Born between 1810 and 1820, accounts of Wong Kei Ying’s training history differ. Some say that as a young boy he earned a living as a street performer. During a performance he was noticed by Luk Ah Choi and became his disciple. Another story tells that Wong Kei Ying learned from his father Wong Tai, who was a student of Luk Ah Choi. Later, Wong Kei Ying was sent to Luk Ah Choi to continue studying under his guidance.
It is widely accepted that Wong Kei Ying later became the martial arts instructor of the general of Guangdong’s infantry regiment and gained fame as one of Southern China’s famous Guangdong Sup Fu (Ten Tigers of Canton). He exchanged a great deal of knowledge with other Kung Fu masters, such as Wong Yan Lum, a “Lion’s Roar” Kung Fu master who was also one of the Ten Tigers.
Wong Kei Ying was also a well-respected doctor, often travelling across China along with his son, Wong Fei Hung, to find and bring back herbs and medicine to his clinic in Guangdong. During these travels, he met and trained with many famous Kung Fu masters of the time. It is said that during one of their journeys, Wong Kei Ying helped to heal a man who was injured while watching a Kung Fu exhibition. The performer who accidentally injured the man was Lam Fuk Sing, a top student of the famous Tiet Kiu Sam. Lam Fuk Sing was so grateful for his help that he taught both Wong Kei Ying and the young Wong Fei Hung the famous internal form of Hung Ga: Tiet Sien Kuen.