The True History of Wing Chun?

K-man

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
6,193
Reaction score
1,221
Location
Australia
Well, how about that? It was a good story but .... :asian:
 

mook jong man

Senior Master
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
3,080
Reaction score
261
Location
Matsudo , Japan
Don't believe the rebel thing at all.
The whole argument that it was used to train up soldiers for combat in a short amount of time is B.S in my opinion.
I don't know where this idea comes from that Wing Chun is fast and easy to learn , I'm here to tell you it aint.

The stance takes years to become comfortable with , skill in chi sau takes decades.
It would be quicker and easier to hand them a knife and say "Off you go mate , go and do your best".

If all these rebel people were supposedly taught , wouldn't we have a lot more lineages around today than what we have?
Why was Wing Chun pretty much unknown until Yip Man brought it over to Hong Kong in the 50s ? I mean with all these rebels being taught wouldn't some of these descendants of rebels have been taught by their fathers and been teaching their own brand of Wing Chun in Hong Kong before Yip Man even got there?

There is no other martial art quite like Wing Chun on the whole planet , it's unique stance and way of executing a type of soft force are totally different to anything else.
If it was invented by men why the hell do male students take so long to learn to do the movements correctly as compared to female students who just relax and let the angles and structure do all the work instead of tensing up and using brute strength like the males do?
To me it makes perfect sense that it was formulated by a woman.

I think for some reason there has been some attempt to masculinise Wing Chun from some quarters and try to down play it's feminine origins , whether people are ashamed to say they do a martial art invented by a woman I can't say.
Probably has a bit to do with self promotion as well.

I just think it works , so who gives a toss if a woman invented it .


I suppose all these people were taught by rebels and they all managed to keep it a big secret.

lineage.gif
 

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
33,101
Reaction score
7,822
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
I seriously doubt the rebel origin and for the record we are talking early 1300s here

Something many fail to understand when talking Chinese history….Buddhist does not necessarily mean Shaolin….yes Zhu Yuanzhang (Hongwu Emperor, first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty) was a Buddhist Monk, and a penniless peasant, but I do not think there is a link to Shaolin there is a link to Huangjue Temple which is Buddhist but not Shaolin.

There is a book by Ip Chun that discusses the history and he too seems to doubt the origin story but he has no solid idea as to what the origin is either
 

Argus

2nd Black Belt
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
758
Reaction score
284
Location
In my head!
I only had a chance to skim over the article, but it seemed like a whole lot of speculation. For being a "scientific study," it was mostly just speculation, supported only in a few places by possible correlations with rebels and secret societies, which sounds like rather shaky ground itself.

I do think that the story with Ng Mei and Yim Wing Chun is likely fictional -- there's even good reason to believe that Ng Mei herself is a fictional character, as she appears in other folk lore and fiction around the early 20th century, from what I understand. But, this hypothesis doesn't really offer a convincing alternative.

At any rate, I tend to think of Leung Jan as being the founder of Wing Chun as we know it. From what I understand, he was very innovative, and established many of the principles we think of as uniquely Wing Chun, such as the idea of maintaining one's squareness, and "Lat sao jik chung."
 
OP
StormShadow

StormShadow

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
3
I only had a chance to skim over the article, but it seemed like a whole lot of speculation. For being a "scientific study," it was mostly just speculation, supported only in a few places by possible correlations with rebels and secret societies, which sounds like rather shaky ground itself.

I do think that the story with Ng Mei and Yim Wing Chun is likely fictional -- there's even good reason to believe that Ng Mei herself is a fictional character, as she appears in other folk lore and fiction around the early 20th century, from what I understand. But, this hypothesis doesn't really offer a convincing alternative.

At any rate, I tend to think of Leung Jan as being the founder of Wing Chun as we know it. From what I understand, he was very innovative, and established many of the principles we think of as uniquely Wing Chun, such as the idea of maintaining one's squareness, and "Lat sao jik chung."

I have to agree with you on this argus. She does appear in other asian literature as more of a "bad-guy" than a good guy. With everything going on around those times it would make sense to conceal an art under mystery in wake of oppression. I cannot discount this story sense I cannot currently conduct on own investigations but I certainly feel the narrative we all know is not what really happened.
 
OP
StormShadow

StormShadow

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
3
Don't believe the rebel thing at all.
The whole argument that it was used to train up soldiers for combat in a short amount of time is B.S in my opinion.
I don't know where this idea comes from that Wing Chun is fast and easy to learn , I'm here to tell you it aint.


The stance takes years to become comfortable with , skill in chi sau takes decades.
It would be quicker and easier to hand them a knife and say "Off you go mate , go and do your best".

If all these rebel people were supposedly taught , wouldn't we have a lot more lineages around today than what we have?
Why was Wing Chun pretty much unknown until Yip Man brought it over to Hong Kong in the 50s ? I mean with all these rebels being taught wouldn't some of these descendants of rebels have been taught by their fathers and been teaching their own brand of Wing Chun in Hong Kong before Yip Man even got there?

