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Great Grandmaster Wong Gong

The Keeper of the Hung Sing School

Chan Cheong-Mo was the founder and chief instructor of the Sei Yup (four counties) Hung Sing School in Kong Moon City, which is now called Jiangmen. He learned Choy Li Fut from Chan Heung, the founder of Choy Li Fut kung fu, when he was a child. After Chan Heung died, he continued to study from Heung’s eldest son, Chan On-Pak. 

In 1898, Chan Cheong-Mo opened the first Hung Sing School in the Wong clan family temple in Jiangmen City and invited Chan On-Pak’s younger brother, Chan Koon-Pak, to be the head instructor. Chan 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 died in 1953, his adopted son and successor, Chew Kam Wing, was appointed keeper and head instructor of the Hung Sing School in Jiang Men City. 

Chew Kam Wing taught in the Jiang Men’s Hung Sing School until the Chinese government banned traditional kung fu teaching. All his students eventually stopped practacting and no longer taught the great Choy Li Fut system. Chew Kam Wing taught Choy Li Fut privately to his sons. Unfortunately, his sons were not up to the standard that was required for passing down the traditional teaching. Chew Kam Wing practiced Chinese medicine at the People’s Hospital of Jiang Men. He finally retired several years ago after having served the community for more than 45 years. He was among the most well-known doctors in southern China when he retired.  

Today, only a few of Chan Cheong-Mo’s senior students 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 taught in Vancouver’s Chinatown for more than 30 years, but he has since retired. In Hong Kong, only Wong Gong remains actively involved in teaching Choy Li Fut. Chew Kam Wing now is in his mid-80s and will soon pass on the Keeper’s position to his kung fu brother, Wong Gong. Of Chan Cheong-Mo’s students, it is believed Wong Gong had achieved the greatest success in the teachings of Choy Li Fut. Last February, 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 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-Mo’s permission, he continued his studies from Chan Yen, the chief instructor of King Mui Village’s Hung Sing School. Chan Yen learned Choy Li Fut from his father Chan Yau-Kau, a student of Chan Heung. In 1949, the Communists assumed control of Mainland China. Before Wong Gong moved to Hong Kong, his teachers told him to keep the Choy Li Fut system alive. Today, Wong Gong has more than 50,000 student memberships around the world representing six generations. 

This article originally appeared in the September 2006 issue of Inside Kung Fu Magazine, “Training for Life” by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong.

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Tai-Sifu Ben Stanley

Chief Instructor of White Dragon Martial Arts - Clairemont (San Diego)

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