Branches of Wing Chun

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The different branches of the Chinese martial art Wing Chun can be thought of as describing both the differing traditions and interpretations of Wing Chun, and the teacher-student relationships which perpetuate them.[1]

There is no universally recognized sanctioning body for Wing Chun that governs certification of lineage, nor an unambiguous way of defining lineage. This branch listing relies on existing published, and notable family trees. Listings of notable students within a branch are in no particular order, and not intended to state seniority or rank.

Yip Man branch[edit]

Yip Man (葉問; jyutping: Jip6Man6), also known as Yip Kai-Man (葉繼問; jyutping: Jip6Gai3Man6) was well respected by other martial arts instructors in southern China and Hong Kong. He was the first person to teach Wing Chun to a wider public. After his death, many of his students formed separate schools.[2] Yip Man's teachers included Chan Wah Shun, Chan Wah Shun's student Ng Chung So, and Leung Bik, son of Chan Wah Shun's teacher Leung Jan.

Yip Man was well known for having a very quick wit and an acid tongue. His teaching style, along with the very direct nature of the art and its despising of superfluous talk, infuses the art with a certain edginess. This is probably why Wing Chun is well known for being split into many factions.

Notable students of Yip Man include: Lun Gai, Gwok Fu, Leung Sheung(梁相),[3] Lok Yiu (駱耀), Chu Shong-tin(徐尚田), Wong Shun Leung(黃淳樑), Wang Kiu (王喬), Yip Bo Ching (葉步青), William Cheung, Kang Sin Sin (Kong San San), Hawkins Cheung, Bruce Lee, Lo Man Kam, Wong Long, Wong Chok, Law Bing, Lee Shing, Ho Kam-Ming, Moy Yat, Duncan Leung, Derek Fung (馮平波 Fung Ping Bor), Chris Chan (陳成 Chan Shing), Victor Kan Wah Chit (簡華捷), Stanley Chan, Chow Sze Chuen, Tam Lai, Ip Ching, Ip Chun, Lee Che Kong, and Leung Ting(梁挺).

Yiu Choi branch[edit]

Yiu Choi (Yao Cai, 姚才) first began learning Wing Chun Kuen from Yuen Chai Wan, the elder brother of Yuen Kay San, in roughly 1920 and studied with him until Yuen moved to Vietnam in 1936, just after the death of his Sifu Fung Siu Ching. Just before he left, Yuen introduced Yiu Choi to his friend and fellow Wing Chun Kuen Practitioner, Chan Wah Shun, to continue his studies. At the same time, he also learned from Chan Wah Shun's student Ng Chung So.

Yiu Choi and his elder brother owned and operated an opium smoke and gambling house and later opened one on Shilutou. They offered Ng Chung So to hold his nightly classes in the back room of the house. Ng taught from the club for roughly a decade until he retired, and Yiu Choi moved him into his home and cared for him for roughly a decade in exchange for further training for himself and his son Yiu Kay. Ng Chung So lived and was cared for until he died. Known as “Dai Lik” (Big Strong) because of his natural power, Yiu Choi taught Wing Chun Kuen to his son, Yiu Kay(姚 祺), as well as to students such as Go Bing and Fok Joy.

According to Wai-Po Tang, Grandmaster Yiu Kay stated that his father, Yiu Choi, was one of Yip Man’s teachers. During different stages of life, there was also a time when both Yiu Choi and Yip Man had the same teacher (Ng Chung So). This makes Grandmaster Yiu Choi both Yip Man’s Sifu and also elder Sihing. Yiu Choi is the 5th generation of Wing Chun -- bestowed upon him by Ng Chun So, the title ‘Descendant of Wing Chun.’[4]

The Yiu Choi Style was succeeded by his son, Yiu Kay, who is succeeded by his three sons Yiu Weng Keong(姚永强), Yiu Hon Keong(姚汉强), and Yiu Zhong Keong(姚忠强).[5][6]

Jiu Wan branch[edit]

Jiu Wan (招允; pinyin: Zhāo Yǔn) first taught Wing Chun at Jing Mo Gwun, a school in Foshan, China. When the Communists took over China, he moved to Hong Kong where he continued to teach.

Jiu Wan's relationship with Yip Man is controversial among students of both branches. Some students of Jiu Wan maintain[7] he studied under his cousin and later under Yip Man. Yip Man students claim that as well. Jason Lau's branch of Jiu Wan[8] claim they were kung fu brothers directly under Chan Wah Shun.

Notable students of Jiu Wan include: Chiu Hung-Kwan (his son), Jason Lau, Ti Lung(Tam Fu-Wing), Wong Li Feng, Chow Hung-Yuen, Francis Fong, and Denis Chan.

Gulao (Koo Lo) Village branch[edit]

Gulao (古劳) Wing Chun Kuen was taught by Dr. Leung Jan when he retired back to his native village of Gulao in Heshan County, Guangdong province and is typically referred to by the village name to distinguish it from the doctor’s Foshan teachings. The Fung family variations found in Kulo Village have also come to be called Pin Sun (Side Body) Wing Chun.

