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Thread: Yiu Choi Lineage

  1. #46
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    Last edited by PalmStriker; 12-05-2020 at 05:35 PM.

  2. #47
    Palmstriker,

    I understand the problem of accepting certain things I say because I am obviously just some random dude writing stuff on an internet forum, and writing something which conflicts which many consider as an authoritative go-to ressource on the internet.

    But let me say this: Although it is a great ressource, it is also the cause of much confusion and leading people astray in their speculations. The information collected there is just a mish-mash of various stuff from any source the involved parties may have had access to with no verification, no vetting, no fact-checking, nothing. Theories and conclusions constructed on such information are not very reliable nor trustworthy.

    I actually happen to know at least one of the persons involved in this project personally, and incidentally, he is the only one I would consider to have access to some more reliable information, the rest less so.

    Unlike most others drawing on the ressource you referred to for knowledge, I am in the very fortunate position that I do not need to rely on what other people have written - I can actually go and ask the persons who wrote the articles you refer to and the people who might have told certain stories. I have been traveling to China to learn Wing Chun since 2004 and been living in Guangzhou/Foshan for a good decade and have met virtually all masters of name and rank you could possibly think of - and many others, no one in the West has ever heard of, but which nonetheless are the seniors of the various families.

    Since you mention the article written by Yuen Jo Tong Sifu, I met him on many occasions. His home was just down the road from where I lived for a while, as was his school. My wife and I had lunch with him on several occasions and had the chance to discuss Gung Fu with him. He even gave us some personal copies of some articles he had written over the years. Unfortunately, he passed away a few months ago.

    Now, those documents he mentions are nowhere to be found - we asked him specifically what archives he was referring to in his articles, but he dodged the question and referred us to some other articles he had written. We even asked the foremost local martial arts researcher who has access to government archives which are closed to the public if he over his 40 years of researching martial arts, but he had never seen such documents.

    It is very important to understand that simply because some "offcial" story makes certain claims, it doesn't mean it is fact - very often it is quite naive to believe so.

    I also know some of the seniors of the Tang Yik Weng Chun-style in Hong Kong as well as in Foshan and met a senior master of the so-called Ban Jung Siu Lam Fung Siu Ching Wing Chun in Siuheng a couple of years ago and they have quite interesting stories to tell - quite divergent ones, in fact.

    If you take the story told by the "Weng Chun" people and compare it with the official "Yuen Kei Saan" story as it relates to Fung Siu Ching there are some huge discrepancies - mainly relating to the timeframe. I already explained in my previous post that if what Yuen Jo Tong wrote was true, Fung Siu Ching passing away at 73 in 1936, we can conclude that he was born in 1864ish, however the Viceroy of Szechuan he was supposed to have been working for passed away in 1869. Does it sound plausible that Fung Siu Ching was a very famous bounty hunter or bodyguard for Law Bing Jeung?

    This is an example of how historical fact, if one bothers to check, shows that certain stories cannot be entirely true.


    Another example is this: the article claims Fung Siu Ching taught both Yuen brothers, however this is contradicted by the Yiu Choi-family, Yuen Chai Wan-lineage and even the person who was Yuen Jo Tong's first teacher, the late master Leung Ngau, who in turn was, until his recent passing, the last living direct student of Yuen Kei Saan. According to these sources Yuen Chai Wan had already left Foshan in the very early 1930s, i.e. way before Fung Siu Ching was supposed to have been invited to teach there.

    And more...

    The Weng Chun style is a bit of a mess in a sense - i.e. it is not really a coherent style. It is actually a group of people who learnt martial arts from different sources, but all have one teacher in common, Fong Siu Ching. For example, Chu Chung Man actually learnt Choi Lei Fut and kept the forms he learnt (Fa Kuen, Peng Kuen, etc.), learnt pole from another source, then a dummy form and "Chong Kuen" from the Dong brothers. He taught all of this as "Weng Chun" yet the only stuff from Fung Siu Ching was what had been passed on to him by the Dongs. Something similar can be said for the Tang family Weng Chun: according to the recording of Tang Yik talking about the history of his art, a Tang ancestor called Tang Bun learnt an empty hand form ("Weng Chun Kuen"), a dummy form and the 6.5 pole from a monk ("Chi Sim") at Fei Loi temple in Qingyuan. Later, other forms were added such as the Sheung Gung Kuen, Chong Kuen, a wooden dummy form from Fung Siu Ching, which Tang Suen, Tang Yik's father picked up. Different stuff from different sources, and yet Tang Yik called everything "Weng Chun" (interestingly, this is a bit different from what his fathers other students in Mainland China do, but a different story).

