About Wing Chun
Wing Chun is a traditional form of Chinese Shaolin Gung Fu that uses speed and deflection rather than brute force to overcome an aggressor. It is an economical art, with no "flowery" techniques. It is extremely practical and effective, containing street-fighting applications well suited to today's modern society. You do not have to be muscularly strong, super fit or highly flexible to become proficient in Wing Chun (which makes it one of the few martial arts that can be practiced well into old age).
The system contains a variety of techniques, including:
- Hand blocking and attacks (fist, palm, elbow, finger, elbow and forearm attacks)
- Kicks, knees, leg blocking and sweeps
- Joint locking, grabs and holds
- Ground fighting
- Chi (energy) development
- Iron Palm
- Weapons (Wooden pole and Butterfly swords)
There are only three empty handed forms, one wooden dummy form and two weapons forms in the entire system. The whole Wing Chun syllabus is contained within these forms and the student will be taught each form in turn, together with all the applications and theory which will give him or her an in-depth knowledge of the Wing Chun way of fighting.
History of Wing Chun
An Indian monk while traveling through China noticed that during meditation the Chinese monks were falling asleep, so he developed a routine of exercises, including fighting techniques to increase physical and mental health. This was the beginning of Shaolin Gung Fu.
At the time of the Ch'ing dynasty (1644-1911) the Manchus invaded China and forbade any practise of Martial Arts, which they knew was being practiced at the Shaolin temple. The temple was too well fortified to take by storm so they bribed a monk who showed them a secret entrance. When the Manchus entered they burnt the temple and killed the occupants, all that is for five elders who managed to escape, one of these being a female nun named Ng Mui. As the five dispersed throughout China, Ng Mui came to the temple of the White Crane, which she entered and continued her vocation.
One day Ng Mui met a woman who was being harassed by a local landowners son called Wong. Ng Mui told the girl to tell Wong to leave her alone for a year, in which time she would return and give him her answer as to marriage. Wong agreed and the girl spent one year being taught fighting techniques by Ng Mui.
When they returned one year later the girl told Wong that they would fight, and if he won she would marry him, but if he lost he was to leave her alone forever. Wong agreed, but she beat him easily. This meant she was able to marry the man she wanted, Leung Bok Cho.
One day during a quarrel they fought, and again using the techniques taught her, she won easily. This so impressed her husband he asked her to teach him the style, which she did. He then passed on the art to others and to do honour to his wife named it Wing Chun, after her name - Yimm Wing Chun, which means "Beautiful Springtime".
In more recent times, Wing Chun's most famous practitioner is Ip Man. He was born in 1893 and spent his whole life as a champion of Wing Chun. Almost all the Wing Chun being taught in the world today traces its lineage back to him, including that of CRCA. Ip Man taught many outstanding and famous students. The most recognized name being that of Bruce Lee whom he taught for 5 years. You can learn more about Ip Man here. Recently, several films have been made of Ip Man's life, which also do a good job of showcasing Wing Chun.