The origin of Wing Chun Kung Fu can be found in
the turbulent, repressive Ching dynasty of over 250
years ago. It was a time when 90% of the Chinese race,
the Hons, were ruled by the 10% minority, the Manchus. The Manchus placed a great amount of unjust laws on
the Hons. The work opportunity of the Hons was also restricted. Kung Fu training was banned for the Hons, however the Manchu government was adopting the
Hon culture. The Manchus respected the
Shil Lim Temple as a Buddhist sanctuary.
When all weapons were outlawed by the Manchus,
the Hons began training a revolutionary army in the
secret art of Kung Fu. The Shil Lim Temple became
the secret sanctuary for the preparatory training of the classic style which took 15 to 20 years for each person
To develop a new form, one, which would have a shorter training time, five of China's grandmasters met
to discuss the merits of each of the various forms of
Kung Fu. By choosing the most efficient techniques
from each style, they developed training programs that would develop an efficient martial artist in 5 to 7 years,
one-third the original time. However before this new
form could put into practice, the Shil Lim Temple was raided and burned by the Manchus.
Ng Mui, a nun, was the only survivor of the
original five grandmasters. She passed her
knowledge onto a young orphan girl whom she
named Wing Chun. The name represented "hope
for the future". In turn Wing Chun passed her
knowledge on to her husband. Through the years
the style became known as Wing Chun. Its
techniques and teachings were passed onto a few,
always carefully selected students.
In 1950 Yip Man started to teach Wing Chun in
Hong Kong. One of his first students was the now Grandmaster, William Cheung, head of the Global Wing Chun Kung Fu Association.