Authentic Ip FamilyWing Chun

With the guidance of Ip Man's Sons the traditional Wing Chun system is preserved through the evangelical works of Grandmaster Samuel Kwok.

Grandmaster Ip Man: The Man Behind the Legend

Ip Kai Man, also known as Ip Man or Yip Man, was born on October 1st, 1893 to Ip Oi Dor and Ng Shui, and was the third of four children. He grew up in a very wealthy family in Foshan, Guangdong province, and received an exceptionally high standard of education. His older brother was Ip Kai Gak. His older sister was Ip Wan Mei and his younger sister was Ip Wan Hum. Ip is the family name which is said first in the Chinese culture.

When Ip Man was thirteen years old he started learning Wing Chun from Chan Wah-Shun. Chan Wah-Shun was quite old at the time and because of his old age, Ip Man had to learn much of his skills and techniques from his Sifu's second eldest disciple Ng Chung-sok. Three years into Ip Man’s training Chan Wah-Shun passed away but not before declaring his dying wish; to have Ng continue training Ip Man. At the age of 15 Ip Man moved to

Hong Kong with help from Leung Fut Ting, a relative. At age 16, Ip Man b egan attending school at St. Stephen's College in Hong Kong. It was a secondary school for wealthy families and foreigners who lived in Hong Kong. According to Ip Man's two sons (Ip Ching and Ip Chun), while at St. Stephen's Ip Man intervened after seeing a foreign police officer beating a woman. The story goes that the police officer tried to strike Ip Man who used his martial arts to strike the officer down, at which point Ip Man and his classmate ran to school. The classmate is said to have told an older man who lived in the same apartment block of this event. Later Ip Man was invited to meet the man and the man asked Ip Man what martial art he studied. Ip told him, but said he would not understand. The man then asked Ip Man to show him his first 2 forms (Sil Lim Tao and Chum Kiu). The man then told Ip Man that his forms were "not too great." Ip Man was then invited to Chi Sau (a form of training in Wing Chun). Ip Man saw this as an opportunity to prove his Kung Fu was good, but he was beaten after just a few strikes. It turned out that the old man was SiPak (older kung fu uncle) Leung Bik , son of Ip Man's SiGung Leung Jan . After that encounter, Ip Man continued his training lessons from Leung Bik. By the age of 24, Ip Man had returned to Foshan, his Wing Chun skills tremendously improved.

In Foshan, Ip Man became a policeman. He did not formally run a Wing Chun school, but taught several of his subordinates, his friends and relatives. Kwok Fu and Lun Kai (Two of Ip Man's students and friends) went on to teach students of their own. The art of Wing Chun in the Foshan and Guangdong area was mainly passed down from these two individuals. Ip Man went to Kwok Fu's village house during the Japanese Occupation. He only returned to Foshan after the war, to once again take up the job of a police officer. At the end of 1949, the Chinese Communist party won the Chinese civil war. Ip Man being an officer of the opposing Kuomintang political party, decided to escape to Hong Kong without his family when the Communists had come to Foshan. In Hong Kong, Ip Man opened a Wing Chun martial arts school. Initially, business was poor because his students typically stayed for only a couple of months. He moved his school twice, to Hoi Tan Street in Sham Shui Po, and then to Lee Tat Street in Yau Ma Tei. By then, some of his students were skilled enough that they were able to start their own schools. Some of Ip Man's students and descendants compared their skills with other martial artists in combat. Their victories over other martial artists helped to bolster Ip Man's reputation as a teacher.

In 1967, Ip Man and some of his students established the Hong Kong Ving Tsun Athletic Association.

In 1972, Ip Man suffered cancer and subsequently passed on the 2nd of December that same year. About 6 weeks before he died he asked his two sons Ip Chun and Ip Ching, as well as his student Lau Hon Lam to film him performing the Wing Chun system as practice by him. He only managed to complete Sil Lim Tau, Chum Kiu and the Dummy form. This is because he was in a lot of pain and was weak and unsteady on his feet. He was going to do Biu Gee, the Knife form and long pole; however Grandmasters Ip Chun and Ip Ching and Sifu Lau Hong Lam stopped Ip Man because Biu Gee, the knives, and full pole form require a lot of energy to perform. Ip Man had many students and worried that some of them were adapting the system due to their own incomplete knowledge if and felt that filming it was the only way to stop the frauds and cheats from damaging the authenticity of this beautiful art.

Ip Kai Man was one of the first martial arts instructors, or Sifus, to teach the Chinese martial art of Wing Chun Kung Fu openly to the public. He had several students who later became martial arts teachers in their own right, including Bruce Lee. We dedicate all that we do to the traditions of Grandmaster Ip Man and hope to honor him by spreading the knowledge of authentic Wing Chun Kung Fu to all who are willing to learn.

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Arizona Wing Chun Kung Fu
Maricopa, AZ, 85138, USA

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