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China: Around The Nation

Chinese kung fu master’s descendant continues family tradition with gold medal performance

Great great granddaughter of martial arts hero Huo Yuanjia comes away a winner at the National Games

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 August, 2017, 3:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 August, 2017, 5:01pm

A great great granddaughter of the celebrated kung fu master Huo Yuanjia has won a gold medal at China’s National Games.

Huo Jinghong, 40, was a member of Tianjin’s qigong team which beat seven other teams at an event in the northern city last month, ahead of the official opening of the games.

This year’s National Games included a number of exhibition events to encourage mass participation in the four-yearly competition.

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Besides qigong, which puts the emphasis on exercise and spiritual aspects rather than combat, the events also included chess, dragon boat racing and roller skating.

Huo comes from the family of Tianjin native Huo Yuanjia, a kung fu hero from early last century who was the main character in Jet Li’s 2006 martial arts blockbuster Fearless.

Her grandfather was the oldest son of Huo Dongge, Huo Yuanjia’s second son, who brought the family’s martial arts tradition to Indonesia in the 1920s, according to the report.

However, her grandfather banned younger members of the family from practising kung fu during the Cultural Revolution, fearing the overseas connection would cause them trouble on the mainland.

Huo Jinghong, a sports teacher in Tianjin, is the only Huo descendant who is still performing martial arts.

Although Huo has been practising kung fu since the age of five, she started studying Huo Yuanjia’s boxing skills only two years ago, promoting it as a good form of exercise.

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“The most important thing is to pass on Huo Yuanjia’s spirit,” she told the Hongxing News. “I have a lot of pressure living in the shadow of the family achievements, but I’m also confident about the future.”