Hung Kyun – from Lam Sai Wing to Lam Cho.

Written 1963, Chu Yu Jai.

lsw_tsk_softbridgeThere is quite a lot of Hung Kyun in Gwongjau and Hong Kong. The Wong Fei Hung branch is most known. The Lam Sai Wing lineage, however, is the most widespread one. When Lam Sai Wing had his gungfu school in Gwongjau, the most famous students were Tam Chou and Kwan Shi. Unfortunately, they both passed away at a young age. Later, there was the Luk Sin Theater accident, where Lam Sai Wing defeated two soldiers to escape. To avoid persecution, he fled from Gwongjau. After the Chin Dynasty Lam Sai Wing showed up in Hong Kong. Soon he opened up a gungfu school, first in Kung Yuen Street of Sheung Wan. In a short period, he had many students again.

The most famous students of Lam Sai Wing are: Lau Cham, Tang Yee, Che Kong, Tang Sau King, Wu Lap Fung, Chu Yu Zhai, Cheung Si Bill, Hon Hoi, Luk Ging Wing, Leung Wing Hang, Tang Hing Choi, Cheng Lung Shu, Lau Cheung Yan, Chung Kwan Ling and Chan Yau Chi. All of them later opened up their own schools and spread Hung Kyun.

Currently, the most famous Hung Kyun master in Hong Kong is Lam Cho, the nephew of Lam Sai Wing.

Lam Cho and Lam Sai Wing came from Pingjau in Naamhoi. Lam Cho was an orphan, and was adopted by Lam Sai Wing. Lam Sai Wing did not have any kids and treated Lam Cho as his own, teaching him gungfu from young age. As Lam Cho learnt from young age and had such a close relation with Lam Sai Wing, Lam Cho became his gungfu heir.

The Hung Kyun of Lam Sai Wing consisted of Ng Ying Kyun (Five Animals Set), Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun (Taming the Tiger), Fu Hok Seung Ying Kyun (Tiger and Crane Set), Tit Sin Kyun (Iron Thread Set) and Ng Hang Kyun (Five Elements Set). These techniques all came from Wong Fei Hung. Fu Hok Seung Ying Kuen was created by Wong Fei Hung himself.

The weapons of Lam Sai Wing’s Hung Kyun included Yeung Ga Ng Long Baatgwa Gwan (Long Pole), Si Ga Cheung (Spear), Yiu Ga Daai Pa (Trident), Seung Yun Bin (Double Chain), Ji Mo Dou (Butterfly Knives). Lam Sai Wing had learnt these weapons from Wong Fei Hung. However, Lam Sai Wing also knew other weapons, such as Hang Yuet Dou (Butterfly Knives). Lam Sai Wing had learnt this weapon from his uncle, Lam Che Chung. Therefore, this set is also called Che Chung Dou. Lam Sai Wing would not teach this set openly. But Lam Cho does, and almost all students in Lam Cho’s school know this weapon.gal_trlsw04ht

As Lam Cho has learnt gungfu from Lam Sai Wing since young age, Lam Cho’s skills are really good. When Lam Sai Wing established his school in Kung Yuen Street, Lam Cho has already started his gungfu learning. Later, Lam Sai Wing’s students, such as Wong Man Kai, Lam Chi Sat, Cheung Si Bill, Chu Yu Jai, Lau Cham, Mo Yu and Lam Cho, set up ‘Southern Style Martial Arts Association’. The address was 4th Floor, 127 Des Voeux Road Middle.
Lam Sai Wing was the honorary chairman and instructor of this association. Wong Man Kai and Lam Chi Sat were appointed vice chairmen, and Lam Cho and Cheung Wo the assistant instructors. At that moment, Lam Cho was only about 17 years old. Under the encouragement of Lam Sai Wing, Lam Cho’s teaching in in this association was very fruitful. Moreover, he could manage the association very well and the number of members was about 3000 people. Many good students learnt at the association, such as Chung Kwan Ling, Lui Wai, Lau Cheung Yan and Wong Ping Pui. The success of the association made Lam Cho famous at that time.

Because the space of the Kung Yuen Street was not big enough, Lam Sai Wing moved his kung fu school to Lockhart Road, Wan Chai. There were many good students in Lam Sai Wing’s school soon, such as Cheng Lun Shu, Chan Kwok Wing, Leung Wing Hang, Wai Sui Pak, Lee Cheung Tak, Wu Lai Tin, Wu Lap Kung, Wong Man Choi, Song Sui Bon, Chan Wai Ki and Pak Hok. Also, Yuen Wing Kwai and Poon Kwai Yat learnt from Lam Sai Wing here. Lam Sai Wing taught Yuen Wing Kwai the Yiu Ga Daai Ba (Trident). He taught Poon Kwai Yat the Tit Sin Kyun (Iron Thread Set).

Meanwhile, Lam Sai Wing had Lam Cho open his own school. Occasionally, Lam Sai Wing would stop by to advise. But Lam Sai Wing got older and always was busy in the main school. So after 2 years, he would not visit anymore and instead of Lam Cho using his name, told Lam Cho to use his own name.

Although Lam Cho had his own school, he still respected Lam Sai Wing. Before the World War II, Lam Chi Sat, Wong Man Kai and Lam Cho established the Lam Sai Wing Alumni Association. They also celebrated the 70th birthday of Lam Sai Wing, which was held in Shi Kong hotel. At that moment, many students of Lam Sai Wing and Lam Cho had their own schools already. There, over 600 people joined the birthday party.

