Why do Ip Man's sons do Chum Kiu different?

Jaz

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Both Ip Chun and Ip Ching were there when their father filmed himself doing the Chum Kiu form. If this was to preserve the art, why do Ip Man's sons do the form differently? Check the video to see what I mean:

 

Xue Sheng

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I am not an authority on Wing Chun, I only learned Siu lum tao. BUt in Chinese martial arts things are not written in stone and you get variations from generation to generation and from student to student and Ip Man did not teach everyone the same way so there can be many reasons as to why they do things different. As one of my shifus (from a different style said) no two people are the same so there are variations.

As far a wing chun goes, I think Ip Ching was taller than Ip Chun is. I don't know this for sure, never having meant Ip Chun. But Ip Ching was taller than I expected him to be.
 

Xue Sheng

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I am not an authority on Wing Chun, I only learned Siu lum tao. BUt in Chinese martial arts things are not written in stone and you get variations from generation to generation and from student to student and Ip Man did not teach everyone the same way so there can be many reasons as to why they do things different. As one of my shifus (from a different style said - Chinese, trained in China) no two people are the same so there are variations.

As far a wing chun goes, I think Ip Ching was taller than Ip Chun is. I don't know this for sure, never having meant Ip Chun. But Ip Ching was taller than I expected him to be.
 

Martial D

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I don't know for certain, but I would imagine the reason is to leave their mark. I'd imagine this is the same reason all that break off lineages do it. A matter of form over function (pun intended)
 

Buka

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I believe all Martial Arts progress. I also believe open minds help in this respect.

As to if his son is more proficient in their art than his father was, I have no idea. But I hope so.
 

ShortBridge

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I don't know, but I have some theories:

1) I suspect that Ip Man didn't do it only one way. I know that this is hard for us, because we want to believe that there is one right way, but based on my experience with Asian-based lineage holding sifus in other TCMAs, there are multiple flavors and variants of most forms. I'm not sure why Wing Chun would be different.

2) I'm not an expert on Ip Man's sons' training and don't want to start a lineage war, because...I don't. Neither of the two lineages I have trained in go through through either of his sons, so from a position of relative ignorance - I don't think they learned directly from him. At least not entirely. I think they each got their final expressions from different people from one another.

I'll also comment that there are differences with all of the Wing Chun forms and lineages, but those differences seem larger with Chum Kiu for some reason that I don't have a theory about.

No judgement implied in my statements above and I'm allowing for the possibility that I am mistaken.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If you just do exactly as your teacher taught you, you are a good copy machine, no more and no less. In order for you to contribute in MA, you need to add your understanding into your system. Whether your addition is good or bad, the time will be the judge.
 

Svarog

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Forms aside , Yip Man's sons look so different that I wonder did they have same father
 

hunschuld

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Yip Ching's story about this change. He didnt think the way the lifting punch was done was very effective. He prefered the punch you see. He asked his father if he could change it in the form. Yip Man asked 'do you think you have a good reason to do so. Yip Ching said yes and Yip Man said then go ahead. Yip Chun does many things because of his height although I think he also does a lifting punch in the form at times.
 

geezer

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Yip Ching's story about this change :
Yip Ching said yes and Yip Man said then go ahead.
I wish you would hear more stories like that. Most of the time in TCMA it seems like any innovations are dismissed out of hand.
 

geezer

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I'll also comment that there are differences with all of the Wing Chun forms and lineages, but those differences seem larger with Chum Kiu for some reason that I don't have a theory about.
Yeah ...within branches of the Yip Man lineage the degree of variation increases as you progress deeper into the systems.

Generally the variation in Siu Nim Tau (or Siu Lim Tau, etc.) is minimal. There is more variation in Chum Kiu , even more in Biu Tze, and then the long pole and Bart Cham Dao sometimes look like they belong to entirely different systems. Perhaps they do. ;)

Regardless, for me "originality" or "authenticity" is less important than functionality. :)
 

geezer

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Interestingly enough, I feel like the biggest differences are in Chim Kiu. I don't know why.
Dunno. Some of the weapons sets that are out there are totally different. Even such basic things as the grip on the long pole, and especially, the later parts of the BCD form. Or anything by William Cheung. o_O

On the whole, I'm very satisfied by the concepts I learned in my base lineage, although I'm also very partial to the WSL stuff, and from what I've read, WSL himself as a sifu. I'm sure there is more good stuff and good people out there than I will ever know.
 

