Wong Fei Hung

Wong Fei Hung

Wong Fei Hung (zh-tspcy |t=黃飛鴻 |s=黄飞鸿 |cy=Wòhng Fēihùhng| p=Huáng Fēihóng) (1847–1924) was a martial artist, a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, and revolutionary who became a Chinese folk hero and the subject of numerous television series and films.

As a healer and medical doctor, Wong practiced and taught acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine at 'Po Chi Lam' (寶芝林), his clinic in Foshan, Guangdong Province, China, where he was known for his compassion and policy of treating any patient. A museum dedicated to him was built in Foshan.

Amongst Wong's most famous disciples were Lam Sai Wing, Leung Foon, and Ling Wan Gai. He was also associated with Chi Su Hua, aka the Beggar So.


Early years

Legend has it that Wong Fei Hung was born in Foshan on the ninth day of the seventh month of the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Emperor Daoguang (1847). When Wong was five, he began his study of martial arts under his father Wong Kei Ying, one of the Ten Tigers of Canton. To supplement his poor family's income, he followed his father to Foshan, Guangzhou and throughout the rest of Guangdong Province to do martial arts performances and to sell medicines.

Well within his youth, Wong began showing great potential as a martial artist. At the age of thirteen, while giving a martial arts demonstration at Douzhixiang, Foshan, Wong Fei Hung met Lam Fuk Sing, the first apprentice of Tit Kiu Saam, who taught him the "tour de force" of Iron Wire Fist and Sling, which helped him become a master of Hung Gar. When he was sixteen, Wong set up martial arts schools at Shuijiao, Diqipu, Xiguan, Guangdong Province, and then opened his clinic 'Po Chi Lam' (寶芝林) on Renan Street in Foshan. By his early 20s, he was fast making his mark as a highly-respected physician and martial artist.

Later years

As a famous martial arts master, he had many apprentices. He was successfully engaged by Jiming Provincial Commander-in-Chief Wu Quanmei and Liu Yongfu as the military medical officer, martial art general drillmaster, and Guangdong local military general drillmaster. He later followed Liu Youngfu to fight against the Japanese army in Taiwan. His life was full of frustration, and in his later years he experienced the loss of his son and the burning of Po Chi Lam, an academy that went unsurpassed in martial arts competitions. On lunar year, the twenty-fifth day of the third month in 1924, Wong Fei Hung died of illness in Guangdong Chengxi Fangbian Hospital. His wife and two of his prominent students, Lam Sai-Wing and Tang Sai-King, moved to Hong Kong, where they continued teaching Wong's martial art. Wong became a legendary hero whose real-life story was mixed freely with fictional exploits on the printed page and onscreen.

As a martial artist

Wong was a master of the Chinese martial art Hung Gar. He systematized the predominant style of Hung Gar and choreographed its version of the famous Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist, which incorporates his "Ten Special Fist" techniques. Wong was famous for his skill with the technique known as the "Shadowless Kick". He was known to state the names of the techniques he used while fighting.

Wong Fei Hung also became adept at using weapons such as the wooden long staff and the southern tiger fork. Soon after, stories began circulating about his mastery of these weapons. One story recounts how he defeated a 30-man gang on the docks of Canton using the staff.

Wong is sometimes incorrectly identified as one of the Ten Tigers of Canton (a group of ten of the top martial arts masters in Guangdong near the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912). His father Wong Kei Ying was one of the Ten Tigers, but Wong Fei-Hung was not. Due to his heroic efforts in defending China's pride during a period when Chinese morale was at an all time low, Wong Fei-Hung is sometimes known as the "Tiger after the Ten Tigers."

Portrayal in modern media


There was a "Wong Fei Hung" film series in Hong Kong from the late 1940s into the 1960s; it consisted of 99 movies. The star, Kwan Tak Hing, gained the nickname "Master Wong" due to his participation in the series. Numerous sources state that it is the most prolific movie series ever, and that Wong Fei Hung is the most portrayed character in movie history.

A short list of films portraying Wong Fei Hung is as follows:

*"Challenge of the Masters" (1976), played by Gordon Liu.
*"Drunken Master" (1978), played by Jackie Chan, with Yuen Siu Tien as the Beggar So.
*"Magnificent Butcher" (1979), played by Kwan Tak-Hing. Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao and Wei Pak starred as Wong's disciples, Wing, Foon and Chik.
*"Once Upon a Time in China" (1991), played by Jet Li. This is the first in a series of six films about Wong Fei Hung.
*"Great Hero From China" (1992), played by Chin Kar-Lok.
*"Iron Monkey" (1993). The young Wong Fei Hung is played by female martial artist Tsang Sze-Man. Donnie Yen portrays Wong's father.
*"Once Upon a Time in China IV & V (1993) played by Zhao Wen Zhou
*"Drunken Master II" (1994), played by Jackie Chan. Ti Lung portrayed Wong's father.
*"Drunken Master Killer" (1994), played by Willie Chi.
*"Last Hero in China" (1995), played by Jet Li.
*"Around the World in 80 Days" (2004), Sammo Hung has a brief appearance as Wong Fei Hung.
*"Shao Nian Huang Fei Hong" (TV series, 2002), China.
*"My Master is Wong Fei Hung" (TV series, 2004), Hong Kong.

For a more extensive list, see List of Wong Fei Hung films.

Because it was used as the theme song of the films, the Chinese folk song "On the General's Orders" (將軍令) is now associated with Wong Fei Hung, as is "A Man Should Better Himself" (男兒當自強), arranged by the late Wong Jim to "On the General's Orders".


The character of Lee Rekka from SNK's Last Blade series is based on Wong Fei Hung as portrayed by Jet Li in the Once Upon a Time in China series.

The lead character of Fei Fong Wong from the Squaresoft video game Xenogears is based on Wong Fei Hung.

In author Will Thomas' third mystery novel, "The Limehouse Text", his Victorian detective, Cyrus Barker, trained in Canton under Wong Fei Hung.

Stan Sakai has mentioned he plans to include a character based Won Fei Hung in a future issue of his comic book Usagi Yojimbo.

ee also

* Ten Tigers of Canton


External links

* [http://www.kungfucinema.com/?page_id=1300 Wong Fei Hung: The Man & the Legend] - a comprehensive summary by Kung Fu Cinema
* [http://www.wongfeihung.com/ www.wongfeihung.com]
* [http://www.hkcuk.co.uk/articles/wong_fei_hung.htm HKCuk] - Brief History on Wong Fei Hung

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