Wing Chun The Legend
The history of Wing Chun is very interesting, and it was Bruce Lee back in the seventies who first brought Wing Chun to prominence in the West. Since then Wing Chun has grown into probably the most known Kung Fu style in the world, through other students of the late Grandmaster Yip Man, such as Sifu Leung Ting and the late Sifu Wong Shun Leung.
The legend of Wing Chun goes back about 300 years to the Shaolin Temple, one of the spiritual homes of Chinese Wu Shu (Wu Shu means martial arts and these days Kung Fu, which means hard work will be rewarded, is usually used in it's stead). It is said that around this time five masters of Kung Fu came together to create a new martial art, one that would revolutionise combat, that through it's principles and the philosophy upon which it is based, it would be able to defeat all the styles of Kung Fu created up until that point. Before the system could be completed however the masters were betrayed to the Chinese government, who feared the power of the Shaolin Monks and their Kung Fu. The Emperor sent his army to destroy the temple and so the five masters separated and fled. The greatest of these masters was known to be a nun named Ng Mui, she left the Shaolin Temple and found a safe place to continue developing this new and revolutionary martial art. Some time later she came across a lady who wanted to learn Kung Fu in order to defeat a local bully who was terrorising her, and her family. Ng Mui taught this lady her new Kung Fu system, whose name was Yim Wing Chun, and Yim Wing Chun taught the system to her husband, who named the system after his wife upon her death. The system was passed down through the centuries from master to student undergoing continual development and refinement until the present day, where we train and continue to improve Ng Mui's revolutionary Kung Fu!
It seems that many people believe this to be a factual story and this may be the case. We however believe it to be an allegorical story that teaches much in terms of what Wing Chun is about and what it aims to be. The fact that Ng Mui was a women and her first student was a women teaches that muscular strength is not the key to success in Wing Chun and that men, who traditionally took part in combat should explore femininity if they want to be ultimately successful in life, as only through leading a balanced life can you reach your true potential. The story about Yim Wing Chun wanting to learn so she could defend herself and her loved ones against a bully is also very important. This bully can be external or internal, but each of us faces enemies of one sort or another on a daily basis, and Wing Chun offers guidance for all those who no longer want to be intimidated by fear and who want to live a life of freedom, success, and happiness. The story of the masters choosing to leave the temple and avoid the conflict with the Emperor is also important; Sometimes it is important to realise and understand when someone or something is currently too powerful to deal with, and so a tactical retreat is required in order for you to be able to continue what is important to you, and to have the opportunity to be ultimately successful in the long term.