Hong Kong protests: Descendant of legendary master Wong Fei Hung hits back over brolly remark

A DESCENDANT of legendary pugilist Wong Fei Hung has come out fighting after a pro-establishment legislator insisted that the umbrellas wielded by protesters are more "aggressive" than the "useless" tear gas used by police.

Mr Leung Che Cheung, the lawmaker, told a Legislative Council session on Wednesday how, in gongfu movies, pugilist master Wong often "uses an umbrella to fight his arch-rival and villain". Thus, Occupy protesters are "not as peaceful" as believed, he said.

"I was told by the elderly the umbrella can be used as shelter from the rain and the sun, as a walking stick, or as a stick to beat stray dogs running after you. It's aggressive," said Mr Leung.

"But tear gas and pepper spray can only disperse the protesters and cannot make them fall down. They are useless weapons."

Mr Pang Chi Ming, a fourth-generation descendant of Master Wong, told the Apple Daily that Mr Leung's remarks were "a total insult to Chinese martial arts and the master".

"An umbrella is used for self-defence in real gongfu, and is not an aggressive weapon," said Mr Pang, who lives in Hong Kong and has been practising gongfu for more than 50 years.

"Every pose in the 'Dragon-Tiger umbrella' set was invented for self-defence rather than attack," he said of the style which first emerged in the 18th century and was made famous by Master Wong, who lived from 1847 to 1924, in Guangdong.

Occupy protesters appear to have better comprehended Master Wong's wisdom, he added.

"They just use the umbrellas to protect themselves from pepper spray, not to attack the police," said Mr Pang.

The ubiquitous brolly has given the ongoing protests the moniker "Umbrella Movement". 

pearlliufangfei@gmail.com