There is no other martial art quite like Wing Chun on the whole planet , it's unique stance and way of executing a type of soft force are totally different to anything else.
If it was invented by men why the hell do male students take so long to learn to do the movements correctly as compared to female students who just relax and let the angles and structure do all the work instead of tensing up and using brute strength like the males do?
To me it makes perfect sense that it was formulated by a woman.

I think for some reason there has been some attempt to masculinise Wing Chun from some quarters and try to down play it's feminine origins , whether people are ashamed to say they do a martial art invented by a woman I can't say.
Probably has a bit to do with self promotion as well.

I just think it works , so who gives a toss if a woman invented it .



I suppose all these people were taught by rebels and they all managed to keep it a big secret.


When they mention "easy to learn" I believe they are referring to removing of needless movements. Throwing away what doesn't work and favoring what does. Basically where Bruce Lee got his ideas from. So easy to learn in the sense of, you aren't wasting time learning move for move for hundreds of attacks. Basically making it "easier" to learn in a relatively short amount of time.

Personally, it never bothered me in the least that it was invented (or foretold it was invented) by a woman. If and woman did invent it and used it to destroy men in combat than that says even more in the positive about the art honestly.

The article does state the penalty for being identified as a martial arts practitioner where your family would be executed down to 9 generations. Thats an extremely heavy price to pay and excellent cause to keep it a secret as long as possible given those times.

To me, this story is plausible, as wing chun gains even more steam & popularity in the practiced arts, I suspect the real origins (or most of it) will present itself.
 

James Kovacich

Senior Master
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2002
Messages
2,900
Reaction score
51
Location
San Jose, Ca.
How clever the rebels were to name their secret art with the name of their location and Yimms name translating to secret...pretty smart of them...even smarter 2 guys with 15 years in the art have managed to do what nobody else has ever been able to do...discover the truth about Wing Chun.;)

Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2
 
Last edited:

yak sao

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 18, 2008
Messages
2,175
Reaction score
750
In WC we are taught to not oppose force, but to let it go.
Has anyone ever known a woman to let anything go?
 

mook jong man

Senior Master
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
3,080
Reaction score
261
Location
Matsudo , Japan
When they mention "easy to learn" I believe they are referring to removing of needless movements. Throwing away what doesn't work and favoring what does. Basically where Bruce Lee got his ideas from. So easy to learn in the sense of, you aren't wasting time learning move for move for hundreds of attacks. Basically making it "easier" to learn in a relatively short amount of time. Personally, it never bothered me in the least that it was invented (or foretold it was invented) by a woman. If and woman did invent it and used it to destroy men in combat than that says even more in the positive about the art honestly. The article does state the penalty for being identified as a martial arts practitioner where your family would be executed down to 9 generations. Thats an extremely heavy price to pay and excellent cause to keep it a secret as long as possible given those times.To me, this story is plausible, as wing chun gains even more steam & popularity in the practiced arts, I suspect the real origins (or most of it) will present itself.

Even under the threat of death and your descendants being executed and their families pet dogs and cats being raped , things still have a way of getting out.

People get drunk , people get on the opium , people like to boast about fights they've been in , people can be paid off for certain information , someone somewhere would have let the cat out of the bag.

Frankly I think Benny Meng has about as much credibility as William Cheung.

If they both told me it was raining outside , I would have to go out and check.
 
OP
StormShadow

StormShadow

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
3
so mook, is it safe to say you believe the Ng Mei - Yim Wing Chun story is legitimate?
 

Eric_H

Black Belt
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
575
Reaction score
114
Location
San Francisco
Since what's written in the article is an extrapolation on my family's version of Wing Chun history, I guess I can field most questions on the details of it. Or at least which parts are natively ours and which ones were part of the VTM marketing machine.

Ng Mui, for us, is the name of our energy concept. Ng Mui Gong Yau Faat. It's a re-telling of 5-element theory. It was also part of the old modus operandi of "keep secret the wing chun." Our Branch was kept inside a single family for a long time before my teacher. He was the first one not blood related to learn the whole system.

The chart that Mook Jong Man posted is basically how we see the art of the red boat opera performer side, just replacing Ng Mui/Yim Wing Chun with Tan Sau Ng (founder of the red boat opera). That's where we draw the distinction in types of wing chun, opera society vs boxer society.

As for the Shaolin connection, there's a signature of 3 animal shapes in WC that identify themselves as the "southern shaolin calling card." Most/all southern shaolin descended styles have them (lung ying, bak mei, etc)

All history discussion should be taken with a grain of salt, but one of the things I liked about the HFY explanation before I got deep into it is that it seemed more practical than the nun myth. To each their own.
 