ShortBridge

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Dunno. Some of the weapons sets that are out there are totally different. Even such basic things as the grip on the long pole, and especially, the later parts of the BCD form. Or anything by William Cheung. o_O

On the whole, I'm very satisfied by the concepts I learned in my base lineage, although I'm also very partial to the WSL stuff, and from what I've read, WSL himself as a sifu. I'm sure there is more good stuff and good people out there than I will ever know.
Yeah, there are lineages that are just ... different ... for sure.

And you're right about the Baat Cham Do. The staff forms I've seen all have the same basic stuff, but the sequence is different. I see different expressions in everything, but if I'm being honest, I express things differently depending on what I'm working on, so if you filmed me on any particular day, I'd hate to defend what you see as "my lineage does things this way".

There are lineages, including WSL, who I've not had an opportunity to train with, but would love to spend some time with. I had a year and change of Moy Yat before settling into Duncan Leung. I've trained and touched hands with a few other lineages. The differences are always interesting and it's good to be open to them.
 

geezer

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Yeah, there are lineages that are just ... different ... for sure.

And you're right about the Baat Cham Do. The staff forms I've seen all have the same basic stuff, but the sequence is different. I see different expressions in everything, but if I'm being honest, I express things differently depending on what I'm working on, so if you filmed me on any particular day, I'd hate to defend what you see as "my lineage does things this way".

There are lineages, including WSL, who I've not had an opportunity to train with, but would love to spend some time with. I had a year and change of Moy Yat before settling into Duncan Leung. I've trained and touched hands with a few other lineages. The differences are always interesting and it's good to be open to them.
Yeah. From the little I've seen, I've a lot of respect for the Duncan Leung Lineage too.

Now I'm having a John Lennon moment. Imagine a world in which all the WC people worked together! :p ha!
 

Fedora

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Both Ip Chun and Ip Ching were there when their father filmed himself doing the Chum Kiu form. If this was to preserve the art, why do Ip Man's sons do the form differently? Check the video to see what I mean:

Both my teacher and my teacher's teacher (each is now retired) outweighed me by 70+ pounds. They have both incorporated their greater mass into their Art in a way most favorable to them. No fault, no blame.

I am much lighter than either of my Masters. Where they trended towards blows, I emphasize angles and timing, weight shifts and joint breaks. Their interpretation is right for their BMI, and I believe mine is right for me. The thing is, most (not all, perhaps, but most) Arts can be addressed in different ways while still maintaining the principles that support them.

That is, at least, my opinion.
 

hunschuld

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There are a few reasons for Yip Man differences especially in the more advanced forms. I would guess less than 20 and maybe less than 10 learned everything directly from Yip Man. Yip Mans school wasn't set up the way we think of schools today. YIp had to eat and his only marketable skill was Wing Chun so as students got more advanced the name of the game was who can pay. Using knives as an example.

Tradition said that there is only 1 knife man. That was Yip Bo Ching he was taught all 12 sections and derivatives. He was also wealthy and compensated Yip well. Yip taught Lok Yui the pole and Leung Sheung part of the knives. They were then supposed to teach each other the weapon they learned. Many could only afford one section of the knife form at a time. Yip would then just teach another section whenever the person had saved up enough for more. hence many differences in the form since there was no order to the teaching. Chu Shong Tin lived with Yip man the longest but was not wealthy. Even though he was a very early student he did not learn the knives until 1965 or so. Yip taught him his form but again it was just what sections Yip felt like doing at the time.. WSL learned his form in the late 50's and then after Yip Bo Ching died in 1969 Yip taught WSL some more or so the story goes. Several people actually learned things from WSL not Yip Man even though they were Yip Man students. Wang Kui was instrumental in school growth because he wrote about and arranged many of WSL and Willam Cheungs fights so he got a form. Forms were just whatever Yip Man felt life or had the time to teach. Moy Yat was taught with chop sticks over dim sum. Because of his job he was able to keep Yip company when others were not available so the form was Yips thank you.

