Yim Wing Tsun
Si-Jo Yip Man
Wing Tsun - The Style of The Art
Wing Tsun kung-fu is one of the most effective self defence systems that can be learned within a short period of time by anyone, regardless of age, sex or level of physical fitness. History tells us that the system was created by the Buddhist nun, Ng Moi, and four other survivors of the destruction of the Shaolin Monastery and was developed to train rebels against the Manchu (Qing) dynasty.
This new system had to be simple and effective and, having learnt from the unfortunate events that befell the Shaolin Temple, it had to ensure that anyone could defend against young, strong, well trained fighters.
Based on these facts, the new – still unnamed – system was developed to use an attacker’s speed and power in conjunction with the martial artist’s own in order to turn it back onto the opponent. Wing Tsun’s aim was, and still is, to close down an attack quickly and efficiently. If this cannot be done through words, then – if necessary – the Wing Tsun student will attack their opponent’s eyes, throat, groin or spine in a direct, natural strike that uses speed, instinct and reflex; techniques that are practiced regularly.
The style was finally named after Ng Moi’s most famous student, the beautiful Yim Wing Tsun, by her husband and student Leung Bok Chau. In the beginning the style was taught only to a select few until an unknown master began teaching Wing Tsun in public in the city of Hong Kong.
It was here that Grandmaster Yip Man learned his craft and it was not long before he and his students earned great fame. One of his students was the movie star Bruce Lee – although he mostly used his own style of martial art in his films.
For many years Wing Tsun was only taught to Chinese men and only in the 1970’s was it possible to teach this martial art to the wider public. Today Wing Tsun is taught in almost every country in the world and it continues to be one of the most popular martial arts.
As the style has never become a sport it has maintained techniques that could never be used in a ruled, controlled fight in a ring. As such, in a street fight – where there is no referee or medical support or even any other goal than survival and recovery – these techniques can be lifesaving.