Integration of the Wing Chun Fist
Throughout the development of Wing Chun skills, its fist form was originated from Shaolin. Till the present day, Wing Chun sect branches had been setup throughout the world. But there were still differences in the fist form which we were learning. Practitioners who mastered the authentic Wing Chun were also very scarce so for many years, there was a need to advocate the integration of Wing Chun.
Disciples commemorated their teacher, Master Yip Man in 1993 during the 100th Anniversary Commemoration ceremony. A Special Issue with title of "Master Yip Man 100th Anniversary Birthday" was publicized. Master Yip Man had taught and nurtured me, in remembrance of my teacher, so I generously sponsored 10,000 Yuan to express my deepest sincerely. At that time, there were numerous wealthy Wing Chun practitioners around but most of them were stingy or was it because Master Yip Man rarely eats supper with them.
In this no. 77 page of the special issue, five suggestions were made. How to further excel Wing Chun fist and restored on a good track? How exactly are we going integrate Wing Chun fist. We should make contribution for our country by taking from Wing Chun was to be used for the good of Wing Chun and promoted Wing Chun fist into the Olympic Games.
International impact of Wing Chun had already caught the attention of Beijing during 1996. I and fellow disciple, Master Hwang Chun Liang was cordially invited by the Chinese Martial Art Association in Beijing to discuss the promulgation of Wing Chun fist. Master Hwang Chun Liang was appointed as the Chairman of Wing Chun Athletic Association and I was the Chairman of Yip Man Martial Arts Association. Alongside with over hundred different clans and sects from national-wide attended this meeting. Mr Kang Fa Wu hosted the meeting and Xu Cai was responsible for the Martial Arts supervision, he fully supported the idea of developing Wing Chun. Once again, Wing Chun fist had come under the spotlight in Beijing and domestically attention too. It's a pity that Master Hwang Chun Liang wants to play Mahjong with Master Yip Man and left the world if not his knowledgeable Wing Chun skills would be another attraction.
During 1997 at that time, Mr. Lee Jie, Chairman of Chinese Martial Art Association, Wu Bing, Dean of Beijing Sport Academy, Yu Li Guang, Hong Kong Coach and I were having discussion in Hong Kong Excelsior Hotel. Since there were Japanese Judo, Korean Tae Kwan Do, how about Chinese Martial Arts? Shouldn't Wing Chun fist be nominated as the representation of Martial Arts and promoted to the world? Master Lee Jie made a point that there were countless of Martial Art sects around and who should we select? Unless we simplified and collated them, making in-depth researches then moved on the popularization of Wing Chun. The rest of us declined to comment.
Thereafter, a plan was proposed to nominate these people as Martial Art Committee members, among them were: Zhang Zhuo Qing, Deng Hwa, Zhao Hong Jun, Lu Di, Yuan Yan Qiang, Xu Shang Tian, Ye Zhun, Ye Zheng, Mai Pu, Luo Yao and representative of various generation of Master Yip Man disciples were recommended to Lee Jie and Kwang Fa Wu of Chinese Martial Arts Association. The latter were in charge of coaching Martial Arts and all parties should discuss together of how to integrate the Wing Chun skills and achieved its appreciation, practicability and fitness functions. I was appointed as the Deputy Chairman to recruit 2 representatives in each region and scheduled a conference meeting in 2003 at Foshan. But it was later cancelled due to the SARS breakout. As I was a well-versed Wing Chun practitioner, my thinking was different from others, I was extremely familiar with the requirements of Wing Chun and also mastered other Western and Thai-boxing apart from Wing Chun. Hence I had been associated with wide range of Kung Fu during my lifetime in the West and as well in Hong Kong. Besides, we liked to challenged and competed with people during our younger days. Our experiences and opinions of Wing Chun differentiated apart from Martial Artistes who learned their skills through lectures and strokes of pens. Instead we researched our Martial Arts through hands-on basis in order to learn the secrets of the skills. Therefore I did not participate the meeting because everybody had shared different views.
Frankly, it was my idea to integrate Wing Chun fist. We knew that Wing Chun was the quintessence origination of Chinese Martial Arts and should be led by Beijing. We had been spreading this information for over decades until finally gaining support from Luo Yao, Yip Chun, Yip Ching and others. They deemed that China had the idea to integrate Wing Chun, if Yip Man Wing Chun don't support, China as a whole shall do something about it. If Hong Kong refused to support, other regions would shown their support. While other sifus were researching into a set of Wing Chun fist, China had already developed its Wing Chun fist. Example: Others had devised and arranged a new set of Wing Chun techniques earlier to dominate the pugilistic world. Many sects also blindly creating new Martial Arts skills without an aim.
As for myself, I was occupied with other matters and unable to spare time in researching. Sometimes, Yip Ching, Chan Wai Hong and I would gather to raise our suggestions about the Wing Chun fist issues but the rest of our peer had no knowledge about the directions of Wing Chun. Until recently, Wing Chun Association had created its fourth set of fist skills. My opinion was this unpractical fist form was like a one-legged horse displaying its fist. Shaolin Kung Fu was much more powerful compared to its strength and stance form. One must practiced diligently so as to build up its stability, power and solo stances.
As time went by, there were personnel changes in the Martial Arts Association and no solution had been finalized as yet. China had laid great importance in winning the gold medals. During that period, Mr Wei Ji Zhong, Secretary-General of Olympic Committee had introduced Tae Kwon Do. I asked why not promoting the Chinese Martial Arts instead of foreign culture like Tae Kwon Do. He quoted: Throughout my 2 years of observation, Chinese Kung Fu was not up to par yet! Then I posed the question again after 2 years, "Do you claim the credits as Tae Kwon Do had been widely practiced" He said resignedly "I finally realized Chinese Kung Fu is the best after observing for two years but Tae Kwon Do is the official Olympic games and I have to do my job well" I reckoned that the civic organization had a duty to promulgated their own traditional culture.
As the Deputy Chairman of the Chinese Dragon & Lion Association, I shall develop Wing Chun fist while promoting the Dragon & Lion sports. Sometimes I went overboard, then my superior criticized me why are you mentioning Wing Chun at the time when you are supporting Dragon & Lion dance. If attained the skills from a real master and strived to practice and researched the skills by competing with others. In this way, Wing Chun fist could better defended itself and became an excellent Kung Fu culture. However, I felt heart-broken because Chinese people were not anesthetic about popularizing Wing Chun, China was desperately in winning more gold medals. Nevertheless, foreigners were more passionate in Wing Chun and one day, Wing Chun fist would blend into their culture. Such an excellent culture would lose in China.
In 21st April till 26th April this year, the Chinese Martial Art Association shall hold a tournament in Shandong province, the Mecca of Martial Arts. Till then, an accreditation certificate shall be awarded, I will be elected as the Committee Member of the Chinese Martial Art Association. Lastly, the outcome of Wing Chun integration will be made known. I would be very much appreciated if all Wing Chun Sifus may please advise the valuable suggestion to me.