What is Ip Man Wing Chun Kung Fu?
Kung Fu is a general term that people today use to describe any Chinese martial arts style. Ip Man Wing Chun Kung Fu is the style of martial arts passed down by Great Grandmaster Ip Man. Its proper name is Ip Man Wing Chun Kuen (Wing Chun Fist) and this is a famous Southern style of Chinese Kung fu. It is said to have been created over 400 years ago by a nun from the Shaolin Temple named, Ng Mui. Her first student was a young girl named, Yim Wing Chun and it is after her that the style takes it name. The story goes that a local bandit was forcing himself on Yim Wing Chun. Seeing what was going on, Ng Mui took pity on the young girl and decided to teach her Kung Fu. After training very hard, Yim Wing Chun challenged the bandit to a fight which she convincingly won.
Great Grandmaster Ip Chun & Grandmaster Michael Tse
Though there is a great deal of debate as to the accuracy of this story, what is agreed is that today Wing Chun is one of the most popular and effective forms of Kung Fu. This popularity is due to the teaching of late Great Grandmaster Ip Man who bought the skill from China to Hong Kong and from there it has spread all over the world. Great Grandmaster Ip Man’s most famous student was the legendary Bruce Lee. Since Great Grandmaster Ip Man passed away his eldest son Grandmaster Ip Chun has taken over his father role. He has spent many years teaching all over the world. Even though he is now 87 year old his skill is unsurpassed.
This skill was passed on to Master Michael Tse, who is Grandmaster Ip Chun’s most senior student teaching in Europe. Master Tse in turn passed this skill to his senior student Darryl Moy. Having studied with Master Tse for 25 years, Sifu Moy has reached a very high standard. He not only enjoys a very close relationship with Master Tse, but also with his Sigong (teacher’s teacher), Grandmaster Ip Chun.
What will you Learn in Class?
People take up martial arts for many reasons. Some to improve their health & fitness, some to learn how to defend themselves, some for increased sense of confidence and others simply for a pastime to immerse themselves in. The Wing Chun class with its high level of teaching and the friendly relaxed atmosphere caters for all these differing needs. Ip Man Wing Chun Kuen consists of a number of elements:
Chi Sau – Sticking Hands
Chi Sau is the practical training of the applications found in the forms. Whilst training with a partner you will develop sensitivity, footwork and timing. Soon you will begin to understand how to use an opponent’s energy against himself (or herself). Regular practice develops instinctive reactions allowing you to adapt to change without thinking. For successful self defence this is essential. Chi Sau is like a game and is not meant to be treated as fighting or sparring. It allows you to develop your skill in a safe environment because you can relax and let go. This is the most important part of Ip Man Wing Chun Kung Fu, as it teaches you how to apply the skills you are learning in a constantly changing environment.
Wing Chun Forms
Ip Man Wing Chun Kung Fu has three forms. They represent different stages in training and teach the you a great many different elements. The forms are
Siu Lim Tao – Reducing Thought
Its main purpose is to train stillness and Gong Lik – internal strength.
Tsum Kiu – Looking for the Bridge
Its main purpose is for training our footwork and turning and also the Bong Sau.
Biu Ji – Thrusting Fingers
Its main purpose is the train long distance and short distance attacking techniques using the fingers and elbow.
Wooden Dummy – Muk Yan Jong
The Wooden Dummy training helps us to bring together all we have learnt in Chi Sau and forms to polish our ’fighting techniques’. It also allows us to practice Wing Chun kicks and train the accuracy of our stepping and body position.
Wing Chun has two weapons: The Six and a Half Point Pole and the Baat Jam Dao (Wing Chun Knives). The more you train these weapons, the stronger your bones will become and so your Qi will develop to a very high level.
Wing Chun is an extreamley practical system. Due to the structure of the training, self defence ability begins to develop immediately. The more your skill develops the greater your awareness and confidence become, and these are some of the most important resources to have. Then you will be able to see any potential trouble coming before it arrives and can avoid it. However should a situation become unavoidable you will have the physical tools with you when you need them.
Good for Health
Not only is Wing Chun a highly effective form of self defence, it is also a very healthy pastime. It strengthens the body internally as well as externally, and it also helps to relax the mind and the body. Students find the more they train the more at ease with themselves and the world they become. This is one of the most beneficial aspects of good training, it develops you as a person. The best example of this is Great Grandmaster Ip Chun, who is very content with his life, is still healthy, strong and can still easily overcome any students even though he is in his late eighties!