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2020 г. сентябрь 27 д., - Информационный портал
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History of Wing Chun Kung Fu

Four hundred years ago, there lived a man named Yim Say Koan who had trained for many years in the Shaolin Temple. His bean cake store was the means by which he supported his only child, a girl, named Yim Wing Chun. Mr. Yim started his daughter training in the martial arts under his tutelage while she was still very young. As she reached her mid-teens, she began attracting many suitors. One was a gangster who tried to force Wing Chun into marriage. In order to prevent this, Mr. Yim sent his daughter to Pot Hok Kwoon, a temple where she could continue her boxing training under the nun, Ng Mui.

One morning while walking, Ng Mui was reflecting on her teaching at the temple. She was not totally satisfied with the low horse stance and power-oriented punches and felt they were not particularly suited for a woman. Lost in thought, she was startled by the noise of an ongoing battle between a snake and a crane. She was particularly impressed by the crane's ability to simultaneously block the snake's attack and retaliate.

Later, Ng Mui began to modify the methods she already knew. She incorporated some of the snake and crane movements and altered the horse stance and punch. From this she developed three forms: Sil Num Tao, Chum Kiu, and Bil Gee. She also instituted Chi Sao training. She called the new system Wing Chun, after her first disciple who, after much study, returned to her father to help in his business.

Crack! Crack! The sounds echoed in front of the bean cake store as the crowd gasped in amazement. The large man staggered back with blood running from his nose. His look of bewilderment was evident as he thought: "Why is it that even though I struck first, I was the one to be hit?! And by a woman!!" He attacked again, and was immediately dropped to the ground. Standing over him was a beautiful girl, Wing Chun.

In Fut Shan, a large city in southern China, lived a young actor of wealthy parentage named Leung Pok Sao. As was common of many Chinese actors, he was proficient in Chinese Boxing. He and two other close Boxer-Actor friends, Wong Wah Bo and Leung Yee Tai, toured the countryside performing in neighboring villages. One night after dinner, Leung Pok Sao passed a bean cake store and heard the sounds of someone practicing boxing inside. Looking into the building, he saw that it was divided in half. On one side was the bean cake counter, and on the other was a gym.

Only a beautiful young girl who was just assuming a horse stance that was quite unfamiliar to Leung occupied the gym. After viewing her techniques and being impressed by the power exhibited, he quietly left.

The next day, after some inquiry, Leung learned the girl's name and that she had studied under the famed nun, Ng Mui. He also learned that she was not yet married, although of proper age. Knowing that they would be well matched, Leung expressed his wishes to Wing Chun's father through a mutual friend. Her father was impressed with Leung and as they were both of the suitable age, consented to their marriage. Wing Chun, however, was concerned for her father. He was getting older, and had no help if she were to leave; and did not even have a son to carry on the family name. Leung, because of his love for Wing Chun, promised to stay with her father to help until he died, and even take the family name so that he was called Yim Leung Pok Sao. After Mr. Yim passed away, Leung returned to Fut Shan with his wife.

Yim Leung Pok Sao, after learning the whole Wing Chun system from his wife, was requested by his two close friends, Wong Wah Bo and Leung Yee Tai, to teach them the style. In exchange, Wong passed his famous Shaolin 6 1/2 staff techniques to Leung Pok Sao who incorporated its most effective aspects into Wing Chun. At what point the wooden dummy and double knives were introduced into the system is unclear. Available historical data is not detailed enough to validate any of the existing theories.

Because of their boxing background, the two friends were readily able to understand and receive the whole system. Wong Wah Bo retired to Fi Chee, a busy district in Fut Shan, at age 60. He developed a close friendship with a famous herb doctor, Leung Jon, and taught him the Wing Chun system.

Business was booming in Fi Chee, and Leung Jon's herbal medicine store was doing quite well. In front of his store worked a young moneychanger named Chan Wah Seum. He was of medium build, but had developed very strong, arms from carrying large boxes of coinage. His nickname was Chow Chin Wah, and he always regretted not studying Chinese Boxing. One night, when passing the herbal medicine store, he noticed a light inside. As it was very late, he wondered why Leung Jon was still up. Looking in the door, he was amazed to see the quiet doctor practicing Wing Chun. Chow watched until Leung had finished and left. Each night Chow came and secretly watched and learned from Leung. Months passed, winter came and the nights grew very cold, but the moneychanger kept his vigil. One evening, shivering and having caught a cold, Chow sneezed and was discovered. Leung requested Chow to show him what he learned by watching. Leung was so pleased that he accepted Chow as a student and taught him the Wing Chun system.

During the time of Chow's official training, lived a butcher name Leung Kai, who operated a shop across from Leung Jon's medicine store. He was young, well built, and very strong. He had learned a hard style of boxing. His most famous technique was his "Iron Fingers." He would use this technique to kill an animal before butchering, by thrusting his fingers into the animal's throat. Whenever he did this, large crowds of people would come to watch and Leung soon thought himself to be the most powerful boxer in Fi Chee

One night, while boasting of his expertise to a friend, the friend mocked the butcher's confidence, saying that there were two other more skilled,- Leung the doctor, and Chow the moneychanger. Angered, the butcher wagered a quarter of a pound of silver that if a challenge were accepted, he would soundly beat them both.

The next day, the butcher issued his challenge and was met by Chow who promptly defeated him, even after allowing the butcher to throw the first punch.

Chow Chin Wah, tired of exchanging money, and with the permission of Leung Jon, opened a Wing Chun school. Chow was occasionally challenged, but never met defeat. His first disciple was Ng Jon Sao, a short but sharp-eyed man who stayed for ten years and helped with much of the teaching. Another of Chow's disciples was an intelligent young man named Yip Man, who studied with him until his parents sent him, at the age of 16, to Hong Kong to further his formal education. There he continued to train on his own until one day, he heard that the son of his instructor's instructor, Leung Chun, was visiting Hong Kong. Leung, hearing of Yip Man, who had by then gained some notoriety among boxing circles in Hong Kong, invited him to dinner and asked for a demonstration of his skill. When Yip Man concluded, Leung commented that certain aspects needed improvement before Yip, could consider himself a master. Yip asked to test his skill with Leung so that he himself could see what areas were lacking in his skill, whereupon Leung unceremoniously knocked Yip Man down, convincing him that further study would be in his best interest.

Yip studied with Leung until he had completed the Wing Chun system, and then returned to his hometown, Fut Shan, but did not open a school. He returned to Hong Kong in 1949 and settled in Kowloon. Leung Seung, a hard boxing stylist, hearing of Yip Man, approached him, and after some discussion, demanded proof of Wing Chun's effectiveness. Yip Man, using the famous Wing Chun technique of simultaneous block and strike, defeated Leung, who was so impressed that by the master's skill that he became his first disciple.

Chan Mim, son of the moneychanger, Chow Chin Wah, also had a school in Fut Shan. One of his top disciples, Jeu Won, was an instructor in Chan's school who fled China as times became more difficult after the communist takeover, and settled in Hong Kong, where continued training with Yip Man. He was the only person of pure Fut Shan (original) Wing Chun, ever attested to by Yip Man. Jeu Won taught in Hong Kong until his death in 1974, producing several fine Wing Chun instructors, among them Francis Fong.


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