    So, the only stuff which came from Fung Siu Ching, if you want to go by the Weng Chun sources was a dummy form and the Chong Kuen (some say also the Weng Chun Kuen), but interestingly Yuen Kei Saan taught the three forms from Leung Jan's lineage to his students such as Wong Jing, Sum Nung, Leung Ngau, etc. not the "Weng Chun Kuen" nor the wooden dummy form of that style. So where did Yuen Kei Saan then get his three forms from? Fok Bo Chuen? Some well known facts in Fatsaan: Yuen Chai Wan was 12 years older than Yuen Kei Saan, and learnt from Fok Bo Chuen (aka Gwok Bo Chuen) as a teenager. Yuen Kei Saan was VERY young at that time... Interestingly, Yuen Chai Wan did not teach any Cham Kiu or Biu Zi forms, so we can assume that if at all, Fok Bo Chuen just taught SLT. So where did Yuen Kei Saan's other forms come from? The answer is obvious if one knows certain other stories, but as it is a sensitive issue, I shall not go into further detail here.

    Virtually all official stories of various masters suffer from this kind of problems, with Yip Man there are quite a few things his followers like to believe which can be proven to be false, but since Yip Man is not the point of discussion here... Chan Yu Min is another example... Leung Jan... etc.

    As far as Fung Siu Ching goes, well many stories say many things, but some local researchers have actually identified his home village, and it is not in the north of China, further he was a rather normal, very low key person.

    I don't understand how anyone could possibly see the sameness of the Chen style with Yuen Kei Saan style Wing Chun - it is utterly different! The way to move and to generate power, absolutely not the same. As a 12 year practitioner of a YKS derived style and extensive exchanges and training with masters and students of that lineage in Guangzhou and Foshan, I must say that your video demonstrates very clearly that those two styles have absolutely nothing to do with each other. If we look at this from a historical approach, the Chen family martial art was first taught to an outsider from ca. 1840 - 1850 (Yang Luchan) who then went on to teach his own martial art to the public. The Chen family art remained closed - so where would Fung Siu Ching have learned this art? And how would it have found its way into the three forms of Yuen Kei Saan given the fact that Fung Siu Ching didn't teach those forms and that according to the history Fung just taught some close body skills and Kam La? And looking at the other forms which are supposed to descend from Fung Siu Ching (Weng Chun), they don't move like that at all, nor do they Faat Geng in the manner of Chen style Taiji.

    Chen style in Yuen Kei Saan's Wing Chun? Makes no sense whatsoever... But of course if we believ in certain stories, confirmation bias allows us to see a lot of stuff which is not actually there.

    Of course, I don't need to tell you what the YKS/SN practitioners here will tell you if you suggest their art is like Chen style Taijiquan...

    It should be quite clear.



    As far as the speculation in the article about Fung Siu Ching you linked to, I must say it is quite a mess because it is trying to synthesize a lot of different information some of which is quite inaccurate and demonstrably wrong. It cannot be taken very seriously if you have really looked into the subject.

    If people really want to know about this, I would recommend travelling to China to find information for themselves instead of blindly relying on various information picked up through articles and on internet discussion forums. Some information is good, but unfortunately most is rubbish...

  3. #48
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    Thanks for shedding some light on the subject of the early formations of WingChun in Foshan, 5mman. I hope you don't mind so much that I presented those links to get you to come forward with information about family/clan lineages. Conservative researchers/authors out there are much in line with your own caution to accept publicized statements as historically true, which I can appreciate, people like yourself who have spent time in China to specifically ferret out old stories and documents. Thanks for your perspective and logic in advancing my understanding of the YKS/YCW lineage. I did not mean to infer that Chen Taiji and WingChun share any similarities other than the power generation and explosive power that is inherent in a number of traditional styles. As someone who is content with cherry- picking from Southern Crane and WingChun, I can see that the originators of the WingChun style would have been highly influenced by the already developed styles and martial philosophies around them, especially during those times of intense turmoil. * Interestingly, it is those "close body skills" and Kam La (?) that I am wondering about more than anything else pertaining to Fung Siu Ching. Where would he possibly have gained access to these acquired skills ? Reference: Take note in this material (posted below) that Fung Siu Ching is known to have had some training in the Ba Gua style and NOT Taijiguan. Due to the source of transmission, I consider this somewhat credible, in light of the WingChun Ba Gua connection/or not.
    http://yunhoiwingchun.com.au/article...rial-marshalls
    Last edited by PalmStriker; 12-06-2020 at 06:11 PM.

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5mman View Post

    There is no "Fat Sao Wing Chun" in China, nor does there ever seem to have been such a thing. Thus the fourth form in that system is not an "original" Wing Chun form.
    Thanks for the info my friend, I think you might be getting my posts and palm strikers mixed up a bit...

