Branches of Wing Chun
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The different branches of the Chinese martial art of 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.
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.
- 1 Ip Man branch
- 2 Yiu Choi branch
- 3 Jiu Wan branch
- 4 Gulao (Koo Lo) Village branch
- 5 Pan Nam branch
- 6 Yuen Kay Shan branch
- 7 Nguyen Te-Cong/Yuen Chai Wan branch
- 8 Cho family branch
- 9 Hung Fa Yi (Hung Suen Wing Chun Kuen)
- 10 Pao Fa Lien branch
- 11 Fut Sao (Buddha Hand) branch
- 12 References
- 13 External links
Ip Man branch
Ip Man (simplified Chinese: 叶问; traditional Chinese: 葉問; Cantonese Yale: Yihp Mahn), also known as Yip Kai-Man (Chinese: 葉繼問; Cantonese Yale: Yihp GaiMahn) 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. Yip Man's teachers included Chan Wah Shun, Chan Wah Shun's student Ng Chung So (吴仲素), and Leung Bik, son of Chan Wah Shun's teacher Leung Jan.
Ip 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 it with a certain edginess. This is probably why Wing Chun is well known for being split into many factions.
Ip Chun, the eldest son of Ip Man, is as passionate and relentless in keeping his father's Wing Chun kung fu legacy alive and, in 2014, was selected to represent Wing Chun as the inheritor of the legacy of Wing Chun-style kung fu.
Notable students of Ip Man include: Leung Sheung(梁相), Lok Yiu (駱耀), Chu Shong-tin (徐尚田), Lo Man Kam (盧文錦), Wong Shun Leung (黃淳樑), Bruce Lee (李小龍), Victor Kan Wah Chit (簡華捷), Moy Yat, Duncan Leung, Leung Ting, and Ip Chun.
Yiu Choi branch
Yiu Choi (Chinese: 姚才; Cantonese Yale: Yìuh Chòih) 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 Ip 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.’
Jiu Wan branch
Jiu Wan (Chinese: 姚才; Cantonese Yale: Jīu Wáhn) 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 he studied under his cousin and later under Yip Man. Yip Man students claim that as well. Jason Lau's branch of Jiu Wan claim they were kung fu brothers directly under Chan Wah Shun.
Gulao (Koo Lo) Village branch
Gulao (simplified Chinese: 古劳; traditional Chinese: 古勞; pinyin: Gǔ Láo; Cantonese Yale: Gú Lòuh) 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
Pan Nam (Chinese: 彭南; pinyin: Péng Nán; Cantonese Yale: Pàahng Nàahm) 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 Eddie Chong.
Yuen Kay Shan branch
Yuen Kay Shan (Chinese: 阮奇山; Cantonese Yale: Yún Kèih Sāan; pinyin: Ruǎn Qí Shān) 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
Nguyen Te-Cong/Yuen Chai Wan branch
Nguyễn Tế-Công/Yuen Chai Wan (simplified Chinese: 阮濟云; traditional Chinese: 阮濟雲; Cantonese Yale: Yún Jai Wàhn; pinyin: Ruǎn Jì Yún) 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.
Cho family branch
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 practitioner Yik Kam.
Hung Fa Yi (Hung Suen Wing Chun Kuen)
Hung Fa Yi Wing Chun Kuen (simplified Chinese: 红花义咏春拳; traditional Chinese: 紅花義詠春拳; Cantonese Yale: HùhngFāYih WihngChēun Kyùhn; pinyin: Hónghuāyì Yǒngchūn Quán; literally: "Red Flower Righteous Wing Chun Fist"), previously referred to as Hung Suen Wing Chun Kuen (simplified Chinese: 红船咏春拳; traditional Chinese: 紅船詠春拳; Cantonese Yale: HùhngSyùhn WihngChēun Kyùhn; literally: "Red Boat Wing Chun Fist"), was introduced by Garrett Gee of San Francisco (although it is said to come from Xiguan, Guangzhou, China.)
Pao Fa Lien branch
Founded by Dai Dong Fung (Great East Wind) and his students Tze Gwok Leung and Tze Gwok Cheung, the branch received its name via Lao Dat Sang, who had the nickname Pao Fa Lien (simplified Chinese: 刨花莲; traditional Chinese: 刨花蓮; Cantonese Yale: Pàauh Fā Lìhn), or "Wood Planer Lien".
Fut Sao (Buddha Hand) branch
Fut Sao Wing Chun Kuen (simplified Chinese: 佛手咏春拳; traditional Chinese: 佛手詠春拳; Cantonese Yale: Fahtsáu WihngChēun Kyùhn; pinyin: Fóshǒu Yǒngchūn Quán; literally: "Buddha Hand Wing Chun Fist"), was introduced by Henry Leung "Chi-Man" (Leung Hung-Lay) in New York City back in the early 1960s. The Chinese martial art system was named after GM Leung's Teacher the renowned Chán Buddhist master Hsu Yun aka "Ghao Ji Fut Sao". Different students of Leung Chi-Man report different origins for the system, including it descended from Fung Siu Ching, Leung Bik, Chan Wah Shun, Miáo Xiǎn (Miu Sun), Xu Yun Hsu Yun, and Leung Chan Sang aka Dr Leung Jan. The Buddhist Wing Chun system can be traced back to the provinces of Kwang Chow Guangzhou, and or Canton Foshan well over 200 years ago.
The Style specializes in close quarters combat techniques that derive from theories, concepts, principles, and methods taught with in its training regime. Fut Sao has seven forms, and various other drills, or exercises. The forms consist of siu lum dao, chum kiu, biu gee, siu baat qua, mook yun jong, bat cham dao, and luk dim boon kwun. The ideas of root, power, structure, flow, time, space, energy, and many other skills are learned by its practitioners.
Notable students: James Cama.
- 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.
- "Ip Man Wing Chun Lineage". Archived from the original on December 5, 2006. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
- Boehler, Patrick (27 August 2014). "Chinese kung fu masters battle over inheritance of Yip Man's Wing Chun legacy". South China Morning Post (Online). South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
- Kwok, Samuel. "A Chronicle of the life of Yip Man". Archived from the original on November 12, 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-23.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 8, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-09.
- Jiu Wan 1
- Jiu Wan 2 Archived October 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.