Wing Chun
Wooden Dummy Techniques

Written by Yip Chun and Yip Jing in 2 Parts,
with illustrations of Yip Man

Reviewed by Sifu John Crescione

These two small books were released in the U.S.in (approximately) 1977-1979 and edited by Arthur Chan, a student of the brothers, who was at that time a chemical engineer residing in New York.

The covers are red with a picture of the wooden dummy and stand on the cover in gold (part 2's cover was done in black and is of cheaper quality). These two books are of historical value. The Leung Ting\Yip Chun dummy book is a borrowing from these in format and layout. The first book opens with an acknowledgement to Arthur Chan by the brothers for translating the book. This is followed by a page and photos of the two (young) brothers, a general introduction on the wooden dummy, the standard history of Wing Chun, a small overview of the system (forms, weapons, chi sao, etc.), a lineage tree from Ng Mui to the brothers and "Wing Chun Practitioner's all over the World", a small page about and picture of Yip Man, and the history and application of wooden dummies in Kung Fu history and Wing Chun specifically. According to this book there are 108 techniques split into 7 sections. Next comes basic wooden dummy techniques done by Arthur Chan. These are interesting because of the terminology used and the applications of the techniques. Chan uses at least two shoulder-length-step-distance for yee gee kim yeung mah (called triangle stance in the book), parallel stance in which 1/4-3/4 weight distribution is advocated (most of us call this either bi-jong, sam kwok mah or front stance), kicking stance-one leg held out parallel to the ground, footwork patterns and basic hand applications found in the dummy form, Yip Man is shown doing different kicks on the dummy (same photos from the form). Then we get the form done by Yip Man. The remainder of the book is broken down into sections of him doing the form and then the application/interpretation done in self-defense mode with Yip Jing and Arthur Chan. They make note at the top of the page that just the essential sections have been included and that the entire form is not shown. But it's just as complete as many books on the dummy form that are out there now. Also, the form is the same as that in Leung Ting's videotape of Yip Man doing the wooden dummy. This first book ends after the third section and picks up with part 2. The moves that have been left out are the repeated moves, i.e the triple pak sao/chop etc.

The second book completes the form in sections, with each section again done in self-defense mode by Yip Jing and Arthur Chan. And of course there are always the added arrows to show direction and angle of each attack and defense. The self-defense applications are somewhat standard in depth of understanding and usage by today's standards, but in all fairness this is 1977 we're talking about. At that time we had just started for the most part to learn how to spell Wing Chun. The book concludes with a discussion on the importance of the wooden man training and learning it in the proper sequence and after the basics have been learned.

This set is one of the three earliest Wing Chun books that I know of released in the U.S. The Greco Wong Wing Chun book, "Ving Tsun for Young People" by Douglas Lee (Lee Moy Shan) and Russell Kozuki, and this set. This set is also important because it may be the only place you can see Yip Man smiling throughout the form, if you look closely enough.

Next to an original copy of Bruce's book "Chinese Gung Fu" this is probably the next hardest to find anywhere for the Wing Chun practitioner.

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