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Wing Chun Practitioners: Leung Dai-Chiu, Teacher of Wing Chun Kuen

The Wing Chun system began with Ng Mui Si Tai who taught it to Yim Wing-Chun. Yim taught her husband, Leung Bok-Tao. In Foshan, Leung took a student named Wong Wah-Bo who was a member of the Red Junk Opera. Another Red Junk student, Painted Face Kam, taught Wing Chun Kuen to Fok Bo-Chuen and Fung Siu-Ching. They passed the art on to Yuen Kay-San. Yuen’s nickname was Yuen Lo Jia (Yuen The Fifth) because, in his family, he was the 5th brother and in Guangdonhua, Jia signifies the 5th. Yuen Kay-San taught the art to a student named Sum who in turn taught Leung Dai-Chiu.

Leung Dai-Chiu now teaches in Kowloon and where he also runs a medical clinic and treats many specialized conditions such as falling and hitting, wind damp, and the loss of feeling children experience in their limbs. While teaching Wing Chun Boxing, Pole, and Knife, he also does a good job at medicine.

According to Yuen Kay-San grand-student Leung Dai-Chiu, Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen has forms like Siu Lien Tao (Little First Training), Chum Kiu (Sinking Bridge), Biu Jee, (Darting Fingers), Muk Yan Jong (Wooden Dummy), Sup Yee San Sik (Twelve Separate Forms), and applications.

Siu Lien Tao is the foundation form of Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen and every beginner must learn it. Its main focus is to develop the horse and bridge positions. The next form is Chum Kiu, which continues the step by step progression that allows a student to understand the methods of Wing Chun Kuen. The last form is Biu Jee, which combines the use the straight body and horse and the side body and horse together in the practice of attack and defense.

When a student has finished the Siu Lien Tao, they can use soft and hard to develop bridge feeling and strength. This is called sensitivity training. After, sticking hands involves the methods and rules from all three forms and the Sup Yee San Sik. The last stage of training is Jee Yao Pok Gik (free fighting).

After, the Muk Yan Jong is used, allowing a student to pretend they have an enemy present in training. With a classmate in chi sao, a student must be careful not to cause harm, but with a dummy more power is possible. This brings the techniques together, giving the practitioner flexibility.

In Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen, there is also a Juk Jong (Bamboo Dummy) that has twelve bamboo hands. The Juk Jong methods are all freestyle, using the only the methods of Wing Chun Kuen as guidelines. The Juk Jong was used many years ago on the Red Junks. They would put bamboo arms through the cabins that had weights on the back ends. In use, they functioned like the Lien Wan Sa Bao (Linked Chain Sand Bags- a group of sandbags hung together). If a student is slow, they will be hit by the return of a previously struck arm (or sandbag).

Leung Dai-Chiu sifu explained that Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen uses the Yee Jee Kim Yeung Ma (”Yee” Shaped Groin Clamping Horse). In this, the horse clamps, the chest is hollowed, the stomach relaxed in, and the shoulders dropped. When a hand goes out, the elbow protects the chest. Each elbow can be used like half a hand so that together, a student can employ three hands at once. The wrist is very important in the transmission of power. The gallbladder is important as the source of courage. These two allow Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen to use an opponent’s own strength against him with both soft and hard.

When the arms are chambered, the body and horse should be straight. The hands should be drawn up and the elbows no allowed to be out or over the stomach. To the left and right, they should not be over the ears.

Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen uses the Twelve Methods of Join, Intercept, Sink, Dart, Stick, Feel, Steal and Leak, Swallow, Slice, Press, Swing, and Detain. Other methods for helping students practice include hitting sandbags, splitting rattan rings, twisting chopsticks, pressing paper, hitting candles, hitting telephone books, etc.

Yuen Kay-San Wing Chun Kuen uses the Luk Dim Boon Gwun (Six-and-a-Half Point Pole). It is 7′2″ in Chinese measurements. The knife method is Yee Jee Kim Yeung Dit Ming Seung Do (Parallel Shaped Groin Clamping Life-Taking Double Knives).

In addition, Leung Dai-Chiu worked hard and so his teacher gave him knowledge for the treatment of falling, hitting, cuts, long-term blood stagnation, chronic pains, long-term wind damp, follow-up treatment, children’s lack of feeling in the extremities, rare problems, half body paralysis. This included both compresses and internal medicine, cleaning, operation, massage, and therapeutic massage.


