Lai Hip Chai

Lai Hip-Chi (Li Xiechi) was born in 1898 to a wealthy merchant family that ran a pawn-shop in Foshan. At the age of 13, he began learning Wing Chun from Chan Wah-Shun, becoming the money-changer's second to last student and live-in apprentice. Lai Hip-Chi followed Chan until the old money-changer retired back to Chan village some 6-9 months later. Lai Hip-Chi then continued his studies under one of Chan Wah-Shun's senior disciples, Lui Yiu-Chai (and in some accounts under Ng Jung-So as well).

At about the age of 20, Lai Hip-Chi attended a Pawn-Shop Association meeting where he met the nephew of Lok Lan-Goon of Jinzhu village, who was already in his 70s. Lok's nephew had learned Weng Chun Kuen from his uncle, a student of Dai Fa Min Kam. From Lok, Lai Hip-Chi learned historical and technical information about the art.

Lai Hip-Chi went on to teach Wing Chun to Hui Sam-Cho, Lo Huen, Yim Man (in some accounts named as a grand-student of Ngau Hong), Yeung Sang, Pan Nam (who had previously studied under Jiu Chao, a disciple of Chan Yiu-Min), and several others. In 1970, Lai Hip-Chi, persecuted by the Communist regime, was tied up and left to die on the streets.

Notes: Compiled from oral and written accounts of Pan Nam Weng Chun Kuen. Special thanks to Eddie Chong (photo).