Sifu Garry’s Blog
“Roots of Wing Chun” China Trip
2006 - 2012
Over the years, there has been much controversy about my wing chun lineage and whether the people referred to, ever existed. Being involved with wing chun for over 27 years, I found this quite intimidating. To think that all the stories and history of the martial art system that I have dedicated my life to, were false.
I decided to find out for myself.
In 2006, I started my quest to discover the “roots of wing chun” and since then I have compiled ample information about my lineage, the history of wing chun and its grass roots.
Firstly, where does wing chun originate from. Some say the Northern Shaolin Temple and others state categorically that wing chun comes from the Southern Shaolin Temple.
Me? I believe wing chun emanated from both Temples, at different times.
It is accepted today, wing chun found its way from the Temples to the southern province of Guangdong, in China.
In the south of China, a group of Opera performers, named the Red Boat Opera Troupe, were responsible for developing a structure of wing chun still being practised today.
After the destruction of the Northern Temple, the Temple Masters found their way south to avoid persecution from the Manchu Tyrants, whom were conquering China at that time.
The principle persons were Ng Mui and Jee Shin.
Jee shin eventually made his way south and joined the Red Boats.
Ng Mui fled south and hid in mountains near Foshan. She eventually met a lady whom she taught the concepts of wing chun to. In turn, Yim Wing Chun and her Husband were instrumental in Teaching wing chun to several Red Boat members.
After the destruction of the Southern Temple, a kung fu Master named Cheung Ng, aka, Tan Sao Ng, fled to the southern province of Guangdong, and settled in Foshan. Records state that Cheung Ng also introduced the principles of wing chun, to the Red Boats, to rebel against the Manchu.
“Rid the Ching and return the Ming”
Through records and data, history suggests that certain members of the Red Boats were influenced by descendants from the Northern Temple and other factions of the Troupe were influenced by Southern Shaolin Temple Monks.
At this stage of wing chun’s development, remember, wing chun was only an idea about a new martial system. The Red Boats were responsible for creating a definitive structure.
In my next post, I will discuss Wing Chun’s direction after the Red Boats and its development.