Pan Nam branch[edit]

Pan Nam cross-trained in a wide range of Wing Chun Kuen branches. He then created his own approach based on his experience.

Pan Nam studied Hung Gar from 1934 to 1947 until he met Jiu Chow (top student of Chan Yiu Men), and officially began his Wing Chun Kuen training. His classmates included Leung Lam, Jiu Wan, Lee Shing, Wong Jing and other semi famous Wing Chun masters. Jiu Chow had to relocate to Chungshan, and Pan followed him to continue training. According to Sum Nung, prior to learning from Jiu Chow, Pan briefly studied from Cheung Bo, but soon opted to train with Jiu.

In 1949 Pan Nam moved back to Fatshan and started teaching at the “Union of cake industry workers of Fatshan”. In 1956 he was introduced to Lai Hip Chai a classmate of Ng Chun So, Yip Man and Chan Yiu Men, who was the second to last student accepted by Chan Wah Shun (Yip Man being the last). Lai Hip Chai had not only learned from Chan, but also from Lok Lan Goon's nephew.

Notable students of Pan Nam include: Pan Siu-Cho, Pan Siu-Lam, Lee Dak-Sang, Wong Jee-Keung, Lun Fao, Leung Chong-Ting, Eddie Chong,[9] Leong Cheok Son (Felix Leong)].

Yuen Kay Shan branch[edit]

Yuen Kay Shan was a master in the martial art of Wing Chun, who lived from 1889 to 1956. The fifth of five brothers, he became known as "Foshan Yuen Lo Jia (Yuen the Fifth of Foshan)" Yuen Kay Shan combined the Wing Chun of both of his teachers, constable Fok Bo Chuen, and Body guard and Bounty Hunter Fung Siu Ching.

Notable students: Sum Nung

Nguyễn Tế-Công branch/Yuen Chai Wan (Vietnam WingChun 永春)[edit]

Nguyễn Tế-Công/Yuen Chai Wan (Chinese: 阮濟云; Cantonese Yale: yun5 jai2 wan4; Yuen Chai-Wan) Older brother of Yuen Kay-San, Yuen first learned Wing Chun Kuen under Fok Bo-Chuen and later continued his studies with Fung Siu-Ching. In 1936 he was invited to teach Wing Chun in Vietnam at the Nanhai and Shunde Expatriates Associations and moved to Hanoi, where he was known by the Vietnamese pronunciation of his name, Nguyen Te-Cong. In 1954 he relocated to Saigon (Now, Ho Chi Minh City) where he established a second school.

Notable students: Yiu Choi, Cam Tuc Cuong, Nguyen Duy-Hai, Luc Vien Khai, Tran Van Phung,[10] Vu Ba Quy, Ngo Si Quy, Tran Thuc Tien, Viet Huong.

Cho family branch[edit]

The Cho family of Poon Yu Village (near Shunde and Foshan) have been practitioners of southern fist systems, such as Choy Lai Fut, Hung Gar, Mok Gar, and White Crane, for many years. Cho Shun joined the King Fa Wui Goon and became an Operatic performer/actor. He became the first known disciple of Wing Chun practitoner Yik Kam.

Notable students include: Cho Chuen(曹全), Cho Man(曹文), and Cho On(曹安).

(Hung Fa Yi/Hung Suen Wing Chun Kuen)[edit]

Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Kuen (Honghua Yi Yongchunquan, Red Flower Righteous), previously referred to as Hung Suen (Red Boat) Wing Chun Kuen, was introduced by Garrett Gee of San Francisco (although it is said to come from Xiguan, Guangzhou, China.)

Pao Fa Lien branch[edit]

Founded by Dai Dong Fung (Great East Wind) and his students Gwok Leung and Gwok Cheung, the branch received its name via Lao Dat Sang, who had the nickname Pao Fa Lien, or "Wood Planer Lien". Notable students: Mok Poi-On.

Fut Sao (Buddha Hand) branch[edit]

Fut Sao Wing Chun Kuen (Fo Shou Yongchunquan), meaning “Buddha Hand”, was introduced by Leung Chi-Man (Leung Hung-Lay, Henry Leung) in New York City back in the Late 60's. Different students of Leung Chi-Man report different origins for the system, including it descending from Fung Siu Ching, Leung Bik, Chan Wah Shun, Xu Yun, and Leung Chan Sang.

Notable students: Santos Barbalace, James Cama, Joe Ng

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chu, Robert; Ritchie, Rene; & Wu, Y. (1998). Complete Wing Chun: The Definitive Guide to Wing Chun's History and Traditions. Boston: Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3141-6. 
  2. ^ "Yip Man Wing Chun Lineage". Retrieved December 12, 2006. 
  3. ^ Kwok, Samuel. "A Chronicle of the life of Yip Man.". Archived from the original on November 12, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-23. 
  4. ^ http://www.wingchunpedia.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php?n=WCP.YiuChoi
  5. ^ http://yiuchoiyiukay.com/
  6. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25amBL8Dsi4
  7. ^ Jiu Wan 1
  8. ^ Jiu Wan 2
  9. ^ Eddie Chong
  10. ^ Tran Van Phung