Wing Chun From Guangzhou: Same Origin, Different Development

For many decades, Wing Chun Kuen stayed around the Foshan and Guangzhou area and never spread much further. Today many people still don’t know this “short bridge narrow horse” boxing art. Decades ago in Guangdong Wing Chun Kuen was known as “Gwai Ga Kuen” (”Returning Home Boxing”). This meant Wing Chun Kuen was not like the “long bridge big horse” boxing arts which look good in demonstrations. Wing Chun Kuen is not good looking in demonstration but then, that is not where Wing Chun Kuen’s value lies.

20 years ago, Wing Chun Kuen had not spread far and its circle remained very small. Not many people had learned the art and those with good quality did not easily teach others. Thus, only a few were successful with it. Since then, however, the Wing Chun Kuen of founder Mr. Yip Man has been spread in Hong Kong and around the world. Now, many people know of Wing Chun Kuen. Besides the branch of Mr. Yip Man, there is another system with different methods and techniques.

The reader may ask, why are there different branches? Like Taijiquan, it has spread and developed different branches. Now in Hong Kong a different branch is becoming popular.

Wing Chun Kuen Has Two Branches

This branch has the same origins as Mr. Yip Man’s branch but the techniques and methods are a little different. This article will introduce the “Guangzhou Wing Chun Kuen”.

The name Guangzhou Wing Chun Kuen is only used to distinguish the system from Mr. Yip Man’s style. Like Taijiquan has Yang, Chen, and Wu branches, but they all remain Taijiquan. While the distant origins of Wing Chun Kuen may lie with Siu Lam, its development must be traced to the Foshan area. One teacher of Guangzhou Wing Chun Kuen is Kwok Wan-Ping sifu who operates the Guangzhou Wing Chun Institute. So we refer to it as Guangzhou Wing Chun for convenience.

According to Kwok Wan-Ping sifu, he learned Wing Chun Kuen in Guangzhou from Sum Nung. 20 years ago, Sum Nung and Mr. Yip Man knew each other. Now, Sum Nung is still in Guangzhou. This branch of Wing Chun comes from Jee Shim and Ng Mui – Red Junks – Fung Siu-Ching – Yuen Kay-San and Cheung Bo – Sum Nung – Kwok Wan-Ping.

Difficult to Research the Origins & Development

Kwok Wan-Ping says:

“Today, if you want to trace the origins and development and find out what happened a long time ago its very difficult. You commonly hear two different origins. One is that Jee Shim taught it to the Red Junks. The other is that it comes from Ng Mui. After this, this boxing art spread to a few people on the Red Junks. After, Fung Siu-Ching, Yuen Kay-San, and Cheung Bo’s skills were all passed down to Sum Nung.”

New Martial Hero: “So, is this Wing Chun Kuen different then Yip Man’s?”

Kwok Wan-Ping: “I don’t know much about Mr. Yip Man’s Wing Chun Kuen. I can only tell you about the Wing Chun Kuen I learned. This Wing Chun has the three fundamental forms of Siu Lien Tao (Little First Training), Chum Kiu (Sinking Bridge), and Biu Jee (Darting Fingers). It also has Sup Yee San Sao (Twelve Separate Hands), and more the 150 Wooden Dummy techniques. These are the important points for training wrist power.

“Do you have a Wooden Dummy?”

“Yes, we have the Hong Jong (Air Dummy) and the Yut Jong (Real Dummy). I learned Wing Chun Kuen with sunken chest and dropping shoulders. The body shape faces the side.”

“You go to the side for simultaneous canceling and hitting?”

“Yes, but we have front body, facing body, chasing body, etc. For example, when I am at the center, I can follow the opponent with my stance like the radius of a fan.

“You said Air Dummy and Real Dummy before, what does that mean?”

“They are two methods of training the dummy form. One trains flexibility, the other power.”

Wing Chun Kuen Kicks Are Not Higher Than the Chest

“Kwok sifu, does Wing Chun Kuen have leg techniques?”

“Yes, but never higher then the chest, like Invisible Kick, Heart Piercing Kick, Tiger Tail Kick, Lifting Groin Kick, Side Nailing Kick, etc.

“And Weapons?”

