Another History of Wing Chun


Black Belt
Oct 9, 2013
Reaction score
I was dinking around on Wingchunpedia the other day and came across a page with some history of Wing Chun I hadn't heard before. I found this on their page for Weng Chun, but ironically Weng Chun is not mentioned in the article other than in the title.

Anyway, I was wondering what you guys would think of this. The original article has a ton of grammar errors and I attempted to fix a few of them for somewhat easier readability.

Weng Chun-History and Tradition

The Philosophy and principle ofeffectiveness

For the Southern Shaolin monks it wasparamount to experience reality directly. Their philosophy of ChanBuddhism meant a return to the natural and simple. This often stoodin contrast to the philosophy of fighting styles taught outside ofthe temple. These often referred to magic fate or obedience of oldergenerations. This is why the monks of the Wing Chun dim incorporatedonly those fighting concepts which were really effective, simple anddirect.

Siu lam abbot, chi sim sim si, guardianof the art

Fear and treachery led to the southernShaolin temple being destroyed, by the 18th century ruling powers.The southern Shaolin Abbot, Chi Sim Sim Si, was able to flee withother monks and got taken on as a cook, on the red boats under afalse name. The red boats were a favourite place for rebels to hideand perfect for them to transfer information from town to town. Thered boats travelled around with a lot of freedom, in order toentertain the people with Chinese opera

Tiger wong

One of the most brutal Kung Fu fightersof his day, Tiger Wong, tried to extort protection money from theopera troupes. He gave them an ultimatum, should they not pay, thenhe would destroy their boats and with it, their livelihood. Theleader of the opera troupe, Wong Wah Bo and his followers, were in astate of despair. They had no money and moreover could not protectthemselves, because they had no real kung fu skills, only the flashyopera style, which was not actually effective for real lifeconfrontations. As the deadline expired, the members of the red boatfelt that their end was near.

The Cook

On the day that Tiger Wong came tocollect the money, the cook who, up till now, was not taken intoconsideration and was thought to be a little crazy, blocked TigerWong’s path. Tiger Wong did not take what seemed to be a cookseriously and tried to overcome him quickly. The fight between TigerWong and the Abbot, Chi Sim, is told by many Wing Chun familiesdifferently. It is certain that Tiger Wong did not have a chanceagainst the formidable kung fu of the Wing Chun Dim.

The vital secret

The members of the red boat weredelighted and wanted to learn kung fu from their cook at once. AbbotChi Sim revealed his true identity and was ready to teach the membersof the opera troupe (this was the first possibility in history, werethe simplification of the system started, as the members of the operacertainly didn’t have the time that the monks had to learn in thetemple. Creating therefore, from the first set of the Wing Chun Dim,the Wing Chun Kuen Set, came the Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Bui Tze,by splitting the form in to three parts. Another theory about thecreation of these forms is discussed later and has to do with doctorLeung Jan. Chi Sim, as he was one of the prosecuted men of his time,had his pupils promise to never use or reveal his real name. That iswhy it came about that many legends concerning Wing Chun wereinvented around this time (for example the story of Yim Wing Chunect…), so as to protect Master Chi Sim. The first students underthe leadership of Wong Wah Bo, the successor of Chi Sim, were SanKam, Leung Yee Tai and Leung Laan Kwai. Only the Wing Chun masterswho had learned the entire system from their master were told thetruth.
During the Ching Dynasty serious maleartists often portrayed female roles in opera performances, as womenwere not allowed to perform in public. San Kam was an excellentartist, who on the one hand was very good at playing female roles inthe opera, but on the other hand, he represented the best of what theWing Chun kuen system had, in fights. At the time (during this periodon the red boats, the art of the Wing Chun Dim became known as WingChun Kuen - Internal Spring Fist, The Kung fu from the SouthernShaolin Temple) San Kam was known by his nickname which meantliterally, pretty face.
While San Kam was shopping one day, foropera costumes for the red boat members in Southern China’sFatshan, he was mocked and attacked by the young and ill temperedtailors apprentice, Fung Siu Ching. The bullish Fung Siu Ching had toland in the dust seven times before he noticed that he was no matchat all for this strange looking man. Fung Siu Ching wanted to offertea to San Kam immediately (the Chinese Kung Fu custom in order tobecome a masters’ pupil), however, San Kam turned him down on thegrounds that he did not want to teach any ill tempered people.

After Fung Siu Ching had proved himselfworthy to learn from San Kam, in a one year probationary period, hewas accepted and introduced to the art of Wing Chun Kuen. For tenyears, he learned from San Kam, moreover Fung Siu Ching went on tobecome one of the most famous Wing Chun masters in Asia. He was ableto channel his quick-temperedness into an endless creative energy forWing Chun. Fung Siu Ching was one of the only masters to be on thered boats and in mainland China. He was responsible for the manydifferent Wing Chun branches that are now spread throughout SoutheastAsia, travelling during his life through countries like Vietnam andMalaysia. He was also one of the first to teach Wing Chun fulltime.Together with Leung Jan, student of Leung Yee Tai, he is the mostfamous historical figure in the history of Wing Chun and many moviesand novels have been based on their exploits. Fung Siu Ching’smaster pupils in Fatshan were his son Fung Tin, the Lo brothers, TangSuen, Dung Yick and the chemist Ma Chung Yi.

