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Heroes of the Past

Wong Fei-Hung

 

Wong Fei-Hung or Hwang Fei-hung (1847–1924) was a martial artist, a traditional Chinese medicine physician, acupuncturist and revolutionary who became a Chinese folk hero.

He was considered an expert in the Hung Gar style of Chinese martial arts. Wong Fei-hung is visibly the most famous Hung Gar practitioner of modern times.

Now in East Asia (mostly China and Hong Kong ) he is known as a national hero of the people ,he fought to keep what was Nationally Chinese in the times of the European encroachments.


In the West we know of him because of the numerous Kung Fu films made about him ,from as early as the fifties .The most famous person to portray him was the late Kwan Tak Hing who played him for many years in TV and Film.I think Kwan Tak Hing made over 100 films portraying Wong Fei Hung.


To the more modern day person we would know of him through Jackie Chan's portrayal of him in the Drunken Master Films and Jet Li's portrayal in the Once upon a Time In China films where Jet Li played him four times in parts 1-3 and part 6. 

Leaving Vincent Zhou Wen Zhou to play him in parts 4 and 5.


But as a real life hero what do you really know of him,well many stories have been written and the facts vary,but as far as we know Wong was a Physician who practised and taught traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture at his Clinic Po Chi-Lam.


Legend says , Wong Fei-hung was born in Foshan on the 9th day of the 7th month of the 27th year of the reign of the Daoguang Emperor (c. 1847), the son of Wong Kei-ying - who was one of the "Ten Tigers of Canton".


Martial arts where taught to Fei Hung by his father ( Wong Kei Ying) who was taught by his father Wong Tai  and Luk Ah-choy who was taught by Hung Hei-gun (also a legendary patriot who founded Hung style Kung Fu).


At the age of five Wong Kei Ying started to teach  Fei Hung his knowledge.that was handed down to him before, Fei Hung was taught the classic style hung fists as listed below. 

Single Hard Fist, Double Hard Fist, Taming the Tiger Fist (伏虎拳), Mother & Son Butterfly Knives , Angry Tiger Fist, Fifth Brother Eight Trigram Pole , Flying Hook, and Black Tiger Fist.


But it was at the age of 13 that  Wong met Lam Fuk-sing, the first Student  of Tit Kiu Saamin Douzhixiang, Foshan during a martial arts demonstration. 


Lam taught Wong the "Tour de Force" of Iron Wire Fist and Sling, which aided Wong become a master of Hung Ga.

At the age of  16, Wong Fei-hung set up his first martial art school at Shuijiao, Guangdong and then opened his clinic Po-chi-lam  in Foshan.


Later on he became the martial arts drill instructor and medical officer of the local militia and the military.He went on to fight the Japanese in Taiwan . 

With the event of the demise of the Qing Dynasty and the forming of the republic of China in 1911/12  many local business men where worried of troubles the changing times will bring and hired bodyguards to protect their trade and customers. 


With Wong Fei-hung's experience as a martial artist he took on such a role. Yes Fei-hung was a bouncer by all intense and purposes.


Wong also had a son who he lost in a fire at Po Chi-Lam in 1924  ,thus losing Po Chi-Lam to.

 

It was losing both his son and Po Chi-Lam that made him depressed and ill , this got worse and he never got over the event.


Wong Later died from illness on the 25th of April 1925 ( age 77), his wife,sons and a couple of his students moved to Hong Kong to carry on his legacy and in turn turned him in to a legendary Folk Hero.


The Tale of him being one the Ten Tigers of Canton is a mistake as his father Wong Kei Ying was one of the Ten. Fei Hung was the Tiger after the Ten.

In his life he perfected many a technique ,his most famous ''The Shadowless Kick'' Made famous in the many films made of him.


So Fei Hung really was a Hero of China ,of course the films are exaggerated ,but these things always are.


But it goes with out saying he was a master of Hung Gar and a proficient Doctor of Chinese Medicine,who could beat his enemy then heal them to recovery.

It sounds like he was the ultimate Martial artist who new the healing powers and spiritual side of the art as well as being a expert Martial artist. A True Legend


* The Picture at the top Corner is a Painting of the Wong-Fei Hung


* The Top Main Picture is a recent discovery , in 2005 this photo was discovered and by 2009 was confirmed to be that of the legendary master.


* Prior to 2005  another photo was believed to be that of Wong Fei-Hung , which  actually turned out to be of his fourth son.  

 
With So Many depictions of Wong Fei-Hung your have no shortage of fictionalised events of the man from Film , TV Drama's and even books. 

How many of these stories have any resemblance to events that occurred is unknown .

But you will have a good time finding out .

Below is a selection of stills from  the various stars that have depicted  Wong Fei-Hung over the years. We will also leave links here on the page of the different films we have reviewed that depict him below the stills gallery. 
Wong Hon-hei , here we have a Picture of Wong Fei-hung's fourth son.

 It was his picture many believed to be of the legendary hero . But new evidence in 2005 and confirmed in 2009 shows this was not so.

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