History of Grand Master Dang Fung

西關老虎  Dang Fung (Tang Fong)        (1877-1955)Sai Guan Lo Fu     (Tiger of Sai Guan)

Dang Fong was a native of Sam Soi, Guangdong Province in southern China.  He had been fond of martial arts since he was a boy.  His father was good at Maoshan sorcery and had some knowledge of martial arts.  He also followed the "code of the brotherhood."  Dang Fong eventually moved to Guangzhou.  There he began to study Chinese Boxing at Master Wong Yau's martial arts school which was located at De Xing Li in Guangzhou.  Wong's teachings emphasized leg positioning and waist bending and maintained a strict study of only these two aspects for a year. After two years, Dang Fung became dissatisfied with Wong's teaching, so he transferred to Wah Lum Temple to learn from the Buddhist Master Yuen Yin (Sin Ling).  It was from Yuen that Dang Fung learned his Left-Handed-Plum-Flower spear set (Joh Sau Mui Fa Cheung), a weapon that he became very famous for.

Dang Fung originally began learning Hung Ga Kuen from Lam Sai Wing, the disciple of Wong Fei Hung. At the time, Lam Sai Wing was teaching in Guangzhou’s Chan Tong district. Dang Fung was popular, and had many friends, two of whom were students of Wong Fei Hung’s named Soi Lo Yuk and Soi Lo Yin. They also taught Dang Fung much of their kung fu and were the ones who introduced him to Wong Fei Hung to become an indoor disciple and begin learning martial arts and Dit Da. He saw that Wong’s teaching style was to teach individual students according to their abilities, such as mainly teaching staff to Lin Wan Gai and hand forms to Lam Sai Wing. When Wong Fei Hung saw Dang Fung practicing his Left-Handed-Plum-Flower Spear, he recognized the potential in Dang Fung’s martial arts, but chose to focus his training on Dit Da and herbal medicine. However, Dang Fung was determined to learn martial arts and began learning from his classmates, such as learning the Fifth Brother Eight Trigram staff (Ng Long Pah Kua Guang) from Lin Wan Gai, the General’s Broadsword (Ji Fai Do) from Lam Sai Wing, and the Green Dragon Knife (Ching Lung Yan Yuet Do) from Chan Din Biu. When Wong saw Dang Fung practicing the Green Dragon Knife, a form he had never taught him, he realized his passion for learning and changed Dang Fung’s focus from Dit Da and herbal medicine to Hung Ga Kuen.

Dang Fung admired Wong Fei Hung whose martial arts skills had their origin in the Southern Siu Lum Temple. His martial arts had been passed on from Luk Ah Choi and Hung Hei Gune to Wong Kay Ying and from Wong Kay Ying to Wong Fei Hung. Having mastered Hung Ga Kuen and with Wong Fei Hung’s permission, Dang Fung established a martial arts school called Yee Yong Tong (Chivalrous Brave Hall), on Tai Ho Road, of West Sai Kwan district, in Guangzhou, which is where he trained Ho Lap Tin. He invited Wong’s wife, Mok Gwai Lan, to be the martial arts and lion dancing trainer for female students. The school became famous for male and female lion dancing, and he taught many students. Later in life, Dang Fung defeated master Yuen Hoi in a duel and became known as "The Tiger of Sai Guan 西關老虎 ." He was once employed in the army as a military arts officer and because of this; he was able to recruit students from everywhere. Finally, he went to Hong Kong where he set up another martial arts school, appointing Ho Lap Tin as his assistant. Dang Fung also created the Nine Sons Linking Fist (Gau Ji Lin Waan Kuen) and the Plum Flower Blade (Mui Fa Til). He also held the concurrent post as a Chinese doctor, specializing in treatment for bruises, sprains and similar ailments. He served the poor and his superb medical skills were highly praised by the citizens of Hong Kong.

Some of Master Dang Fung’s students who opened Kung Fu schools

Ho Lap Tin: Master Dang Fung’s Assistant. On the day of master Dang Fung’s death, Ho Lap Tin acted as his son and performed all the burial rites and responsibilities for master Dang Fung in keeping with Chinese tradition.

Other Disciples of Grand Master Dang Fung

Ho Lap Tin

Lau Kai Ton

Yuen Ling

Chow Wing Duk

Grand Master Dang Fung  Performing Five Animal Techniques from the Hung Gar System

Disciple of Grand Master Dang Fung  Ho Lap Tin