Who Did Yip Man Learn Stuff From?

geezer

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It was well known at the time that Yuen Kay Shan and his brother Yuen Chai Wan only knew Siu lin tao, some san sik techniques and bamboo dummy before they started hanging out at Ng Chung So's school... Later in Foshan, yip Man specifically told his student Kwok fu not to practice the wooden dummy form in front of Yuen Kay Shan being concerned that YKS would steal his wooden dummy techniques.

Interesting! What is the source of this information?
 

Nobody Important

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It was well known at the time that Yuen Kay Shan and his brother Yuen Chai Wan only knew Siu lin tao, some san sik techniques and bamboo dummy before they started hanging out at Ng Chung So's school, Yiu Choi spent 10 years learning from Yuen Chai Wan, and only learnt Siu lin tao, some san sik techniques and bamboo dummy, it is believed that Yuen Kay Shan and Yuen Chai Wan later learnt Chum Kiu and Biu Jee from Ng Chung So, but not the dummy or 2 weapons. Later in Foshan, yip Man specifically told his student Kwok fu not to practice the wooden dummy form in front of Yuen Kay Shan being concerned that YKS would steal his wooden dummy techniques.
I won't speak for Yuen Kay San branch, but will for Yuen Chai Wan branch. They learned more than just first form, San Sik & bamboo dummy. Ng Chung So is not listed as a teacher of either Yuen family branch, but they did know each other. Yiu Choi did not study under Chai Wan for that length of time, more like 3-4 years. It's true he only learned first form, some san sik, bamboo dummy and some pole work (if I'm not mistaken) from Chai Wan, but this was because Chai Wan left for Vietnam. Yiu Choi finished his training under Chai Wan's friend Ng Chung So. Your story is an old smear campaign told by students of Yip Man to bolster their lineage.
 

geezer

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It seems to me that a lot of people get pretty worked up over old stories that nobody can prove or disprove. I've had experience with several WC groups, and they all tell a story that makes them look great and everybody else is portrayed as wanting. Maybe this is why WC in general could benefit from a competitive format that would let people test out their stuff. Then people might start worrying less about the old stories and more about what works.
 

Danny T

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It seems to me that a lot of people get pretty worked up over old stories that nobody can prove or disprove. I've had experience with several WC groups, and they all tell a story that makes them look great and everybody else is portrayed as wanting. Maybe this is why WC in general could benefit from a competitive format that would let people test out their stuff. Then people might start worrying less about the old stories and more about what works.
^^^^^^ This!
Stop being concerned with everyone else. Who train with who and for how long. Get with your training partners and Train, Practice, Test. Find others who are willing to test as well and test under real pressure. If you get smashed tell them thanks, ask what allowed them to smash you. Learn from it. Practice more and test again. Help others get better as well. If you are good...Great, keep training and practicing. If you aren't so good...Great, keep training and practicing. If you aren't good at all...Great, keep training and practicing.
 

Nobody Important

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It seems to me that a lot of people get pretty worked up over old stories that nobody can prove or disprove. I've had experience with several WC groups, and they all tell a story that makes them look great and everybody else is portrayed as wanting. Maybe this is why WC in general could benefit from a competitive format that would let people test out their stuff. Then people might start worrying less about the old stories and more about what works.
I agree, I liked what Danny T had to say as well. I find it amazing how these old stories seem to keep reappearing from time to time. It's just as you stated one lineage bulking up their reputation by tearing another's down. It's prevalent in TCMA, not just Wing Chun specifically, although it does seem that Chunners are more public about it.

Now, I know I've been guilty of it a time or two, I won't deny that. I've done it unwittingly, I've also done it on purpose to illicit a specific response, or, just because I'm sometimes an asshat because the internet allows me to be one..

I'll go on the record here, I don't come here looking for validation for anything, to promote anything, I don't care about anyone's background or their organizational politics. To an extent we all have an agenda of one sort or another, I suppose, but I come here to read and chat with individuals that share a common interest. Sometimes the discussions become heated, we become invested and get a bent nose, we're only human. Some will read what we have to say and take it as the gospel truth (hopefully not anything I say, I'm generally full of sh!t), others will disregard it as fallacy or outright lying.

At the end of the day, it's just a bunch of faceless names on a internet forum. What really matters is what you believe about yourself, your family and your art. When you post on a public forum you have to take the good with the bad, if you can't handle criticism don't post. The internet isn't a friendly place because we can be mean to one another without fear of repercussion, if we were all face to face, you can bet our interactions with one another would be more civil. The possibility of a hard right to the side of the head, or a rear naked choke, is a great deterrent to abhorrent behavior. Many Wing Chun schools have become isolated and cling to these old feuds that generally have nothing to do with the present generation, but because of ignorance, loyalty to their sifu and organization the feuding continues. If, as Geezer stated, we would just physically interact with one another in a public competition a lot of this petty nonsense would disappear. Rant over.
 
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Yuen Kay Jun

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We know that Yip Man trained with Cha Wah Shun from age 9-11 before Cha Wah Shun died of a stroke.

From 11-16 he learned from his Sihing Ng Chun So.

At age 16 he moved to Hong Kong where he learned from age 17-24 from Yeun Kay San.

At 24 he goes back to Fatsan and teaches Wing Chun there.

At 56 he returns to Hong Kong, and begins teaching students there while (simultaneously) learning from Yuen Kay San again?

We know for a fact that he did not teach the Baat Jaam Do until after he returned to Hong Kong (after age 56). (No one who he taught in Fatsan knows the Baat Jaam Do form) Is this because he learned his Baat Jaam Do from Yuen Kay San when he returned to Hong Kong?