“Wing Chun Kuen has Yee Jee Kim Yeung Dit Ming Do (Parallel Shaped Groin Clamping Life-Taking Knives) and Luk Dim Boon Gwun (Six-and-a-Half-Point Pole).

“I’ve heard the pole has a Dummy too?”

“The Six-and-a-Half-Point Pole has a Dummy, but since there is not a lot of space it’s easier to use a ball hanging from a string. The aim is to train speed and accuracy, there’s no secrets.”

“Kwok sifu, I saw you teach your students before and some of the movements did not look like Wing Chun Kuen.”

“Those were Gai Bun Gung (Basic Work). You have to train the whole body- joints, muscles, and tendons. It’s just basic work. Its goal is to build power, inner strength, speed, flexibility, and softness. In my opinion, when learning kung-fu, the basic work is the mother of the fists. I studied at the Guangzhou and Wuhon Sports Institutes where these exercises come from. They’re important so I never forgot them. In every activity, you need good basics, fist fighting is the same.”

Kwok Wan-Ping learned at the Guangzhou and Wuhon Sports Institutes for 4 years. He won the All-China lightweight wrestling championship during this time. At the institute, he studied Mongolian, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling. He also learned weightlifting, fencing, and Chinese martial arts. Besides the Wing Chun Kuen of Yuen Kay-San and Cheung Bo he also learned Chen and Fu Taijiquan, Xingyi, Wuxing Bashi, Yin Yang Bagua, and Longxing Bagua palms, spear, knife, pole, flying dragon sword, etc.

Kwok Wan-Ping teaches Wing Chun Kuen, Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua and other methods.

With Kwok Wan-Ping, New Martial Hero. Roughly translated from Chinese


An Evening with Kwon Wan-Ping

by Rene Ritchie

We emerged from the Prince Edward Station onto the crowded streets of Kowloon just as the sun was beginning to set. Working our way through the heavy traffic, both human and automotive, framed beneath a patchwork sky of ever-glowing store signs, With the smell of the many restaurants, cafes, noodle & snack shops, and food stalls filling the air, we headed towards Sham Shui Po.

“There,” my friend said after a goodly walk, “do you see his sign?”

Following my friend’s gaze, I looked down the street, straining to see what he had seen. I could read some Chinese, especially martial terms and those proper names I was familiar with, but there were simply too many signs, too much clutter, to sort out. “I see hundreds of signs,” I replied with a grin.

“The red one,” he added, pointing to a large mosaic of color down the street, perhaps wondering why I hadn’t caught it earlier.

As we got closer, I finally made it out – “Guangzhou Taiji Wing Chun Institute” and just below, standing out from the rest of the line by size of print “Kwok Wan-Ping”.

Kwok Wan-Ping was born in 1939 and as a youth studied at the Guangzhou and Wuhon Sports Institutes for 4 years. At the institute, he studied Mongolian, freestyle, and Greco-Roman wrestling and went on to win the All.-China lightweight wrestling championship. He also practiced weight lifting, fencing, and the martial arts. Later, he studied the taijiquan, baguazhang, and xingyiquan of Fu Wing-Fay, son of the legendary Fu Zhensung, Chen family taijiquan, among other systems. In Guangzhou in the mid-1960s, he was exposed to and immediately began studying Yuen Kay-San wing chun kuen under Yuen’s disciple, grandmaster Sum Nung.

During this period, China was in the midst of turbulent times and, thinking in terms of what was best for his family, in the late-1960s Kwok Wan-Ping moved from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. Settling in Kowloon, Kwok Wan-Ping opened the Guangzhou Wing Chun Taiji Institute.

Grandmaster Sum Nung had personally taught for a short time in Hong Kong in the mid-1950s, yet desspite lucrative requests from local unions and offers of partnerships from other established instructors, he’d been unwilling to remain away from his family. Thus it wasn’t until Kwok Wan-Ping’s institute opened that Hong Kong finally had long-term access to his teachings. Concerns over the conditions in China, however, caused grandmaster Sum Nung to ask his public followers to use the name Guangzhou wing chun kuen, instead of using his name, to avoid trouble in the mainland, where the teaching of wing chun kuen was still forbidden.

Other wing chun kuen practitioners had already established themselves in Hong Kong but having come from Foshan themselves, they had long term friendships with grandmaster Sum Nung and when Kwok Wan-Ping’s school opened, several stopped by to visit and welcome him into the community.

