Hung Ga Story: Me and Master Chan Hon Chung


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Hung Ga Story is a memoir of Alberto Biraghi and his martial arts journey.

Alberto studied the traditional Hung Ga Kyun in Hong Kong with the late Grand Master Chan Hon Chung, spending with him more than a month per year from 1977 until the closing of his historic gym at 729 of Nathan Road.

Hung Ga Kyun (also spelled as Hung Gar Kuen) is one of the most famous schools of Chinese martial arts, originating from legendary Southern Shaolin. Hung Ga Gung Fu is know for its “Iron Bridges, Firm Stances”, powerful strikes and swift, invisible “No Shadow Kicks”.

Are you curious about traditional Gung Fu training in Hong Kong in 1970’s and 1980’s?

Alberto’s memoirs offer a unique insight into the world of the Southern Chinese Kung Fu, it’s training principles, application and philosophy.

Hung Ga Story: Me and Master Chan Hon Chung ebookDownload above in .pdf (both printable and eReader optimized version), or purchase in


  • Foreword
  • The Beginning
  • First Time in Hon Chung Gym
  • There’s No Gung Fu without Dim Sum
  • The Second Day: Mui Fa Kyun
  • Training with Master Chan Side by Side
  • Sik Faan!
  • Walking the Line to 729 Nathan Rd.
  • Enter the Sihing
  • My First Gung Fu Uniform
  • One Pair of Trousers is not Enough in Hong Kong Summer!
  • Late Night Training with Cheung Yee Keung
  • My New Chinese Family
  • Bringing Home Some Good Gung Fu
  • Transit in Bangkok: One of the Greatest Risks of my Life
  • Please Proceed to Customs
  • Brother Seto Wing
  • My Room at 729 Nathan Road
  • Chinese Full Immersion
  • The Core of the Gym
  • Master Chan’s English
  • Getting Accustomed to Local Time, Heat and Food
  • An Illuminated Sifu and a Great Sihing
  • The Most Exciting and Toughest Days of my Life Were Over
  • The First Demostrations in Italy
  • 1979: 45 Days and Gwaan Dou
  • To Teach or not to Teach?
  • 1980: the Sap Ying Kyun Year
  • Alberto Ain’t No Chinese
  • Completing the Program
  • My Fighting Brothers
  • Hotel is Better
  • No Form? No Gung Fu!
  • Roof Fighting
  • The Promise
  • The Year of the Iron Wire
  • The Cottage
  • The Chinese Thinking
  • Moving to Brother Keung’s Gym
  • The End of an Era
  • Slowing Down
  • Afterword 1: Back in Hong Kong
  • Afterword 2: My Cup of Tea

Praise for Hung Ga Story

Michael Goodwin SifuThis story, represents the journey of one student, Mr. Alberto Biraghi, in the Chinese martial art of Hung Gar Kung Fu. In glowing terms, the sights and sounds of Hong Kong 1970’s come alive, as Mr. Biraghi describes his experiences and studies with the famous master Chan Hon Chung, healer, kung fu teacher, and founder of the Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Association, who accepts him as disciple, adopts him into the Hung Gar Kung Fu fraternity, and guides him into mastery of the art. Offering a unique insight for both the beginner and the seasoned martial art enthusiast alike, here, a window is literally opened to the past, by which the process of relationship between a master of the older generation and his young overseas disciple becomes clear, and the ancient Chinese martial art of Hung Gar Kung Fu may be all the more broadly appreciated, today, and for all future generations.

Michael Goodwin Sifu, The San Francisco Hung Gar Kung Fu Association

Frank Bolte SifuThere are many books on Hung Kuen, on the sets, on its history on its applications etc. Mostly those books reflect the opinions of the authors. Now this book includes some opinions of Sifu Biraghi but more over it tells us his experience.

His experience to learn Hung Gar Kuen in Hongkong, from one of the most respected Masters out there. Many of us if not all wish to be able to travel back in time and pick the the brain of the senior masters of our beloved style. Sifu Biraghi did that for us, he wrote down his experience to train and learn in Hongkong, in the 1970s, with one of the greatest.

When I read  his first draft online a few years ago, I was completly mesmerised. Now this new version is even better.. Its very touching, very informative a must for every Hung Gar practicioner.

Thank you Biraghi Sifu for sharing this part of your life with us ! To me this is one of the best books on Hung Kuen I have had the pleasure to read!

Frank Bolte Sifu, Hung Kuen Academy Germany

Hung Ga Story: Me and Master Chan Hon Chung ebookDownload above in .pdf (both printable and eReader optimized version), or purchase in

Charris Van't Slot SifuAn interesting and inspiring story on how Mr. Biraghi comes in contact with late Grand Master Chan Hon Chung, one of the most famous Hung Kuen masters of the 20th century. Confronting with the Chinese way of teaching of the late 1970s and Chinese family culture, there are ups and also some downs. Nevertheless, Mr. Biraghi persists in learning and eventually learns the entire system. Now, Mr. Biraghi shares his memories.

For the Westeners having trained in Hong Kong there will definitely be some recognizable parts, but also some differences as Hong Kong and the learning culture have changed rapidly after the 1980s. For current students of Hung Kuen it perfectly describes the atmosphere of a traditional Kung Fu school and the teaching methods in the past.

Definitely a must-read!

Charris van’t Slot Sifu, Fan Kwoen, Hung Ga Kung Fu Utrecht, Netherlands

David Rogers SifuAlberto has managed to capture a time, and an atmosphere that todays Kung Fu students will never know: a time when knowledge, rather than being a mouse click away, was half a world away. Knowledge was hard earned and therefore treasured. Written in a very personal style, the reader can really feel Alberto’s affection- for the Chinese culture, for the Kung Fu, for his school and classmates, but especially for his Sifu.

It should be required reading for students of Kung Fu: for older ones it will bring back some treasured memories, for younger ones it will give an insight into the values of the past generation.

David Rogers Sifu, Rising Crane Centre, UK

Pedro Cepero Yee SifuI am happy to have the opportunity to write a review of the book ” Hung Ga Story: Me and Master Chan Hong Chung by Alberto Biraghi.

It is a colorful account of the trials and tribulations of Alberto Biraghi, an Italian student who treks across the globe to Hong kong to learn from one of the most revered Hung Ga Grandmasters in history, Master Chan Hon Chung.

The book is written in such a descriptive fashion that every detail activates all  the senses, making you a very real part of the experience. The story takes you through all the emotions of a young traveler and his experiences in learning Hung Ga and invites you into the true world of Chinese Kung Fu culture. Being transported back in time and moving along year by year, takes me back to the days of training and my first visits to Hong Kong with my SiBaaks/Si Suks.

The skills and insight he gained, along with the true respect and love of his teacher and training brothers has showed that the Hung Ga Family is truly that, a family with relationships that lasts a lifetime.

I would recommend this book to those who want to gain insight into the daily life of Hong Kong as a foreign kung fu student, and those searching for a break from daily life to take an amazing journey in time without ever leaving your chair.

Pedro Cepero Yee Sifu, President, Yee’s Hung Ga International Kung Fu Association, USA Headquarters

Hung Ga Story: Me and Master Chan Hon Chung ebookDownload above in .pdf (both printable and eReader optimized version), or purchase in


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