Kung-Fu

永春功夫 Wing Chun Kung Fu in Standish

 

History of Wing Chun

 

There are different accounts of the history of Wing Chun.The reason for this is attributed to the fact that most of the history has been passed from teacher to student verbally rather than through documentation. This makes it difficult to confirm or clarify which version is correct.The following account is based on the teachings of Ip Man as passed down to his two sons, Ip Chun and IpChing.

Wing Chun is thought to have been developed by a Buddhist Abbess Ng Mui at the Shaolin Monastery of Mt. Sung in Honan Province during the reign of EmporerK’angshiof the Ching Dynasty (1662-1722). The Manchu Government was fearful of the growing power of the Shaolin Monastery and after repeatedly attacking and being fought off by themonks, the army finally succeeded and it was burned to the ground. Ng Mui was forced to flee along with the other surviving monks.

Ng Mui met Yim Wing Chun after she took refuge at a Shaolin Temple on Mt. Tai Leung. Yim Wing Chun was the daughter of a local merchant.She had attracted the attention of a local man who was attempting to bully her into marrying him, so Ng Mui tookYim Wing Chun as a student and taught her Kung Fu so that she could defend herself. The system Ng Mui had developed was believed to take advantage of the various weaknesses that shehad perceived in the other Shaolin systems. This new system of Kung Fu eventually became known as Wing Chun, after her first student.

Wing Chun passed on her skills to her husband and he in turn taught his brother. The system was passed on to many others to become the popular martial art it is today. Wing Chun continued to fight for the overthrow of the Manchurian Government until her death, keeping a promise to her mentor Ng Mui.

The earliest practitioner of Wing Chun who is actually documented in Chinese history is Tan Sau Ng, after whom the tan sau technique was named. The rest is legend.

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