Leung Lan Kwai
Leung Lan Kwai (Liang Langui) was said in some stories, to have been a wealthy scholar from Guangzhou, and in other's, an osteopath from the Foshan or Zhaoqing region. Leung Lan Kwai is mentioned in several Wing Chun Traditions, notably Yip Man's, but completly missing from other Wing Chun Kuen branchs, such as Yuen Kay Shan, Yiu Choi, Cheung Bo, Cho Family, and Kulo Village Fung Gar. Not much is known about him, other than what is related in Yip Man's written account, that was published in New Martial Hero?.It is said, in Yips tradition, that Leung Lok Lau, the husband of Yim Wing Chun and student of Yim Yee, taught Leung Lan Kwai, and than it was Leung Lan Kwai, that brought Wing Chun Kuen, onto the Red Boats, as he was either an actor or a friend to several of the actors. Lan Kwai is rarely mentioned, making it hard to authenticate his existance, beyond fable and myth.
In variations of the story, Leung Lan Kwai was a Red Junk actor himself and Weng Chun Kuen student of Wong Wah Bo who exchanged with Leung Bok Lao for knowledge of the Wing Chun Kuen system and later introduced Leung Bok Lao to his fellow performers.
Still in another interesting account, passed down by Wong Lo Joh, of Tung Goon,there had been local legends of a kung fu master, named Lan Kwai, who had frequinted the area. Tung Goon is near Shum Chun, of Canton. It was believed that Leung Bok Lao and Leung Lan Kwai were close relatives. Leung Lan Kwai was from Foshan. When he learned the Wing Chun System from Leung Bok Lao, the system wasnt actually named at that point. Leung Lan Kwai was said to have passed down the methods of Wing Chun to Wong Wah Bo. In a veried account he was a class mate of Wong Wah Bo, as they both learned from Leung Bok Lao.
It seemed at some point Lan Kwai retired, to the area of Tung Goon, located between Kowloon and Kwangtung, at age 60. In the town of Tung Goon, there was a person named Wong Lo Joh. Wong was from a rich family that dealt in merchandise selling such as Bamboo, timbre, wine ect.The Wong Family store was located on Hau Kai (Hau street), located within central Tung Goon. Wong Lo Joh succeeded his fathers buisiness, at a very young age. He also loved Kung Fu and had practised since he was very young.
One day, Wong went to do some timbre trading. It was very cool out and the overcast sky suggested rain.Wong hurried along but got caught in the rain. As he pushed on, a carrage came racing around the corner, knocking an older man to the ground.
Wong immediatly went and help the older man. Helping him up, offered to take him to the police station and be a witness, to what had occured. The older man refused. Wong thinking the man was in shock tried to "Help" the older man along to the police station. But Wong discovered that even with his years of kung fu training, he couldnt budge the sick older gentleman, that was just hit by a horse driven carrage.Wong did convince the older man to come home with him, so he could get him medical treatment.
After the doctor had left, the older man told Wong to call him Lan Kwai. He didnt reveal much, but did share with the younger Wong , that he belonged to a revolutionary group that had designs on overthrowing the Ching Government, as such that was why he avoided going to the police station. Lan Kwai didnt tell the young man the name of his martial art style. but told him it was related to the Buddhist sect.
Wong allowed Lan Kwai to stay at his family house, for several months, healing his wounds. At one point Lan Kwai wanted to repay young Wongs kindness. And so taught him some Kung fu. The method he taught him was called Fat Jeung? or Buddhist palms. Wong also learned that Lan Kwai had suffered some really bad tragedy in life, and was considering withdrawing to a monastary.
Wong allowed Lan Kwai to remain at his home for years. At one particular time, Wong's former classmates, from his former Kung Fu instructor came around, wondering why Wong had abandoned his studies, at their school. Having heard rumors of Wong having started to learn a differant style, the former classmates showed up to challenge Lan Kwai to a fight.
Lan Kwai decided to have mercy on them as they were Wongs former classmates. Lan Kwai picked the largest amongest them and soundly defeated him. He than loudly announced he didnt want to contiue fighting them or tragedy would result. Instead he would perform a feat of stregth and if anyone else could perform it, he would pack up and leave Tung Goon.
Lan Kwai had his entire body wrapped in silk. Lan Kwai looked like a mummy.Lan Kwai took a deep breath and with his Chi Kung power split the silk apart. His challengers applauded him and left knowing they could never hope to match skill with one as developed as Lan Kwai.
On another occasion, Lan Kwai was challenged by a local bully who knew Lan Kwai was a expert in Kung Fu. The challenger was an expert pole fighter and since he had defeated and injured many Kung fu experts, was confident that Lan Kwai would fall like the others.
At the time of the fight, Lan Kwai pulled out the Yee Jee Yeung Dit Ming Dao?. The Challenger seeing the small weapons laughed and suggested he get something heavier. As the challenger shot in with a straight spearing motion, Lan Kwai, in one motion disarmed his challenger by causing a small cut, in one motion, across the challengers hands, that were gripping his pole. Luckily Lan Kwai didnt want to handicap the man, and so only taught him a lesson.
Another story about Lan Kwai and his Knife Method was passed down in Foshan. It was said in Foshan, there was a kung fu master by the name of Yuen Shu. His prefered style was Hung gar and Ng Dim Mui Fa Gwun Fat or 5 Point Plum Blossom Pole Method. Yuen Shu during his travels, stayed over night at a temple. There a curious old monk, seeing Yuen Shu's Pole, asked to have a contest of Skill.
Yuen Shu jumped at the oppurtunity to try out his methods. But to Yuen's dismay, no matter what he did, he couldnt best the monk. And the Monks prefered weapon? Two small short swords. The legend is that Lan Kwai finnaly retired from the "Troubled world" and became a monk.
To this day, Wong Lo Joh's descendenats still carry on his stories and traditions. Wong Lun Gui, Lo Joh's relative runs an Herbal Osteopathic clinic
- Oral and written traditions of Yip Man Family
- Oral and written traditions of Wong Lun Gui
- Leungs Publishing