During the Ching Dynasty (1644–1911)only the larger cities, were protected by the state police of thatday. Small villages were protected by renowned kung fu masters.Master Fung Siu Ching’s master pupils guarded many villages inFatshan and the surrounding areas. The Lo brothers, for example,drove off entire bands of robbers only armed with their broadswords.On one occasion the Lo brothers are said to have chased off 20 armedrobbers without severely injuring them.
Their Wing Chun Kung Fu brother TangSun received the honorary title king of the Long Pole from the peoplefrom the villages that he protected, because he kept them safe fromharm using the pole.
Grand Master Wai Yan Wai Yan was bornat the beginning of the 1900′s as the son a rich Chinese family inHong Kong. Via his older friend Lo Chi Woon, the young Wai Yan oftencame into contact with the martial art Wing Chun. how ever, Wai Yan,did not really wish to know about kung fu, as he had oftenexperienced kung fu practitioners to be violent and uneducated.
Had his friend Lo Chi Woon (Student ofthe Lo brothers) not been a Wing Chun Master and a Chinese academicat the same time, Wai Yan would certainly not have had any contactwith him.
One day Lo Chi Woon asked Wai Yanwhether he would teach his younger son the art of Chinese writing(This is comparable to accepting the role of godfather in the West).Wai Yan happily agreed to do so, without being aware of theconsequences his promise. He now shared the responsibility to theyoung Lo, controversially this meant for Wai Yan, that he now alsohad to master Wing Chun Kuen, which had been practiced in the familytradition of the Lo’s. In this way Wai Yan began to learn Wing Chunfrom Lo Chi Woon and his brother Lo Hung Tai, around 1930. Wai Yan’soriginal dislike of Kung Fu, changed into an incredible passion andlove for the art of Wing Chun Kuen. After Wai Yan had attainedmastery of Wing Chun, he initiated a new project to further refineand research the art.

Dai Duk Lan Master Wai Yan convertedone of his trading houses, called Dai Duk Lan, into a Wing Chunresearch academy. He did not want to enroll many pupils in thisresearch academy, but rather bring together and unite the best WingChun practioners of his day. These masters were to research the arttogether, train together and discuss theory, without holding back anysecrets.
The former Shaolin temple served as amodel. Shaolin Kung Fu was developed and tested again and again inthe Wing Chun hall for more then a thousand years.

The Wing Chun Masters of Dai Duk LanThe unbeatable iron fist of Wing Chun Chu Chung Man:

When Wai Yan heard of an unbeatableWing Chun master called Chu Chung Man in Macau, he set out straightaway to meet him. He became friends with him after challenging theesteemed master, being in awe of his skill. This man was infamousthroughout Southern China, because he always defeated everychallenger without much of an effort and also maintained manycontacts to other kung fu masters. Before grandmaster Yip Man’sfame, he was the most famous Wing Chun master in Hong Kong. Chu ChungMan was so moved by Wai Yan’s project, that he moved to Dai Dak Lanand accepted the position of chief instructor and became the leaderof Dai Dak Lan. Chu Chung Man brought to the project, his friend,Wing Chun master Tam Kong. Tam Kong was specialised in Kam Naa(grabbing and controlling) and could beat most opponents with ease(many Kung Fu fighters, did not devote enough attention tograppling). Sifu Tam Kong also joined the project.
In Fatshan grandmaster Tang Sun’sWing Chun master pupils, Tang Yick and Pak Cheung, were called theKing’s of the Long Pole. Master Pak Cheung had been regarded asmissing since the Chinese cultural revolution but in 1978 ,ChengKwong found the old Grandmaster on a remote farm near Fatshan.Shortly before he died, one of the teachers of Grandmaster SergioIadarola was able to learn from him.
Sifu Tang Yick was found by Sifu WaiYan in Hong Kong. At first Tang Yick did not want to share hisknowledge with other Wing Chun Masters. However the openness andwarmth of the others soon changed his mind.
The five dragons of Wing Chun Kuen WithSifu Tang Yick, the project now included five members: Sifu Wai Yan,Sifu Lo Chi Woon, Sifu Chu Chung Man, Sifu Tam Kong and Sifu TangYick. The Wing Chun masters discussed and trained every day. Theyalso invited Kung Fu Masters from other styles to share and exchangetheir experience. Also, the famous Grand Master Yip Man, teacher ofBruce Lee, was often seen there, during a period of a few years.
The five Wing Chun Masters were calledthe “The five dragons of Wing Chun Kuen” by the Chinese Kung Fucommunity.
The project was carried out, by SifuWai Yan, Chu Chung Man and Tang Yick, for twenty years. TheChief-Instructor and Grand Master of Dai Duk Lan was Grand Master ChuChung Man.
Dai Duk Lan was closed in the beginningof the 1990`s but Grand Master Tang Yick kept on teaching until hisdeath with the help of Sifu Tang Chung Pak. In the Playing Field Roadin Hong Kong. Grand Master Wai Yan also kept on teaching a few closeddoor students until his death.
Today, all of the Grand Masters of theDai Duk Lan project have sadly passed away. The art lives on in thewest through efforts of a few men like Grand Master Sergio Iadarola,who learned privately in Hong Kong from the last master student ofGrand Master Yip Man, Grand Master Leung Ting, his master studentAllan Fong Wai Hung and learned the Grand Master Fung Siu Chinglineage through a private student of Grand Master Wai Yan.
The Leung Jan lineage of IWKA Wing ChunFrom Wong Wah Bo on, the lineages separated. One path can be tracedback as in the above told story, with Wong Wah Bo’s teaching to SanGam and one path through the story of Wong Wah Bo’s teaching toLeung Yee Tai.
Leung Yee Tai taught Leung Jan whobecame know in Fatshan as the “King of Wing Chun”. Through latestresearch there are two possibilities for the creation of the mostpopular part of the Wing Chun system, consisting of Siu Nim Tau, ChumKiu and Biu Tze.

