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History of Ving Tsun

Depending on who you talk to, there are many versions of the history of Ving Tsun. These are some basic facts, which are in all of the versions being told.

1. Ving Tsun system evolved from Shaolin teachings.

2. Ving Tsun is the name of the female martial artist who made this style famous.

3. Ving Tsun has been a popular style of martial arts in Fatshan, Guangdong, China.

4. Grand Master Yip Man brought the most popular Ving Tsun style practices today to Hong Kong.

All versions of the history evolved around the above-known facts and the following is a summary of the numerous interesting stories passed down throughout the years. That is why it is called “The Story of Ving Tsun”, and not the History of Ving Tsun.

About four hundred years ago, in China, there lived a small family in a village governed by the town of Fatshan. Not wealthy, they managed to make a decent living making and selling bean curd. Their family name was Yim. The daughter, their only child, was named Ving Tsun and at the age of seven was sent by her father to learn Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple. He was concerned with the riots and mobs afoot at the time. At the Temple, Ving Tsun’s teacher was a nun by the name of Ng Mui.

A beautiful young woman, Ving Tsun began to attract a lot of attention from the young men in her village. Among the many admirers was a warlord, whose advances Ving Tsun resisted. In a rage, the warlord caused trouble for the Yim family, and provoked a fight with Ving Tsun’s father. Not himself trained in Kung Fu, Ving Tsun’s father was seriously injured, as was Ving Tsun when she interceded.

Shocked that her training had been defeated, Ving Tsun realized that it had been her opponent’s strength as well as skill that had defeated her and she would have to rethink her method of Kung Fu. This problem kept her in a long state of meditation. One day while out walking, she came across a snake and a crane fighting in the fields. Facinated, she realized that she had found the answer. That focusing power with maximum speed could defeat an opponent regardless of his power.

Keeping the fight she had witnessed in mind, Ving Tsun set about refining and modifying the techniques she had been taught. With confidence rekindled, she then sought out the warlord and soundly defeated him. After this, Ving Tsun organized her new method into a series of forms: Sil Lam Tao (”little idea”), Chum Kiu (”searching the bridge”), Biu Chee (”shooting fingers”) and a series of techniques performed on a wooden dummy (Mook Yan Jong). Henceforth, followers call this system “Ving Tsun” in memory of the founder.

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