Quek Hiong Hor

Born in 1901, Quek Hiong Hor started martial arts at a young age when he travelled around China with famous Shandong Master Chao Biao. It was like a performance troupe where Quek performed martial arts in each town they stopped at.

After spending 8 years travelling with his teacher, who also taught him Chinese medicine, he became homesick and decided to return to his hometown in Fujian. In his eight years of travel, his teacher Chao Biao had also told him about an art in Fujian that is efficient and deadly. That art was Taichokun, and there was a master, who is particularly good, Ong Tiau Hian. On his way back, Quek actively sought out Ong Tiau Hian in Quanzhou and became his disciple in 1918.

Like all young people in China in those years, people in southern China were attracted to the prospect of a better life in Southeast Asia. Quek was one of them and, after training with Ong for three years, decided to sail south.

In Southeast Asia, Quek travelled across a few countries, visiting Thailand, Malaysia and finally settling in Singapore. A forward minded person, Quek started a western-style gym in Penang where he instructed people to lift dumbbells and other weights, not dissimilar to a modern gym.

Society was still unstable in those days, and Quek found himself needing to use his Taichokun to defend himself many times. He had two disciples who concealed daggers in their pants with him at all times and it was during these turbulent times when his Taichokun became famous.

At his peak, he was invited by an organizer in Bangkok to pit Chinese kungfu masters against Muay Thai Champions. Quek Hiong Hor told his students that the Muay Thai Leitai is similar to old Chinese Leitai.

Quek’s match lasted three rounds with draws in the first two days and finally at the last day Quek defeated his opponent with the Taichokun technique of kao yau, which incidentally was also the favourite technique of his master, Ong Tiau Hian.

In 1951, Quek Hiong Hor started the Manlam Pugilistic Association and one of his top students was Teo Choon Teck, the winner of the 1968’s Letai Championships.

 In 1967, the first Wushu Competition was held in Singapore, and Quek attended and became the champion in empty hands category and was took second place in weapons.

 At the age of 93, Master Quek passed away in 1994.