The History of Wing Tsun
The history of Wing Tsun takes us back to the 17th century to a Shaolin monastery which was destroyed with the help of a traitor (Lee Pai Sun).
The remaining priests were separated and scattered. Among the survivors was the only nun of the monastery, Ng Mui. Ng Mui was one of the greatest kung fu masters of her time, and one of the five elders of the Monastery.
After the attack she was hiding in the White Crane monastery in the Thai Lung Mountains. There she came to know a local merchant and became one of his regular customers.
This merchant had a daughter, Yim Wing Tsun, who was engaged to Leung Bok Chau.
However, a local criminal noticed her beauty and wanted her to become his wife even if he had to force her to comply. He was familiar with martial arts, himself. When Ng Mui heard about this she offered to teach Yim Wing Tsun the art of Kung Fu.
Yim Wing Tsun learnt Kung Fu day and night, and once ready, she challenged the criminal and defeated him in combat.
After she married she taught Kung Fu to her husband, and he later named the art Wing Tsun in her honour. He went on to pass his knowledge on to Leung Lan Kwai, a travelling medicine man. He taught Wong Wah Bo, who was a singer of an opera company.
This company travelled on a boat, the name of which was Red Junk. Wong was working with Leung Yee Tai on the boat. Also, on this boat there was a great master, one of those who escaped from the monastery, master Chi Shin (one of the five elders who escaped with Ng Moi).
He was the master of the long pole and taught Leung Yee Tai the techniques. Wong Wah Bo and Leung Yee Tai were close friends, and they shared their knowledge with each other.
The technique of the long pole was altered according to the theory of Wing Tsun as it became a part of the system of Wing Tsun. Leung Yee Tai passed his Kung Fu knowledge on to Dr Leung Jan, who was well known. He learned all of the secrets of Wing Tsun. He was an invincible fighter who was challenged a lot of times but nobody was able to beat him.
He was called the King of Wing Tsun. Dr Leung Jan had two sons, Leung Tsun and Leung Bik. They also learnt the art of Kung Fu. Next to Leung Jan’s pharmacy there was a money-changer’s, Chan Wan Shun’s office. He also learnt Wing Tsun, but he did not learn the most advanced techniques, because Leung Jan taught those only to his sons. He did not want his sons be beaten by a stranger. At first Grandmaster Yip Man learnt Wing Tsun from Chan Wan Shun. Chan Wan Shun had sixteen students, among whom Yip Man was the youngest one and in the same time his last student.
Later Yip Man met one of Leung Jan’s sons, Leung Bik, and from him he learnt the parts of Wing Tsun that he could never learn from Chan Wan Shun. So Yip Man got to learn the whole system of Wing Tsun. Grandmaster Leung Ting learnt from Yip Man, he was the last student of Yip Man. After the death of Yip Man in 1972, he became the heir of the system of Wing Tsun.