Where is my Wing Chun Family (Lineage) from? Help!

by Ben Borrell
(NZ)

My teacher doesn't know his Wing Chun lineage. He learned Wing Chun from an old Chinese man who could speak no English, and only taught my teacher the combat side of Wing Chun, and no forms.




Finding out our Wing Chun family lineage is hard as I have been looking over the Internet to see if anyone does Wing Chun the way I do, but have yet to find anything familiar.

We do a few things different to anyone else. For example, when we face a straight punch we pak sao, then tan sau the same punch. From there my pak sau turns into an attack (being a punch or a palm).

What I've seen and also experienced is the "pak and punch" as some practitioners call it where they pak sao then punch.

The easiest way I can explain it is, that the pak and punch has two beats, pak sao being beat one or first movement and the punch being the second.

What we do is add another beat or action in there, Pak sao, tan sao and then attack. My teacher told me that the reason for this (in the words of my teacher's teacher) is that it gives us three choices to act upon. We have three chances to switch to something else if need be.

In the movie The Legend is Born Sammo Hung does the same chi sau which we do which is entirely different to everyone else.

From what my teacher has told me of this old Chinese man (who passed away many years ago) is that he looked small and frail but he hit with tremendous force.

His hits were very heavy and his approach was very relaxed just like many of the other grandmasters. This old Chinese man reminds me of Grand Master Ip Man from what I have heard and seen.

Grand Master Ip Man favored kicking because of his small statue and even though small, he hit with a very heavy punch. Everything this man did was relaxed and direct which is exactly how my teachers teacher was.

There are few other differences to our Wing Chun but that can be for another time. Be good to hear everyone's opinions.
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Update: I checked out your video and embedded it above. From your one move, I couldn't see anything that would give away what lineage you study. I have a feeling it's Ip Man? Maybe others can give you better feedback.

The two-step you demonstrate is common in my lineage (Ip Man - William Cheung).

Although, we wouldn't initially favor a tan sao to check the opponent's arm while sending the attack. We would use it made sense to do so, or we want to change the energy/be less predictable.

My other sihings and sidis would instinctively, turn that tan sao into a lap sao while sending the attack. Lap sao gives you more control over your opponent's balance, compared to a tan sao, and that's why we train it so much. I've noticed other schools prefer the tan sao.

The two-step move you demonstrate: In my kwoon we'd use a two-step approach similar to what you show in at least two situations.

1) Against a very heavy punch.

Especially a circular, round punch/hook. Where the pak sao checks the attack, and the second tan sao (or lap sao, even bil sao and chun sao work in this scenario) is used for back up and added protection, while sending your counter-attack, with either a defensive or feminine offensive step.

2) To gain entry from farther way. To move in from contact range into exchange range.

In other words, starting from contact range use the pak sao to open the guard at the wrist, then the follow up with the tan/lap/chun sao, at the elbow, which gives you leverage and control... step into exchange range, and throw your attack.

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Answer: This is the most interesting request I've ever gotten. I'm sad reading that you don't know your Wing Chun roots. It's almost like being an orphan.

I'm thinking you should make some videos of you and your sifu doing Wing Chun and send it here update: see the video above, then we can show it on the site to see if that helps others determine your Wing Chun roots.

Also, if your sifu has pictures of his sifu then post them here too. Maybe someone might recognize him?

Forms have a lot of clues. But your sifu never learned any forms.

Next would be how you two execute moves. I personally believe that footwork leaves a lot clues as well.

Anyone else reading this please leave a comment with your suggestions on how Ben and his sifu can find their long lost Wing Chun jia (family). And if Ben leaves a video, I'll make sure to spread it around... kind of like a photo on a milk carton "Have You Seen Missing Wing Chun Practitioner?"

Comments for Where is my Wing Chun Family (Lineage) from? Help!

