Wing Chun History
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’.
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.