As with most martial arts the history of Wing Chun Kung Fu was been passed down from teacher to student verbally and so we are unable to confirm the true history of Wing Chun as we cannot verify it against any historic texts.
The common belief of Wing Chun is that it dates back over 300 years to the reign of the Chinese Emperor Kangxi ( 1662 - 1722 ). Ng Mui, a Buddist nun, escaped the destruction of a Shaolin Monastery by Qing forces and fled to the Daliang mountains between Yunnan and Sichuan .
There she saw a fight between a snake and a crane and she took the lessons that she learned from observing how they fought one another and combined them with her own knowledge of Shaolin Kung Fu to create a unique fighting style of her own.
Ng Mui befriended a young woman named Yim Wing-Chun. Yim Wing-Chun was being forced into marriage by a bandit whom she did not want to marry and so Ng Mui taught Yim Wing-Chun her new fighting style to which the she then used to fend off the bandit and get out of the marriage.
Wing-Chun eventually married Leung Bok-Chao whom she dearly loved and she taught the fighting style that Ng Mui had taught her. They both then taught others this new style and so the martial art of Wing Chun Kung Fu was born.
Yip Man was born October 14th 1893 in the town of Fut Shan in the Kwong Tung province. Yip Man studied Wing Chun Kung Fu under Chan Wah Shun along with other students including Ng Chung Sao. Several years later before Chan Wah Shun passed away he asked Ng Chung Sao to continue teaching the young Yip Man the Wing Chun system.
Yip Man faught against the Japanese invasion for 8 years and eventually ended up in Hong Kong where he was forced to teach Wing Chun in order to survive as he was very poor. It is here in Hong Kong in his sixties that he taught Bruce Lee who went on to become a famous marial artist and movie star and who used the concepts of Wing Chun and developed them into his own fighting style called Jeet Kune Do (way of the intercepting fist).
It is testament to the quality of Yip Man's teaching and also the dedication of his students that since the 1950's Wing Chun has gone from a 'secret' Chinese martial art to where it is today.
WING CHUN LINEAGE
©2005 WING CHUN TRAINING