The History of Hung Fut Kung Fu

Hung fut originated over 400 years ago in the Southern Shaolin temple by Wun Lei, a Shaolin monk and kung fu Grandmaster. Wun Lei was a Fut Gar master and student of Hung Hei Gung, the founder of Hung Gar. Having full knowledge of both these systems to draw from, Wun Lei combined the low, strong stances and ferocious hand techniques of Hung Gar with the soft, flowing and relaxed internal movements of Fut Gar to create a new style - aptly named Hung Fut.

Seven Star Crags - Guangdong, China

During his lifetime Wun Lei had only one student, Wong Tong Kae. Wun Lei taught all the skills of the Hung Fut style to Wong Tong Kae, who became the second generation grandmaster of the style. Wong Tong Kae passed on his knowledge to two of his students in the Shaolin Temple, Lee Tong Yung and Le Chin Yen with Lee Tong Yung becoming the third generation grandmaster.

Lee Tong Yung taught only one student, a man named Ho Do Don. After many years of practice, Ho Do Don became the fourth generation grandmaster but was forced to flee the temple when it was burnt down by the Manchus.

After his escape, Ho Do Don chose Ng Hoi Tung to be his only disciple. He was the first layman (as distinct from the monks before him) to learn the hung fut system. A famous identity in the Ho village, Ng Hoi Tung became the fifth generation grandmaster and was hired to teach the art of Hung Fut to the people of the village so they could protect themselves from the Manchus.

This opened the way to the teaching of the public, although learning was mainly done in secrecy and limited to the rich and politically influential. Later, the ruling society of the village restricted the teaching of Hung Fut to those whose last name was Ho, because they wanted it to be their own personal technique. With so many people learning the previous secret system, the style of Hung Fut spread rapidly. By the time of the sixth generation grandmaster, Hung Chui Shing - known as the White Haired Devil - the system was open to everyone.

Hung Chui Shing - the "White Haired Devil".

A doctor of chinese medicine, Hung Chui Shing taught Hung Fut techniques to over 1000 people between his home in Canton and Hong Kong. A well respected Sifu, he had a special affection for the disabled, and devised a series of movements for the blind, hunchbacked, crippled and paralysed with which they could protect themselves.

Upon his death his son Hung Yu Chung took full responsibility for the many schools under the White Haired Devil banner. Hung Yu Chung became the seventh grandmaster of the style. With no son of his own, Hung Yu Chung was the last recognised grandmaster of the Hung Fut Style style.

After his death, many Hung Fut disciples opened their own schools. Some moved to Hong Kong or other parts of Asia, or travelled abroad, founding their own societies and either teaching to the public or keeping their art as a family secret.

For a more comprehensive history of the Hung Fut style see our Hung Fut kung fu workbook.