Lai Hip Chi (Li Xiechi) was born in 1898 to a wealthy merchant family that ran a pawn-shop in Foshan. At the age of 13, he began learning Wing Chun from Chan Wah Shun, becoming the money-changer’s second to last student and live-in apprentice. Lai Hip Chi followed Chan until the old money-changer retired back to Chan village some 6–9 months later. Lai Hip Chi then continued his studies under one of Chan Wah Shun’s senior disciples, Lui Yu Chi (and in some accounts under Ng Chung So as well).
At about the age of 20, Lai Hip Chi attended a Pawn-Shop Association meeting where he met the nephew of Lok Lan Goon of Jinzhu village, who was already in his 70s. Lok’s nephew had learned Weng Chun Kuen from his uncle, a student of Dai Fa Min Kam. From Lok, Lai Hip Chi learned historical and technical information about the art.
Lai Hip Chi went on to teach Wing Chun to Hui Sam Cho, Lo Huen, Yim Man (in some accounts named as a grand-student of Ngau Hong), Yeung Sang, Pan Nam (who had previously studied under Jiu Chao, a disciple of Chan Yiu Min), and several others. In 1970, Lai Hip Chi, persecuted by the Communist regime and red army, was tied up and left to die on the streets, under the hot morning sun.
His name is found in an engraving on a picture given to Chan Yiu Min, for the opening of his school. Only 9 names are engraved on the dedication, including Yip Mans, to there Sihing and fellow student. It has been preserved via Oral Tradition that Chan Wah Shun only had 14 students, thus if the engraved names are accurate, validate 9 out of the 14.