A History of Wing Chun
Wing Chun Kung Fu can be traced all the way back to the 1600s. Developed in the Southern Shaolin Temple in the Hunan Province in China, it is believed that Wing Chun was developed by a Buddhist nun called Ng Mui, who devised the system to be mastered quickly as a counter against the harder kung fu forms .
It is also believed that she named the system after Yim Wing Chun, her first student, who used her newly acquired skills to deter unwanted suitors. Another version of Wing Chun origin is that a group of Shaolin masters would meet and train together in the eternal/beautiful springtime hall of Shaolin to pick the best of there individual styles to build a superior style which was given the name of the meeting hall it originated in Wing Chun
In the 1950’s, Chan Wah Shun taught the system to Yip Man, who in turn taught many students in Foshan then Hong Kong including the late Bruce Lee who brought what was in effect a secret style in fact non Chinese had not heard the term Kung Fu into the open The late Grandmaster Yip Man simplified the system, and is mainly responsible for the Wing Chun system as we know it today. Wing Chun flourished in Hong Kong and the late Grandmaster Yip Man passed his knowledge on to his two sons, Yip Chun and Yip Ching, as well as Wing Chun Grandmasters Leung Ting, the late Wong Shun Leung and many more.
YIP MAN (葉問)
The late Grandmaster Yip Man’s life has been documented and dramatised in a series of recent films, and just like the martial art he devoted his life to mastering, the spelling of his name is equally varied.
While the spelling adopted by the movies is “Ip Man”, an alternative spelling is “Yip Man”.
Grandmaster Yip Man taught Wing Chun during the so-called Hong Kong period, when Wing Chun was particularly popular on the island state. While he was undeniably one of the great Grandmasters of Wing Chun, he was by no means the only one.
Other Wing Chun Grandmasters active during the Hong Kong period were:
Grandmaster Tang Yick
Grandmaster Tam Kong
Grandmaster Chu Chong Man
Grandmaster Lo Chiu Woon
Grandmaster Lo Hong Tai
Grandmaster Pak Cheung
A possible reason why Grandmaster Yip Man became more famous than the others could be because of who he taught. Grandmaster Yip Man was the Sifu of Grandmaster Leung Ting, who went on to establish one of the world’s largest Wing Chun organisations. He also taught a young upstart who went on to become arguably the world’s most famous martial art star in history: the late Bruce Lee and the students of Grandmaster IP Man who opened up Wing Chun to the none Chinese of the world. This includes IP Man’s own sons IP Chun and IP Ching the two of the Sifus of Master Matthew Chapplow own IP Man lineage of over 30 years Grandmaster Samuel Kwok who not only taught many none Chinese, but taught some of them as in-house close door students were all is taught and nothing withheld or hidden a level of instruction even to this day reserved strictly by some Chinese Sifu and Masters for those of full blood Chinese decent .