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Jul 10, 2011
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1,2,3
by: BJ

We do turn the tan into Lap sau but we maintain that 1,2,3 beat. We can actually do anything in this drill(bong sau,lop sau, punch etc)however for the purpose of showing the drill we chose just to keep it to a basic pak,tan punch.. Remebering that the 1,2,3 approach gives us three chances to act upon and changes varying on the situation.We can diffently chop and change but the 1,2,3 is our foundation .In regards to a hook punch we tan sau (1) while simultaneously hitting the bicep muscle or the shoulder joint(2) then my tan turns into an attack(3) making a straight line to my opponets centre.
But apart from the move its the concept that is important. When humans count we use the universal ONE(1,2,3) TWO ( 1,2,3) THREE (1,2,3) and so on. Having this foundation teaches us to not over comnplicate and go beyond three beats as then it takes too much time. Three beats is the most you need and you can vary to just one or two beats(All depending on the situation). There are more underlying concepts in the short drill that we did on the video but like all things it takes time to explain. Be good to hear everyone's thoughts, more knowledge is always good!


Aug 02, 2011
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San Sik system
by: Mentoz

i only know 1 lineage that has no forms in there Wing Chun, the San Sik system.

my master (who was a personal student of grand master wang kiu for 15 years)knows a lot about the lineages, he says it was tought by Leung Jan (yip man's master) to a few townspeople at his hometown of Kulo Village, after he retired at the age of 75.

they say that he didn't teache the forms because he did not want to go to all of that fuss again because of his age or some accounts say he died at the age of 76, so he past away befor he could teach them.but thats probably not the case.

hope this helps,

greatings
a fellow Wing Chun freak :)

Aug 05, 2011
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some more info for you
by: Glenn mantels (Mentoz)

i found some more accounts that confirm my earlier message.
if your lineage is the san sik wing chun system, the main reason why there are no forms is because Leung Jan tried to make it even more simple to learn, he incorporated the forms into his training drills, that could explane why you use the 3 steps in a drill.

we also use a tird step in the wang kiu lineage(tought at the wumei yong chun school in belgium) most used when fighting a very strong or big opponent
for example: tan sau - pak sau - hit
we use the tan to lead away the initial force, then the pak to clear the way and get to the flanks of the opponent and then hit.

as long as the basic principals of wing chun are there its wing chun, thats why there are so many different lineages, variations in forms, names drills,... and so on

greatings Glenn

ps: @ wing chun life: nice work with this site, good job. keep spreading the wing chun way of life :)

pss: for all info on everything wing chun see the site i found: http://www.wingchunpedia.org

Aug 06, 2011
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Lineage
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info Mentoz. My instructor's teacher did know forms but he didn't teach them to my instructor because he saw that my instructor (being young and brash) wouldn't care much for it, so instead taught him applications and concepts of wing chun fighting. If you watch the drill , one person is doing it one way while the other is doing it backwards. In this way we use both sides of our hands. Doing it both ways opens the user up to different concepts and applications of wing chun. But it all starts with the drill. I see that it could be the san sik systems because we learn so much with just this simple (yet sophisticated) drill. Sticking to the centerline, keeping the shoulders still and down by use of gravity not muscle,relaxing naturally, Keeping everything withing our triangle. Differnt moves come in only after we first learn the basic concepts however there are many concepts within this drill. It just takes time and practice and an open mind. My instructors teacher's name was Phillip Wang( phillip being chosen as he moved to a mostly english speaking country) and he was from foshan. Maybe this might help anyone even though it harldy helps me haha


Thanks again Mentoz!

1 step closer to finding out our lineage.

Aug 06, 2011
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Lineage
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info Mentoz. My instructor's teacher did know forms but he didn't teach them to my instructor because he saw that my instructor (being young and brash) wouldn't care much for it, so instead taught him applications and concepts of wing chun fighting. If you watch the drill , one person is doing it one way while the other is doing it backwards. In this way we use both sides of our hands. Doing it both ways opens the user up to different concepts and applications of wing chun. But it all starts with the drill. I see that it could be the san sik systems because we learn so much with just this simple (yet sophisticated) drill. Sticking to the centerline, keeping the shoulders still and down by use of gravity not muscle,relaxing naturally, Keeping everything withing our triangle. Differnt moves come in only after we first learn the basic concepts however there are many concepts within this drill. It just takes time and practice and an open mind. My instructors teacher's name was Phillip Wang( phillip being chosen as he moved to a mostly english speaking country) and he was from foshan. Maybe this might help anyone even though it harldy helps me haha


Thanks again Mentoz!

1 step closer to finding out our lineage.

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