Thanks to a success of the martial art movie Ip Man, Wing Chun Kungfu has seen a surge in popularity in Hong Kong as group of 25 students gather every Thursday at Multi-functional Hall B to learn some ancient Chinese martial arts from Master CHAN Wai Shing. Among them are City University students and staff.
According to Master CHAN who has been practicing Wing Chun for 17 years, this system of Kungfu can be acquired via four basic forms or weapons, namely “Jong” (wooden dummy), knife, pole and “Chi Sau”(sticking hands). CHAN said the one-month course gives entry-level students an opportunity to learn the basics of Wing Chun, as well as its history and future development. But he stressed that beginners must practice regularly to get the hang of the techniques.
“People join for different reasons. Some come for self-defense and others to spread the Chinese traditional art. Personally, I am here to share it with others via practicing and teaching Wing Chun. I would also like to share with practitioners the optimum and ultimate deployment of physical striking power in this form of Kung Fu. This is a form of art in its own right,” Master CHAN said.
Through a series of demonstrations, Master CHAN explained the function of every movement in detail and splited students into small groups for training purposes.
He added that the “Tan Sau”, “Fu Sau” and “Pong Sau” are exercises to train practitioners’ elbow strength and Centerline, which is reckoned to be the human body’s prime striking targets. Traditionally the centerline is considered to be the vertical axis from the top of a human’s head to the groin. Only after acquiring this skill that a student can utilize Bruce Li’s famous “Chuen Ging”–literally “inch strike”–or a very strong bash at a close combat range of one inch.
Furthermore, it is through relentless practicing and a full grasp of the spirit of Wing Chun can one really showcase the art of this world renowned Kung Fu.
In a humble comment, CHAN said he is always a student in front of his teacher. “Occasionally my teacher made a few useful observations while I was practicing and the words really helped me to improve my techniques. But once I have conquered one mountain, I realize that there is a taller summit ahead and the art of mastering of the skill is a lifelong process.”
Nowadays, some people may say that a smart brain is more useful than skillful fists, but how many can actually get a full scope of the principles behind the Wing Chun martial art? Wing Chun’s simple but effective styles and well-balanced body structure have been likened to the behavior of many traditional Chinese virtues such as a humble beginning of having one’s feet firmly rooted to the ground prior to a sprawling expansion.
When asked if one can rely on teaching Wing Chun to make a living, Master CHAN shook his head and said: “I don’t think it’s a good idea because one can hardly survive on the low income. I think most teachers do it for inheritance, to pass on the skill to the next generation.”
Writer: LOCK Kar See (Jockey Club Academy Hall)
Photographer: Jiwon JEONG (Joceky Club Academy Hall)
文: 駱嘉時 (賽馬會群智堂)
攝: Jiwon JEONG (賽馬會群智堂)