Faht Shan (Pan Nam) Wing Chun Kuen

Discussion in 'Wing Chun' started by Old Judoka, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. Old Judoka

    Old Judoka Yellow Belt

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    I ran across this in an internet search today, I am interested in thoughts from folks well versed in Wing Chun:

    "Faht Shan Wing Chun", is considered the official lineage of the Wing Chun system recognized by the Government of the Peoples Republic of China and therefore is referred as the "Chinese System" of Wing Chun as it relates to the Ip Man WC system and is referred to as the "Hong Kong system" of Wing Chun Kung Fu. I am sure there's lots of debate among WC factions in Shanghai and Hong Kong, who would feel quite differently regarding this official sanction by mainland China. However, this review will discuss the instructional content and value of Eddie Chong's WC DVDs, and will leave the matter of which system is considered the official lineage of WC to martial art historians. However, I will say this...martial art institutions are just as much a political animal in China as the two party political systems in America. Enough said.

    Master Sifu Eddie Chong gives a demonstration of all three characteristic forms of “Faht Shan” Wing Chun passed down by former Grandmaster Pan Nam, who died in 1995, near the age of 100! Obviously, there are characteristic or stylistic differences between the Chinese and Hong Kong systems. For example, one can readily see in the WC forms demonstrated by William Cheung and other subsequent lineage holders of Grandmaster Ip Man, such as Chu Shong Tin, expressing a different approach in teaching and the execution of WC technique.

    In that being said, however, one should look for the common thread which runs through all of three styles of WC. So which system is better? I strongly feel this is a foolish and misplaced question! I have news for you..."it's all good."

    In principle the differences which one might observe in movement, is one of degree not of kind. For example, in the Sli Nam Tao of the Faht Shan system, the Chuan Sao Hand (fist) does not move forward and up through the centerline, but slightly off from the center of heart line. The Fook Sao and Wu Sao hand movement is done from the lower Tan Tien and not from the middle Tan Tien or heart line position. These movements are done slowly, as you would expect in Chi Kung practice for the development of power....proper breathing technique, is also emphasized during training of the first form _ Sli Nam Tao.

    However, there are basic hand techniques, which are emphasized in the "Faht Shan" system, that would not necessary be observed in Ip Man's, Hong Kong system...that is the use of the "Tiger" and "Leopard" hand, which are movements so common in Hung Gar Kung Fu. It is said by Master Sifu Chong, that the Butterfly Knifes of Wing Chun evolved out of Hung Gar...from my experience all Chinese Wu Shu styles have incorporated movements and techniques from older systems...what works seems to be the general rule...Sifu Chong fortunately, does not hold anything back and his demonstration of technique is quite effective. Some schools in the US, particularly among the commercialized Shaolin martial art establishments...will not show a student such techniques using the "leopard" hand, because it's considered a secret teaching! Be aware, you could end up paying big bucks for all the so called secret techniques by such martial art institutions.

    Besides the Sli Nam Tao form, Master Sifu Chong also demonstrates the last two forms of Wing Chun in this DVD, they are Chum Kiu and Bil Gee...again their expression, is quite different in what you would normally see from observing the "Hong Kong" style of WC Kung Fu. Some may even regard the movements in Chum Kiu, of Chong's demonstration as almost appearing robotic...but, don't let that fool you...there is definitely, subtlety in what he does! If you are truly a Wing Chun enthusiast the purchase of Chong's DVDs are a must see and a worthwhile addition to any one's collection demonstrating this martial art.

    This is commentary from a DVD set put out by Sifu Eddie Chong, a Pan Nam student. Apparently Pan and Ip Man had the same Sifu. Pan was also a strong Hung Kuen stylist before learning Wing Chun. Can all the differences between Faht Shan Wing Chun and Master Ip's lineages be due to Hung Kuen influences that Pan had?
     
  2. wckf92

    wckf92 Master Black Belt

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    I had never heard of this before.
     
  3. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Black Belt

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    I have no experience or exposure to Faht Shan Wing Chun or Eddie Chong. I have had some exposure to some non-Yip Man lineages of Wing Chun and I always find them interesting and relevant. I do not contend that what I have or what we do is somehow exclusively right and nothing else is valid. However, let me suggest this, based on what you shared:

    If there is an "official Wing Chun recognized by the Chinese government" (which is news to me), I would consider it suspect at best. The Chinese government didn't support traditional martial arts. Wing Chun was a village system that was developed to over throw the party in power at the time. The history of this just doesn't add up to me.

