Training for Life
Column by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong
INSIDE KUNG-FU MAGAZINE
August 2007 Issue
Wong Gong, Keeper of the Hung Sing School Jiang Men Branch
Chan Cheong Mo was the founder and chief instructor of the Sei Yup (four counties) Hung Sing School in Kong Moon City now called Jiang Men. He learned Choy Li Fut from Chan Heung, the founder of Choy Li Fut kung fu when he was a child. After Chan Heung past away, he continued to study from his eldest son, Chan On Pak.
In 1898, Chan Cheong Mo opened the first Hung Sing School in the Wong clan family temple in Jiang Men city and invited Chan On Pak's younger brother Chan Koon Pak to be the head instructor and he assisted Chan Koon Pak in teaching Choy Li Fut kung fu. In 1906, Chan Koon Pak went to Canton (Guangzhou) and Chan Cheong Mo officially took over the school and became the head instructor of the Jiang Men's Hung Sing School.?Before Chan Cheong Mo past away in 1953, his adopted son and successor Chew Kam Wing was appointed to be the keeper and head instructor of the Hung Sing School in Jiang Men city.
Chew Kam Wing taught in the Jiang Menfs Hung Sing School until the Chinese government banned traditional kung fu teaching. All of his students eventually stopped practicing and no longer taught the great Choy Li Fut system. Chew Kam Wing taught his sons Choy Li Fut privately; unfortunately his sons were not up to the standard that was required for passing down the traditional teaching. Chew Kam Wingfs occupation was a full time doctor in the Peoplefs Hospital of Jiang Men practicing traditional Chinese medicine. He finally retired couple years ago having served the community for over 45 years. He became one of the most well known doctors in Southern China.
Today, only few of the senior students of Chan Cheong Mo are still alive in China and around the world. In Jiang Men city, there are Wong Kan Fu, Lui Sieh Gen and the old keeper Chew Kam Wing. In Canada, Yan Jun Ho was teaching in Vancouverfs Chinatown for over 30 years and he also retired from teaching kung fu. Today, in Hong Kong only Wong Gong is still actively involved in teaching Choy Li Fut. Chew Kam Wing now is in his mid 80fs and he and his fellow classmates had a meeting and all agreed that he should pass on his Keeperfs position to his kung fu brother Wong Gong. All the senior members of Chan Cheong Mofs students believed Wong Gong had achieved the greatest success in the teaching of Choy Li Fut. On February 16, 2006, Chew Kam Wing officially signed the certificate of Jeong Moon Yen to Wong Gong as the new Keeper of the Sei Yup Hung Sing School.
Wong Gong was born in 1928 and he is a native of Jiang Men city. He studied kung fu with his father as a child and later became a disciple of Chan Cheong Mo. With his teacher Chan Cheong Mofs permission, he continued his studies from Chan Yen, the chief instructor of King Mui Villagefs Hung Sing School. Chan Yen learned Choy Li Fut from his father Chan Yau Kau who was the student of the founder of Choy Li Fut, Chan Heung. In 1949, the communists took over mainland China. Before Wong Gong moved to Hong Kong both of his teachers told him to continue teaching kung fu in Hong Kong in order to keep the Choy Li Fut system alive. Today, Wong Gong has over 50,000 student memberships down through 6 generations from him all around the world.
Doc-Fai Wong writes a bi-monthly column for Inside Kung-Fu.
August 2007 Inside Kung-Fu