Learning Wing Chun – Why I Started Wing Chun
I’m going to be honest. I knew nothing about Wing Chun before I started training in it. The main reason why I started learning Wing Chun was because I saw the Ip Man movie staring Donnie Yen back when it first came out in 2008. I felt so amped and amazed by the power of Wing Chun. I know Ip Man is an exaggerated movie based on the real Grandmaster of Wing Chun, Yip Man but it’s still a bad ass movie! It wasn’t until I started Wing Chun did I learn that he was also Bruce Lee’s first martial arts teacher!
After watching the movie with Donnie Yen, I made a public announcement on my Facebook declaring my new found ambition to be able to take on 10 guys at once with Wing Chun like Donnie Yen did in the movie!
I wondered, does Donnie Yen know Wing Chun? I mean I know he’s an martial artist and all but he actually did have to learn Wing Chun and go through Wing Chun training for his role as Ip Man. Don’t believe me? Check out this short clip of Donnie Yen with Ip Chun! Watch it here!
Anyway, only one person on Facebook took me seriously, my friend Tommy. He was already learning Wing Chun for a few months under Yip Pui in NYC. He invited me to come check out the class. It was interesting to watch since Wing Chun is completely different from the Choy Lay Fut wushu I studied before – everything was different: the stance, the way they strike, and so on.
I was intrigued and signed up for classes under Yip Pui. As I started my Wing Chun training, it was very difficult for me at first because it required a different stance. I was used to the traditional horse stance. The Wing Chun stance is much narrower and our toes point inwards. The first class I had to learn to deflect and punch at the same time while shifting on my heels with the new stance. Everything was foreign to me and it was a lot to process! But it didn’t matter because I loved the Wing Chun philosophy of defending and striking at the same time. And I also thought the Wing Chun dummy was one of the coolest things and I had to learn it!!
I did some research and discovered that Wing Chun is the only martial art that was developed by a woman for women. I only applied it logically to think that if an average sized woman was confronted by a 200lb man and still be able to take them down, I can scale that logic to how a full size man can take down someone who is 400lbs. Of course that’s just how I saw it. It definitely made me more enthusiastic about Wing Chun!