From New Matial Hero early 1970s
lthough Wing Chun Kuen did not originate in Foshan it has spread from there. Even 50 years ago, Wing Chun Kuen was only taught to residents of Foshan and surrounding areas. This is in part because prior to 1914 people did not travel often, keeping the art in one place. After 1914, the society changed and travel became more common. People left Foshan and moved elsewhere for their livelihoods. Some took Wing Chun Kuen with them. Thus, today, Wing Chun Kuen can be found around the world.
Like other systems, all Wing Chun Kuen had only one founder, although with each succeeding generation more and more people came to learn the art. Some who learned in Foshan moved and taught the art in other places. As differences arose among practitioners the name of the place in which it was taught or the eachers name were added to help tell them apart. For example, Guangzhou Wing Chun Kuen or
This Wing Chun Kuen began with Yim Wing-Chun and eventually passed down to Yuen Kay-San. Yuen Kay-San taught a single student, Sum Nung. When he later taught in Guangzhou and his Wing Chun Kuen developed, he called it Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen to both differentiate it and to honor the memory of his teacher. Now, in Hong Kong, there are two teachers of Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen- Leung Dai-Chiu and Kwok Wan-Ping. According to them, this style’s lineage is Yim Wing Chun – Leung Bok-Lao – Dai Fa Min Kam (Painted Face Kam) – Fok Bo-Chuen & Fung Siu-Ching – Yuen Kay-San – Sum Nung – Leung Dai-Chiu & Kwok Wan-Ping.
Yuen Kay-San was a Foshan native who, like many of his generation, was from a wealthy family. He was the fifth in his family and so people referred to him as Yuen Lo-Jia (Yuen the Fifth). This name became so often used that his real name has sometimes been forgotten.
Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen Spread in Guangzhou Yuen Kay-San was first taught by Fok Bo-Chuen. Several years later, Yuen Kay-San finished his courses but was still eager to make more progress and so he asked Fung Siu-Ching for lessons. After graduating from Fung Siu-Ching’s lessons, Yuen Kay-San did not teach the public. Because his family was rich, he did not need to work for a living. He practiced boxing because he enjoyed it and did not want to teach any one. Even when his neighbors or good friends would ask, Yuen Kay-San would only show them a few things. Thus he never had many students. When he grew old, he did not want his art to be lost and so he taught the complete system to Sum Nung. Later, he asked Sum Nung to pass it on to students of his own, so it would not die. Following his teacher’s wishes, when he went to work in Guangzhou he taught Wing Chun Kuen as well. This is why the art is called both Guangzhou and Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen.
In Hong Kong, both Leung Dai-Chiu and Kwok Wan-Ping learned the art from Sum Nung in Guangzhou. The system includes the Siu Lien Tao (Little First Training), Chum Kiu (Sinking Bridge), Biu Jee (Darting Fingers), Sup Yee San Sik (Twelve Separate Forms), Sup Yee San Sik Muk Yan Jong (Twelve Separate Forms on the Wooden Dummy), Muk Yan Jong (Wooden Dummy), Luk Dim Boon Gwun (Six-and-a-Half-Point Pole), and Yee Jee Kim Yeung Dit Ming Do (Parallel Shaped Clamping Groin Life-Taking Knives). Other training intended to help includes the twisting and turning chopsticks, rattan ring, etc. Practice methods include Chi Sao (Sticking Arms).
First, one must begin with the Siu Lien Tao, the fundamental kung-fu of the system. From the name, one must think of the beginning- training the horse and bridge arms to be exacting in position. All fists and palms come from the center. This means the alignment from the nose, solar plexus, and groin- all three points in line. It is referred to as the Jee Ng Sien (Meridian Line). The stance is the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma (Parallel Shaped Clamping Groin Horse). It is as wide as the shoulders with the toes pointing inward. The knees press together to one-fist distance. The body and waist are straight, not leaning forward nor back. The chest is hollow, the shoulders hung, and the stomach in. When the arms go out, the elbows must stay sunken down and in front of the chest.
Advances practice involves the Chum Kiu and Biu Jee. They are the linked defense and offense method. They use borrowing power. It entices the opponent to strike due to its short bridge method known as the inner sickle arms. Techniques change very fast. Chum Kiu and Biu Jee must be used together. They are taught separately so they may be learned in a progressive manner.
Twelve Separate Forms on the Wooden Dummy According to verbal accounts, the dummy came from the Siu Lam temple. It has a round body, three arms, and a leg, meant to represent a person’s limbs. When in use, one pretends it is an opponent. It helps develop the methods and techniques like Gaun Sao (Cultivating Arm), Tan Sao (Dispersing Arm), Bong Sao (Wing Arm), etc. The last step is Chi Sao.
Chi Sao is a two-person exercise. Both partners’ bridge arms join together and they probe for holes. When one comes, the other counters. This is not easy for outsiders to understand. Leung Dai-Chiu sifu says Chi Sao develops the sensitivity of the bridge arms. This means the bridges move according to the opponent’s power. When it comes or goes, you can counter. After a long time of Chi Sao practice, this all becomes reflexive.
Chi Sao Practice Trains Feeling, Six-and-a-Half-Point Pole has Methods Chi Sao does not come in one day, the longer one practices the better. If one becomes successful, when fighting and the hands touch the enemy, the enemy will have difficulty moving.
Although Chi Sao can be fast, it is never blind or chaotic. It includes the use of methods- joining, intercepting, sinking, darting, sticking, feeling, stealing & leaking, swallowing, slicing, pressing, swinging, detaining, and killing.
Every movement can defend and attack at the same time. There are no unstoppable techniques. As to the Six-and-a-Half-Point Pole, it is known by this name due to the six six-and-a-half-points that comprise its methods- canceling, spearing, whipping, two-motion, water dripping, circling, and barring. Barring is the half-point.
Leung Dai-Chiu sifu has a school on Lai Jie Gok Avenue and also works as an osteopath. His junior classmate, Kwok Wan-Ping, is on Sham Shui Po, Fook Wah Street. These two sifu have worked hard to spread the system and make it as popular as other styles.