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Published by: bobystanchev on Jan 03, 2013
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Presented by:

Master Debbie Hintopoulos
Master Instructor and Director
Karate Camp - July, 2001
American Kang Duk Won Association

Wing Tsun – An Abbreviated History

This probably should begin with, “Once upon a time...”, because no one really knows
what is fact or fiction of Wing Tsun's beginnings.

The story of Wing Tsun begins with a fire at the Siu Lam Monastery. There are two
different tales of this event. They vary in who set the fire, who escaped the fire, and
when the fire occured.

1674 A.D., 1733 A.D., and 1734 A.D. are all dates for when the Siu Lam Monastery
was to have burned. It would problably be safe to say that Wing Tsun is 200 to 300
years old, for the burning of the monastery set a chain of events in motion that led to
the birth of Wing Tsun.

In the most popular version, Buddhist Mistress Ng Mui was one of the skilled martial
artists that escaped the fire. Although Ng Mui found a seemingly safe haven in the
White Crane Temple she still worried that the Manchu government or the Siu Lam
defectors would find her. (The Manchu government most certainly hired the burning
of Siu Lam and most certainly the Siu Lam defectors were involved.)

She felt the only way to protect herself was to devise a fighting system that was
different from the Siu Lam system.

One day Ng Mui observed a fight between a fox and a large wild crane. The fox,
using its speed, ran around the crane trying to make surprise attacks with its paws.
The crane turned with the fox and blocked the fox with its wings and counter-attacked
with its beak. This inspired Ng Mui with an idea for a new fighting system.

The Siu Lam Kung-Fu system that she had trained in emphasized fixed patterns of
regular movements. She felt these were too complicated. The new system she created
consisted of simple basic movements incorporated into three boxing forms and a set
of wooden dummy techniques (Muk-Yan-Chong Fa) for practicing purposes.

Ng Mui emphasized defeating an enemy with “method” rather than “strength”. This
new system utilized chasing steps and infighting techniques. The Sui Lam system
used the front stance most often, where Ng Mui used the back stance. This allowed
for the executing of front thrusting kicks and also quick retreats.

Ng Mui was still at the White Crane Temple and frequented the market place, down
the mountain, for supplies. She became acquainted with a stall owner and his teen age
daughter, named Wing Tsun. Ng Mui learned that the local bully threatened to force
Wing Tsun to marry him and Wing Tsun's father was too old to protect her. Ng Mui
decided she would train Wing Tsun in the new system of kung-fu.

After three years of training at the White Crane Temple, Wing Tsun had attained
competence. She was ready to return home and when she did the bully was there to
confront her. Wing Tsun challenged him to a fight. The bully was convinced he would
have a wife, but Wing Tsun defeated him.

After being taught in secret to select heirs over the years, Wing Tsun surfaces in 1949.
The man who brought it out of secret was Yip Man. Wing Tsun was especially
popular with the Hong Kong police force.

Between 1970 and 1971, Bruce Lee, one of Yip Man's students brought Wing Tsun to
the attention of the world. This also brought to the world's attention the Muk-Yan-
Chong (Wooden Dummy) training device.

It is not known which came first, Wing Tsun or Muk-Yan-Chong. There were stories
that the Siu Lam monastery had a “wooden dummy alley”. It is believed that the first

wooden dummy was an erected wood stake to take the place of a trainee's opponent.
Later Wing Tsun practitioners improved the training device.

Originally, when Wing Tsun was first developing, there were 140 Muk-Yan-Chong
techniques. These were divided into ten sections for reasons of practice.

Later, Grandmaster Yip Man feeling the 140 techniques were too numerous and
complicated, pared it down to 108 techniques. (108 is a number liked by the Chinese
people. It corresponds to a special set of stars.) After years of experience, he
determined some of the essential parts of the Muk-Yan-Chong were not included. He
then regrouped the techniques into 116 movements as it still is today.


D: Defender A: Attacker

1. Bong-Saulran-Sau & Lower Lying-Palm

D: Right lead
A: Right punch
D: Right Bong-Sau (wing arm)

Right Tan-Sau (rotate palm up as in reverse knife hand position, this
diverts A's arm)
Simultaneously step to left side w/left to do left low palm strike to ribs

2. Double Tan-Sau/Huen-SaulDouble Lower Palm Strike

D: Left lead
A: Attempt at double lapel grab
D: Double Tan-Sau (double outside blocks, palms up)

Huen-Sau (immediately make a circular movement to the inside, palms
facing one another)
Double palm strike to ribs

3. Double Tan-Sau/Double Upper Lying-Palm

D: Left lead
A: Double lapel grab attempt
D: Double Tan-Sau (similar to spread middle block to inside of opponent's
double grab attempt)

Double palm strike to face

4. Indoor Area Pak-Sau (slap hand)

D: Right lead
A: Right punch

D: Right Pak-Sau (right palm slap to inside of right arm)
A: Left punch
D: Left Pak-Sau (left palm slap to inside of left arm)

Immediately going into downward press followed by right vertical
punch to face

5. Lower Bong-Sau/Sideward Slap-Palm & Man-Sau

D: Left lead
A: Right low punch
D: Left low Bong-Sau
A: Left high punch
D: Right palm slap

Left palm strike to left arm pit

Note: Lower Bong-Sau gets better results if you co-ordinate with turning the
body to maximize its 'evasive effect'.
Man-Sau is derived from the lower Bong-Sau. When attacking arm of
opponent is weakening in force or about to retreat, the defender's arm, which
is bending down in the form of Bong-Sau, now turns up to form Man-Sau.

6. Bong-Sau/Grappling Hand & Throat-Cutting Hand/Pak-Sau & Spade-Hand

D: Left lead
A: Right punch
D: Left Bong-Sau

Circular movement to grab inside of arm
Right knife hand strike to throat
Right Pak-Sau (downward palm press)
Left palm strike to chin

7. Bong-Sau/Grappling Hand & Sweep-Kick

D: Right lead
A: Right punch
D: Right Bong-Sau

Circle into a right grab of attacker's right arm followed by a left grab
Forcefully pull 'A' forward into a sweep-kick to right knee of 'A'
Continue to pull 'A' forward

8. Bong-Sau/Elbow break/Reverse Bong-Sau/Palm strike/Elbow strike

D: Left lead
A: Right push
D: Left Bong-Sau

Right grab
Left elbow break
Left reverse Bong-Sau
Right palm strike to jaw
Right elbow strike to side of head

Note: All of these techniques can be done on the other side. If done on the left
side, it can be done on the right side.


Bong-Sau: Wing arm
Chong: Wooden dummy, piles, special equipment for
Huen-Sau: Circling-hand
Man-Sau: Inquisitive arm
Muk-Yan-Chong: Wooden dummy
Muk-Yan-Chong Fa: Wooden dummy techniques
Pak-Sau: Slap block
Tan-Sau: Palm-up arm

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