Why are there different types of Ip Man Wing Chun?
This is the age-old question;
Firstly what I would say is that Ip Man obviously taught his own eldest son the purest form of Wing Chun, and that my friends, is obviously Ip Man Wing Chun.
It is also commonly known that Sifu Ip Chun did not start his training ‘for real’ until he was 37 years old.
Now some will create an argument by saying that his Wing Chun is not good then, but look at it this way, when I started teaching back in 1991, I reckon I was rubbish, I didn’t fully understand what I was teaching and probably passed it across even worse.
I’ve often said that I am a lot better teacher now than I was 10/15 years ago, but not as good as I hope to be in 10/15 years time.
If you are a good teacher then you learn through teaching,
Your skills improve and your teaching improves,
And the cycle continues.
I imagine that if Ip Chun had started when he was just 10 years of age his Father would still have been working Wing Chun out himself!
When Sifu started training it was at the purest level of Ip Man’s teaching.
Oh and as for people looking different and yet being from the same lineage?
There are 2 reasons for this
1/ Wing Chun is designed to mold to the individual and therefore should the teachers character drift into their approach to the style then so be it, and therefore the outcome may look slightly different.
2/ The second reason is a little more controversial.
Let’s imagine I am a teacher of Wing Chun, no one has heard of me (I know, crazy idea but stay with me J), now if I teach for 20 years gaining 10 students each year, during which time I become worldly famous, but then suddenly die, many of my students (after mourning) then are faced with a decision:
It is fine for the longer-term students who had covered everything in the system with their Master, but what about those who only studied for a short time?
They now find themselves in a bit of a situation, they can truthfully say that they are a student of Ip Man and begin teaching under his name (even with limited knowledge) or continue their studies with someone else.
If they continue their studies with someone else they can no longer claim a school as a Ip Man student, and if they just open a school anyway, with their limited knowledge, at some point a student will have questions which will only be dealt with by made up answers.
The outcome being, a legitimate Ip Man student that looks very different to everyone else.