Master Châu Quan Ky was born in 1895 in the province of Quang Dông in China. His family was of Hakka ethnicity and renowned for its skills in stone cutting. Furthermore the family possessed and jealously guarded its own practice of martial arts and traditional medicine.
At a very young age, Master Châu Quan Ky’s father passed away, and his mother, unable to raise him alone, entrusted her son to his uncle to ensure a proper education. Master Châu Quan Ky’s uncle was a venerable Taoist priest who directed an important martial arts school…Very quickly young Master Châu Quan Ky demonstrated an undeniable talent for martial arts. The level of technical skill he achieved was exceptional and astonished those around him. He continued in this pursuit and enriched his uncle’s work by adding the results of his own research…
In 1936, he left China via Hong-Kong, to live in Trà Vinh in South VietNam, where a large Chinese community resided. He quickly acquired a reputation in that area due to his knowledge of martial arts and traditional medicine. His renown spread throughout South VietNam, best described in the following incident. In the course of a local celebration, two Chinese participants were demonstrating martial arts in a very unconvincing manner. In order to save face in front of the Vietnamese public, the organizer asked Master Châu Quan Ky to perform a more realistic martial arts demonstration. Although hesitant at first, Master Châu Quan Ky did it and dazzled the audience. The two Chinese martial arts demonstrators doubted Master Châu Quan Ky’s real skills and challenged him, then were defeated. Consequently, several of the Chinese asked to become his disciples. For a long time, Master Châu Quan Ky would divulge his knowledge to Chinese students only. In 1956 he went to work in Cho Lon, a suburb of the South Vietnamese capital as an herbalist and acupuncturist.
Subsequently, at the request of his countrymen, he moved to a Taoist Temple in Gia Dinh where he became the Master of Ceremonies for the Cult of Dead. During this period Master Châu Quan Ky met a very young Pham Xuan Tong who became one of the first disciples of this temple. Eventually, Master Châu Quan Ky upon the advice of many Vietnamese Experts, including Grand Masters Lê Van Kiên, Lai Qui, Long Hô Hôi, agreed to become a naturalised Vietnamese citizen and be licensed to teach by the Martial Arts Federation (Tông Cuôc Quyên Thuât ViêtNam). Subsequently, he opened his first official school in 1958 in Phu Nhuân, Vo Duong: Hô Hac Trao. Master Châu Quan Ky first started feeling unwell in 1967 while researching control of physical energy. During this time he drafted his will. Master Pham XuanTong’s own father found Master Châu Quan Ky unconscious while he was visiting. He died a few hours later in the Cho Rây hospital due to a stroke.
Master Pham Xuan Tong had already been chosen as his successor. He was named in the will and inherited a portion of the books he had specially written with him in mind.