by Li Jie
From Wulin (Martial World) Magazine, 1993
Chun Kuen is an outstanding Chinese skill. It has spread widely
and become a popular form of boxing in nearly 30 countries and regions
of the world today. The American Seventh Fleet, many security organizations,
and even military and police in Europe and Southeast Asia have made
it as a required course for daily training. Not long ago, parts
of the army, police and law enforcement units in Australia replaced
karate, judo, and tae kwon do with Wing Chun Kuen and made it a
required course of study. Even Australian Prime Minister Hawke is
an ardent proponent way of Wing Chun Kuen.
During the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning
of the Qing Dynasty, Wing Chun Kuen spread from its origins in Sichuan
province through several generations. It spread in succession to
Fujian and into the Guangdong area. In the early years of the Republic
of China there lived in Foshan, Guangdong a famous and wealthy merchant
named Yuen Chong-Ming. His forth son, Yuen Chai-Wan and his fifth
son Yuen Kay-San were unrestrained and mischievous youths yet they
were very fond of practicing the martial arts. Particularly Yuen
Kay-San who would come to be called "Foshan Yuen Lo Jia (Yuen the
Fifth of Foshan)" by future generations. He was intelligent, had
a natural talent and his powers of comprehension were considerably
advanced. Their father loved his sons and knew of their talents.
Sparing no expense in order to provide them with an opportunity
he made a gift of heavy gold, worth as much as a an entire street
complete with buildings, in order to hire the famous Fok Bo-Chuen
to teach them the skills of Wing Chun Kuen. The Yuen brothers studied
hard constantly for many years, learning the complete system of
Wing Chun Kuen, including the Dummy, Knives, Pole, and Darts, and
attained the Iron Sand Palm. Going on to surpass even their teacher
Yuen Kay-San had a famous blood relative who, during
the Qing Dynasty, had once been the Governor of Sichuan province.
One day, having reason to make a courtesy call to the government
office, he met the famous Bo-Tao (Marshal) Fung Siu-Ching, the mere
mention of whose name would make even strong criminals become terror
stricken. Fung the bounty-hunter was renowned in Wing Chun Kuen
circles for being extremely advanced with skills exceeding the remarkable.
The Yuen brothers, seeking more advanced attainments this time left
behind vast amounts of silver. Fung Siu-Ching was in the process
of ending his career, but he delayed retirement when they invited
him to the "mulberry garden" There he agreed to supervise their
training. Yuen Kay-San possessed considerable advanced knowledge
and foundation. He studied the theory of Wing Chun Kuen skills,
understanding its scientific nature, blending it together and linking
up the points. He achieved a complete understanding of Wing Chun
kuen and developed a theory that lay its foundation.
Later, Yuen Chai-Wan went to Southeast Asia to
pass along Wing Chun Kuen. Yuen Kay-San went on to teach Wing Chun
Kuen to people who changed it and made it famous around the world.
Much of Wing Chun Kuen in the world today comes from Yuen Kay-San,
inherited from the past.