The Ip Man On The Moon (again)


Strange name for a blog eh?


Now before you think I’m being disrespectful, of course I AM NOT, as always, as far from that as possible, I am only here to show respect and possibly give you something to ponder.


The reason I chose this title was because of something I heard Chris Hadfield say.

Chris Hadfield was an astronaut for 21 years and when talking about possible difficulties of working in space he said:


“You’ve gotta be able to solve your problems in one breath”

He also said:

“The more you know, the less you fear”


Now when I heard him say this, regarding such dangers and technical difficulties that could cause a life or death outcome, it man me think of, Ip Man.


Think of this…


Wing Chun is often connected with Daoism and in Daoism it is said that:


‘In life, in the search of perfection, it is not what we take onboard,

but what we get rid of’.


The full quote is something like:


In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.

In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.

Less and less is done until non-action is achieved.

When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.

It cannot be ruled by interfering


Now Ip Man is quoted as saying;


“Anyone can add on to a system,

the secret is to try to take something away and yet still keep it pure”.


And this brings me back to the quote from Mr Hadfield:


“The more you know, the less you fear”

If we alter this slightly we could interpret this as:

“The more you know, the less you NEED


See my point?



This is even shown physically within the Forms through Ip Man’s changes of them, in Siu Lim Tau for instance we see the Tan, Low Garn, then scooping back up to a Tan – originally that was were the piece ended.

The segment which followed this, started with a High Garn (same shape) and then down with the Huen Sau, but because this LOOKED the same, rather than retract the arm after the Tan only to bring it out again to the same place, he decided to have the movement continue, as we see today.


The most famous of all the changes would have to be that of section seven and eight of the Muk Yan Jong Fat (Wooden Dummy Technique).

For members of WingChun.Online please just type

‘Missing Gums’ into the search tool for video explanations.


Basically, after the Gum Sau in section seven there should be another Gum (and the same on the other side) but Ip Man took this out also in order to have the Form FLOW easier.

This is also the case for section eight where there should be an extra Gum before stepping out with the kick to the knee.



Oh and just out of interest,

How many steps should there be in second section of Chum Kiu (2nd form)?

Three you say?



As many as you can!


Then why do we see Ip Man only perform three?

Because that’s as big as his flat was!

If he had more room he would do more steps.


My school is in a very large grand hall and when I have done three stepping Bong Sau’s in such a place my Sifu (Ip Chun) has said to me:


“Why have you stopped?”

I say,

“Because that is the Form”.

To which he tells me,

“If you have the room to do more, do more”.


Train more

To know more

To need less


Just like the old saying:

 ‘Train hard, fight easy’


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