LEUNG WING HANG'S legacy
The Mao Ying Kuen International Federation is the representative body for the Hei Ng Mun or Chi Wu Men (氣五門) gōngfu family fist, which possesses a distinctive lineage of southern gōngfu. Chi Wu Men is a traditional style deeply rooted in the five animal styles, also known as the five gates fist, with a primary emphasis on the cat fist or Mao Ying Kuen (猫形拳) in Cantonese. This style originated during the Qing Dynasty in the southern region of Hubei province in China. According to the historical book "The Legend of the Five Intercessors," the early records of this style suggest that it was created by a Monk named Jeng Man Ho.
THE MAO YING KUEN INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION IS THE ONLY CHINESE MARTIAL ARTS INSTITUTION THAT OFFICIALLY REPRESENTS THE CHI WU MEN GONGFU STYLE, AUTHORIZED AND CERTIFIED BY OUR GRANDMASTER. ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO CLAIMS TO BE A REPRESENTATIVE OF OUR LINEAGE, NOT MENTIONED ON OUR MEMBERSHIP PAGE, HAS NO LINK WITH OUR INSTITUTION.
There are many elements from Hung Kuen in Leung Wing-hang's Kung Fu style, which he has practiced for many decades. According to the book "Snake, Cat and Crane The combined fist," the patriarch Leung Wing-hang absorbed elements of the Dai Min Jeung "the big cotton palm" and the Ying Jaau Tong Long Bo Yin Sun " Southern eagle claw, mantis step, swallow body" to combine these techniques and develop the cat fist.
With no doubt, Leung Wing-hangs kung fu influenced many, not only for the legacy he left with the cat fist and his incredible knowledge in martial arts and medicine of traditional Dit-da traumatology, and also as a kung fu movie actor and director back in the '50s, but according to Hung Kuen Research Association, it is most likely that grandmaster Leung Wing-hang was also responsible to develop the Wudip Zoeng Tao Lu (蝴蝶掌) (Butterfly Palm Form), a secret Kung Fu technique from the Shaolin temple, which nowadays is part of many Hung Kuen schools curriculum.
Leung wing hang
Cat Chases Mouse. 1920. "Snake, Cat and Crane The Combined Fist", by Leung Wing-hang, Chan Sheung Kee Book Co. Ltda p.58
Leung Wing-hang (梁永享) was a well-known traditional dit da doctor and kung fu teacher in Hong Kong from 1930-1974. Leung Wing-hang began his martial arts studies in Guan Zhou under So Hak-fu, one of the famed Ten Tigers of Canton. After his death, Leung Wing-hang was a disciple of Wong Fei-hung, the most renowned of the Ten Tigers. After training with Wong Fei-hung, Leung Wing-hang moved to Hong Kong and enrolled in one of Lam Sai-wing schools, beginning his training with him. At Lam's school, Leung studied the Southern Hung-Kuen style. Leung Wing-hang wrote a book on a style he created himself called the "Snake Cat Crane Combined Fist". The Snake Cat Crane Combined Fist, also known as the "Three Shapes Fist" or "Sam Yin Kuen", was created in the 1920s.
In his work travel through Hubei, he met several kung fu masters and exchanged martial arts knowledge and medical techniques with them. Two elderly guards, Yeung Han-git (楊漢傑) and Chan Saam-gaap (陳三甲) both became a great influence on the Leung development of the Sam Yin Kuen (三形拳) style. The Yeung's family martial arts style was Dai-min-jeung (大綿掌), and Chan's martial arts were called Ying-jaau-tong-long-bo-yin-sun (鷹爪螳螂步燕身). Observing and exchanging techniques with them, Leung was motivated to develop his style emphasizing softness.
