Useful Notes: Wong Fei-hung

A Chinese Folk Hero, Wong Fei-hung (1847-1924) was a Real Life historical figure and Martial Artist. Fei-hung (his given name, with Wong being his family name) was the son of Wong Kei-ying, one of the Ten Tigers of Canton and the man who trained Fei-hung. Fei-hung is the most famous practitioner of the hung ga style of kung fu, a style most famous in the west for being the basis of Earthbending in Avatar: The Last Airbender. In addition to his martial skill, Fei-hung was also a physician, practicing traditional Chinese medicine at Po-Chi-Lam, a clinic on Foshan that he opened.

Fei-hung has been portrayed in film 89 times (77 of which were by Kwan Tak-hing, which is the cinematic record for most times an actor has portrayed the same character). In addition to the many portrayals of Wong Fei-hung himself, he has been a direct inspiration for a great many other fictional characters.

Appearances in Fiction:

  • Drunken Master series: Jackie Chan plays a young and brash Wong Fei-hung. Notably, he largely uses Drunken Boxing through much of the movie, but is shown doing a great deal of stance training more appropriate to hung ga.
  • Iron Monkey: Fei-Hung has a smaller role, as he's just a child in this film. However, his father, Wong Kei-ying is the Deuteragonist.
  • Once Upon a Time in China: Jet Li's Breakout Role and one of the most influencial wuxia film series of the 90s. Most references for Wong Fei-hung are based off of this incarnation.
  • Around the World in 80 Days: In the Jackie Chan movie, Fei-hung is one of many historical characters to make cameos. He's played by Chan's friend Sammo Hung.
  • Related: Fei-hung's father Wong Kei-ying appears in Atomic Robo as a member of the heroic team the Centurions of Science, alongside Robo's creator Nikola Tesla and other historical figures.

Fictional Characters Based on Wong Fei-hung:

Tropes Associated with Wong Fei-hung:

  • Bare-Fisted Monk: One of the most respected practitioners of the hung ga style in the world.
  • Badass Bookworm: He was a practicing doctor and opened up his own clinic. He not only treated patients, but taught medicine as well. And he also happened to be one of the most famous martial artists in the world.
  • Parasol of Pain: Fei-hung's signature weapon. He is said to have carried one with him at all times.
  • Combat Medic: The man was a practicing doctor, after all.
  • Drunken Master: Most notably in the Drunken Master series, but other portrayals of him have shown him using Drunken Boxing.
  • Signature Move: The Shadowless Kick. What exactly is is depends on the work, ranging from just a very fast kick to laserblasts launched by kicking. In real life, it's usually a combination of a low-kick and a grapple.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Fei-hung for Fei-hong? Fei-hung or Fei Hung? Does he use Hung Gar or Hung Ga?
  • Star-Making Role: For both Jackie Chan and Jet Li, two of the most prominent Chinese action stars in recent years.