About the LEE (Li) FAMILY ARTSThe Lee family arts were originally created by Ho-Hsieh Lee around 1000 BC, so the Lee style is nearly three thousand years old. The original form consisted of only eight movements, and whilst these same movements still exist within the form today, it now comprises 140 movements structured into 42 sets.
Ho-Hsieh Lee lived with his family just outside Beijing (Peking). Later in his middle fifties he moved the family to Wei Hei Wei, a fishing village about 200 miles east of Beijing, and the family remained in that district until 1934. The family practised together with parents teaching their children. The last three children, one daughter and two sons, had the responsibility of continuing the Lee family arts but only one, the eldest of the three, Chan Kam Lee was to do so.
Chan Kam Lee, an unmarried businessman dealing in precious and semiprecious stones moved to the Holborn district of London UK, which in those days was the world centre of this trade. In 1933 he started a small class in Red Lion Square to keep himself fit and taught a few close friends.
A chance meeting in Hyde Park brought a fourteen-year- old boy, himself Chinese, into contact with Chan Lee. The two became friends and Chan Lee invited this boy to join his little group in Holborn.
That boy was Chee Soo. Chee Soo devoted his life to the practice and teaching of the Lee Family Arts, and trained a small group of dedicated teachers in the Lee Family Arts.
One Of which was Howard Gibbon.
Howard Gibbon chief instructor for The East – West Taoist Association began his training under Chee Soo in 1973 and continued training under his supervision until his death in August 1994. Howard as a master of the Lee Arts has carried on the dedicated work from Chee Soo and trained a substantial following of dedicated teachers.
One of which was Angie Wood.
Angie Wood began her training under Howard and Giesela Gibbon in 2002 and continues today teaching many dedicated students at the Arts Workshops in Scarborough.
The Lee Family Arts have been preserved through many centuries, and we will all do our best to see that it flourishes and grows for many more. For the wisdom that the Lee Family Arts can impart are perhaps more essential today than they have ever been.