Based on the five animal fists, Leung made the decision to extract the soft elements from the snake and the crane. Additionally, he recognized that the tiger and the leopard possessed strength and speed simultaneously, prompting him to merge both animals into one and develop the cat fist. After an extensive period of study, he came to the realization that the cat fist embodied the philosophy of Wu Xing. Leung Wing-hang's intention was never to replace the five animal styles with the cat fist, but rather to establish a connection between the cat and the five animals, uniting them as one. Leung concluded that his kung fu could reach a higher level by combining the Snake, Cat, and Crane techniques with the essence of Yung's and Chan's styles. After 1931, Leung returned to Hong Kong to operate his Dit-da medical clinic and teach martial arts.
“First comes courage, second strength, and third Kung Fu"
"一膽二力三功夫” -- Leung Wing Hang
Following World War II, during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, numerous Kung Fu masters either concealed themselves or migrated from China to various other countries. As documented in the history book "History Of Asian Americans: Exploring Diverse Roots" by Jonathan Lee, a significant portion of the Chinese population who departed from China sought refuge in the United States, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela.
Pang Ming-hou (彭明浩) was born in 1908 in Chongqing province, he was a peasant, before moving to Hong Kong in 1942. His first experience with martial arts began when he was 6 years old when he practiced southern Shaolin with his uncle, and later his best friend taught him Hakka Kung fu as well. In 1942 Pang Ming-hou moved to Hong Kong, where he got a job first pulling a rickshaw a few years later he met a restaurant owner, who offered him a better job in a restaurant. According to the narrative, Pang met a Kung Fu master in this restaurant, according with Leung Wing-hang and after a conversation, Leung invited him to practice martial arts and helped him to refine his style. In 1961 because of Chinese communism, Pang Ming-hou scaped to Brazil.
PaNG MING H0u
In São Paulo, he became a truck driver. After five years, he met his only student, Ronald Ferreira, who was just 13 years old at the time. In 1967, Sifu Pang passed away, and Ronald ended up continuing his Kung Fu studies.
Sifu Pang bestowed upon Ronald a historical scroll that he had received from his own master, which is now considered a historical heritage belonging to the Mao Ying Kuen International Federation.
Leung Wing-hang's kung fu is not considered a part of the Hung Kuen system because the patriarch extracted the essence, tradition, and elements from Hung Kuen gongfu to develop a new fighting method. Sifu Marciel C. Rodrigues, a student of Grandmaster Li Hon Ki in Sao Paulo, Brazil, states that "The Hung Gar system should keep its essence. Hung Kuen is a complete style, and emphasizing the cat instead of the tiger would completely change the essence of the style. What Leung Wing-hang created or learned from someone else was beautiful and effective, but a distinct style completely separate from Hung Kuen. The form and style are very beautiful, impressive, and can be effective as well." On the other hand, some other masters embraced the idea and the alteration, even incorporating the Sam Yin Kuen into their curriculum. This adoption extended to schools in Europe, the USA, and Brazil.
There are very few movies that give reference to the cat gōngfu style. It is arrogant to say those moves were made because of Leung Wing-hang's gōngfu style, but in some of the movements, there are some similarities which is a mere coincidence. Movies such as:
Lackey and the Lady Tiger
Snake in the Eagle's Shadow
8 Strikes of the Wild Cat
The Prodigal Son
cat vs rat
Revenge of the kung fu mao
kung fu master named drunken cat
According to Hong Kong Movie Database (香港影庫 ) Leung Wing-hang was also an actor, movie director, and a scene fighting director as well, he worked in the following movie titles:
- The Story of Wong Fei-Hung 黃飛鴻傳(上集) (1949)
- Wong Fei-Hung Burn the Tyrants's Lair 黃飛鴻傳(下集大結局) (1949)
- Story of Wong Fei-Hung, Part 3: The Battle by Lau Fa Bridge黃飛鴻傳第三集:血戰流花橋 (1950)
- The Story of Wong Fei-Hung, Part 4: The Death of Liang Huan 黃飛鴻傳第四集:梁寬歸天 (1950)
- How Ten Heroes of Guangdong Slew the Dragon 廣東十虎屠龍記 (1950)
- The Story of Wong Fei-Hung (Part 5) 黃飛鴻傳(大結局) (1951)
- The Three Sieges of Zhu Village 三打祝家莊(上集) (1951)
- The Three Sieges of Zhu Village (Part 2) 三打祝家莊(下集) (1951)
- The Five Heroes' Deadly Spears 五虎斷魂 (1951)
- The Brave Archer 百戰神弓 (1951)
- Huang Feihong's Battle in Furong Valley 黃飛鴻血染芙蓉谷 (1952)
- The Battle of the Peaks Part 1血戰摩天嶺 (1953)
- The Battle of the Peaks Part 2 血戰摩天嶺續集大結局 (1953)
- Crossing Yuanyang River by Night 夜渡鴛鴦江 (1953)
- The Rescue of Cloud-Piercing Swallow 鐵橋三義救穿雲燕 (1954)
The Rescue of Cloud-Piercing Swallow Original Novel Magazine from 1954.
