A Fistful of Stances (TVB 2010)

A Fistful of Stances  <鐵馬尋橋>

Producer: Lee Tim Shing

Number of Episodes: 25


Kevin Cheng as Koo Kin Shing/Koo Yue Cheung
Yuen Qiu as Au Yeung Wai Lan
Kenneth Ma as Koo Yue Tong
Tavia Yeung as Au Yeung Wai Lan
Cheung King Fai as Au Yeung Biu
Dominic Lam as Wing Tak
Natalie Tong as Ying Ngan Ming
Selena Li as Wing Tsz Ching
Jacky Wong as Wing Man Kwan
Shirley Yeung as Koo Man Kuen
Kara Hui as Cheung Sheung Chu
Nancy Wu as Chow Bing Bing
Angela Tong as Chow Fong Fong


The first couple of episodes explains the past and the present. In the past, Wai Lan and Kin Shing has two sons. Wai Lan’s father (Cheung King Fai) was a kung fu master and also treated people with his secret formula. One day, Kin Shing and Lan were on a train where they met Wing Tak who was a scholar and very good at kung fu. They took him home and Lan’s father mentored Wing Tak. However, the second mistress dislikes Wing Tak and mistreats him. Wing Tak left but was arrested by the police for causing trouble. He was rescued by his mentor. Kin Shing  recommends to Wing Tak that he should apply for a fighting competition. Before the competition, the second mistress continues to scold Wing Tak. He lost his temper and killed her. He was just about to dispose of her body but his mentor returned home. Wing Tak killed his mentor.

Lan and Kin Shing went to watch the competition, oblivious to the fact that their parents are killed. Wing Tak won the competition. They arrived home and discovered the dead bodies. The couple suspected Wing Tak and tried to trick him to reveal everything. However, on the night of the plan, Kin Shing disappeared leaving a pregnant Lan with her children. Lan went to see Wing Tak and demanded to know where her husband is. He scolded her. Then someone told Lan that her children were kidnapped. She went on a train and found the couple running away with her sons. She managed to grab Tong back but lost Cheung.

Twenty odd years later, all the children have grown up. Tong (Kenneth Ma) was a good fighter and had taken over the duty of curing and teaching kung Fu. However, he suffered from asthma and needed the help of Ching (Selena Li).

Wing Tak was a businessman and he has two daughters (Selena Li and Angel Chiang) and a son Wing Man Kwan (Jacky Heung) and a wife (Kara Hui). Man Kwan often picked on the Koo family causing trouble. One day he went to the Koo household and got beaten up by Lan. He decided that he wants to learn kung fu and was taught by a prisoner who had committed many crimes.

One day, Lan saw the woman (Helen Ma) who kidnapped Cheung. They eventually found Cheung but he had lost his memory and thought that the kidnapper was his mother. He did not believe the Koos and hated them. Tong was very persistent and tried forcing the kidnapper to reveal the truth. However, the lady eventually died from being ill and left a letter revealing everything. Cheung and the Koo family reunited.

Although Cheung now lives with the Koos, his relationship with his siblings is not great. The only person he gets along with is Ngan (Natalie Tong). He did not agree with Tong and how he spoils his siblings. However, Lan explains that Tong has sacrificed a lot over the years and played an important role in the family.

Cheung understood and promises to learn kung fu and take care of the family. The relationship between the siblings are better.

Wing Man Kwan’s master likes Ngan and often follows and harasses her. She only told Cheung and promises to stay at home to avoid the stalker. However, Cheung was injured by Man Kwan who had developed his kicking skills. Cheung had to stay in the hospital so he could not visit his deceased mother. Ngan decides to go on his behalf and the stalker followed her. He raped her.

Ngan was too scared to tell anyone about the rape and would cry silently. She decided to hang herself and late at night spoke to each person individually. She admitted that she really liked Cheung. She tried to commit suicide but was saved by Tong and Cheung. She was taken to hospital and told her family about the whole rape incident which was also heard by Tze Ching.

Tze Ching went home and told her father about the rape. Her father phoned the police immediately and ordered them to catch the rapist. However, Wing Tak and his wife made a false alibi for the rapist and he was released. This enraged the Koo family. Tong got the martial arts community to support Ngan and they all head to Wing’s house. Wing’s wife said that they were with the rapist on the day of the rape but he was missing for a couple of hours so he could have raped Ngan. The rapist got arrested and was sentenced to death. Before he died, he taught Man Kwan all the kung fu and made him promise to kill Cheung and Tong.

