Wong Fei Hung 18471924

Wong Fei-Hung was a physician and martial artist in Canton province, China. He was born in 1847, the son of Wong Kei-Ying - one of the famous Ten Tigers of Canton, a group of top martial-arts masters. Wong Kei-Ying traced his own martial-arts lineage - from his sifu (master) to his sifu's sifu - back to the Shaolin Temple's scattered masters.

As a physician, Wong was known for his compassion and skill. He would treat any patient, rich or poor. As a martial artist, he was credited with developing the Tiger-Crane form of Hung Gar Kung Fu (p. 163). A political revolutionary as well, Wong participated in a mass protest against the governor of Fujian province, which was brutally crushed. He fled to Canton, where he married several times and lived a quiet life until his death in 1924.

After Wong's death, Woshi Shanren wrote a series of popular novels about his life. Wong was also the main character in many Peking Opera productions and over 100 movies. Many actors have portrayed him, including Kwan Tak-Hing (who played him in most of those movies), Jet Li, Sammo Hung, and Jackie Chan. Wong's abilities and deeds grew in the retelling. He became a full-fledged folk hero, credited with fighting off scheming Triads, defeating secret plots, and standing up for China against rampant European colonialism. His name is instantly recognizable in Chinese cinema -complete with a theme song, a statue in his honor, and still-growing legends of his exploits.

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