ie’s encounters with a warlord’s enforcers left a mountain of dead soldiers. With a price on his head, Grandmaster Ie fled China and settled in Bandung, Indonesia, where he eventually opened a school for Martial Arts.
Grandmaster Ie died in 1976, but not before passing all his knowledge on to the current Chang Men Ren, Grandmaster Sin Kwang The’.
Grandmaster Sin Kwang Thé
Sin Kwang The’ was born in 1943 in Indonesia. After an exhaustive six-month selection process which tested patience, endurance, dedication, and temperament, Grandmaster Ie accepted the six year old as a student. At age twelve, after attaining the rank of black belt, Sin dedicated eight hours a day to private instruction with Grandmaster E before and after his regular school hours. Seven days a week, Sin studied many empty hand, animal, and weapon styles as well as meditation techniques. Mastering more than 900 forms from over 100 fighting systems, Grandmaster The’ became the youngest Grandmaster in 1500 years of the Shaolin history.