    There certainly isn't any fat sao wing chun in China... it would be leung Jan wing chun... not sure how much or if any of this is true, but... fat sao wing chun only changed its name in the states after Henry leung (I'm sure is his name) seen wing chun, before that it was called something like chivalry first, mr leung said he was a relative of leung Jan, not sure how many family members between the 2, I'm sure their story will be on line somewhere, 4th form came from leung Jan according to him. Lo kwai, also supposedly learned a 4th form from leung Jan, and was carried through their family, not sure if it's the same form, never seen it... their story is on line.

    I'm sure if you're interested, you'll give it search

    it's all just stories to me, nothing more, if the 2 of their forms match up it may just be true...

  5. #50
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    Hey, TDO. I don't think there was any confusion in 5mman's post about the lineage in question. He is saying that he has seen no reason to believe that the "Buddha Palm" Bagua stepping short form to be a part of any existing lineage out of Guangdong, China due to the fact that he has lived there for a good many years and has seen no indication of this. That may be the case. There are research historians in the field who may know for sure. * In any case, here is a link to a good read about the lineage Master and student, both having passed away, to date.
    https://tambulimedia.com/james-cama-...u-henry-leung/
    Last edited by PalmStriker; 12-06-2020 at 10:32 PM.

  6. #51
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    Also, TDO, there is a WingChun Sifu who is a member of this forum who may know of the informations you are looking for. That would be Sifu Redman.
    https://wingchunorigins.org/post/sif...-chun-warrior/

  7. #52
    T.D.O

    I was not confused about who wrote what, I just slammed everything into one post - my apologies.

    As far as the history of this Fat Sau Wing Chun I have read all information you can find about it online and watched all the videos available. Let's just say that it is pretty clear to me that it is not what it claims to be. But just looking at the videos you can deduce a lot as to its true source.

    It is absolutely not an "old" or "original" type of Wing Chun.

    The so called advanced stepping form clips which have been put up are nothing but simple stepping/footwork patterns most schools will teach to beginners, some schools here have created their own footwork patterns/choreographies, but these are not original forms or such. Even in Europe some Sifus have created certain "stepping forms". This is not unusual. I think, I mentioned this in an earlier post.
    The Lo Kwai information available online I have looked into quite extensively as well, it is interesting and something I would love to pursue and look into in depth at some point in time. There are some odd things there which would be interesting to clear up.

    There is a lot of Gung Fu which is yet unknown because its practitioners keep to themselves and do not teach outsiders, so I am pretty sure that there are some descendants of the old time Wing Chun descendants out there which no one has ever heard about. If we could find these, we might be able to find out more about the actual origin and evolution of the style we now know as Wing Chun.


  8. #53
    Palm Striker,

    which research historians exactly are you referring to?

  9. #54
    Palms Striker,

    as for the information I shared, you are most welcome.



    You said this:

    I did not mean to infer that Chen Taiji and WingChun share any similarities other than the power generation and explosive power that is inherent in a number of traditional styles."


    The power generation and its method (i.e. the body mechanics) are specific to different styles, the explosive power in Chen Taiji and Yuen K ei Saan Wing Chun are not the same, they are not expressed the same way, nor is the body used in the same way.


    Then you wrote this:

    "As someone who is content with cherry- picking from Southern Crane and WingChun, I can see that the originators of the WingChun style would have been highly influenced by the already developed styles and martial philosophies around them, especially during those times of intense turmoil."

    I totally agree!

    Wing Chun was definitely not created out of a vacuum, it was indeed created with a basis in already established styles and martial arts philosophies - but it was not Fujian White Crane or some Snake style, according to what I have been able to ascertain


    Next:

    * Interestingly, it is those "close body skills" and Kam La (?) that I am wondering about more than anything else pertaining to Fung Siu Ching. Where would he possibly have gained access to these acquired skills ?


    Well, I can tell you that I have seen nothing in my learning of YKS-type Wing Chun or from exchanging or asking different masters of the style which Yip Man Wing Chun or other schools don't have. The other students of Fung Siu Ching, the "Weng Chun" people also don't have anything particularly special in that department. It is just common southern Chinese Gung Fu techniques.


    And finally:

    "Reference: Take note in this material (posted below) that Fung Siu Ching is known to have had some training in the Ba Gua style and NOT Taijiguan. Due to the source of transmission, I consider this somewhat credible, in light of the WingChun Ba Gua connection/or not."

    This particular source should be taken with a huge grain of salt or two. The gentleman, Yunhoi, is by all accounts a very, very accomplished martial artist, however many of his claims cannot be taken seriously. Basically, he claims to be a student of Sum Nung, but seemingly only ever met him when Sum Nung was doing a seminar in Australia. He claimed to have learnt from Sum Nung in China, but when asked for details about exactly when, how long, where exactly in China, who else was there, etc. no answer... Add to this that I asked Sum Nung's sons and some of his senior disciples from the time when this Australian gentleman could have gone to China if their father/Sifu ever had any foreign disciples/students or if anyones had ever come to train with him from abroad, they all said they never heard of such a thing. The only foreigners to have ever visited were Ngo Lui Kei's students from Canada.

