A young Wing Chun student of mine, Pietro Zanzoni, made this nice and detailed school thesis about the Wing Chun Martial Art and his own experience practicing it. A good job and, something worth reading, in my opinion 🙂
-What Wing Chun is
Wing Chun is a martial art which originated in China four hundred years ago and today it is well known all over the world. “Wing Chun” means “eternal spring”. When you do Wing Chun you follow the Kung Fu style that is a practical, simple and clever style. To do Wing Chun you don’t have to be physically strong, big or with powerful muscles, in fact everyone can do it.The success of this martial art is due to the fact that everybody is able to apply the principles and the movements for the personal defense are really useful and effective if you are in danger or you are mugged.
The two words before Wing Chun: Lok Yiu refer to the surname and the name of the initiator of the Wing Chun style I do. There isn’t only one style of Wing Chun, Lok Yiu Wing Chun means Wing Chun of Lok Yiu family. In 2006, unfortunately, Lok Yiu died but today in Hong Kong there is still his school which is directed by his two sons Lok Kweng Kong and Lok Kweng Sang with the counselor of the family: Benny Chung.
My Wing Chun teacher goes twice a year to Hong Kong to improve and up-to-date his knowledge of this martial art and whenever he comes back he teaches us what he has learnt and transmits us the desire to continue this fantastic art. In Wing Chun there are three hands form: Siu Nim Tau (form of the small idea) is the first form, the base of Wing Chun, Cham Kiu (build the bridge) is the second form and Biu Jee (fingers launched)is the third form which contains fighting techniques;there are also one wooden dummy form, one knife form and one stick form.
– History of Wing Chun
As I said Wing Chun originated about 400 years ago by the nun Ng Mui. Ng Mui was a martial arts expert and she taught her pupil Yim Wing Chun everything about this martial art. Yim Wing Chun was a very beautiful girl. Unfortunately a very powerful and arrogant man wanted her to marry him. Ng Mui taught her some techniques of Kung Fu to defend herself. Yim Wing Chun trained her days and nights and in the end she was able to defeat her disagreeable suitor. She promised her teacher to keep on learning Kung Fu and teaching it to people she loved. Since then Wing Chun has passed from generation to generationand today we can still do it.
At first Wing Chun was taught only within the family. The first public teacher was Yip Man who taught that for the first time in Hong Kong, after the Second World War. Between his first students there was our Si Gung Lok Yiu. Lok Yiu dedicated all his life to learning and teaching Wing Chun. His traditional and pure method is today taught in Hong Kong by his two sons to their students and police school. In Europe Lok Yiu Wing Chun was taught for the first time in 1992 by Wilhelm Blech who lived in Germany and he was the only western student accepted by Lok family. He was also the only person from a Western country with the permission to teach this excellent martial art. Today in Italy and in the other European country Lok Yiu Wing Chun is taught by direct student of Wilhelm Blech and by instructors certificated by E.L.Y.W.C.I.M.A.A (European Lok Yiu Wing Chun International Martial Art Association).
-How I started Wing Chun
The first time I heard about Wing Chun was four years ago while I was watching a film which was about Yip Man and the fantastic art of Wing Chun. I was watching it with my father and I said:“Daddy, look at these movements! They are amazing! I wish I was able to do the same!” I was fascinated by the people who were able to do it, because they never lose the contacts with the arms of the enemy. They controlled every movements. And my father was fascinated, too. The following day he searched information about it on the Internet and found out where Wing Chun is taught in Verona, he learnt about Lok Yiu Wing Chun, he spoke with the teacher and the following week we already had the first lesson, it was a free lesson so we had the possibility to see if we liked it. We liked it very much and we started our experience in Wing Chun together.
–My experience in Wing Chun
I have done Wing Chun for four years, I go in Verona (where I play it) twice a week. With me there are other 30 people around, we train for 2 hours. In the first part of the lesson we do the warming up exercises which consist of doing first form, heating shoulders and legs with punch and steps and with many movements of Wing Chun; in the second part of the lesson we train with a partner and with him we can improve our movements and our contact which is very important in Wing Chun. I’m really happy and glad to practice this martial art.
Wing Chun isn’t only a real method to defend yourself, it’s also fun, happiness, commitment, full of fantastic experiences. I feel lucky for having the opportunity to start it because I’ve met fantastic people who are always very friendly and patient with me. Whenever I finish my training and go home, I would like to return to Verona to do it again. Wing Chun gave me the possibility to meet friendly and nice people who have become a second family for me. I’m going to continue this art in the future because I still have a lot to learn and also it’s become one of my passions.
-Family in Wing Chun
In Wing Chun there is a connection with the family: the teacher is named “Sifu” in Cantonese that means teacher but also “father”, the Chinese ideogram for the parent is a bit different but there is a correlation. There are also many family names such as “Sihing”, it means older brother: it isn’t the oldest student or the best student, it is the student who has been doing Wing Chun for a longer time than you; “Sigung” means grandfather: it is the teacher of your teacher; “Siba” means uncle: it is a training partner of your Sifu. In the past Wing Chun was taught only within the family, from generation to generation. For the people who don’t belong to the family there is a ceremony: “Tea Ceremony”: in this ceremony the student prepares some tea for the teacher, if the teacher accepts the tea it means “for me you are ok, I trust you” and the student becomes his Todai (“son”). With the tea the student gave his Sifu a red envelope with money to support him. In this art there is much respect, for your Sifu but also for your Sihing and everyone who trains with you and maybe has more experience than you. There shouldn’t be envy, but only commitment and desire to improve yourself.
-Benefits of Wing Chun
Wing Chun is a martial art and like the other martial art has some benefits: it improves your coordination, the elasticity of your body and your strength; it improves your posture and it helps also your mind. When you do Wing Chun your mind has to concentrate and become calmer and calmer. And also your spirit has to grow, to develop: principles of Wing Chun are good principles to make people better people: brotherhood and self control are very important in this martial art. When you are training with your training partner you mustn’t have negative feeling towards him, for example you mustn’t think of killing him. My Sifu always says “stay Fon Sun” that means “stay calm, stay relaxing” in fact it’s easy to make mistakes such as you are too rigid or you do wrong movements. Wing Chun has very simple movements but doing them isn’t easy!