Although it was not always easy, and he would face many challenges over the years, Kwok Wan-Ping went on to become one of the most famous and sought after professional martial arts teachers in Hong Kong. In addition, several of his students and descendants have become highly respected wing chun kuen instructors in their own rights, spreading the art in Hong Kong and internationally, such as Tse Chung-Fai of British Columbia, Chow Gwok-Tai of Toronto, and Lee Chun-Ming of Virginia.

It was through the latter’s line, through one of Kwok Wan-Ping’s tosat (great grand-students) I had met online, that I’d gained my first insight into this branch. Of the next few years, I would meet (electronically), many others. Although my own teacher, Ngo Lui-Kay, had begun learning from grandmaster Sum Nung at roughly the same time, classes back then had been separate and private and the two had only met a few times on special occasions. Nevertheless, I had always heard great things about Kwok Wan-Ping, his skill and his warm and friendly nature. I had also been taught that our wing chun kuen family was important and that wing chun kuen was a great way to make new friends. Thus when I passed through Hong Kong on my way to Guangzhou, I could not pass up the opportunity to stop by and pay my respects to my martial uncle.

All this background flashed through my mind as we climbed the stairs up the half-dozen or so floors to Kwok Wan-Ping’s school. Joking that the stair climb was a good leg warm-up, we finally reached the gate before our destination and, opening it, we stepped in side.

Well-sized by Hong Kong standards, Kwok Wan-Ping’s institute was already alive with activity. We had arrived at around 6pm, half-way through the taijiquan lesson. Several pairs were deep into their push-hands practice, bending back and forth, turning and moving in the distinctive Fu family style. Above them, three large pictures dominated the room. On one wall, a portrait of grandmaster Sum Nung smiled down. On the other hung the father and son of the Fu family. Covering almost every spare inch around them were photos, large and small, of Kwok Wan-Ping in action, and of him posing with classes from throughout his long teaching career, visitors and celebrities, and other special events.

On the floor in front of us, a small group had begun practicing a fan sequence. In front of them, leading them, was Kwok Wan-Ping.

I had seen pictures of him from some 20 years previous. It appeared that not much had changed. 60 years of age and perhaps 5′ tall, he was only slightly less wide. In keeping with the saying “arms the size of thighs” his solid mass and well-defined physique would have been impressive on a man one-third his age. This was easy to see, as due to the humidity and the warmth generated by so many working so hard in so small a space, he wore only a pair of blue shorts and workout shoes. As I watched him go through the sequence with his students, I noticed immediately that he also possessed amazing flexibility and balance.

When he turned an noticed us, I saw the other attribute that had always stood out in the old pictures, his smile. Taking a break from his teaching, he approached us and welcomed us to his school. His reputation for hospitality was well earned. Kwok Wan-Ping shared old stories from his past and asked questions about our own. When my friend mentioned that I had been studying Mandarin (although he neglected, as usual, to point out that I was presently only at about a grade 1 level), Kwok Wan-Ping switched to that dialect and, despite my shortcomings in the language, we managed to have a short, yet very interesting conversation.

Over time, more and more students arrived, including Kwok Wan-Ping’s son, who has been learning from his father for several years, and practice began. Like most good teachers, Kwok Wan-Ping’s class stressed the basics, and lots of them. Students went through their boxing and paired up to do lots of partner work like chong choi (crashing punches), chai kiu (stirring bridges), huen sao (circling arms), and luk sao (rolling arms). While the students practiced, Kwok Wan-Ping moved among them offering corrections and instruction in new material. In between, sihing (elder classmates) helped the newer students review and drill what they had learned. After, some moved on to the practice of chi sao (sticking arms).

Kwok Wan-Ping’s students, even the beginners, were all remarkable for their stability (an area that even many long term practitioners have trouble with). No doubt the pressure they use and learn to adapt to early on in partner training accounts, at least in part, for their skill in this area.

As the hour grew late, and Kwok Wan-Ping’s wife began to get his dinner ready, we reluctantly decided we had better get on our way. I could not have hoped for a better welcoming to Hong Kong and start of my journey and would like to thank Kwok Wan-Ping and his students for their hospitality.

The sky above was dark as we left the building but the streets alight in neon. Slightly weary from the class yet exhilarated by the visit, we hurried off into the night. We still had a dinner date to keep and plans to make for our trip to Guangzhou.


