Wing Tsun History

According to legend, WingTsun Kung Fu was founded by a Buddhist nun called Ng Mui more than 250 years ago in Southern China. Ng Mui designed the new system to take advantage of the weak points of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu – for the purpose of hunting down the traitors of the Shaolin Monastery. She passed this new system to a woman called Yim Wing Tsun. Yim later taught it to her husband, Leung Bok Chau. For the honour of his beloved wife, Leung named it Wing Tsun Kuen (“Kuen” means Fist-fighting).

Wing Tsun Kung Fu was passed down from generation to generation as a top secret system. It was not until the 1940’s when the late Grandmaster Yip Man started to teach it more openly in Hong Kong. Among his early disciples was the now legendary Bruce Lee. Poor health forced GrandmasterYip Man to retire from teaching WingTsun and hand over the running of the gymnasium to his students. According to Chinese tradition this meant Grandmaster Yip Man had “Closed his door.”

Bruce Lee may have been the first one in USA to give this Chinese fighting art an English name, “Wing Chun”, whereas the other students of Grandmaster Yip Man in Hong Kong spelt it “Wing Tsun”. Grandmaster Yip Man passed away in 1972.