  1. This part of the Wing Chun system was formed by some of the Wing Chun people on the red boat, as they simply did not have the time to learn in the traditions of the monks had in the Shaolin temple, therefore, another method had to be developed to transmit the Wing Chun Kuen system. The solution found was Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Tze.

  1. Dr. Leung Jan was the creator of Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Tze. There is historical proof that Grand Master Leung Jan liked to simplify things. Proof of that is his creation a few years before his death of Gu Lo Wing Chun. Again a simplification of Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Tze and assimilating it in to one curriculum. The Gu Lo Wing Chun system was so named after his native village of Gu Lo, where he spent the final years of his life after his retirement.
What is certain, however, is that LeungJan chose to give the Wing Chun parts of Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu, BiuTze and the simplified wooden dummy form (without footwork) to hisstudent Chan Wah Sun, who in turn was the Sifu of Grand Master YipMan. Chan Wah Sun, also known as “Wah the money changer” (chauchin wha) had sixteen students. The last one being the currently wellknown and famous Grand Master, Yip Man, who got his fame for, a bigpart due to being the teacher of the famous movie star Bruce Lee. Hadhis friend Lo Chi Woon (Student of the Lo brothers) not been a WingChun Master and a Chinese academic at the same time, Wai Yan wouldcertainly not have had any contact with him.

Grand Master Yip Man Yip Man was thesecond Wing Chun teacher to teach Wing Chun in Hong Kong. The firstone being Grand Master Tang Suen. The big difference, however, isthat Yip Man was the first person to teach Wing Chun Kuen to thepublic. Somewhere around the beginning of the 1950`s, Grand MasterYip Man visited the research academy Dai Duk Lan after having a fightwith Grand Master Chu Chung Man.
According to eye wittness accounts thefight was quickly over, in the favour of Grand Master Chu Chung Man.(This is not to put anything away from the incredible skill of GrandMaster Yip Man as it’s only human that even extraordinary peoplecan lose. Important to note is that Grand Master Yip Man lost fromanother Wing Chun Kuen master, his own System. He was never beaten byanother Kung Fu system).

GM Yip Man and GM Chu Chung Man

After a long research we can safely saythat the fight between Grand Master Yip Man and the son of GrandMaster Leung Jan, Leung Bik was actually the fight between GrandMaster Yip Man and Grand Master Chu Chung Man.

After this incident, Grand Master YipMan went often to Dai Duk Lan to exchange knowledge and learn more ofWing Chun and thus started to improve his system considerably byadding footwork, different kicks and Bart Cham Dao to his Wing Chun.Important to note is that the Bart Cham Dao form is only found in theYip Man system and throughout the whole of China, all other Wing Chunlineages have in place, other broadsword forms.


Black Belt
Dec 28, 2010
Reaction score
San Francisco
I was dinking around on Wingchunpedia the other day and came across a page with some history of Wing Chun I hadn't heard before. I found this on their page for Weng Chun, but ironically Weng Chun is not mentioned in the article other than in the title.

Anyway, I was wondering what you guys would think of this. The original article has a ton of grammar errors and I attempted to fix a few of them for somewhat easier readability.

Some history mixed with his-story.

Some of the Chi Sim guys knew Leung Bik, and GM Ip's sons have verified that their father credited such a person as being one of his wing chun teachers. What's to argue unless you have an agenda to push? (and $$$ to make)

Latest Discussions