February 18, 2015 / in Wing Chun History / by Sifu Justin Och
Most Branchs of Wing Chun Kuen, trace themselves to Master Ng Mui Si Tai, in some form or another. The story relates that, one day, Ng Mui’s practice was interrupted by a snake and a crane which were locked in combat. Ng Mui watched the snake and the crane and came to admire their fighting methods. Observing this, Ng Mui began to incorporate the unique strengths and tactics into her already well-developed martial art skills, creating a remarkable new method that eventually became Wing Chun.
Continuing Ng Mui History via Oral Tradition
At this point, Ng Mui history gets a bit more fuzzy and the oral and written traditions of Yuen Kay Shan and Cho Family picks up the story, telling that Ng Mui journeyed to Guangxi where she met Miu Shin. She accepted Miu as a student, passing on to him her refined boxing methods. Miu Shin than mixed Ng Mui’s Bak Hok Kuen, with the snake boxing methods he already practiced and created the style which would eventually be called Wing Chun, after Yim Yee’s daughter.
Ng Mui renamed her Dragon-Tiger system to Mui Fa Pai. Today, there are many versions of this style, with many names of this concave chest postured (crouched posture) Dragon-Tiger system. The Mui Fa fighting system is nearly identical to sister arts like those of Bak Mei, Lung Ying, Southern Praying Mantis, Bak Fu, and later Yan Kun Moon. These sister system utilize the concept of being very aggressive from the best possible defensive posture (crouched posture). Not all of Ng Mui’s teachings were centered on offensive abilities. Some of her students were taught counter-fighting principles. Ng Mui instructed Fong Weng Chun (a male student) to specialize in the two animal systems known as the Weng Chun Dein Fu-Hok Sheong Ying. Most Fong clansman preferred the Crane techniques. Ng Mui also instructed Yim Yee Wing Chun (a female student and lineage holder of the Ip Man system) to specialize in the two animal fighting systems known as the Weng Chun Dein Sae’I-Hok Sheong Ying (the Enternal Springtime Hall’s Snake and Crane Form).