Where is my Wing Chun Family (Lineage) from? Help!
by Ben Borrell
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. ---
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.
--- 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?"
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