“Who you are now..
matters less, than who
you can become..”
matters less, than who
you can become..”
Hisotry of Wing Tsun Kung Fu
The legend takes us back to the 17th century, China during the power of Qing Dynasty, under the reign of the Manchurian Government. The people of China are tyrannized and unhappy. The Emperor of the former Ming Dynasty and his family are in hiding whilst rebels and warrior monks formed secret societies and underground anarchistic movements, hoping to return the Ming Dynasty back to power.
To quench their thirst for power and to ensure order and fear, the Manchurian Government started to clear out and destroy rebel strongholds including temples and other Shaolin Monasteries. The ‘Sui Lam’ Monastery, which was renowned and known for its fierce and skilled warrior monks was a prime target and a great threat to the Government. The Monastery was also known to give refuge to wounded rebels and warriors that sought to restore the Ming Dynasty to power.
In the Sui Lam Monastery was another warrior, who was highly trained in Snake style Shaolin. He was in love with the Emperors daughter Ng Moi who at the time was in the Monastery.
Two Generals marched Three Thousand Troops against the few hundred able fighters they had in the Sui Lam Monastery. They fought tirelessly and incessantly all day and night. Hundreds died in vein, realising that the end was imminent, many remaining survivors of the siege fled the battleground leaving their Kung Fu Brothers & Sisters alone, the ones that remained retreated to their Temple and took their last stand alongside Five Elders of the Monastery.
These five Masters were Chi Shin, Pak Mei, Fung Dotak, Miau Hin and the only Buddhist Nun and female of the five Ng Mui. The Five Masters and A Hundred & Eight monks remained to fight.
They fought valiantly against the Manchu Government; towards the End, the Monks were forced inside the Temple and barricaded the doors. The Five Elders were led to a secret tunnel, which led into the mountains un-noticed; this was the only way to preserve the ancient traditions and teachings of their Kung Fu disciplines. The students remained and died in sacrifice for their Masters escape.
After the destruction of their Monastery the Masters came together and decided to create an ultimate fighting art, and from their knowledge and hard work they in turn revolutionised Kung Fu forever. It was known as the art for the masters but did not yet have a name as they trained and studied in secret. They discarded anything that was not effective, overly complicated, and they based the development of this art on simple – direct principles and tied in the best health methods such as chi-Gung alongside only the most brutal, simple and effective techniques and fighting concepts. They then separated off so they would not run the risk of being captured together because they would be killed and Wing Tsun along with them.
Among the Five Elders was a woman, Ng Moi; who was one of the greatest Kung Fu Masters of her time despite being a woman. After the attack on her Monastery, she went.
Ng Moi is known as the founder of the system because of her understanding and ability to beat a much larger and stronger opponent using intelligence, speed and technique. She did not have the strength to match a larger, stronger opponent but she understood how to use his strength and size against him and focussed on his weak points. Ng Moi revolutionised martial arts for the smaller weaker person, and particularly women.
She passed her knowledge onto a young woman called Yim Wing Tsun who was being pursued by the town bully who was trying to force her hand in marriage. Yim Wing Tsun went to Ng Moi in desperation and Ng Moi accepted her as her student and trained her well. Yim Wing Tsun challenged the bully and told him that if she defeats him he was to leave her be. He accepted, Lost and died trying to beat her…
Yim Wing Tsun passed her knowledge on to her chosen husband Leung Bok Chau who named the art Wing Tsun Kuen in honour of his wife. Wing Tsun has since been passed down from generation to generation being perfected and built upon at every stage. These generations of masters are known as the Chat Sing, which holds a very special meaning in Wing Tsun and symbolises a person who has the character, ability and will to carry on this secret and ancient art to the next.
Grand Master Yip Man is the most known Master of Wing Tsun in this age and for many reasons but he is remembered mostly for his ability and humble nature. Grandmaster Yip Man was the first to open the doors of Wing Tsun to the public. Aside from the famous Bruce Lee, he also taught Wong Shun Leung, Tsun Sheung Tin, Hawkins Cheung, Ho Kam Ming, and Leung Sheung. And in the last stages of Yip man’s life a young teenager called Leung Ting turned up asking Yip Man to accept him as a student. And as their relationship grew, Leung Ting showed his devotion and dedication to his master and the art and Grandmaster Yip Man decided to teach Leung Ting (his last student) the highest levels of Wing Tsun.
Yip Man passed away in 1972 and Si-Jo Leung Ting took on his duty as Yip Mans successor to further develop, upgrade and modernize the art of Wing Tsun. In 1973, Leung Ting exclusively adopted the name “Wing Tsun” to differentiate his lineage from the other ‘Wing Chun’ associations, hence the change of spelling. He was the first person to refine the art into a complete modern fighting system, which has now been developed all over the world. Leung Ting helped open more doors for westerners to learn this ancient art and see this beautiful authentic culture and way of life…