    A lot of the information on that site - which is unfortunately accepted by many who don't know any better as a good resource for information on Yuen Kei Saan Wing Chun - is translations from articles published in Chinese from various sources, or bits and pieces mixed and retold by the operator of that site.

    Yuen Jotong does share some information about Fung Siu Ching in his articles, however in none of them he gave us, does he talk about Fung Siu Ching having been a master of Baat Gwa Jeung, all he says is that Fung Siu Ching learnt from Dai Fa Min Gam for 11 years (which contradicts the stories from the "Weng Chun" people, but that is another matter).

    So where does this information really come from? Is it really a serious source?

    We can approach this in a better way by looking at what Fung Siu Ching's descendants do today. In short, there is nothing Baat Gwa-ish about it! So if Fung Siu Ching had learnt any Baat Gwa Jeung, it definitely did not bleed over to any of his students as we can see today.

    The claim that he would have learnt Baat Gwa Jeung is also rather odd from another perspective:

    Dong Hoi Chuen (the founder of Baat Gwa Jeung) arrived in Beijing in 1864 and taught a few people there in the imperial palace. He then went to Mongolia to collect taxes for a period of ten years before returning to Beijin where he began teaching martial arts to the public.

    Now, given that this art was not taught outside of the walls of the emperor's palace in Beijing until maybe 1880, where would Fung Siu Ching have learnt it? He was never an imperial bodyguard, nor did he travel to Beijing. If you want to go by the official story, Fung went to work for Law Bing Jeung in Szechuan until the viceroy's passing in 1869. After this he went to SEA and only returned to Fatsaan when he was old, and this is supposedly when he taught Yuen Kei Saan and some others.

    So how could Fung Siu Ching possibly have learnt Baat Gwa Jeung?

    This is an example of how crossreferencing certain things can easily dispel certain ideas and stories.

    But unfortunately a lot of nonsensical stories are promoted and perpetuated because it is very difficult to ascertain whether or not information is quality or not.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5mman View Post
    Palm Striker,

    which research historians exactly are you referring to?
    Thanks once again 5mman for clarification in some of the controversial publicized accounts regarding lineage and practices. Here is a link to one of the conservative researchers/authors out there currently active in Chinese MA studies who is well-read in the works of others, past and present. I wondered about the YKS sifu from Australia, and his claim to closed door secrecy from that Wingchun family historical line. And yes, the Leung family history seems to be key to some interesting developments from the outset of WingChun.
    https://chinesemartialstudies.com/read-the-book/
    Last edited by PalmStriker; 12-07-2020 at 02:24 PM.

  11. #56
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  12. #57
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  14. #59
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    Funny to see that another forum is looking at the same material (Lo Kwai) concerning a lineage offshoot that migrated to Taiwan to escape the Chi-Coms. The information (post#56) handed down from generation to generation about the initial development of the WingChun style by Red Boat opera members is the only "origin story" that I have ever heard on the subject that made any sense. No flying nuns and secret agendas with butterfly knives clenched in the teeth. This account has some real pork to it. It's a good thing the lineage was able to escape the Mainland to isolate themselves, preserving their legacy from lineage thieves.
    Last edited by PalmStriker; 12-07-2020 at 09:07 PM.

  15. #60
    Palm Striker,

    those researcher historians you mention will definitely not know more than I can tell you.

    They are arm chair researchers, meaning that all the information is based on whatever books are available to them, they have never bee here to conduct any field research or such.

    The problem is that not much information - and especially quality one - is available in books, especially not in books written in the English language.

    Because the lack of field work, they can only speculate and construe theories based on the information available to them in books, they have no possibility to fact check or to dig out further information.

    But even in Chinese what you can find on Wing Chun is very, very limited.

    The sources those researchers mention and refer to in their work when it comes to Wing Chun in Mainland China are mainy two works, one called "Fatsaan Martial Culture" and another one, with a similar title. The first one is actually mainly about Choi Lei Fut and a little about Wing Chun. The information of Wing Chun in that book is solicited from some students of Yiu Kei, so basically the information there is from limited sources only. The other book is written by a Mrs. Jeung and is a presentation of different styles practiced in Fatsaan, so naturally none of these is covered in any depth nor is it very comprehensive. Her information concerning Wing Chun is mainly from Mr. Tang, who is probably the foremost martial arts researcher of southern arts. In Guangzhou there is of course also Professor Ma Ming Da, but he is not so much into southern arts.

    All these books, and many more, I have in my personal collection, of course.

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