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Yip Man

1893 - 1972 Wing Chun

Yip Man (Ye Wen), sometimes

rendered as Ip Man, was born Yip

Gei-Man (Ye Jiwen) to a wealthy

merchant family in Foshan in

1893*. He began learning Wing

Chun Kuen sometime between 1906

and 1911* under Chan Wah-Shun

who was said to have been

teaching out of the Yip Family

Ancestral Temple at the time.

The old money-changer was

nearing the end of his career

and much of Yip Mans hands on

instruction fell to seniors

(most prominently Ng Jung-So),

especially after Chan suffered a

stroke in 1908 and retired.

Most accounts suggest that,

following Chans death in 1911,

Yip went to Hong Kong to attend

St. Stephans College where met

and apprenticed himself to his

martial uncle, Leung Bik,

polishing his skills to a very

advanced level. Some of Yip

Mans students, however,

maintain that this was simply a

story created by Yip Mans

friend, Lee Man, for promotional

purposes and that he refined his

skills instead through hard work

and personal insight in Foshan.

There are also accounts of Yip

Man exchanging with friends such

as Chu Chong-Man, Cho On, and/or

Yuen Kay-San.

Although Yip Man developed an

extraordinary reputation for his

great Wing Chun Kuen skill, he

did not teach for many years. In

1942, however, his resources

grew severely depleted under

the Japanese occupation and in

order to repay a kindness, he

took on some students in Yongan

including Chow Ywong-Yiu, Kwok

Fu, and Lun Gai.

In November, 1949, Yip fled

the Communist rise in China to

Macao. He soon ventured over to

Hong Kong where, in 1950, he

began teaching his Wing Chun

Kuen to members of the

Restaurant Workers Union. To

many of his students, his

friendly nature and demeanor led

him to be called Man Suk

(Younger Uncle Man) in the early

years and Man Gung (Grandfather

Man) later on.

Over his long career in Hong

Kong, he taught many, many,

outstanding students (with

apologies, far to many to list

here) who have gone on to teach

generations of excellent

students in their own right and

have spread his style of Wing

Chun Kuen around the world.

Among some of Yip Mans most

famous students were/are, Leung

Sheung, Lok Yiu, Tsui Seung-Tin,

Wong Shun-Leung, Cheung

Chuk-Hing (William Cheung), Lee

Siu-Long (Bruce Lee), Ho Kam-Ming,

Moy Yat, Leung Ting, and many,

many others.

 

 

 

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