Wong Fei Hung

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Wong.
Wong Fei-hung
Born (1847-07-09)9 July 1847
Foshan, Guangdong, China
Died 25 March 1924(1924-03-25) (aged 76)
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Residence Foshan, Guangdong, China
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Style Chinese martial arts
Hung Gar
Teacher(s) Wong Kei-ying
Rank Grandmaster
Occupation Martial artist, physician, revolutionary
Spouse Ms. Luo (m. 1871)
Ms. Ma (m. 1896)
Ms. Chen (m. 1902)
Mok Kwai-lan (m. 1915)
Notable students Leung Foon
Lam Sai-wing
Dang Fong
Ling Wan-kai
Wong Fei-hung
Traditional Chinese 黃飛鴻
Simplified Chinese 黄飞鸿

Wong Fei-hung (9 July 1847 — 25 March 1924)1 was a Chinese martial artist, physician, and revolutionary folk hero, who has since become the subject of numerous films and television series. He was considered an expert in the Hung Gar style of Chinese martial arts.2 As a physician, Wong practised and taught acupuncture and other forms of traditional Chinese medicine in Po-chi-lam (simplified Chinese: 宝芝林; traditional Chinese: 寶芝林; pinyin: Bǎozhīlín; Jyutping: Bou2 zi1 lam4), his private clinic in Foshan, Guangdong.

A museum dedicated to him was built in Foshan. Wong's most famous students included Wong Hon-hei (his son), Lam Sai-wing, Leung Foon, Dang Fong, Wong Sai-wing and Ling Wan-kai.

Wong is sometimes incorrectly identified as one of the "Ten Tigers of Canton". His father Wong Kei-ying was one of the ten but he was not. Wong is also sometimes referred to as the "Tiger after the Ten Tigers".3

Biography

Wong was born on Mount Xiqiao, Foshan, Guangdong during the reign of the Daoguang Emperor in the Qing dynasty. At the age of five, he started learning Hung Gar from his father, Wong Kei-ying. When he was 13, he learnt the essentials of the Iron Wire Fist and sling from Lam Fuk-sing (林福成; Lin Fucheng), a student of "Iron Bridge Three" Leung Kwan, after meeting Lam in Douzhixiang during a martial arts street performance. He learnt the Shadowless Kick from Sung Fai-tong (宋輝鏜; Song Huitang) later.

In 1863, at the age of 17, Wong set up his first martial arts school in Shuijiao. 26 years later, in 1886, he opened his Po-chi-lam (寶芝林; Baozhilin) clinic at Ren'an. In 1919, Wong was invited to perform at the Chin Woo Athletic Association's Guangzhou branch during its opening ceremony.

In legend, Wong was recruited by Liu Yongfu, a commander of the Black Flag Army, to be the army's medical officer and martial arts instructor. Wong also instructed Guangdong's local militia in martial arts and once followed the Black Flag Army to fight the Imperial Japanese Army during the Japanese invasion of Taiwan in 1895.

Personal life

After his first wife died of illness in 1871, Wong was widowed for 25 years. In 1896 he married his second wife and had two daughters. Some time after she died of illness, Wong again remarried in 1902. His third wife bore him two sons before she also fell victim to a deadly illness. His fourth and final wife stayed with him from 1915 up till his death. The personal names of his first three wives are unknown. He had four known children.

Spouses

Children

The man in this photograph was alleged to be Wong Fei-hung, but was later confirmed to be actually Wong's son, Wong Hon-hei.4

Death

Wong died of illness on May 24, 1924 in Chengxi Fangbian Hospital in Guangdong. He was buried at the foot of Baiyun Mountain. Wong's wife, Mok Kwai-lan, and his two sons, along with his students Lam Sai-wing and Dang Sai-king (鄧世瓊; Deng Shiqiong), moved to Hong Kong and established martial arts schools there.

Fighting style

Wong was a master of Hung Gar (also called Hung Fist). He systematised the predominant style of Hung Gar and choreographed its version of the Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist, which incorporates his Ten Special Fist techniques. Wong is famous for using the Shadowless Kick. He named the techniques of his skills when he performed them.

Wong was adept at using weapons, such as the staff and southern tiger fork. One tale recounts how Wong defeated a group of 30 gangsters on the docks of Guangdong with a staff.citation needed

Cultural references

Film and television

Over 100 films and television series featuring Wong Fei-hung have been produced since 1949, mostly in Hong Kong. Cantonese actor Kwan Tak-hing starred as Wong in over 70 films between the 1940s and 1980s and earned himself the nickname "Master Wong". Other prominent actors who played Wong Fei-hung include: Jet Li, in the Once Upon a Time in China film series; Vincent Zhao, in the television series Wong Fei Hung Series.

Theme song

The Chinese folk song On the General's Orders (將軍令) has become popularly associated with Wong Fei-hung because it was used as the theme song in various movies about Wong.

The song was used in the opening of the 1978 film Drunken Master, starring Jackie Chan. In the Once Upon a Time in China film series, the song was titled A Man Should Better Himself (男兒當自強) and Wong Jim provided the lyrics. The song was performed by George Lam and Jackie Chan (in the second movie).

A rearranged version was rewritten and performed by Dayo Wong as the theme song of Men Don't Cry. Taiwanese singer Kenji Wu performed a song titled On the General's Orders but the tune is different from the original one.

Others

  • Fei Fong Wong, the lead character in the Square video game Xenogears, was named after Wong Fei-hung (his name being written the same in katakana as Wong's name is written). Another protagonist, Citan Uzuki, closely resembles Wong, being both a physician and martial artist dressed in traditional Chinese garments.
  • In Will Thomas' third mystery novel, The Limehouse Text, his Victorian detective Cyrus Barker trained in martial arts in Guangdong under Wong Fei-hung's tutelage.
  • Stan Sakai has mentioned his plans to include a character based Wong Fei-hung in a future issue of his comic book Usagi Yojimbo.
  • Wong Fei Hong is a character in the collectible card game Shadowfist.

See also

References

  1. ^ On Hung Gar: History and Practice pg.79 Paperback: 310 pages Publisher: CreateSpace (April 13, 2009) Language: English ISBN 978-1-4421-3747-9
  2. ^ Iron Thread. Southern Shaolin Hung Gar Kung Fu Classics Series Paperback: 186 pages Publisher: CreateSpace (December 15, 2008) Language: English ISBN 978-1-4404-7500-9
  3. ^ World of Martial Arts! By Robert HILL
  4. ^ Source file of the photo.dead link The caption below reads: In 1976, Leung Ting (梁挺), who launched the Real Kungfu (真功夫) magazine for a friend, paid a special visit to Wong Fei-hung's wife Mok Kwai-lan. Apart from obtaining first-hand information about Wong from Mok, Leung also obtained the only available photo of Wong. The photo was not reproduced on time then and has been preserved by Leung until now, when it is unveiled to the public for the first time. See this link for details.

External links