Wing Chun History

 

 

 

Wing Chun History

35%According to legend, Wing Chun was developed as a martial art to combat rogue Siu Lam (Shaolin) practitioners who were instrumental in the destruction of the Siu Lam Temple in Honan, China.

About 300 years ago, a Siu Lam Monastery of Mt. Sung in Honan, was besieged and burned by the forces of the Ching Dynasty’s Emperor Yung-Cheng. The Emperors’ troops were assisted by Siu Lam defectors, and the fire itself allegedly started from within and was lit by one of these traitors. The legend tells us that some of the monks were able to escape the fire and soldiers and flee into hiding. Amongst the ones who survived were the Five Elders who were the masters and leaders of the five styles of Siu Lam. These Elders were Siu Lam Abbot Chi Shin, Master Pak Mei, Master Miu Hin, Master Fung To Tak and the Buddhist Mistress Ng Mui. Since all of these individuals were wanted by the Manchu government, Siu Lam Abbot Chi Shin ordered everyone into hiding, and he himself became a cook on a ‘Red Junk’.

The Buddhist Mistress Ng Mui traveled about the country until she settled at the White Crane Temple at Mt. Tai Leung, not far from Yunnan. Feeling herself somewhat safe, she returned to her religious devotions, and to Martial Arts. She was greatly concerned about the traitors who helped ruin her original home, and who knew the Siu Lam combat systems. She recognized that the traitors mastered the Siu Lam combat theory and that the only reason she was alive is because of her great skill in those arts. Knowing that one day her strength would fail, and she would not be able to match the younger defectors caused her great concern. She meditated for a long time on the matter, and decided that the only alternative is to develop a brand new system that will be able to defeat the Siu Lam Kung Fu style the defectors learned. How specifically to do this, proved a challenge that occupied her for some time.

According to Professor Leung Ting, one day Ng Mui was walking in the forest, and she observed a fight between a Monkey and Crane. She was so impressed with what she saw that she used the principles and the movements to develop her new style, adapting the ‘Monkey Hand’ techniques and the ‘Crane Wing’ techniques to suit the human body. The new style emphasized defeat of the enemy by the ‘method’ and not through the use of ‘strength’! Although strength was important for Ng Mui, she realized that there is always someone stronger, and that to win, one should rely on skill and wit to outfight their opponent. Thus her new system to combat Siu Lan traitors was born.