Cheung has been trying to find a mentor to teach him kung fu. The koo family discovered a medicine formula hidden by Lan’s father. They took the formula and produced a life saving medicine which became very successful. However, Wing Tak sends people to cause trouble and the Koo Family owed people a lot of money. They owed Fong Fong (Angela Tong) and her husband money. However, Fong Fong realised that the medicine would be a good investment so she became boss of the business. Her husband was a great fighter and became Cheung’s mentor.

After weeks of training, Cheung entered the fist competition. Before the competition, Wing Tak had blackmailed someone to poison Cheung. He made his way through each round like Man Kwan. They eventually fought each other. Cheung won the competition and spared Man Kwan’s life.

Wing Tak discovered that Cheung was not poisoned and was going to arrest the guy. However, Man Kwan had killed the guy and this was witnessed by the Chairman of the martial arts society. He told the Koo family. Wing Tak tries to protect his son and gets somebody else to admit everything. His daughters became really confused and they suspect their brother. They got into trouble by Wing Tak. Ching eventually discovered the truth and her dad’s scheme. She wrote everything in a letter to Tong and tried to commit suicide but was saved by Tong. He also told everyone the truth and Man Kwan was arrested and was shot.

Cheung and Fong’s sister Bing (Nancy Wu) starts dating. However, Cheung’s mentor is worried that he will get distracted from his fighting. He had another competition before being the king of fist. Bing knows that Ngan likes Cheung and lied to her sister that Ngan tries to break her and Cheung up. Bing’s ex boyfriend appears and she makes lies saying she was forced to marry him. Cheung got fed up and revealed the whole truth to the Koo family.

Man Kwan was not dead and was secretly training somewhere arranged by his father, with a false identity. On the day of the competition, he appeared and everyone was shocked to see him. Man Kwan and Cheung make their way through to the competition. Tong managed to find a trainee who knew the truth about Shing’s death. Wing Tak appeared at the Koo’s household the night before the big match and told them where Shing is buried. They dug for the body and found the remains of the corpse.

The day of the competition and Wing Man Kwan won because Cheung was told to quit by his mentor. They were both really injured. Cheung’s mentor died from a heart attack and left Fong a note saying that he was touched by the Koo family and wanted to help them. Fong is determined to help the Koo family and tries to gather everyone from the martial arts society to try and help the Koo family. Wing Tak told Man Kwan to head to Shanghai. His wife wants the truth to be revealed. Wing Tak sends her to a mental hospital so she does not ruin his plans.

Tong and Fong were going to tell everybody what Wing Tak has done. However, Ngan was kidnapped and Tong’s family was threatened. Other people were also threatened by Wing Tak. However, Tong managed to get everyone to reveal the truth. Ching and Yau appeared to persuade their father to reveal where Ngan was hidden. The police arrived to arrest Wing Tak but he grabbed Fong. Cheung punched him and Wing Tak was arrested. However, he refused to reveal where Ngan was. Man Kwan went to visit his father and persuaded him to tell him where Ngan was. Then Man Kwan told Cheung and Tong. Man Kwan was disabled and did not want his father to continue his wrong doing.

Cheung saved Ngan. They became a couple. Wing Tak hung himself. Chu was released from the mental hospital but was mentally unstable. Man Kwan was just sentenced to imprisonment. The Koo’s business continued to expand and became very successful.

Character and comment

Kevin Cheng as Koo Kin Shing and Koo Yue Cheung

I thought that Kin Shing was a much more likeable character than Cheung. Kin Shing is the father of all the children and Cheung was the eldest child. I felt that Kevin did a great job in this series in that he had to portray a different role in one series. There is an apparent difference since Shing was much more calm and wise whereas Cheung responded far too quickly at times and was short tempered. However, I felt that there is an improvement in his acting skills.

Kenneth Ma as Koo Yue Tong

Kenneth is the second eldest son and because Cheung was kidnapped at a young age, his siblings pay him full respect. He has an important role in the family and solved many problems that arise in the family. He also has a sense of humour. Because of his asthma, Tong cannot fight. Kenneth did a great job and this is one of my favourite character aside from Kenneth. Kenneth portrayed so many funny characters in the past but this one is very memorable because the series is full of different emotions. One minute he would have to be very funny and the next he might have to cry.  This series definitely gave Kenneth the opportunity to prove that his is a versatile actor.

