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Wing Chun Kung Fu is the name of a martial arts system developed in Southern China approximately 300 years ago. During the Ching Dynasty (1662-1722) Kung Fu became very strong in the Shaolin Monastery in Honan province. This aroused the fear of the Manchu government (non-Chinese government from the north) who ruled China at the time. So troops were sent to attack and burn down the monastery.

Bruce Lee

Grandmaster Yip Man training Chi Sau (sticking hands) with Bruce Lee.

Many monks and disciples died but some escaped and fled. Amongst those that escaped were Buddhist Abess Ng Mui, Abbot Chi Shin, Abbot Pak Mei, Master Fung To Tak and Master Miu Hin. They fled and went their separate ways.

Ng Mui took refuge in the White Crane Temple on Mount Tai Leung. Ng Mui used to venture out of the mountains down to the village market. She often stopped to buy bean curd at the market from Yim Yee the stall holder. Yim Yee had a beautiful daughter named ‘Yim Wing Chun’. Yim Wing Chun attracted the attention of a local bully. He often tried to force Wing Chun to marry him, and his continuous threats became a source of worry to her and her father. Ng Mui learned of this and took pity on Wing Chun. She agreed to teach Wing Chun fighting techniques so she could protect herself. Wing Chun followed Ng Mui into the mountains everyday to learn kung fu. She trained night and day until she had mastered the style. When she was ready she agreed to challenge the bully to a fight and made a deal that if she won, he would agree to leave her and her father alone. That day finally arrived and Yim Wing Chun did defeat the bully with ease. So the style has remained under the name of Wing Chun, Ng Mui’s first student.

After her marriage Wing Chun taught the style to her husband Leung Bok Chau. Wing Chun Kung Fu continued to be passed on within the family.

In 1949 Yip man who is considered to be the grandmaster of modern Wing Chun, brought the style out of China into Hong Kong and eventually to the rest of the world. Wing Chun has grown from strength to strength and is still growing rapidly today. Bruce Lee’s followers may be unaware that he based his own personal style of kung fu on Wing Chun having trained with Yip Man himself. Bruce Lee taught Wing Chun between 1952 and 1959 and made the style famous by winning numerous contests. He brought Wing Chun into many countries around the world. Yim Wing Chun could not have possibly imagined where the consequences of her training with Ng Mui would lead..

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