Yuen Kay-San, Master of Wing Chun Boxing

First of all, let me begin by saying that I am the legitimate descendant of Wing Chun jongsi Yuen Kay-San (Yuen the Fifth). I have received and retained many of my grandfather, Yuen Kay-San’s, notes and have often heard the accounts of Sum Nung and have thus come to know much about Wing Chun’s history. However, I can not say with absolute certainty that the accounts of my grandfather, Yuen Kay-San, and Sum Nung are the only correct version and the ones which should be held as the standard. Instead, I believe we should look at the authoritative historical records of Wing Chun kept by the Foshan Committee.

[Some have suggested that] there are more than five sects of the Wing Chun School, of which little is known. [and that] the reason for knowing so little is due to the discord and distrust among the various sects, the implication being that the Wing Chun school of martial arts is somehow in the midst of internal dissension. Factually speaking, according to recorded accounts at the Foshan Committee, the reason for there being five sects of Wing Chun is due to the natural evolutionary changes of the martial artists throughout the course of history, the subsequent development of different styles, techniques and practices, and geographical separation.

Records on the origins of Wing Chun, the five sects, and various masters may be found at the Foshan Committee. [Some have also mentioned] that the expansion of Wing Chun in Foshan is credited to Leung Jan. I would like to discuss this particular matter in greater detail if I may.

In the early days, Wing Chun was shrouded in secrecy. Outsiders had only the vaguest idea of the origins of Wing Chun. One may ask, why is it that Leung Jan is credited with such a breakthrough in the history of martial arts at such a late date? The reason may be found in a book written by Ngau Sui-Jee (currently more than 8O years old, in good health, and living in Foshan) in the 1930′s- Foshan Jan Sin-Sang (Mr. Jan of Foshan), in which Ngau enhanced the influence of Leung Jan. This writing attracted much outside attention to Leung Jan, at which time the tradition of Wing Chun received more public exposure. Naturally, Leung Jan’s celebrated name was also related to his own broad range of highly developed skills and contributions toward the development of the Wing Chun fighting style.

The Foshan Committee and I both have a copy of Ngau Sui-Jee’s book Mr. Jan of Foshan.

Ngau Sui-Jee wrote yet another book about Yuen Kay-San jongsi. Upon completion of his book Juen Gai Yuen Kay-San (Biography of Yuen Kay-San), he submitted the book to Yuen Kay-San for review, however since Yuen Kay-San was a lawyer for the government, he did not wish the publicity and declined Mr. Au’s good intentions, thus the Biography of Yuen Kay-San was never published.

In the martial world, the writing of books on well known people was common place, not a special event, and books were written about many people. Today’s authors who write about the stories of martial artists are no different from Ngau Sui-Jee and his simplistic stories. I would be delighted if anyone wishing to understand the above would care to visit Ngau Sui-Jee, who is alive and well, and as him to substantiate what I am saying.

While I am not willing to get involved with controversies between outsiders and my grandfather, Yuen Kay-San, as far as the mistakes concerning my grandfather Yuen Kay-San, naturally I feel quite qualified to clear up any questions surrounding this issue. I also maintain that I am the most qualified authority on this issue, that is, when you consider that the accounts provided by my grandfather, uncle, father and Sum Nung (the student of Yuen Kay-San) are all in total agreement. Even minor details related to Yuen Kay-San have been substantiated by the accounts kept by the Foshan Committee.

Although I, Yuen Jo-Tong, am a middle age adult, my understanding of martial arts is somewhat limited. I have never been initiated into any style of Wing Chun. However, according to the consistent accounts of my father, uncle, Sum Nung and the documents of the Foshan Committee regarding my deceased grandfather, early in his youth, my grandfather Yuen Kay-San studied under the Qing dynasty Ngao Moon Bo Tao (imperial constable) Fok Bo-Chuen. In one of the records kept by the Foshan Athletic Committee it is written that:

