Wing Chun - History

History

Part of the series on
Chinese martial arts
List of Chinese martial arts
Terms
  • Kung fu (功夫)
  • Wushu (武術)
  • Qigong (氣功)
Historical places
  • Shaolin Monastery (少林寺)
  • Wudang Mountains (武當山)
  • Mount Hua (華山)
  • Mount Emei (峨嵋山)
  • Kunlun Mountains (崑崙山)
Historical people
  • Yue Fei (岳飛)
  • Yim Wing-chun (嚴詠春)
  • Hung Hei-gun (洪熙官)
  • Fong Sai-yuk (方世玉)
  • Dong Haichuan (董海川)
  • Yang Lu-ch'an (楊露禪)
  • Wu Quanyou (吳全佑)
  • Ten Tigers of Canton (廣東十虎)
  • Chen Fake (陳發科)
  • Chan Heung (陳享)
  • Wong Fei-hung (黃飛鴻)
  • Sun Lu-t'ang (孫祿堂)
  • Huo Yuanjia (霍元甲)
  • Yip Man (葉問)
  • Wang Zi-Ping (王子平)
Famous modern actors
  • Bruce Lee (李小龍)
  • Sammo Hung (洪金寶)
  • Jackie Chan (成龍)
  • Jet Li (李連杰)
  • Donnie Yen (甄子丹)
  • Vincent Zhao (趙文卓)
  • Yuen Baio
Legendary figures
  • Bodhidharma (菩提達摩)
  • Zhang Sanfeng (張三丰)
  • Eight immortals (八仙)
  • Five Elders (五祖)
Related
  • Hong Kong action cinema
  • Wushu (sport)
  • Wuxia (武俠)

The earliest known mentions of Wing Chun date to the period of Red Boat Opera.

The common legend as told by Yip Man involves the young woman Yim Wing-chun, (Wing Chun literally means 'forever springtime' or 'praising spring',) at the time after the destruction of the Southern Shaolin Temple and its associated temples by the Qing government:

After Wing-Chun rebuffs the local warlord's marriage offer, she says she'll reconsider his proposal if he can beat her in a martial art match. She soon crosses paths with a Buddhist nun--Ng Mui, who was one of the Shaolin Sect survivors, and asks the nun to teach her boxing. The legend goes that Ng Mui taught Yim Wing-Chun a new system of martial art that had been inspired by Ng Mui's observations of a confrontation between a Snake and a Crane; this then-still nameless style enabled Yim Wing Chun to beat the warlord in a one-on-one fight. Yim Wing-Chun there-after marries Leung Bac-Chou and teaches him the style, which is later named after her.

Since the system was developed during the Shaolin and Ming resistance to the Qing Dynasty, many legends about the creator of Wing Chun were spread to confuse enemies, including the story of Yim Wing Chun. This perhaps explains why no one has been able to accurately determine the creator or creators of Wing Chun.

Read more about this topic:  Wing Chun

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