Chiu Lau Kung Fu Wing Chun College

HISTORY


Wing Chun is known as one of the most advanced kung fu styles from the Shaolin Temple. It was developed in order to counter and defeat other fighting systems and kung fu styles which mirrored the movements of animals. It is told that a battle witnessed between a snake and a crane was the inspiration for Wing Chun kung fu.

Out of fear that the fighting ability of the Shaolin kung fu monks could overthrow the ruling Manchurian government, the Shaolin monastery was attacked by government forces and burned down. Five Shaolin disciples espcaped, one of which was a Shaolin nun by the name of Ng Mui.

After some years in meditation and hiding, Ng Mui encountered a young woman named Yim Wing Chun who was being bullied into a forced marriage by the local warlord. Ng Mui decided to help her by teaching her a unique style of kung fu that does not rely on overpowering opponents. When the warlord returned to take Yim Wing Chun as his bride she fought back and easily defeated her much larger and stronger opponent, winning her freedom from the forced marriage. Yim Wing Chun then taught this kung fu style to her new husband (of choice) Leung Bac-Chou and trained others working towards overthrowing the Manchurian government. Eventually this style became named after her and is known as Wing Chun.

One of Wing Chun's students became a member of an opera troupe. The troupe would sail by red junk boat from town to town entertaining crowds to earn a living and when not performing, they trained kung fu. These performers were affiliated with the revolution to overthrow the government and had to train in secret. Wing Chun spread underground for many years, passed on through the many different ports in southern China to people who were part of the revolution to overthrow the Manchurian government and restore power to the Ming Dynasty.

Ip Man
In his early years Ip Man lived in Foshan during the Japanese occupation of China. He had learned Wing Chun from a very young age and had become the youngest disciple of Grandmaster Chan Wah Shun.

Ip Man became well known for his Wing Chun skill and talent as a fighter. He was also regarded as a humble scholar, free from arrogance and was respected for his gentlemanly conduct. Foshan was peaceful and free of crime during Ip Man's period as captain of the local police force.

Word had travelled of Ip Man's skill and successes. During the occupation of China, Ip Man refused several invitations to train Japanese soldiers and survived many deadly challenge matches.

Ip Man would then escape to Hong Kong where he would continue his Wing Chun training and academic studies. He eventually opened a kung fu school teaching the Wing Chun fighting system. His students had won many fights which helped boost Ip Man's reputation as a teacher and prove the power and effectiveness of Wing Chun kung fu.

Ip Man passed away of illness in 1972. Before his death he helped found the Hong Kong Ving Tsun Athletic Association (VTAA). Within thirty years of his life in Hong Kong, Ip Man established a training system for Wing Chun that eventually spread internationally.

Ip Man is recognized as the 9th generation Grandmaster of Wing Chun.

Bruce Lee
The famous Bruce Lee learned part of the Wing Chun system from Ip Man before moving to America (he was born in the United States) to pursue academic studies in philosophy.

In America, Bruce Lee opened up a martial arts school. He had admitted local students and taught them the basic techniques and concepts of Wing Chun. This did not agree with Chinese kung fu elders who disapproved of Lee openly teaching sophisticated Chinese fighting arts to foreigners.

Lee felt stagnant with the traditional approach to Chinese martial arts and set to put forth an effective fighting philosophy free from the constraints of traditional ways. Using Wing Chun concepts as his foundation, Bruce Lee incorporated various Western fighting arts such as boxing, wrestling, and fencing into his martial art philosophy.

There is no mystery about Bruce Lee. His fighting movements were influenced by the Wing Chun way - simple, direct and to the point. He shocked the world with his fighting skill and philosophy of life.

Ip Man's Students
In addition to Bruce Lee, Ip Man taught many other highly skilled fighters such as Wong Shun Leung, William Cheung, Moy Yat, his nephew Lo Man Kam and his sons Ip Chun and Ip Ching. Yip Man's students were eager to test their acquired fighting skill and became notorious for their successes in fights on the rooftops and streets of Hong Kong.

These students of Ip Man (and others) eventually went on to start their own kung fu schools. Each of these new masters had different skills and specialized in different aspects of the Wing Chun system such as fighting, chi gung and health, sticky hands, and forms. Wing Chun established itself as an effective and viable martial art and its popularity spread throughout the world.

Sifu Chiu Lau
Chiu Lau Kung Fu College is part of the Ip Man Wing Chun lineage. Sifu Chiu Lau was taught by Chau Lin Fat who in turn was taught by Wong Cze Wing, a direct student of Ip Man.

For more information on Sifu Chiu Lau's background please click here for Sifu Chiu Lau's biography.