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Ving Tsun Kung Fu

| introduction | history and lineage | training methods | terminology |

Ving Tsun Kung Fu is a simple and beautiful martial art well-suited to the needs of people in modern society. It is an amazingly efficient and effective system in which one can become competent in a relatively short time. Since it does not rely on physical strength, Ving Tsun is ideal for men and women of any stature.

Ving Tsun was invented in China by a woman named Yim Ving Tsun about four hundred years ago and was passed down over generations through a series of Grand Masters. In recent times, the greatest master of the Ving Tsun system was the late Yip Man, who taught in Hong Kong in the 1950s and 60s. Among his students were the famous Bruce Lee and the man whose name our Kung Fu Association bears, Moy Yat. Grand Master Moy Yat emigrated to New York in the 1970s and popularized Ving Tsun in America and around the world.

One of the unique things about Ving Tsun is the way it's taught. In the Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu Association, we do not simply teach "self-defense techniques" which may work in the controlled environment of a classroom but fail in the unpredictable "real world." We teach principles of kung fu which can be applied to any aspect of life and which have been proven effective for four hundred years on battlefields, in tournaments, on the streets of Hong Kong and New York, and in the lives of the students of Ving Tsun.

history and lineage
Ving Tsun Kung Fu is named after its founder, Yim Ving Tsun, a woman who was born in a small town in southern China about 400 years ago. She studied kung fu with a nun named Ng Mui who was one of the top martial artists of the time. Yim Ving Tsun revised and refined what she had learned until finally she had a distillation that was amazingly economical as well as extremely effective.

She taught the system to her husband, an actor named Leung Pok Toa. Together the two taught Ving Tsun Kung Fu to a carefully chosen few while travelling throughout China with Leung Pok Toa's show. When they stopped in Fut Shan they taught a doctor, Leung Chun. He passed Ving Tsun on to Chan Wah Shuen, who in turn taught Yip Man. In 1949 Yip Man brought Ving Tsun Kung Fu to Hong Kong where it became the most popular style of kung fu. His student Moy Yat brought Ving Tsun to America in the 1970s. For a more detailed recounting of the history and lineage of Ving Tsun, visit our kung fu wisdom/Kuen Kuit page.

training methods
Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu is taught in a relaxed and generally informal setting. In a typical class students warm up on their own by playing forms and then pair off with others to play two-person drills. Some classes also include group conditioning exercises. Senior students and beginners train together in the same classes. Students typically work out several times per week in class and on their own. The basic training program of forms, drills, and conditioning is augmented by frequent workshops and seminars with the students' sifu and possibly their sigung and sitaigung as well. To learn more about Ving Tsun training methods, visit our kung fu in action page.

biu je (bil gee): "standard compass" or "striking fingers," the third Ving Tsun form.
bot jom doa (bat jam do, baat chum do): "eight-way chopping knives," a Ving Tsun weapon form.
chi gerk (chee gurk): the Ving Tsun two-person "sticking legs" drill.
chi sao (chi sau, chee sow, seung chi sao): the Ving Tsun two-person "sticking hands" drill.
chum kiu (chum kil): "short bridge" or "seeking the bridge," the second Ving Tsun form.
don chi sao (don chi sau, dan chee sow): the Ving Tsun two-person "one-arm sticking hands" drill.
form: a traditional training exercise comprised of a specific series of movements.
gerk jong (gurk jong): wooden stumps or poles used for moving and kicking exercises.
jong: see "muk yan jong" below or "gerk jong" above.
kwan (kwun, quan): the pole, a Ving Tsun weapon.
lop sao (lop sow, lop sau): the Ving Tsun two-person "grab and punch" drill.
luk dim poon kwan (luk dim boon kwun): "six and a half point pole," a Ving Tsun weapon form.
muk yan jong (mook yan jong, mui fah jong): the "wooden dummy" or "plum blossom dummy," a Ving Tsun training device and the form played on that device.
pak dar (pok dar): the Ving Tsun two-person "block and punch" drill.
pak sao (pak sau, pok sow): the Ving Tsun two-person "slap block" drill.
sao bao (sow bow, sau bow): the sand bag, a Ving Tsun training device used for striking.
sidai: one's younger kung fu brother, a junior student.
sifu: one's teacher and the master of a school.
sigung: one's grandteacher.
sihing: one's older kung fu brother, a senior student.
sitaigung: one's great grandteacher.
siu nim tao (sil lim tao, see num tao, seel lum dao): "little beginning idea," the first Ving Tsun form which contains the basic vocabulary of the system.
todai: a sifu's student(s).
tsui ma (toy ma, toi mah): the Ving Tsun two-person "moving the horse" drill.
ye chi kim yeung ma (yee chee kim yung mah): the Ving Tsun training horse stance.

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