The Legend of Southern School of Chinese Kungfu – from Foshan to Hong Kong
Foshan is only 20 min drive from Guangzhou, and it is the centre of southern school of Chinese Kungfu. There is the Ancestral Temple inside which there are Confucius Temple, Huang Feihong Memorial Hall and Ip Man Hall. Huang Feihong (1847-1924) and Ip Man (1893-1972) are prominent Kungfu figures at their time.
The Huang Feihong Memorial Hall at the Ancestral Temple in Foshan is a typical Lingnan style architecture with decorative bricks cravings. There is lion dance performance at the Ancestral Temple everyday.
A number of films are produced base on the stories of Huang Feihong and Ip Man. The films depicted Foshan in the 1930s and 40s,with lots of kungfu schools along the streets, and kungfu is part of daily life of the local people in Foshan – learning, practicing and competing, day in day out. The most well known students of Ip Man is the Hollywood star Bruce Lee (1940-1973). He followed Ip Man to learn Chinese Kungfu at the age of 16.
Due to wars and unrest, many Kungfu practitioners came to Hong Kong and set up schools there and Hong Kong became the focal point of southern School of Chinese kungfu, and from there kungfu was spread around the world. This partly explains why there are so many Kungfu stars from Hong Kong, and Hong Kong film producers produced so many Kungfu films and using kungfu for numerous action films.
There are a series of films about Ip Man, and the one by Hong Kong kungfu star Donnie Yen is our favourite. Here is an excerpt of Ip Man 4 featuring Donnie Yen and other kungfu movie stars.