    The rest of it sounds exactly like something written to promote sales of a DVD series. No disrespect to the lineage or the sifu sited, if someone can speak credibly about them, but there is no "official lineage" of Wing Chun and this sounds like bad, and tired marketing to me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  4. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    This reads like it was likely a translation....probably from Chinese?....and so is a bit "stilted." I've never seen anyone else declare that Pan Nam's system is the "official" Wing Chun of mainland China! I would doubt this is true, simply because it isn't that widespread! There are likely more people doing Guangdong Wing Chun (Yuen Kay Shan's system) than Pan Nam Wing Chun in China. But I've never been there, so I could be wrong! I've also never seen anyone refer to Pan Nam's style as "Fatshan Wing Chun." Most people usually just say "Pan Nam Wing Chun."

    I do believe that Pan Nam listed Ng Chung So as one of his instructors. But he had several Wing Chun instructors and combined everything that he learned with his Hung Kuen and came up with his own version of Wing Chun. So yes, the differences between Pan Nam's Wing Chun and Ip Man's Wing Chun are very likely due to these other influences, particularly the Hung Kuen.
     
  5. Old Judoka

    Old Judoka Yellow Belt

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    I know very little about Wing Chun, but of what I do know, I had never heard of this. It is on Eddie Chong's website promoting 3 DVD's. That's only commentary listed on the first DVD. I appreciate the commentary I've received so far. I'm not trying to start some lineage fight or anything. I ran across some reference to Fatshan Wing Chun and googled it. that's where I found some listings about Pan Nam, Eddie Chong and PNWCK. Thanks guys.
     
  6. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Black Belt

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    Curiosity got the better of me and I checked out sifu Chong's website Chong's Wing Chun & Bak Mei Kung Fu Association|

    What is presented there seems sensible to me. If I were in Sacramento, CA, I would certainly welcome an opportunity to train with him. Personally, I'd be more interested in understanding what conclusions he's reached about Pak Mai with respect to Wing Chun, but I'd be interested in his perspective regardless.

    It's possible that whoever published the DVD series authored the other language to promote the series. It certainly reads like that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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  7. Marnetmar

    Marnetmar Black Belt

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    Eddie is the real deal. Unfortunately some of his students are...interesting people, to say the least.
     
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  8. VPT

    VPT Green Belt

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    There is, in fact, an official "Chinese government recognized" Wing Chun, but it sure ain't any pure traditional style; it's actually something more akin to "Wushu Wing Chun". They have totally reworked the Wing Chun system, and some of that stuff is actually pretty interesting. I mentioned about this in some other thread already some time ago.

    Eddie Chong, as far as I know, teaches the Fatsan lineage of Bak Mei originating to Lau Siu Leung in the 1960s. His exact lineage is debatable, but I believe he is Ha Hon Hung's Bak Mei lineage with plenty of Choy Lee Fut in the mix.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
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  9. DanT

    DanT Black Belt

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    Hey do you know who else Pan Nam learned from? Can you give me sources as well? It will help with my "Wing Chun Ancestors Family Tree Project" where I'm mapping out Wing Chun from Leung Lan Kwai to Yip Man's generation... I already have over 50 confirmed Sifu's over 4 generations on it, and I would like to add in Pan Nam.
     
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  10. VPT

    VPT Green Belt

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    I should make this clearer: I'm talking of Lau Siu Leung here, not Eddie Chong. It's his connection to main Bak Mei lineage that is unclear, but I'm certain their is one even though some deny it. Eddie Chong is open about his teachers.
     
  11. DanT

    DanT Black Belt

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    Who did Pan Nam learn from?
     
  12. Callen

    Callen Green Belt

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    Pan Nam was a Hung Gar practitioner until 1947, then began learning Wing Chun under Jiu Chow. He was later introduced to Lai Hip Chai, who was Chan Wah Shun's second to last student.
     
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  13. KPM

    KPM Senior Master

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    Ah! That's right! Lai Hip Chai, not Ng Chung So. I knew it was a Chan Wah Shun student! Thanks for the correction! I think there was a third Wing Chun influence in there as well, but my memory fails me.
     
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  14. Callen

    Callen Green Belt

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    I believe that he also trained with Cheung Bo briefly before Jiu Chow.
     
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  15. Yuen Kay Jun

    Yuen Kay Jun Yellow Belt

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    Cheung Bo? Really? I've never heard that. The only historical info or family lore of Cheung Bo I've heard is what is shared in the Yuen Kay San family. As Sum Nung studied with Cheung Bo prior to his in-depth training with YKS.
     
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