Dai Fa Min Kam (Painted Face Kam) taught Wing Chun Kuen, to Fung Siu-Ching in Guangzhou. Fung, a native of Shunde, was later invited by Ma Bok-Leung of Foshan’s son, Ma Jung-Yiu; Jiu Gan-Heung, son of the owner of the Go Sing Tong (Charity Hall); Lo Hao-Po of the Yin Joy restaurant; Nanhai native Li Guang-Po; NgNgau Si of the Fai Jee (Chopsticks) street Butcher Shop; Leung Yan of Fa Hung Road; Yuen Kay-San, son of the owner of the fireworks store on Chen Bak Road (as well as Yuen Kay-San’s fourth brother Yuen Chai-Wan who was known as Dao Po Chai (Pock Skin Chai) and who was later invited to teach martial arts at the Nanhai & Shude Union in Vietnam) to teach Wing Chun Boxing in Foshan. At that time, Fung Siu-Ching lived and was cared for at the Yuen family’s ancestral home of Song Yuen (Mulberry Gardens) in Foshan (this building is now the tax office located on Fushen Road, Foshan City). Fung Siu-Ching remained there until he passed away at an age of 73 years. Ma Jung-Yiu, Yuen Kay-San, Jiu Gang-Heung, Ngau Si, and others officiated at Fung’s funeral.

Because Yuen Kay-San did not publicize who he learned from, I feel I need to explain things. I admire frankness and the discarding of the random creation of hearsay with regard to the history of Chinese traditions and culture, however when one is engaged in writing history, one should not substitute what one does not know with popular folklore. Such a practice is a crime against history itself. Please forgive me for my frank yet well-intentioned admonishment.

I maintain that, due to historical reasons and the results of the traditional concept of maintaining secrecy, the problems related to the history of martial arts which our forefathers left us must be tackled anew by this generation. Moreover, our generation must undo the various regrettable problems which still exist in the inner circles of Wing Chun.

I approve of those in the martial arts, especially the insiders, and their attempts toward friendly relations. I once met with sifu Leung Ting, a student of Yip Man. His friendliness and sincerity moved me greatly, not to mention my respect for his contributions to Wing Chun martial arts. There is also an article which appeared in the overseas edition of the Yang Sing Wan Po (Canton Evening News) in which I interviewed sifu Leung Ting. I feel it would be very beneficial if persons such as sifu Leung Ting and his teacher, Yip Man, were introduced to the Chinese reading public.

Feeling a deep sense of obligation and responsibility, my superior Sum Nung and I hereby present these facts.

By Yuen Jo-Tong. Roughly translated from Chinese


A brief history of Yuen Kay Shan Wing Chun Kuen

by Rene Ritchie

Many of the early masters of Wing Chun Kuen were Guangdongese opera performers and Hung Suen (Red Junk) men. Among them were Wong Wah Bo, Leung Yee Tei, and “Dai Fa Min” Kam. Wong Wah Bo and Leung Yee Tei went on to teach the highly skilled Dr. Leung Jan (known as “King of the Boxers”), and “Dai Fa Min” Kam passed along his knowledge to a man named Fok Bo Chuen.

At the turn of the century in Foshan, Guangdong, there lived a wealthy merchant named Yuen Chung Ming. Yuen Chung Ming’s fifth son, Yuen Kay Shan, was an energetic and intelligent youth who lovedyuen-kay-san-3 practicing the martial arts. Yuen Chung Ming, sparing no expense in order to provide his son with an opportunity to nurture his talent, engaged Fok Bo Chuen to teach Yuen Kay Shan the skills of Wing Chun Kuen. Yuen Kay Shan studied for many years and learned all Fok Bo Chuen had to teach including the Kuen (Fist Forms), the Jong (Dummies), the Gwun (Pole), the Dao (Knives), and the Biu (Darts). He also succeeded in developing the Dit Sa Cheung (Iron Sand Palm). Through constant hard work and determination, Yuen Kay Shan eventually went on to surpass even his teacher in skill.

A relative of Yuen Kay Shan had, at one time, been in a position of considerable power in Sichuan province. One day, having reason to pay his relative a courtesy call, Yuen Kay Shan was introduced to the famous Bo Tao (marshal), Fung Siu Ching, who was renowned for his remarkable Wing Chun Kuen skills. Fung Siu Ching was quite old at the time and was in the process of ending his career, yet Yuen Kay Shan approached him, seeking additional instruction. Fung Siu Ching, noting Yuen Kay Shan’s sincere interest, decided to delay his retirement and to accept Yuen Kay Shan as his student. After a short time, however, it became apparent to Fung Siu Ching that Yuen Kay Shan’s foundation was solid and that his skills were already quite advanced. He realized that there was, in truth, little he could do to improve upon them. Nevertheless, the two practiced Chi Sao (Sticking Arms) together and Fung Siu Ching taught Yuen Kay Shan new methods for expressing power.

