Ng Mui fact or fiction

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theneuhauser

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interesting theory. what's the reason for devising the story with 2 women as the originators?
also, who is benny meng? that name sounds familiar to me.
 
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thatoneguy

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benny meng is the curator of the VT museum
and has sent a bunch of articles to the magazine QiGung

umm im not sure about the reson for devising the story with 2 women as the originators
id guess because it makes a good story
there might be another article some where on the site about that
 

Cthulhu

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The book Complete Wing Chun covers several systems of Wing Chun, including their origin stories. Some credit Wing Chun with the creation, some Ng Mui, some Wing Chun's husband. The authors also compare and contrast the different stories and make some attempt to reconcile them.

Very interesting reading.

Cthulhu
 
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Stickgrappler

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one of the notions/conclusions that the researchers/authors of the book COMPLETE WING CHUN came to was that the Ming revolutionaries were fighting the Ching/Qing/Manchus. in order to be anonymous and not be hunted down, they attributed the origin of the style to a mythical nun, Ng Mui (common a nun in a monastery full of monks?) and to Yim Wing Chun and Leung Bok Cho her husband. what seems to bear out in historical records are some of the names which come after leung bok cho like wong wah bo and leung yee tai, who were from the Red Junk opera troupe. the travel by water on the junks were perfect for the revolutionaries to travel without much notice and allowed them to exchange knowledge and techniques.
 
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Pyros

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Originally posted by Stickgrappler (common a nun in a monastery full of monks?)

Monasteries in China are not comparable to monasteries in the west. Whole different culture with whole lot of differences in everyday life. (I.e. yes, there were nuns in their temples.)

PS. You wouldn't expect American or European monasteries to teach martial arts to all their monks, would you? That's just one single example of how greatly different the cultures are.
 
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thatoneguy

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good point pyros

though would they teach a nun a top special style to a nun
they would not let a female practice with males i would think
i think i heard something about that somewhere
not sure though
 
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dogma173

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There are several legends on how wing chun dvelops. One of them is that Ng Mui developed it. We can't tell wether this was true. But this is often accepted among masters.
 
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yilisifu

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There are also references made to a nun by the name Ng Mui in the histories of other systems...

Apparently, she was one mean lady.
 

James Kovacich

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Technically none of the stories going back that far can be proven either way. I know the stories that we hear most often are told because they were supposed to be told to us, whether it was fact or fiction.

I don't see any connection just because some of the names came be traced to an era or a provence or whatever. No hard evidence can disprove the Ng Mui/Yim Wing Chun theory.
 

James Kovacich

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Originally posted by thatoneguy
Was there truely a Ng Mui?
well i dont really know my self but this is an interesting article

http://home.vtmuseum.org/articles/meng/truthrevealed.php

there are alot of articles on history here as well

http://www.wingchun.org/text/misc/history.html

The Origin of Wing Chun
By Yip Man

The founder of the Wing Chun Kung Fu System, Miss Yim Wing Chun was a native of Canton [Kwangtung Province] in China. She was an intelligent and athletic young girl, upstanding and forthright. Her mother died soon after her betrothal to Leung Bok Chau, a salt merchant of Fukien. Her father, Yim Yee, was wrongfully accused of a crime and, rather than risk jail, they slipped away and finally settled down at the foot of Tai Leung Mountain near the border between Yunnan and Szechuan provinces. There they earned a living by running a shop that sold bean curd.
During the reign of Emperor K'anghsi of the Ching Dynasty (1662-1722) Kung Fu became very strong in the Siu Lam [Shaolin] Monastery of Mt. Sung, in Honan Province. This aroused the fear of the Manchu government [a non-Chinese people from Manchuria in the North who ruled China at that time], which sent troops to attack the Monastery. Although they were unsuccessful, a man named Chan Man Wai, a recently appointed civil servant seeking favor with the government, suggested a plan. He plotted with Siu Lam monk Ma Ning Yee and others who were persuaded to betray their companions by setting fire to the monastery while soldiers attacked it from the outside. Siu Lam was burned down, and the monks and disciples scattered. Buddhist Abbess Ng Mui, Abbot Chi Shin, Abbot Pak Mei, Master Fung To Tak and Master Miu Hin escaped and went their separate ways.
Ng Mui took refuge in the White Crane Temple on Mt. Tai Leung [also known as Mt. Chai Har]. It was there she met Yim Yee and his daughter Wing Chun from whom she often bought bean curd on her way home from the market. At fifteen, with her hair bound up in the custom of those days to show she was of an age to marry, Wing Chun's beauty attracted the attention of a local bully. He tried to force Wing Chun to marry him, and his continuous threats became a source of worry to her and her father. Ng Mui learned of this and took pity on Wing Chun. She agreed to teach Wing Chun fighting techniques so she could protect herself. Wing Chun followed Ng Mui into the mountains, and began to learn Kung Fu. She trained night and day, until she mastered the techniques. Then she challenged the bully to a fight and beat him.
Ng Mui later traveled around the country, but before she left she told Wing Chun to strictly honor the Kung Fu traditions, to develop her Kung Fu after her marriage, and to help the people working to overthrow the Manchu government and restore the Ming Dynasty.
After her marriage Wing Chun taught Kung Fu to her husband Leung Bok Chau. He in turn passed these techniques on to Leung Lan Kwai. Leung Lan Kwai then passed them on to Wong Wah Bo. Wong Wah Bo was a member of an opera troupe on board a junk, known to Chinese as the Red Junk. Wong worked on the Red Junk with Leung Yee Tei. It so happened that Abbot Chi Shin, who fled from Siu Lam, had disguised himself as a cook and was then working on the Red Junk. Chi Shin taught the Six-and-a-half-point Long Pole techniques to Leung Yee Tei. Wong Wah Bo was close to Leung Yee Tei, and they shared what they knew about Kung Fu. Together they shared and improved their techniques, and thus the Six-and-a-half-point Long Pole was incorporated into Wing Chun Kung Fu. Leung Yee Tei passed his Kung Fu on to Leung Jan, a well known herbal Doctor in Fat Shan. Leung Jan grasped the innermost secrets of Wing Chun, attaining the highest level of proficiency. Many Kung Fu masters came to challenge him, but all were defeated. Leung Jan became very famous. Later he passed his Kung Fu on to Chan Wah Shan, who took me and my elder Kung Fu brothers, such as Ng Siu Lo, Ng Chung So, Chan Yu Min and Lui Yu Jai, as his students many decades ago.
It can thus be said that the Wing Chun System was passed on to us in a direct line of succession from its origin. I write this history of the Wing Chun System in respectful memory of my forerunners. I am eternally grateful to them for passing to me the skills I now possess. A man should always think of the source of the water as he drinks it; it is this shared feeling that keeps our Kung Fu brothers together.
Is this not the way to promote Kung Fu, and to project the image of our country?
 

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geezer

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The Judkins article presents some interesting information, but IMO is way too focused on the late date of a few written documents and ignores the facts that "secret" oral traditions within martial arts sects may preceed any written documents by generations. And the martial arts and triad society folklore was distinct from the general regional folklore and typically far more esoteric. It is not surprising that these stories were not committed to writing until much later times. To suggest that Yip Man concocted these stories personally doesn't account for how these figures appear in other branches of WC that go back to Chan Wah Shun and earlier. However, some of his other assertions regarding how the Ng Mui story may have been "borrowed" or evolved from similar, older stories told in Fujian Crane boxing do seem logical ...especially since Yongchun Bai He may well have been one of the ancestors of the Wing Chun of Fo'shan.
 

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