Huo Yuanjia (1868-1909), born in Tianjin, Huo became one of the most famous martial art heroes in modern Chinese History. Due to the oppressive state of China during the turn of the century, by foreign occupation and the failing Ching Dynasty, Huo, like many patriots was motivated to keep the honor of his people alive. His father was a bodyguard for caravans traveling to the northeast, Huo trained diligently on his family martial art skills.
In 1901, one of his students showed him a leaflet. It carried an advertisement about a Russian boxer, who proclaimed himself as "Matchless in China", and again in Shanghai with a British boxer, both protesting their greatness, but when Huo met their challenge neither bothered to show. This enraged Huo, who erected his own platform in a Shanghai park, open to anyone who thought the Chinese were weaklings. This set the stage for a string of contestants, who were easily beaten. On one occasion a team of Japanese took on the famous teacher, after losing to both his student and the master, the Japanese delegation gave a party in honor of the teacher. However, this was just a ploy in which to seek revenge. It was reported that in the medicine he took for a fever, there was actually poison. Huo died several days after on Sept. 14, 1909.
During his life, Huo established the famous Ching Mo School in Shanghai. Inspired by the conviction of their late teacher, many of his students opened branches all over China.
One of his top disciples, Jew Lin Waar, was left in charge of the Shanghai branch. It was here that Master Poon Mao Yung graduated with top honors.