Foshan China 2017-05-08
There is a quiet and historical community with mottled walls near Lianhua Road, hidden in the center of Chancheng District.
In the Ming and Qing Dynasty, this is a famous casting and smelting area. The “casting and smelting in an alone village”(孤村铸炼) is one of the eight sights in the Qing Dynasty, which refers to the heated Shatang Lane.
Casting and smelting in an alone village
However, Shatang Community also has another little-known side——Kung Fu Community. Many martial arts masters had lived in this lane, such as Liang Zan, the originator pf Wing Chun, Ip Man, a grand master and Yao Zhongqiang, master of Yao’s Wing Chun.
Forgotten history: martial arts masters lived here
Wing Chun is the most famous boxing in Foshan, which is created by Liang Zan. Liang once lived in the Qingzhengtang Street (Qingzheng Street).
During the War of Resistance Against Japan, Ip Man, a grand master had lived in the Jiaobian Street and Tianxin Alley of Shagtang Lane. Nowadays, Jiaobian Street has disappeared and few people visit Tianxin Alley.
An old lady walking along Tianxin Alley
Some people are hanging on: “I teach for inheritance.”
Though the signs of Kung Fu is fading in Shatang Lane, some people are still hanging on.
Master Pang has practiced Wing Chun for more than 20 years. He firstly started it for health and exercise but later he becomes obsessed with it, hoping to pass on this traditional Foshan boxing. He began to teach Wing Chun in 2009 till now.
Four years ago, he moved to Shatang Lane and set up a Wing Chun hall in the Wensha Donglu Street. Sometimes he will promote and recruit students in his living room with the front door open.
Master Pang is the fourth disciple of Yao Cai, who was one of the “three masters of Wing Chun” at that time. He majored in the Ruan Qiao (软桥) of Wing Chun, which is softer and more exquisite compared with Ying Qiao (硬桥). “It is like having six hands after learning this boxing,” Pang said excitedly, "the wrist, knee and shoulder can be three key points to use strength and be flexible.” It is good for females to learn this kind of Wing Chun to exercise and protect themselves.
"I teach Wing Chun for inheritance. It is a tradition that I will keep teaching.” Pang said.
New chapter of Shatang Kung Fu history
Hongsheng Kung Fu Massage Hall
Xia Hanguang, a master of Choy-Li-Fut boxing rents a house in Tianxin Alley and starts to try Kung Fu Massage. He said that medical science and martial arts are closely related. When he learned Kung Fu from his master, disciples often got hurt, so he also learned how to cure others from the master.
Nan’s Boxing Hall of Foshan Martial Arts Association
Renmin Road Primary School set up teenage martial arts training base in 2013, which locates in the alley behind the school. Liang Weizhuo, the curator and director of Foshan Martial Arts Association, has practiced Nan’s boxing for over 40 years, which combines hardness and softness and is quick and flexible, suitable for people of all ages.
There are hundreds of students in the boxing hall. Students of Renmin Road Primary School will come and learn boxing when they reach the second grade, inheriting the traditional artistry of Foshan.
Kung Fu is the unique name card of Foshan. Foshan Kung Fu is pliable and tough, which is deeply related with the gentle and polite character of Foshan people. Come and experience the special Kung Fu history of this city!