Yip Man also was not always patient. If you had trouble getting or performing a movement or a section of a form Yip would change it for you. This also lead to some variations. When I started in 1983 4 or 5 WC speople from Hong Kong came by our school to vist and started telling stories. Everyone started laughing so my sifu told us what was said. A Yip Man student had trouble doing a particular motion so Yip changed it for him. Of couse when he taught he taught his students the modification so now they always got hit during chi sau by people that were aware of this when ever they did this motion and they didn't understand why. It was a big laugh..

Often seniors taught the students and maybe Yip Man would correct a mistake and maybe he wouldn't.

Jiu Wan's school was the only school Yip Man publicly endorsed. Yip would often hang out at Jui Wan's school while people were being taught at his school.

So you can see there are many reasons for variations.
 

geezer

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There are a few reasons for Yip Man differences especially in the more advanced forms. I would guess less than 20 and maybe less than 10 learned everything directly from Yip Man. Yip Mans school wasn't set up the way we think of schools today. YIp had to eat and his only marketable skill was Wing Chun so as students got more advanced the name of the game was who can pay. Using knives as an example.

Tradition said that there is only 1 knife man. That was Yip Bo Ching he was taught all 12 sections and derivatives. He was also wealthy and compensated Yip well. Yip taught Lok Yui the pole and Leung Sheung part of the knives. They were then supposed to teach each other the weapon they learned. Many could only afford one section of the knife form at a time. Yip would then just teach another section whenever the person had saved up enough for more. hence many differences in the form since there was no order to the teaching. Chu Shong Tin lived with Yip man the longest but was not wealthy. Even though he was a very early student he did not learn the knives until 1965 or so. Yip taught him his form but again it was just what sections Yip felt like doing at the time.. WSL learned his form in the late 50's and then after Yip Bo Ching died in 1969 Yip taught WSL some more or so the story goes. Several people actually learned things from WSL not Yip Man even though they were Yip Man students. Wang Kui was instrumental in school growth because he wrote about and arranged many of WSL and Willam Cheungs fights so he got a form. Forms were just whatever Yip Man felt life or had the time to teach. Moy Yat was taught with chop sticks over dim sum. Because of his job he was able to keep Yip company when others were not available so the form was Yips thank you.

Yip Man also was not always patient. If you had trouble getting or performing a movement or a section of a form Yip would change it for you. This also lead to some variations. When I started in 1983 4 or 5 WC speople from Hong Kong came by our school to vist and started telling stories. Everyone started laughing so my sifu told us what was said. A Yip Man student had trouble doing a particular motion so Yip changed it for him. Of couse when he taught he taught his students the modification so now they always got hit during chi sau by people that were aware of this when ever they did this motion and they didn't understand why. It was a big laugh..

Often seniors taught the students and maybe Yip Man would correct a mistake and maybe he wouldn't.

Jiu Wan's school was the only school Yip Man publicly endorsed. Yip would often hang out at Jui Wan's school while people were being taught at his school.

So you can see there are many reasons for variations.
This is the best, if somewhat less than flattering explanation of why we see such variation in the branches of the Yip Man lineage today. And, it jibes with explanations I got privately from my old sifu and other sources.

I'm also certain that the old story that "there are only 5 (or was it 6?) people who learned the entire Ving Tsun system directly from Yip Man" is false. In fact, there are probably no two people who learned the same exact system from Yip Man! And, learning (or buying) the entire system from Yip Man was no guarantee that someone was the best or knew the most.

The majority of the first generation of students Yip Man apparently learned most of their stuff from their si-hings and experimentation on each other. Some integrated stuff from other branches and other systems. Some stuck rigidly to their interpretation of what the old man taught, some innovated and adapted what they learned, some simplified the system and some elaborated and extended it. None of this is a measure of quality for better or worse. It is just a description.

Finally, none of this should be surprising. Yip Man himself did not learn the entire system from his sifu, Chan Wah Shun. He was still a boy when the old master died and most of his advanced training was from his Si-hing, Ng Chun So. Oh, and then there is the Leung Bic story. Or, perhaps that was a cover story for material and ideas integrated from various other sources including Yuan Kay San?, Tang Yik? and the people who hung out at places like Dai Duk Lan?

Regardless of the details, GM Yip Man himself integrated knowledge from various sources as did those before him. He was recognized as a "grandmaster" because of his skill and that of his students, not because of his pedigree or his high moral character. We need to keep this in mind when we look at the current generation of teachers and contemplate the future of the art.
 
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