Does anyone have any info on how much Yip Man learned from Cha Wah Shun / Ng Chun So, and what he learned from Yuen Kay San?


Yuen Kay San never lived in Hong Kong. Foshan/Fatshan. Yuen and Yip were neighbors, Kay San and Chai Wan were older than Yip.
YKS/SN WCK did not arrive in Hong Kong until an early student of Sum Nung moved there (forgot the name) , then Kwok Wan Ping (from my line) moved to HK.
 

Yuen Kay Jun

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Yip Man was only at Mulberry Gardens (Yuen Family Estate) for a short while. He stayed there after his family estate burned down (family friends of Yip family). My impression was that Yip Man headed off to St. Stephen's college when he was 18 or 19. Family tradition says that Chai Wan and Kay San tutored Yip Man in Wing Chun on bequest of their fathers. I doubt much was exchanged if this is true, at that time due to the Yuen brother's needing permission from their own sifu, they would have been hesitant to secretly teach another. If anything was exchanged it would have been minimal IMO. Most legends state that any training was centered around Chi Sau and the possible construction of the rolling hands platform.

Tutoring was actually happening. but I do not believe it was in a Teacher/Student type scenario. YKS taught YM chi sao/luk sao.
 
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Yuen Kay Jun

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YKS and YCW did know the entire system. Yip Man developed his Dummy form and evolved it in HK.
It my understanding, not factual - but consistently upheld by documents and 1st hand account, Yip did learn various things from the Yuen's. Aside from luk sao/chi sao, who knows.

Possible that Yip said don't perform dummy in front of Yuen. NO ONE knows this to be the true reason. I know both of these forms and they are DRASTICALLY different. Different jings, methods and choreography. Also, the YKS dummy is much longer and more intricate than YM. Not saying one is better than the other, just that they are very different. as are the knives.

I have studied and completed BOTH YM and YKS systems, I teach both. I can say first hand that ALL WCK is similar. The differences come from methodology, jings, center, issuance and shapes. I have my personal preference of which is better, but that is for me. BOTH have their place(s). being able to adapt and move between the two methods has served me well.

Here is a clip of Kwok Wan Ping, my line of YKS. Keep in mind, the gross motor skills and methods are correct. its just not as exact and tight as I'm sure it once was.


Not trying to FLAME. Just give more insight since I'm from the line.
 

wckf92

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YKS and YCW did know the entire system. Yip Man developed his Dummy form and evolved it in HK.
It my understanding, not factual - but consistently upheld by documents and 1st hand account, Yip did learn various things from the Yuen's. Aside from luk sao/chi sao, who knows.

Possible that Yip said don't perform dummy in front of Yuen. NO ONE knows this to be the true reason. I know both of these forms and they are DRASTICALLY different. Different jings, methods and choreography. Also, the YKS dummy is much longer and more intricate than YM. Not saying one is better than the other, just that they are very different. as are the knives.

I have studied and completed BOTH YM and YKS systems, I teach both. I can say first hand that ALL WCK is similar. The differences come from methodology, jings, center, issuance and shapes. I have my personal preference of which is better, but that is for me. BOTH have their place(s). being able to adapt and move between the two methods has served me well.

Here is a clip of Kwok Wan Ping, my line of YKS. Keep in mind, the gross motor skills and methods are correct. its just not as exact and tight as I'm sure it once was.


Not trying to FLAME. Just give more insight since I'm from the line.

Some familiar elements. Thx for posting!
 

wingerjim

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I think this is most likely where the additional techniques may have come from. We all talk to each other and learn from each other. Sometimes it's not so much as a "teacher student" relationship as it is as a "friendship" If I share my knowledge with you and it fits well with your system, then I'm really not a teacher as much as a fellow CMA colleague sharing information, which happened to be of working value in what you train.

I don't think the Martial Arts teachers of the past were as much of a purist as many of the people are today.
I don't think we today are as purest as those in the past, or at least my view of them.
 

ShortBridge

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I don't think the Martial Arts teachers of the past were as much of a purist as many of the people are today.

I don't think we today are as purest as those in the past, or at least my view of them.

I think that this itself would make for a very interesting discussion on it's own, specifically with Chinese martial arts.
 

gpseymour

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I think that this itself would make for a very interesting discussion on it's own, specifically with Chinese martial arts.
I tend to think there's likely some truth in both of the statements you quoted. In the past, martial arts were a means of clan/group survival. It would be important, therefor, to keep what you can of them secret from warring opponents (or possibly future ones). This would lead to more vertical development, rather than so much sharing between groups as can easily (and safely) done today. At the same time, I think there are some today who are purists for the sake of the purity of an art, where in those same warring times, I suspect they'd have gladly stolen ideas from each other to get an upper hand.
 

JowGaWolf

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I don't think we today are as purest as those in the past, or at least my view of them.
I don't know about that. I can recognize same or similar techniques that I learned and used in Jow Ga in other martial art systems and the only way that could have happened is through mixing, combining, and evolving systems.
 

JowGaWolf

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I tend to think there's likely some truth in both of the statements you quoted. In the past, martial arts were a means of clan/group survival. It would be important, therefor, to keep what you can of them secret from warring opponents (or possibly future ones).
It would keep the techniques safe from your enemies and potential enemies but not your allies. The same way that people from different villages / clans can be friends and even marry someone from a different village /clan is the same way that martial arts can spread. You will always want a strong ally because a weak one would be of no use to you, so that in itself would be valid enough reason to share martial arts with each other.
 
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