Yuen Qiu as Au Yeung Wai Lan

This is the first time I have seen Yuen Qiu act in a series. I have watched  a few of her films which are usually comedies. Watching her in a sad series like this was rather strange. She is actually one of the people who can fight but I felt that it was a pity that she had so few fighting scenes.

Dominic Lam as Wing Tak

Yes he was definitely EVIL. Very scheming and the role was just perfect for him. I felt that when he played his older and younger self, there was a difference. His performance made the series even better.

Selena Li as Tze Ching

I really liked Selena here. She was very cute and pretty and there was a lot of chemistry with Kenneth. I remembered them being a couple in Master of Tai Chi and they were very compatible there already.  Her crying skills have improved a lot but I felt that sometimes she is trying not to laugh.

Other characters

There are so many characters in this series and I will just have to briefly mention them. Tavia Yeung did an outstanding job despite playing such a small role. I find that she does smaller roles. She seems more focused. Natalie Tong was also really good in this series. The person who surprised me the most was Angela Tong. She was so great in this series. Angela was heavily promoted at some point but I find that she is stronger at portraying smaller roles than leading actress. Jacky Heung’s appearance was rather deceiving. He gave the impression that he is the villain and a good fighter. But his acting was very incompetent and I find that he doesn’t speak very clearly sometimes and blurs his words.


Best Performance: Kenneth Ma

Worst Performance: Jacky Heung

Most evil : Dominic Lam

Best crying Skills: Tavia Yeung

Best male character: Koo Yue Tong played by Kenneth Ma

Best female character: Wing Tze Ching played by Selena Li

Breakthrough performance: Natalie Tong

Best Scene: When Cheung reunited with the Family. I thought the scene was rather touching. The flash backs were also very good to watch.

Best exit: Helen Ma: the scene was rather touching when she died and revealed that Cheung was not her son.

Character that suffered the most: Tavia or Yuen Qui: felt so sorry for her. She lost everything overnight and suffered so much. Her husband died leaving her with all the children. She had to bring them all up on her own and all the problems with Wing Tak.

Kara Hui comes a close second since her son became disabled and her husband died. All these events were not her fault.


This year there are hardly any good series so this is one worth watching. I find that series tend to have good ratings when there is a villain in it; the more evil the better the series. This series is worth watching because it shows that family values are significant and we should never give up until the end. The Koo family spent so many years trying to prove that Wing Tak killed their grandparents. The series show that if you believe you will succeed. Also you should always do what is righteous.

Series Rating :

Not the best TVB series produced but the best one so far this year and definitely worth watching even if you do not like martial arts. My only criticism is they should have found people who did know martial arts like Master of Tai Chi.

Review written by Colly

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  1. Fistful of Stances was definitely the best series of the year so far. In a way I find that kind of sad. As Colly said this was not one of the best shows TVB has produced and to rate it as the best of the year so far just proves how bad every other series was. I believe Kenneth and Dominic’s performance were the best. Kevin seemed very plain to me and Jacky was just horrible. For the actresses I think Natalie did great. She had me truly feeling bad for her. The cast was good and the plot was well written as well. One thing I hate are the flashbacks, it really bothered me in the beginning. I’m just not a flashback person but all in all hands down best series of the year. Hope Rosy Business 2 and Can’t Buy Me Love can save the year for TVB.

  2. Natalie’s acting has not improved maybe you guys don’t see it but i do. You guys probably never noticed since she is always playing small roles so you never noticed her now that she has a big role you don’t have a choice but to watch her character and noticed her acting but if you watch her old shows with her in it you will definitely notice that her acting has not improve much. Don’t get me wrong her acting is good but she actually has not improved that much..

  3. Agree with Lala on Natalie. Her acting is already decent from the start (way back in 4 Leaf Clover time). So, she actually didn’t show much improvement.

  4. For me, FOS was so-so. To me, the plot lacks orginality and the younger generation’s (except for Tavia’s)acting was average. But Dominic and Kara superb. I’ve enjoyed the earlier episodes (despite its flashbacks) and the last few episodes but I find the in-between lackluster because its noisy family scenes and its melodrama were so reminiscent of MR + Safeguards + RB.
    Just my 2 cts.

