The History of Wing Chun


The style of Wing Chun is said to have been invented anything up to 300 years ago from the Siu Lam temple (during the Qing dynasty).

The Siu Lam temple was not only used for its religious purposes but also for hiding anti Qing revolutionaries (criminals) from the military.

Because of this and also due to a fear of the monks fighting skills, the Manchurians decided to react by using insiders to burn down the temple and kill all inside.


It was said that the five elders of the temple escaped (and are often written about in Chinese history as ‘the venerable five’), one of these was the Budist nun Ng Mui, a Siu Lam boxer.

Whilst on the border of Sichuan and Yunnan province she witnessed a fight between a snake and a crane, and decided to bring this together with her own previous studies, to eventually create, a new, unnamed art.


Ng Mui eventually took onboard a student, a young girl by the name of Yim Wing Chun (Wing Chun meaning ‘beautiful springtime’).

There is also a story that after training for some time the beautiful Yim Wing Chun was harassed by a local thug who wanted to marry her and would not leave her alone.

To put an end to this she challenged him to a fight and in no time at all after seeing him off, she had created her reputation as a fighter.


Later Yim Wing Chun married Leung Bok Chao and after learning his wife’s skills he decided to name the style ‘Wing Chun Keun’ (Wing Chun fist) in her honour.

This was passed down from selected disciple to selected disciple until it reached Ip Man (Yip Man) in Foshan, China.

Ip Man decided to break tradition by teaching openly (but only to Chinese students), one of his students was a young man named Jun Fan (Bruce Lee).


Bruce Lee over later years brought Wing Chun into the eyes of the Western world but for a long time it was still not taught outside of the Chinese community.


Ip Man’s eldest son, Ip Chun (Yip Chun) decided to break that tradition by starting to teach Westerners.


In 1991 there were only a handful of disciples in the world qualified to represent his teachings and only three of those were western.

Sifu Colin Ward was one of those three.


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