Abbot Chi Sim
AKA:Chi Sim, Chi Shin, Chi Sin, Abbot Chi Sim, Jee Sin Sim See, Literally - “Jee Sin, Chan teacher”.
Abbot Chi Shim, is a legendary character, that many Soutern Chinese Siu Lum Martial Arts trace their lineage to. He is said to have been one of the legendary Five Elders, that survived the destruction of the Siu Lum Temple by the Qing Dynasty (1644¨C1912).The five major family styles of Southern Siu Lum : Hung, Lau, Choy, Lee, and Mok; Wing Chun, and Hakka Kuen all trace and link their systems in some way or another, to Chi Sim.
Discrepancy in the time frame of Chi Sims existance is wide ranging placing him as both a survivor of the destruction of the original Shaolin Temple in Henan or the supposed Southern Shaolin Temple in Fujkian. In what may be an attempt to reconcile this discrepancy, some stories say that, when the Henan temple was destroyed, Jee Sin fled to the Fukian temple, only to have to flee again when the latter was destroyed as well.
Many legends state that Chi Shim along with the other elders, created the Weng Chun system, at the southern Shaolin temple, within a building called the Weng Chun Tong. Suggesting the style was a refinement of the standard Southern Shaolin arts. Its also suggested that the system found its way, onto the Red Boats, when Chi Sim went into hiding, as a cook, to avoid persecutiona and death by the Ching Government.
Legend and Oral tradition again, disagree with what he passed down, on the Red Boats. Some traditions state he refined the entire system he knew, into his pole method, and thats what he passed down to Leung Yee Tai and Dai Fa Min Kam. Other traditions state he passed down a system, that was totaly differant to Ng mui’s, that included a Hung Gar style approach, using wider, larger frame movements and horse use, than the standard Wing Chun System uses. Still other traditions, pass down that the modern Wing Chun was not created by Ng Mui, but instead is an offshoot of the refined Siu Lum Weng Chun System, that Chi Sim brought out of the temple. This, in light of modern research and investigation, of the mechanics, would be highly unlikly though.
The only true research in China, that included the work of 150 differant scholars and researchers, published in a work entited “History of Guangdong Martial Arts”, suggests that Chi Sim, never existed and is nothing more than a myth. The extensive research done exhausted all remaining goverment, town, and temple records, as well as most major kung fu masters, museum currators, and researchers.
Research in the West by the Ancestral Wing Chun Research Institute suggests, what is called Chi Sim Weng Chun, in modern times, is a branch of Wing Chun, that has been mixed with Hung gar, by various students of opera performer and bounty hunter, Fung Siu Ching. Additionaly it is believed more likely than not, that there was only one system on the Red Boats called Wing Chun, which was created using Weng Chun County White Crane and a rare, now extinct Snake boxing system, also imported and refined the Look Dim Boon Gwun Method from an external source. This source for the Pole, known as Sup Sam Cheung Faat or “13 spear method”, may have been found within a system, that the name “Chi Sim” was used to represent. It is believed that the “Weng Chun” system, spoken of, in legend, is actually the Weng Chun County Bok Hok (Eternal Spring County White Crane).See Also
- Oral and written tradition Yip Man Family
- Oral and written tradition Lo Chiu Wan Family
- Oral and written tradition Yuen Kay Shan Family
- Oral and written tradition Tang Family
- Oral and written tradition Chu Chong Man Family
- New Martial Hero
- Leung’s Publishing