Chan Kam Lee

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Chan Kam Lee (李陈金 Pinyin: Lǐ chén jīn) was the first Taoist to teach the Taoist Arts in the West according to an account by Chee Soo in a book called "Taoist Yoga" published by Thorsons an imprint of Harper Collins in 1983. He established a Taoist Arts school in London in 1930[1] teaching Lee-style t'ai chi ch'uan, Qigong, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Feng Shou 'Hand of the Wind' Kung Fu. He used his knowledge of Chinese Medicine and Herbalism to adapt the Ch'ang Ming diet for Westerners. Chan Lee is referenced in several further books written by Chee Soo and published by HarperCollins.[2][3][4][5]


Chan Kam Lee was the last in line of the Lee family from Weihaiwei in northern China, and as he was an importer and exporter of precious and semi-precious stones, he travelled thousands of miles promoting his business, which was mainly between Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and England. After he had built up a stable business he finally set up his main office in London, and from there he did most of his trade.


Chee Soo says that, after a while, Chan Kam Lee began to get restless, and he sought an outlet for his physical, mental and spiritual needs. As a result, he established a small and select class in a schoolroom in Red Lion Square, near Holborn, in Central London, teaching and practising his Chinese Taoist arts. He catered only for his own personal friends and their sons, so the total number of his students was very small, and at the most there were only a dozen people attending. All of them were in business and travelled quite a lot, so the average attendance at any one time was only in the region of six people. However, this did not deter Chan Lee for he was able to keep up his own practice as well, which was the main objective in the first place, so he was very happy.[6]

Death and legacy[edit]

According to Chee Soo's account: "In the winter of 1953-4, Chan Lee died, off the coast of China, near Canton, when the ship he was travelling in sank in a severe storm," [7]


  1. ^ Taoist Yoga by Chee Soo published by Aquarian Press (Thorsons publishing group) 1983 ISBN 0850303230 - page 158
  2. ^ The Taoist Art of Feng Shou published by Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northants 1983 (Thorsons/HarperCollins) ISBN 0850303605 pages 8, 13, 24, 224, 231-2
  3. ^ Taoist Yoga published by Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northants 1983 (Thorsons/HarperCollins) ISBN 085030332X page 33
  4. ^ The Tao of Long Life published by Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northants in 1982 (Thorsons/HarperCollins)ISBN 0850303206 pages 19,120
  5. ^ The Taoist Ways of Healing published by Aquarian Press (Thorsons/HarperCollins) 1986 (ISBN 085030475X) pages 12, 48, 137-8
  6. ^ Taoist Ways of Healing by Chee Soo published by HarperCollins 1986 ISBN 085030475X page 137
  7. ^ Taoist Ways of Healing by Chee Soo published by HarperCollins 1986 ISBN 085030475X - page 139