Leung Wing-hang applying the "Continuous Arrow Strike" technique from Sam Yin Kuen.
The Rescue of Cloud-Piercing Swallow Original Novel Magazine from 1954 actors.
Mao Chao CHuan - Magazine article
Mao Chao CHuan - Magazine article
Mao Chao CHuan - Magazine article
Magazine "Boxeo de la Garra del Gato" from 1986, is an article written by Sifu David Conches and Sifu Pedro Izquierdo in Spain about the cat Kung Fu fist. In this article, Sifu Pedro Izquierdo who was a student of Wong Ping Pui, a former Hung Kuen Master, briefly talks about the Cat kung fu fist and the Sap Yin Kuen and Sam Yin Kuen movements applications in combat, which were passed down from his Sifu to him.
Sifu Pedro Izquierdo was part of the European Professional Karate and "Asociacion y arbitro auxiliar" EPKA and was also instructor at Hak Pao Kung Fu School in Barcelona, Spain. He practiced the Changquan, Hung Kuen and Maozhuaquan (猫爪拳) or Mao Chao Chuan styles. According to Sifu Izquierdo, there was a legend from five monks called "The Five Intercessors" back in the Qing Dynasty who developed the cat fist Kung Fu style in the Southern Shaolin temple. Years later was passed down to a Hung Kuen master called Hung Hei Kun. According to this article, the cat fist can be traced to the Hung Kuen system years before the Leung Wing-hangs age.
Sifu Izquierdo after studying for many years, in this article, compared the similarity of movements of Ying Jow Nim Kyu (southern eagle claw) from Bak Mei system also mentioned in Jackie Chan's cat and snake fist movie. Interestingly, the Mao Ying Kuen style has those 3 fists in separate forms. In his point of view, the Mao Chao Chuan or Maozhuaquan should focus on strengthening the claws, to have a hard grip, fast like the leopard and deadly like the tiger. According to him, in the Sam Yin Kuen, many masters focus too much on Tiger Crane's application of fist and stance instead of translating the tiger fist to the cat essence.
The style also works deeply in studying the Lao Gong and its application on each point. The main areas to focus on are gentiles, throat, eyes, and face. Sifu Izquierdo also talks about a Tao Lu called the "Drunken Cat" which is called Zui Mao Chao.
"Un arbol puede ser muy grande y fuerte, pero si el viento lo azota fuerte y persistemente, este puede ser quebrado o arrancadas sus raices de la tierra, no asi el mimbre o el bambu, que al ser muy flexible es movido por la fuerza del viento, permaneciendo siempre con sus raices enchadas en la tierra." --- Sifu Pedro Izquierdo
Despite different perspectives about tradition, lineage, and martial arts, more important than the story itself, is what we learn from the historical evidence and the message that the "legend" or "tale" itself passes on. Regardless of any martial arts style, the resilience and humility of masters influenced and changed many lives due to their character, integrity, and history announced in different narratives, which were passed down to the students as a way of learning and served as inspiration.