  5. I still think AFOS is the best series so far this year, it wasn’t Great, but it was good. I think Dominic deserves a best supporting actor award (not only for this but for many of his works). Kenneth (at least) deserves a nomination for Best Male Actor or Most Favorite Male Character. but i have a feeling we’ll see Kevin in top 5 for this instead of him (which is completely unfair cuz if u’d actually watch the series, ppl would kno who best actor or main actor was!) – i feel like tvb’s top 5 will be wayne, moses, raymond, steven, and kevin. (i hope im wrong tho!)

  6. this series makes me like Kenneth more as an actor…

  7. thanks for reading my reviews and the feedback!! Will write more so stay tuned.

  8. too bad the ratings in Hong Kong was not TVB expected.

    I hope Dominic Lam will win a TVB award.

    I hope TVB personal wont cast Jacky Heung another series. He is awful!!!!

  9. This drama wasn’t THAT great, but it was definitely one of the few in recent years (with the exception of Rosy Business, which completely blew my mind) that I actually enjoyed the whole way through. My only complaint was that it has too much unnecessary crying. o_o

    And Jacky Heung can’t act. This has always been obvious, but he’s one of the few in this drama who actually knew martial arts, lol. I actually like watching him a lot.

  10. Only a handful of series worth watching this year so far and this is one of them. If you didn’t like this its likely you won’t like anything up to No Regrets.

  11. I thought that it was quite a good series. though not the best. But good. My family enjoyed watching it. and i agree, natalie hasnt improve really much cause frm the start her acting was alrdy quite decent. i thought that selena was better. she improved alot on her crying. her crying scenes now are more natural. so i support selena getting the most improved!

  12. I don’t find Natalie’s performance as breakthrough. In fact, I find her overacts in inappropriate places. I don’t know if it’s the director’s fault or hers, but, in some places she’s really over dramatic and it makes no sense why Ngan should be so dramatic in those situation.

    1. Her fault. She is always very serious even when in light hearted moments in other series. Selena didn’t fare so well either. Frankly none of the female performances stood out, maybe Angela Tong for her feisty performance as Fong Fong, my favourite except when she was bulldozed for the sake of petty drama.

  13. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good series. Not the best, but an enjoyable watch, especially in the latter half. My major complaint was all the shouting taking place in the first half. Between the neverending loud, boisterous behavior whenever the family got together, and the almost full-time shouting by Kenneth in the early half of the series, my ears were constantly ringing. I was very pleased when things calmed down during the second half.

    I enjoyed Selina in this one, as well as Natalie. I thought Dominic was an outstanding villain, and that Jacky, as his son, was thoroughly dislikable, (in a good sense.) I usually enjoy Kenneth, but his constant shouting in this one turned me off. Sort of indifferent toward Kevin’s performance. I’d hoped he’d be a bit more dynamic than he was.

    The English title of the series led me to believe there would be more martial arts than there was. I think I was expecting something along the lines of Master of Tai Chi. It was disappointing that Kenneth’s character was handicapped by asthma and didn’t become more active in in fight scenes; I guess the same goes for Kevin’s role. Nevertheless, I’m glad I watched this one.

  14. I liked this serial alot. Earlier, I hated Kevin but I’ve fallen for him in this serial. I wish there were more romantic scenes between him and Natalie. They make a cute pair. Kenneth took up his responsibilities very well as the eldest son in the absence of Kevin. In fact, I would say Kenneth’s role looked more like the main hero of the serial. Kenneth and Selena has a great chemistry here. I’m very confused at the last scene. Does he and Selena finally end as a couple together or are they just friends till the end? Can anyone tell of, please? Overall, this is a very touching serial since it shows very great bonding and love between the siblings. This serial should win many awards.

  15. I liked the theme song and especially the melody part! It’s only for like ten seconds only, what a pity. ): But still, this drama series, is one of my favourite show of TVB! 😀 Anyway, anyone knows where to download the ten seconds of melody?

  16. I thought it was a good series after viewing it. The story was excellent and the acting competent from the cast. Outstanding were the main actors, Kevin ( who portrayed 2 divergent personalities ably, Kenneth, Selina and Natalie. The others were Kara and Dominic. I must not forget the actor who played Kevin’s father in the early years and who was murdered by Dominic. He’s a fine actor.

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