Foshan is famous for a powerful title “the capital of Chinese Kung Fu”. Many visitors to Fosha just want to get close distance with the legends of some famous Chinese Kungfu masters such as Wong Fei-hung, Bruce Lee, and Yip Man.
♦ Wong Fei-hung
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 Tour de Force of Iron Wire Fist and sling from Lam Fuk-sing (林福成), 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) 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) clinic at Ren'an. In 1919, Wong was invited to perform at Chin Woo Athletic Association's Guangzhou branch during its opening ceremony.
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 (莫桂蘭) and his two sons, along with his students Lam Sai-wing and Dang Sai-king (鄧世瓊), later moved to Hong Kong and established martial arts schools there.
In legend, Wong was recruited by Liu Yongfu, 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. He followed Liu's army to fight the Imperial Japanese Army in Taiwan before as well.
► Recommended attractions to get touch with Wong Fei-hung: Xiqiao Mountain, Wong Fei-hung Memorial Hall
♦ Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee (born Lee Jun-fan; 27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973) was a Chinese American, Hong Kong actor, martial arts instructor,philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement. He is widely considered by many commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be the most influential martial artist of the 20th century, and a cultural icon.
Lee was born in San Francisco to parents of Hong Kong heritage but was raised in Hong Kong until his late teens. Lee emigrated to the United States at the age of 18 to claim his U.S. citizenship and receive his higher education. It was during this time that he began teaching martial arts, which soon led to film and television roles.
His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked a major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world, as well. He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei's The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon (1973), directed by Robert Clouse; and The Game of Death (1978), directed by Robert Clouse.
Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese nationalism in his films. He initially trained in Wing Chun, but he later rejected well-defined martial art styles, favouring instead to use techniques from various sources in the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).
► Recommended attractions to get touch with Bruce Lee: Bruce Lee Paradise, Bruce Lee Ancestral House.
♦ Yip Man
Yip Man (1 October 1893 – 2 December 1972), also spelled as Ip Man, and also known as Yip Kai-Man, was a Chinese martial artist. He had several students who later became martial arts teachers in their own right, including Bruce Lee.
► Yip Man and Wing Chun Kung Fu
The earliest known mentions of Wing Chun date to the period of Red Boat Opera.
The common legend as told by Ip Man involves the young woman Yim Wing-chun, (Wing Chun literally means 'forever springtime' or 'praising spring',) at the time after the destruction of the Southern Shaolin Temple and its associated temples by the Qing government:
After Wing-Chun rebuffs the local warlord's marriage offer, she says she'll reconsider his proposal if he can beat her in a martial art match. She soon crosses paths with a Buddhist nun--Ng Mui, who was one of the Shaolin Sect survivors, and asks the nun to teach her boxing. The legend goes that Ng Mui taught Yim Wing-Chun a new system of martial art that had been inspired by Ng Mui's observations of a confrontation between a Snake and a Crane; this then-still nameless style enabled Yim Wing Chun to beat the warlord in a one-on-one fight. Yim Wing-Chun there-after marries Leung Bac-Chou and teaches him the style, which is later named after her.
Since the system was developed during the Shaolin and Ming resistance to the Qing Dynasty, many legends about the creator of Wing Chun were spread to confuse enemies, including the story of Yim Wing Chun. This perhaps explains why no one has been able to accurately determine the creator or creators of Wing Chun.
► Recommended attractions to get touch with Yip Man: Yip Man Memorial Museum