Wing Chun Kuen is a unique Chinese principle-based martial system created by the Shaolin nun Ng Mui some 350 years ago as an answer to a simple question: "How to secure the martial objective, if one is smaller, weaker and slower than the opponent?"
To safely control aggression with the least expenditure of energy in the shortest time possible.
The - seemingly paradoxical - deeper purpose of learning traditional martial arts (Chan/Zen-origin) is to predict, recognize and safely & efficiently resolve all conflicts (from con- "together" + fligere "to strike"), which obstruct true human potential to be expressed and maintained on every level of human existence. Not only it has nothing to do with fighting, on the contrary, it has everything to do with no-fighting.
Even though the word "Kung Fu" has become a synonym for martial arts, the term "Kung Fu" describes the endeavour of persistent investment in time & effort for the purpose of mastering skill - any skill. The employment of Kung Fu is therefore a prerequisite in order to be able to master anything.
According to legend, this martial system was developed some 350 years ago by monks and a Buddhist nun by the name Ng Mui at the Shaolin temple in the province Henan, China. When the temple was raided and burnt to the ground by Manchu soldiers, there were only few survivors, among them was Ng Mui. After she managed to escape the calamity, she travelled south and eventually settled down on Mount Tai Leung. There in a small village she taught a young lady by the name of Yim Wing Chun who later on got married and passed the art to her husband. The husband of Yim Wing Chun named this new and eclectic martial system after his wife's name in honour of her accomplishments in the art. From there on this secret martial art was to become known as Wing Chun Kuen.
The way the founders of Wing Chun Kuen went about developing Wing Chun Kuen was radically different from how all the other existing martial styles were created. The premise for the making of this system was "What if the opponent is bigger, stronger, faster?" which was the starting point for the theory of efficiency, safety and economy of motion, upon which they layered martial principles as a base for the actual combat techniques. This by itself was a complete revolutionary approach compared to how martial styles were developed up to that point in time, because the other styles were all technique-based, but now with Wing Chun Kuen it was all about principle-based. This required a shift in thinking and breaking with the time-honoured Shaolin tradition. The founders then took only the most efficient techniques and training methods from the existing styles and incorporated them into this new martial system. By doing so, they created a superior weapon. And for this reason Wing Chun Kuen was handed down only as a close-guarded secret to a few select students and martial practitioners over the centuries.
The legendary Wing Chun master Yip Man learnt from two teachers: Chan Wah Shun from whom he learnt while growing up in his hometown of Fatshan was supposedly the better fighter, while Leung Bik who was his SiFu in Hong Kong was more adept at the profound theory of Wing Chun Kuen. This resulted in Yip Man getting the best of theory and application and thus gave him the edge over his former classmates when returning to Fatshan from Hong Kong. Despite this fortunate combination of Yip Man's teachers, it is still highly questionable whether he actually received the full transmission of the system.
It is widely believed that Yip Man broke with the tradition of secretly handing down the system to the next generation and instead was teaching openly. This is unfortunately an incorrect belief. It is true that he was running a school and was there as SiFu. However, that doesn't mean he was actually teaching in the sense of transmitting the system to the next generation in a structured way of a proper curriculum. He only showed bits and pieces and let the students come to their own conclusions, hence all the different interpretations of the system. There was no set pattern to the classes and one of Yip Man's students made a very correct remark when he stated that "Probably fewer than six people in the whole Wing Chun clan were personally taught, or even partly taught, by Yip Man". The only people he taught the martial aspect to were his private disciples. And these were only a very few select students with the financial means necessary to be able to afford Yip Man's exorbitant Wing Chun fees for private discipleship. And of those handful of private disciples only two of them are known, while the others were never interested in teaching the art and chose to remain unknown to the public.
Moreover, what was transmitted was the martial aspect only. Somewhere along Wing Chun's history, the true core got lost or was not transmitted anymore, but it was encoded into the very system itself and to be rediscovered by a person with the capacity to understand it.
Mr. Mitja Perat completed the reconstruction of the Wing Chun system's core in autumn of 2011 and has presented some of his research findings as Evidence-Based WSM (Wing Chun System Model; M. Perat) for the first time at the scientific EAAP* conference in Sardinia, September 2012, where efficiency & safety are of paramount importance and can be best put to use in the field of Applied Human Factors.
*European Association for Aviation Psychology
The theory of Wing Chun Kuen lies upon the deep understanding of the uniqueness of Chinese philosophical concepts. These concepts are highly pragmatic in nature, and can be therefore applied to many different arts, including martial arts. Safe Efficiency is the uncompromisingly unifying intention behind Wing Chun Kuen's theoretical framework. The theory is built around the simple idea of maximizing human body potential to secure the Martial Objective. The Wing Chun Kuen system was designed to be applied in real life situations where life is under threat, and for this reason it cannot be applied properly in combat sports setting, where intention is to gather points while complying with the restricted and well-defined rules and code of conduct. Rules are necessary in sport setting in order to prevent irreversible injuries and/or even death, hence combat sports cannot reflect real life combat situations, where intention is not to gain points, but to survive. If it is applied within the boundaries of sport rules, it loses its greatest advantage - its uncompromising brutality. For this reason Wing Chun Kuen is taught in some police and military special forces as a hand-to-hand combat system.
The theory of Wing Chun Kuen is highly sophisticated and simple at the same time. The style is as hard as it is soft, it is as external as it is internal, it is as Yin as it is Yang, and it is as concrete as it is abstract. This coordinated integration of bipolar opposites, among other things, makes the art of Wing Chun Kuen unique, and places it at the peak of martial arts, as a unifying theoretical multidimensional system.
The theory of Wing Chun Kuen is ingeniously encoded in transgenerational and transcultural language of motion, defined by mathematical accuracy of efficient body-mechanics, just waiting there for centuries to be decoded.