Master Tan was born in Muar and as a child took up the study of Chu Gar boxing. His teacher of this southern style was well known for his ability with the staff and it was from him that he learnt staff. He recounts how he was not allowed to learn any actual forms until he could break his teacher's staff with one blow from his own.
Master Tan Ching Ngee (centre) with Nigel Sutton (far left)
When he moved with his family to Singapore he took up the study of northern martial arts with Grandmaster Chen Yu He. The young Ching Ngee developed a close relationship with Grandmaster Chen and learnt from him many of the basic Jing Wu forms including tantui, gong li quan, jie quan , wu hu qiang and ba gua dao. In addition he started to learn the neijia arts of xing yi quan and taijiquan. When taking part in a National Martial Arts Championships Ching Ngee caught the eye of a prominent martial artist named Ong Zi Chuan. Master Ong, a native of Shandong Province, had been invited over as a judge. Finding out who Tan Ching Ngee was from Chen Yu He who was also judging, Master Ong invited Ching Ngee to train with him during his stay in Singapore. Originally Master Ong had studied shuai jiao (Chinese wrestling) and because of his prowess became known as "The Ironman of Shandong". After moving to Taiwan he was resoundingly beaten by a taijiquan practitioner, Cheng Man Ching! After this he became Grandmaster Cheng's disciple and this was the art that he introduced to Tan Ching Ngee. Years later it was through Master Ong's introduction that Tan Ching Ngee met and became a disciple of Cheng Man Ching. Master Tan bustles through life with a vigour and energy that reflects his homeland Singapore. Always busy, always moving fast, it is all the more surprising to see the measured grace of his Cheng style form. It is in pushing hands, however, that he really excels and he is always willing for others to test his skills. Currently Master Tan has his own clinic of traditional Chinese medicine which is very successful. Master Tan has visited England on several occasions to share his skills with us.