Following Fung Siu Ching’s tutelage, Yuen Kay Shan spent time studying the scientific principles of Wing Chun Kuen. Blending together and linking all the knowledge he had acquired, he developed a complete understanding of Wing Chun Kuen and went on to create an extraordinary set of theories encompassing its forms and functions.

While Yuen Kay Shan was quite well known in Foshan, he kept his knowledge of Wing Chun Kuen as private as possible. He used his skills only to defend himself and for practice. In fact, since Yuen Kay Shan was fairly wealthy, he did little with his time but practice his Wing Chun Kuen. Content, he neither sought out nor accepted any students for most of his life. Yuen Kay Shan would, however, from time to time drop by a local restaurant to take tea. At the restaurant worked a man named Cheung Bo who taught Wing Chun Kuen to a small group of fellow staff members. Cheung Bo was a large and powerful man and his Wing Chun Kuen was quite unique in structure. Chueng Bo found it difficult to keep his elbows closed (as was the method of many other Wing Chun Kuen practitioners) and instead used open arms, compensating for them with rapid and powerful stance changes. Furthermore, Cheung Bo’s Wing Chun Kuen was based on a number of short, ordered Sic (Forms) and not the more commonly practiced Three Fist Forms.

One of Cheung Bo’s students at the time was a hard working young boy named Sum Nung, whose family had recently returned to China from South America. Yuen Kay Shan, after dining at the restaurant, would sometimes remain behind and watch the staff practice their Wing Chun Kuen. While observing, he would stay quiet and never comment or criticize, but over time he grew to admire the dedication of the young boy and eventually asked Cheung Bo if he could take over Sum Nung’s instruction. Cheung Bo, knowing and respecting the quality of Yuen Kay Shan’s Wing Chun Kuen, happily agreed and soon introduced Sum Nung to Yuen Kay Shan. Sum Nung was hesitant at first, as the elderly and slender Yuen Kay Shan was a stark contrast to the young and powerful Cheung Bo. Soon, however, Sum Nung became his student and eventually his treasured disciple.

Over the years, Yuen Kay Shan and Sum Nung spent much time together, constantly practicing Wing Chun Kuen and contemplating and exploring its theories and techniques. Under Yuen Kay Shan’s guidance, Sum Nung continued to refine and polish his Wing Chun Kuen, developing an intelligent and practical synthesis, as simple and efficient as it was well-rounded and effective. With Yuen Kay Shan’s passing, shortly after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Sum Nung named the style Yuen Kay Shan Wing Chun Kuen, in honor and memory of his teacher.

Sum Nung went on to train as a muscle and bone doctor and eventually moved to the city of Guangzhou, introducing Wing Chun Kuen and the teachings of Yuen Kay Shan to the region. In Guangzhou Dr. Sum Nung taught Yuen Kay Shan Wing Chun Kuen privately, not wanting to attract too much attention. Among his students was a man named Ngo Lui Kay (Ao Lei Qi in the Beijing dialect). Although born in Hong Kong, Ngo Lui Kay went to university near Beijing to study communications and, after travelling China and Korea as a both a teacher and an engineer, he settled down in Guangzhou. Ngo Lui Kay was drawn to Wing Chun Kuen by its practicality and its usefulness and in the mid 1960s he began training under Dr. Sum Nung. Ngo Lui Kay followed Dr. Sum Nung and practiced constantly for more than a decade and a half, devoting himself to the development of his Yuen Kay Shan Wing Chun Kuen skills.

In the early 1980’s, with the help of his uncle, Ngo Lui Kay moved his family to Canada. For a long time in Canada, Ngo Lui Kay kept his knowledge of Yuen Kay Shan Wing Chun Kuen very quiet and accepted no students, preferring to invest his time in his business, working hard and trying to secure a future for his family. Thankfully, in 1990 when his business grew more solid and he had some time to spare, he started to teach a small and tightly knit group of formal students. In honor of, and respect for his ancestors, Ngo Lui Kay is determined to share his knowledge and to help preserve the art of Yuen Kay Shan Wing Chun Kuen.