I have the honour to introduce the lineage of Sifu Raymond Wong Chung Man to you. Sifu Wong Chung Man is a Hung Ga master in Hong Kong. He learned his kungfu from Grand master Leung Kam Kwong, who was a student of famous, late Grandmaster Wong Lei (also spelled as Wong Lee).
Wong Lei (王利)
Grand master Wong Lei lived in Gwongjau, China. He loved kungfu, but did not have any money to learn. He always helped his boss with many things, and this gave him the opportunity to start learning kungfu from the son of his boss. After a while, the son’s kungfu master saw that Wong Lei was very talented, and therefore this master accepted Wong Lei as a student.
The kungfu style he taught was Hung Kyun, but a version not the same as that of Wong Fei Hung and Lam Sai Wing. Many styles were actually called Hung Kyun at that time. This version, however, has more shorter stances, many tiger claws and many hand movements where the arm is extended in 3 strokes or repeats. (Often such styles are also called Saamjin, which means ‘3 extensions’.) It consists of two long sets: The first set is called Night Tiger Leaves the Forest (Ye Fu Cheut Lam 夜虎出林). This set focuses on unexpected, mostly attacking and defending movements from below coming up. The second set is called Fierce Tiger Leaves the Forrest (Maang Fu Cheut Lam 猛虎出林). This set is very direct/straightforward and uses hard power to ‘break’ the opponent.
One day Wong Lei got into a fight, and using his kungfu he killed his opponent. He then fled to Hong Kong.
About 1926, Wong Lei met the famous sifu Lam Sai Wing. Of course Wong Lei wanted to learn from him. Lam Sai Wing was, however, getting old, and his nephew and student Lam Cho had just started teaching. Thus, Lam Sai Wing told Wong Lei he better follow Lam Cho. Then Wong Lei became a student of sifu Lam Cho. As Lam Cho was only 16 years old when he started teaching, Lam Sai Wing let him use his name, or else there would be many challenges for a sifu so young. Occasionally Lam Sai Wing would also visit while Lam Cho was teaching, and then teach application to his grandstudents.
Later, Wong Lei also picked up some smaller subsets that were created/choreographed by classmates of his sifu, such as Plum Flower Fist (Mui Fa Kyun 梅花拳), and incorporated those into his own curriculum.
To be continued!
Next time: The biographies of grand master Leung Kam Kwong and Wong Chung Man.