Wing Chun Lineage

History of Wing Chun

I'd like to preface this short description with the following. There is no formal documentation of Wing Chun and much of it has been passed down verbally from teacher to student.  With this in mind there have been many different stories of how Wing Chun came to be as a style. So let's skip that and just look at Wing Chun for what it is. Depending on the translation Wing Chun means "Continuous Spring". It was designed for the smaller person to defend against a larger attacker by using center line theory and the attackers strength against them. Wing Chun is considered both a hard and soft style of Kung Fu. For those unaware Kung Fu in Chinese simply means "Hard Work and Training". 


Wing Chun prides itself of not wasting any movement and is very compact. Over the years it has developed into many different styles.  After doing some research I found 11  Styles of Wing Chun being taught through out the world with possibly more that are not documenting their lineage. Below is a list of what I was able to find through books, word of mouth and online study:


1.   Ip Man Style: Ip Man’s teachers include Chan Wah Shun, Ng Chun So, Leung Bik, and Yiu Choi (According to Wai-Po Tang. Ip Man was said to have spawned two versions of his style Foshan and Hong Kong.  Throughout his life time Ip Man refined his style of WIng Chun and taught his students what fit their body style. 

2.   Yiu Choi Style: Yiu Choi’s teacher(s) Yuen Chai Wan, Chang Wah Shun, and Ng Chung So.  Moved to Vietnam in 1936 and studied with Fung Siu Ching. 

3.   Jui Wan Style: Jiu Wan a teacher in Foshan, China. Moved to Hong Kong where he continued to teach. Yip Man and Jui Wan’s relationship was described as controversial among students.

4.   Gulao (Kool Lo) Village Style: Taught by Dr. Leung Jan who’s native village was Gulao located in the guangdong province. The Fung family varitaion of this style found in Kulo Village call it Pin Sun (Side Body) WIng Chun.

5.   Pan Nam Style: Pan Nam studied Hung Gar from 1934 to 1947 until he met a student of Chan Yiu Men and then began his training in Wing Chun. Classmates included Leung Lam, Jiu Wan, Lee Shing, Wong Jing.

6.   Yuen Kay Shan Style: Based from Yiu Choi (Vietnamiese Wing Chun offshoot)

7.   Nguyen Te-Cong/Yuen Chai Wan (Vietnam Wing Chung) Style:

8.   Cho Family Style: Formaly called “Ban Chun” or Opera House style. Cho Family includes many forms and many styles such as White Crane, Pai Mei, Choy Lay Fut and Hung Gar.

9.   Hung Fa Yi (Hung Suen Wing Chun) Style: Southern Shaolin Temple Wing Chun Tong. Not much has been documented about this style but some of the more popular individuals are; Chan Sai Yuan, Hung Gun Biu, Garret Gee, Benny Meng. 

10. Pao Fa Lien Style: There are two branches of this style one of the more popular was writer Mok Po On who live in Hong Kong durning the 1960’s and 1970’s.  The traditional story of this style was said to be brought to the North by a monk named Dai Dong Fung. Another popular ancestor of this style was Gwok Gai. The last living student of Lau Dat Sang. 

11. Fut Sao (Buddha Hand) Style: The inner Gate system taught to abbots whom integrated its concepts with the five elder surviving arts. The art was originally known as Gu Yee Chuna or Ancient Chivalrous Fist. Wing Chun Kuen was propagated through five distinct styles: Buddhist, Royal Family, Red Boat, and Ancient which has been lost.


Within Wing Chun there is a form structure of both open hand and weapons forms.   


1.  Siu Lien Tau - Translated as “Little Idea”. The first empty hand form taught to students. Also known as Sil Num Tao.

2.  Chum Kiu - Translated as “Seeking the Bridge” or “Sinking Bridge”. This is the second empty hand form taught to students.

3.  Biu Jee - Translated as “Shooting Fingers” or “Darting Fingers” . This is the third empty hand form taught to students.

4.  Mook Yan Jong - Translated as “Wooden Dummy” or  “Wooden Man Post”.  Taught to students after all empty hand forms were taught there are variations to this form depending on style.  Typically there are 106 to 108 movements  to this form.

5.  Baat Jam Dao - Translated as “Eight Slashing Swords”. Depending on the style this can consist of 8 or 12 sections. Depending on the Wing Chun style there are two styles of knife that were used.  The first was used more for stabbing and came to a point at the end while the second was used more for chopping and was more rounded at the end of the knife. 

6.  Luk Dim Boon Kwan - Translated as “6 1/2 point pole”.  Typically taught in the Ip Man / Red Boat styles. This pole was typically 9 1/2 feet long, tappered from one end to the other,  and it’s primary use was to push a boat. 

7.  Saam Baai Fut - Translated as “3 Prayers to Buddha”.  Typically taught in the Shaolin Styles of Wing Chun.

8.  Jook Wan Heun - Translated as “Bamboo Ring” (sometimes substituted for a iron ring). This training tool was said to have    pre-dated the Wooden Dummy. Depending on the style of Wing Chun this was typically taught as part of the core curriculum of Wing Chun. The bamboo ring is used to train the wrists and forearms, and to instruct the student in the proper “flow” from technique to technique.

Wing Chun Lineage Chart

This chart depicts some of the lineage holders of Wing Chun.  As stated before there is no formal records documenting the teachers of this style or who carried on their lineage. This is more informational than anything.