Fung Siu Ching (Feng Xiaoqing) was said to be a Shunde native (where Chan Wah Shun and his family are from). Accounts about him vary, just as they do for all of mid 1800′s to early 1900′s Wing Chun ancestors. It was said, as a youth, according to the Siu Lum Weng Chun traditions, Fung apprenticed at the Dragon & Phoenix Embroidery Shop, where he met and became apprenticed to Red Junk Opera performer Dai Fa Min Kam (sometimes referred to as San Kam properly). Fung travelled with the Red Junks, learning Weng Chun Kuen, until Kam retired.
Oral and written tradition preserves, that Fung Siu Ching, was to strong of voice and character to properly learn and perform, the sublties of Chinese Operatic method. In his 20s, Fung Siu Ching went to Foshan. He was approached by a friend of his named Mr.Dong, to teach his two sons Kung Fu, to help support himself. Fung agreed and began to teach Dong’s sons, Jik and On, as well as their friend, Tang Suen. Later, Fung was said to have returned to Guangzhou, where he worked as an Imperial marshal and was also said to have served as a guard for the Sichuan governor near the end of the Qing dynasty. During this time, he was also said to have passed on his art to his son, Fung Ting.
Late in life, when he was almost 70 years of age and on the verge of retirement, he was invited by Yuen Kay Shan, Ma Jong Yiu, Au Shu, Lo Hao Po, and others to teach them while living at the Yuen Family Estate in Foshan’s Mulberry Gardens. Fung Siu Ching remained there until he passed away at the age of 73, in 1936.
Some rare accounts maintain, Fung was originally from the north, anywhere from Hunan to Hubei provinces and that he had previous martial experience in systems from Hung Kuen to Ying Yee Kuen (Xingyiquan).
According to Chun Chong Man and Tang Yik ,in an interview done by Mok Poi On, for New Martial Hero, Fung Siu Ching’s original Curriculm was comprised of:
- Sap Yat Kuen / (11 Fists)-(Weng Chun Kuen)
- Sam Pai Fut / (3 Prayers to Buddha)
- Muk Yan Jong / (Wooden Man Post)
- Look Dim Boon Gwun / (6.5 Pole)
- Gwun Jong / Pole Post
In Recent times there is some dispute with the Sam Pai Fut form being the authentic form, from Fung Siu Ching. There is also information suggesting that there was a Sam Pai Fut form, but that the version we see today, is only a shadow of what it was, being mostly comprised of Hung Gar technique and mechanics. Many Decendents of Tang and and Dong/Chu families, state that Fung Siu Ching’s teachings were only:
- Sap Yat Kuen
- Muk Yan Jong
- Look Dim Boon Gwun
- Jong Kuen
Recent information substantiates that the Sam Pai Fut form wasnt passed down in the Tang and Dong/Chu Family. The Lo family are the only group to have learned this form, so its questionable if it is from Fung Siu Ching, or at least the way it is currently practised, was how Fung Siu Ching taught it. Additionaly, at Dai Duk Lan, the three families combined their curriculums, so each family learned each others specialty form’s.This created the Dai Duk Lan curriculum. This was than further modernized and evolved by Cheng Kwong with Lok Yiu Wing Chun Kuen and Dragon Shape boxing and than later evolved even more by Cheng’s student, Andreas Hoffmann Yet even further modifications
Further information released by the Ancestral Wing Chun Kuen Research Institute states that, more likely than not, there wasnt a seperate system called “Weng chun”. There was only one system.It is believed that the system that used the “Weng” character was Bok Hok Kuen from “Weng” Chun County, China. It is commonly believed that the evolved system of White Crane, that was fused with Snake Boxing, used the “Wing” character.It is believed that Dai fa Min kam, Wong Wah Bo, Leung Yee Tai and Gulo Chung all practised the same Wing Chun system. Some simply put more focus on the Look Kim Boon Gwun and Jong, while others focused on the Fist forms and Knives.
The evolution of what is called “Chi sim Weng Chun” today, is found in practitioers of several differant era’s. The original direct students of Fung Siu Ching, didnt always learn his entire system. Some only learned the Look Dim Boon Gwun methods and than created fist method from the concepts and movements found within the pole. Some mixed Fung’s Wing Chun with whatever art they practised before. Which is why we see such a heavy Hung Gar influence in many versions of the system.
Its very interesting to note, that Fung Siu Ching’s last 2 disciples, Yuen Chai Wan and Yuen Kay Shan, supported Fung by having him move into their family home, in exchange for learning Wing Chun Kuen from him, passed down that Fung Siu Ching practised the same system Fok Bo Chun Practised…Wing Chun. As they had the same Master, Dai Fa Min Kam.
SO, if Fok Bo Chun and Fung Siu Ching both learned from Dai Fa Min Kam and Wong Wah Bo, and both practised the same Wing chun than inversly we can deduce that Wong Wah Bo and Dai Fa Min Kam had the same WCK system. We can verify Wong Wah Bo’s teachings by cross referancing what he taught Fok Bo Chun (As seen in Yuen Kay Shan WCK), with his only other known student, Leung Jan ( As seen in his Fatshan and Kulo wck).
So to summarize how to determine that their was only one system on the Red Boats. We examine the Four Master opera star’s that Yuen Kay Shan Preserves inherited the entire sytem. Dai Fa Min Kam, Wong Wah Bo, Leung Yee Tai, and Gulo Chung. We examine Dai Fa Min Kam and Wong Wah Bo students Fok Bo Chun and Fung Siu Ching, who passed there art to Yuen Kay Shan. We examine Wong Wah Bo and Leung Yee Tai student Leung Jan.
So we can deduce there was only 1 system. With variation in focus and how the infomation was transmited. Some focusing on 1 long form with 4 sections, Some just focusing on the 4th section San Sik Method and than later, Some Breaking down the 4 sections form into the 3 standard hand forms seen today, as passed down in Leung Jan’s and Fok Bo Chun’s decendent’s, which almost all true WCK is a child of.
So this than supports that Fungs students mixed other arts into there Wing chun. Additionaly when the various branchs combined at Dai Duk Lan, they further mixed the art, by cross mixing there various interpretations.Than when the mixed lineage art was passed down in modern times, there was more material added from non wing chun sources. It is well documented that Andreas Hoffman, a Student of Cheng Kwong, Further added in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Hung Gar, and Pan Nam Wing Chun into his system