WCW logo
wingchun.org : resources

Some History from Wang Kiu

By Ray Van Raamsdonk

Wang Kiu passed down this info:

  1. There was a higher level nun than Ng Mui.
  2. Ng Mui was head of the woman's martial arts section and they had tie-in's to the monks at Shaolin. Ng Mui was an expert at Plum Blossom Pole fighting.
  3. The Taoist arts at Wu Dong heavily influenced Wing Chun. The Shaolin arts were Buhddist in origin. Wu Dong was probably a specialized branch of Shaolin, specializing in the internal arts. Hsing I and Wing Chun have many similarities. Also Southern Preying Mantis has much in common with Wing Chun.
  4. Wang Kiu doubts that Yim Wing Chun passed the art on to her husband because in the Chinese tradition a husband would not learn from the wife. The husband was the protector of the family.
  5. Ng Mui was probably a true famous historical figure but the connection between her and Yip Man cannot be traced. Much of the legend was made up by a man called Lee Man who together with some very early Yip Man students decided that it would be good for Marketing Wing Chun to spread variations of the Ng Mui, Yim Wing Chun legend. The Chinese love to tell stories. Much of Chinese history has also been rewritten many times in order to make the regime in power look favorable and the old regime look bad, so it is difficult to trace things through written records.
  6. Wang Kiu said the only thing we know for sure is what happened after Yip Man.
  7. Yip Man did not like to argue endlessly with students about what was and wasn't correct Wing Chun so he often just nodded and said, "Yes, that is OK", hence many variations of Wing Chun resulted. The early teachings received by Leung Sheung, Lok Yu, Tsui Shan Tin, Wong Shun Leung, etc. differed from Yip Man's later teachings.
  8. If you talk to 10 Wing Chun masters you will get 10 different stories.
  9. In one area of China, Wing Chun was famous for its leg techniques. Yip Man was very good at this aspect. Many students of Yip Man concentrated more on hand technique and quick entry technique because they found it was sufficient for street combat. But Wang Kiu said you need the kicking because it is not in the forms for nothing.
  10. I have found a lot of second and third hand stories get twisted around. When you check with the original source then you will find the stories are not correct. For example I heard that Wong Shun Leung did this or that move for this reason, e.g. he feared a certain kind of counter, but when I asked him he said, "No, the real reason is..."
  11. Don't underestimate other Wing Chun styles. Sometimes stories spread that this or that Wing Chun master is no good. Sometimes people who spread these stories find out that they are not any kind of match for even students of the no good master. Unless you have personal experience with the master in question, don't assume things from gossip. Even the above stories, since they are third hand, need to be checked with the source.
  12. Wang Kiu said, "These days there are so many variations of Wing Chun. They change just like the fashions of the day. Maybe someday Wing Chun will look like some sort of a ballet. Since I have been teaching, I have found no reason to change anything that I was taught. If you do feel the need to change then you should still pass on the original classical form but then mention to the student your personal ideas and don't mix these in as if they were the original ideas. Your ideas may not be good in other circumstances or for other people."

Please note: Point 8, 9, 10, and 11 are not from Wang Kiu.