A few years later, 1936, Lam Sai Wing, went back to Ping Jau, Naamhoi. Because of illness, he went back to his hometown. As the war between Japan and China soon started, later resulting in World War II, he did not go back to Hong Kong anymore. After some years, he died from sickness.

During World War II Lam Cho went back to China. The government of Poon Yu Sui Shek Lan invited him to be the kung fu teacher. After the Japanese handed Hong Kong back to British, Lam Cho went back to Hong Kong. He established the school again, located 72 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai. He taught Hung Kyun to the public and did ditda. As many people knew that he was the nephew of Lam Sai Wing, he had many students soon.

At that time, Lam Cho and Wong Kai Man re-established the ‘Lam Sai Wing Alumni Association’. Every first day of the tenth month of the Chinese calendar, they celebrated the birthday of Lam Sai Wing. They wanted all students of Hung Kyun to get to know each other, so many people always joined.

Now, the Lam Cho School is established for many, many years and it has many students. Lam Cho is teaching every evening. The main sets he teaches are Fu Hok Seung Ying Kyun, Gung Ji Fuk Fu Kyun, Ng Ying Kyun, Sap Ying Kyun and Tit Sin Kyun.

The weapons Lam Cho teaches include Ng Long Baatgwa Gwan, Yiu Ga Daai Pa, Si Ga Cheung, Hang Yut Dou, Ji Mo Dou and Chun Chau Tai Dou (Halberd). He learnt these weapons from his uncle, Lam Sai Wing.
Furthermore, Lam Cho teaches Mui Fa Seung Lung Dou (Double Saber), Pekgwa Dou (Saber) and Pekgwa Gim (Straight Sword), which are from  Northern style. Moreover, he teaches skills from others Southern styles too, such as Lau Ga Gwan (Lau Sui Pang – Flowing Water Pole) and Mok Ga Kuen (Mok Family Set).

Because of this, many people think that Lam Cho has learnt from Suen Yuk Fung and Geng Tak Hoi. However, when being asked about this, Lam Cho smiled and said: “You know the temper of my uncle. He did not like his students learning from other masters at the same time. I am no exception. How could I dare to learn from others? I know other gungfu techniques because some gungfu brothers learnt them before. Sometimes, they discussed those techniques with me. Later, I met Geng Tak Hoi and I would just watch him. Later, when he saw my Pekgwa Dou and Pekgwa Gim, he thought that I did quite well. He also pointed out the important elements of them. I have gained a lot from his advice.”

Lam Cho continued: “As for Mun Fa Seung Lung Dou, Lau Ga Gwan and Mok Ga Kyun, I learnt them secretly by watching the others. I did not learn from other masters. Although I knew these techniques for a long time, I did not dare to show in front of my uncle. I only showed them openly after he has passed away.”

Lam Cho was quite smart and skilled that he could learn these. His understanding of martial arts is really high. He also modified Mun Fa Seung Lung Dou and shows it at every demonstration. Lam Cho has taught many students, and some of them have established their own schools. Some of them usually take part in the demonstration, such as Wong Kwai Chung, Wu Wing, Tsang Man Chui, Ma Wing Chi, Ho Pik Yung, Wong Wing Choi, Wing Ming Kong, Ng Him, Ho Yip Chau, Lui Yau and Lam Chu Pan.lamcho_bluehouse

Lam Cho has also taught his own kids from young age. His eldest son, Lam Chun Fai, learnt Hung Kyun since the age of 6. He has learnt everything already, since Lam Cho would teach him every day. Lam Cho was even stricter for his own kids, not allowing them any failure. Therefore, the kids of Lam Cho are very good, even at young age. Already at young age Chun Fai became a teaching assistant of his father, as his gungfu was the best.

In many demonstrations the two-men set partner of Chun Fai was Tang Kwok Wah. Their  Fu Hok Seung Ying Deui Chaak and  Daan Dou Deui Cheung are very good. Later, Chun Fai demonstrated with another partner, Wong Yew Ching. Although he was little older than Chun Fai, their two-men sets were also very good. By then, Tang Kwok Wah had asked Lam Cho for permission to teach and had opened his own school.  After several years, Wong Yew Ching also got permission from Lam Cho. He opened his own school in Hung Hom and later he immigrated to US, San Francisco. As the other children of Lam Cho grew up, they had to join the demonstration team. All of them – Fung Chun, Fung Chu, Chun Hing, Chun Chung and Chun Sing – had learnt gungfu since young age. Therefore, they were known as the Lam Team and their skills got famous in the martial arts world.
The lion dance of Chun Fai and Chun Hing was very good, too. The previous lion dance partners of Chun Fai were Tang Kwok Wah and Wong Yui Ching. As they left and opened their own schools later, the partners of Chun Fai were his brothers.

During the years, more and more people wanted to learn from Lam Cho. Therefore, Lam Cho opened a branch school in Nullah Road, Mongkok. He taught in his Kowloon school every second night. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, he would teach at the school located on Hong Kong Island. His sons would assist him, so the schools were both open every evening.

Recently, Chun Fai has opened his own school, in Olympia Building, North Point. Chun Fai is working in the bank in the daytime and he teaches in the evenings. As Lam Family Hung Kyun is very famous, many teenagers go to the North Point school and learn from Chun Fai. He has gotten many students within a short period of time.