The Many Faces of Lo Meng
Before Sifu Lo Meng became a household name with classic kung fu film fans worldwide, he was known to many of us by the names of the characters he portrayed. His solid physique, honed by years of training in the Southern Mantis style of kung fu, and his charismatic personality made him a stand out in the world of kung fu cinema. For many of us at the time (for me the early 80’s) his real name was a mystery yet we referred to him by the iconic characters he brought to life. Here are just a few of the many faces of Sifu Lo Meng.
Golden Arm- The Kid with the Golden Arm
As the chief of the feared and notorious Chi Sa gang Golden Arm invoked fear with his highly impervious “golden arms.” In the opening description of the gang we learned they are ranked according to skill and not age. Golden Arm was number so that said plenty about his skill. Only through trickery and a highly thought out plan could Golden Arm finally be defeated.
The Shaolin Hercules- Two Champions of Shaolin
Tong Chin Chin, a Manchurian Shaolin student developed tremendous strength through his training and became known as the “Shaolin Hercules.” Although strong he was very skilled at kung fu and killed one of the Wu Tang’s most famous fighters. In the film, Tong uproots a tree and bends a man in half before succumbing to his injuries.
Master Kau-Brave Archer 2 and 3
The deadly Iron Palm Master that gave our hero Kuo Tsing (Alexander Fu Sheng) fits in parts 2 and 3 of the Brave Archer series, he broke boulders and rocks with his incredible Iron Palm style. His flowing red cape and beard gave this character an even more bad-ass look to go with the bad-ass skills. He proved to be one of the tougher foes of the Brave Archer.
The Toad- Five Deadly Venoms
One of the most iconic and endearing roles that Sifu Lo has played is undoubtedly The Toad aka Number 5 from the classic Five Deadly Venoms. With his iron skin, precise kung fu and giving nature The Toad is a fan favorite among many classic kung fu connoisseurs. One of the saddest moments for me as a viewer was his torture and death perpetrated by The snake and the Judge. The Toad will go down in kung fu cinema history as one of the most beloved and iconic characters to grace the silver screen.
Just call him Sifu Lo Mang
Whatever your favorite character may be (and we have just covered a very small number) Sifu Lo Meng brought the goods to the role. His good looks, ability to play serious or comedic, his incredible totally real kung fu, and his charisma had you anticipating his appearance and you left wanting more. Thanks to people like Sifu Robert Samuels Sifu Lo Meng is more accessible to Western fans and we are eagerly awaiting meeting him, talking with and sharing what he means to us. In the meantime, checkout his classic Shaw Brothers movies and see the man of many faces and talents Sifu Lo Meng.