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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tribute to Wing Chun

I've told a lot of people about Wing Chun, but I had kind of squandered the opportunity to pursue it actively. Well, not really. I'm thankful that I understand it better now. Here's a little bit of history on it. I think it's one of the most simple and logical forms of martial arts that I have ever come across. Some history, according to two schools (Source: Wikipedia.org):

Yip Man Wing Chun
The oral history of the Yip Man branch of Wing Chun dates its creation to the reign of the Emperor Kangxi (1662–1722). After escaping the destruction of the Henan Shaolin Monastery by Qing forces, the Abbess Ng Mui fled to the distant Daliang mountains (大涼山) on the border between Yunnan and Sichuan. One day, she came upon a fight between a snake and a crane. She took the lessons she learned from observing the fight between the two animals and combined them with her own knowledge of Shaolin kung fu to create a new style. Ng Mui often bought her bean curd at the tofu shop of Yim Yee (嚴二). Yim Yee had a daughter named Yim Wing-Chun (嚴詠春) whom a local bandit was trying to force into marriage. Ng Mui taught her new fighting style to Wing-Chun, which the girl used to fend off the bandit once and for all. Wing-Chun eventually married a man she loved, Leung Bok-Chao (梁博儔), to whom she taught the fighting techniques that Ng Mui had passed on to her. Husband and wife in turn passed the new style on to others.


Yiu Kai Wing Chun
The oral history of the Yiu Kai lineage dates the creation of Wing Chun roughly a century later, to the early 19th century, and names Wing-Chun's father as Yim Sei (嚴四), a disciple at the Fujian Shaolin Temple who avoids persecution by fleeing with his daughter to Guangxi. Wing-Chun learned the Fujian Shaolin arts from her father and, from their raw material, created a new style after being inspired by a fight between a snake and a crane. She eventually married Leung Bok-Chao (梁博儔)—a Shaolin disciple just like Wing-Chun's father—and taught her fighting style to her new husband. The young couple began teaching Wing Chun's fighting style to others after moving to Guangdong Province in 1815, settling in the city of Zhaoqing.


The history isn't saying much, but if you want to find out more about it then please do check this link out. Here are a couple of symbols that I found depicting the fighting snake and crane.


Here's one from a Wing Chun school in the Netherlands.


Here's one that I think looks a lot cooler. Here endeth the tribute.
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