Altar Photo: Middle Left
Tang Fong was one of Wong Fei Hung’s most famous disciples. He was born in Sam Soy village in Guangdong in 1874. In his youth he studied old-style Hung Ga under Sifu Wong Yau and Sifu Yuen Yin, as well as Mao Shan, a form of folk sorcery. Later he learned the new Hung Ga from Wong Fei Hung and became a close disciple.
Tang Fong was a participant in the Luk Sin theatre incident, where Lam Sai Wing, Tang Fung, Tang Yee, Gwan Kwan, and a few of Lam’s disciples famously became trapped by a rival instructor at the theatre. The rival led an attack with about eighty men, heavily outnumbering the group of no more than ten with Tang Fong. They sustained a few minor injuries, and all eighty people of their opponents were sent to the hospital. Tang Fong, his brother Tang Yee, and Lam Sai Wing left town to avoid retributions and further trouble. Lam Sai Wing went to the Guangdong/Gwongsai border and Tang Fong went to Malaysia to supervise a tin refinery. Later Tang Fung returned to Guangdong.
After Wong Fei Hung was quite old, Tang Fung and his brother Tang Yee opened a school called the “Yee Yung Tong” (Chivalrous Brave Hall). After Wong’s Death, his wife Mok Gwai Lan taught an all women’s class at Tang Fong’s school. After the start of the Sino-Japanese war in 1937, Tang moved to Hong Kong where he established a medicine shop at Saam Sui Bo and helped many people. He was said to always having a good heart and never charge for treatments if someone could not afford it. Tang Fung also married twice, but his second wife, Ho Fan, was the one Tang’s students called Simo. Ho Fan was taught the Ji Mo Seung Dao (Mother & Son Double Swords) and often demonstrated in fighting sets with Tang. Tang lived in Kowloon, Wang Gok, But Lan Street. He taught six days a week, even when he was in his seventies. He taught 3 days on the Kowloon side at the jewellery association, and then take a one-hour ferry on alternating days to the Hong Kong side to teach at the Shau Kay Won Fish Market Association. He also took over the position as head of security from Lam Sai Wing at the fish market. During his years in Hong Kong, Tang Fong established a strong reputation for himself. His teaching was known to emphasize hard stance training and strict detail to forms and applications. He was nicknamed “Lo Wan Ku” which means “Old Square Mind.”, a reference to his stubborn traditionalism.
Tang Fong’s daughter, Tang Sou Kin, broke from his traditionalist outlook and was heralded as Queen of the Lion Dance during the 1920s. At that time women were not usually allowed to participate in lion dance, for which Tang Fung was well known. During the early 1950s, he performed a special performance lion dance for Queen Elizabeth.
Tang Fong was famous for a weapon that was not a standard Hung Ga weapon: the Ngauh Gwat Sin (Beef Bone Fan) or Iron Fan techniques, which became renowned in Hong Kong although his skill was rarely demonstrated. Tang Fong produced many well-known students & disciples:
- Yuen Ling – Successor to Tang Fong, represented in the U.S. by Master Yee Chi Wai.
- Lau Kai Ton – Represented in the U.S. by New Mexico’s Master Frank Rivera.
- Luk Gan Wing – Represented in Ontario, Canada by his son.
- Wong Jo – A Hong Kong jewellery maker who still can be found on any given day at the Shau Kay Won Fish Market Association.
- Ho Lap Tin – Represented in the U.S. by Philadelphia’s Master Cheurng Shu Pui.
- Cheung Tai Hing – Represented in the U.S. by New York’s Master Wan Chi Ming.
- Jao Wing Duk – Represented in Spain by Master Lam Chuen Ping.
- Kwan Kei Tin
- Won Lei