Last edited:

mook jong man

Senior Master
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
3,080
Reaction score
261
Location
Matsudo , Japan
so mook, is it safe to say you believe the Ng Mei - Yim Wing Chun story is legitimate?

Yes I do.

Wing Chun is dominated by men , no doubt about that .
But the women I have met in Wing Chun are really good at it , and the ones that I have taught in the past did the techniques more correctly than the men.
One might say they have an affinity for it , because it was invented by one of them.

Years ago I sparred Sigung's top female student in the pictures below , when she came over from Hong Kong , and I am not ashamed to admit it but I got absolutely friggin mauled by this woman.

I'm not exactly slow , but she made me look like I was standing still.
She was so fast I couldn't get anywhere near her without getting hit all over the head , and after she finished with me she looked at the other guys and said "Anybody else want some ".
Needless to say , not many did after they just saw me get hammered.

64940_385530288205317_1897626131_n.jpg
susana-ho-chu-shong-tin-2.jpg
 
OP
StormShadow

StormShadow

Blue Belt
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
221
Reaction score
3
Yes I do.

Wing Chun is dominated by men , no doubt about that .
But the women I have met in Wing Chun are really good at it , and the ones that I have taught in the past did the techniques more correctly than the men.
One might say they have an affinity for it , because it was invented by one of them.

Years ago I sparred Sigung's top female student in the pictures below , when she came over from Hong Kong , and I am not ashamed to admit it but I got absolutely friggin mauled by this woman.

I'm not exactly slow , but she made me look like I was standing still.
She was so fast I couldn't get anywhere near her without getting hit all over the head , and after she finished with me she looked at the other guys and said "Anybody else want some ".
Needless to say , not many did after they just saw me get hammered.

64940_385530288205317_1897626131_n.jpg
susana-ho-chu-shong-tin-2.jpg


Well women are smarter than us lol. I would wager the top male practitioner in wing chun would beat the top female practitioner in wing chun. Some are born with an affinity for certain things. Some people are born faster, more agile, stronger ect. I do not believe since it was invented by a woman, most women in general will be better at it than men. There are a host of factors that could play into that. In an art not predicated on strength, men tend to use strength anyway be it for macho purposes or just subconsciously. Women also look more eloquent in performing movments possibly due to the strength factor. The finese of women in other arts can be seen as well, not just in wing chun. I've also seen examples of women having trouble performing the sil lum tao, straying from their center line in the movements while some guys get it right away. I think it goes both ways, maybe females are more noticable as men are predominately taking up wing chun.
 

SamAbb

White Belt
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
Don't believe a thing that comes out of VTM. It is not a legitimate museum. It was created to support Benny Meng's business interests, meaning to support what ever system he is trying to promote at the time. This has ranged from Ip Man Hong Kong Wing Chun kuen (Moy Yat lineage), "Chi Sin Weng Chun", Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun kuen to now Hek Ki Boen Eng Chun.

In my humble opinion Ng Mui, Yim Wing Chun, Chi Sin etc. etc. are all myths. There is more academic work out there (check Google Scholar) to support their existence in myth only (wuxia fiction), not fact. Same can be said for "southern Shaolin".

Cheung Ng may have existed, but he came from the north and injected a lot of opera-style (long bridge, wide horse) martial arts into the opera. Nothing closely related to Wing Chun, which likely developed later and independently on the red boats themselves. In addition actual records indicated Cheung Ng was an entire generation too early to have taught Wong Wah Bo and co. anything at all. Cheung Ng's place is in opera history, not Wing Chun history.
 

Eric_H

Black Belt
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
575
Reaction score
114
Location
San Francisco
Cheung Ng may have existed, but he came from the north and injected a lot of opera-style (long bridge, wide horse) martial arts into the opera. Nothing closely related to Wing Chun, which likely developed later and independently on the red boats themselves. In addition actual records indicated Cheung Ng was an entire generation too early to have taught Wong Wah Bo and co. anything at all. Cheung Ng's place is in opera history, not Wing Chun history.

You speak pretty surely for a man with no facts or citations to back him up. Anything that proves that this is more than just another man's opinion?
 

Kenpo5.0Hawker

Orange Belt
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
63
Reaction score
1
Regardless of any of these origin stories being true or not, they do seem to me to have lots of value as inspiration for a fighter. I enjoyed reading them.

Tom
 

SamAbb

White Belt
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
18
Reaction score
0
You speak pretty surely for a man with no facts or citations to back him up. Anything that proves that this is more than just another man's opinion?
It's an informed opinion... Check my claims, see for yourself.
 

Koryu Rich

Yellow Belt
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
45
Reaction score
3
Location
UK
It's an informed opinion... Check my claims, see for yourself.

Thats not really how it works I'm afraid.

You've put that forward so it's your responsibility to back it up.


Do you have any sources?
 
Top