THE HISTORY OF VING TSUN
The founder of the Ving Tsun Kung Fu System, Miss Yim Ving Tsun,who was a native of Canton, China.during the reign of Emperor K’anghsi (1622-1722). Kung Fu was becoming very strong in Siu Lam Monastery (Shaolin Monastery). This aroused the fear of the Manchu government, which sent troops to attack the monastery. A fire to the Monastery while soldiers attacked it from outside. Siu Lam was burned downand the monks scattered. Buddhist Abbess Ng Mui, Abbot Chi Shin, Abbot Pak Mei, Master Fung To Tak and Master Miu Him escaped and fled their separate ways. Ng Mui took refuge in White Crane Temple on Mt. Tai Leung (also known as Mt. Chai Har). There, she came to know Yim Yee and his daughter, Yim Ving Tsun. Ving Tsun was a very young woman then and her beauty attracted the attention of a local bully. He tried to force Ving Tsun to marry him. She and her father were very worried. Ng Mui learned this and took pity on Ving Tsun. She agreed to teach Ving Tsun fighting techniques so that she could protect herself. Then she would be able to solve the problem with the bully and marry Leung Bok Chau, her betrothed husband.
So, Ving Tsun followed Ng Mui into the mountains and started to learn Kung Fu. She trained night and day, and mastered the techniques. Then she challenged the local bully to a fight and beat him. Ng Mui set off to travel around the country, but before she left she told Ving Tsun to strictly honor the Kung Fu traditions, to develop her Kung Fu after her marriage and to help the people working to overthrow the Manchu government and restore the Ming Dynasty. This is how Ving Tsun Kung Fu was handed down by Abbess Ng Mui. Ving Tsun later taught her Kung Fu to her husband Leung Bok Chau and he passed his Kung Fu techniques on to Leung Lan Kwai. Leung Lan Kwai passed it on to Wong Wah Bo. Wong Wah Bo was a member of an opera troupe on board a junk, known to the Chinese as the “Red Junk”. Wong worked on the Red Junk with Leung Yee Tei. It so happened that Abbot Chi Shin, who fled from Siu Lam, had disguised himself as a cook and was now working on the Red Junk. Chi Shin taught the six and a half point Long pole techniques to Leung Yee Tei. Leung Yee Tei passed the Kung Fu on to Leung Jan, a well known herbal doctor in Fahshan. Leung Jan grasped the innermost secrets of Ving Tsun and attained the highest level of proficiency. Many Kung Fu Masters came to challenge him, but all were defeated. Leung Jan became very famous and later he passed his Kung Fu on to Chan Wah Shan, who took the Famous Yip Man as a student. Yip Man opened his doors to many modernizing created the avenue of spreading the system worldwide. In that time he has produced many students one namely being Moy Yat.
THE LIFE OF MOY YAT
One of Yip Man’s closest disciples was GrandMaster Moy Yat, whom he was first introduced to in 1957. For 15 years, Moy Yat kept a close relationship with Yip Man, living the “Kung Fu Life.” It was at this time that he learned from Yip Man the principles and deeper aspects of Ving Tsun. Never far from Yip Man’s side, Grand Master Moy Yat eventually developed into one of his top disciples. In 1973 Grand Master Moy Yat came to the United States where he began teaching kung fu in New York City. It was in Brooklyn where the seed of the Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu family was planted. Moy Yat would soon develop a loyal following of students, many of whom had sought him out to learn authentic kung fu. Just as Yip Man had done in Hong Kong,GrandMaster Moy Yat followed his sifu’s example and used the same method to teach his own students. He instilled upon his students the importance of “Kung Fu Life,” the use of the Ving Tsun principles in everyday life. He always said that Ving Tsun Kung Fu can best be learned outside the classroom. This is how Ving Tsun, as taught to Yip Man, is learned.
To his last days, Grand Master Moy Yat lived his life very much in this way, spending his time living and teaching Ving Tsun through “Kung Fu Life.” Grand Master Moy Yat is still well respected in the community, as a kung fu teacher and as an accomplished artist. His paintings, calligraphy and stone carvings can be seen throughout his Chinatown school, as well as in art shows which were held regularly in the city. Grand Master Moy Yat retired from teaching physical kung fu on his 60th Birthday, but continued to teach the principles of Kung Fu through “Kung Fu Life,” as well as teaching art and massage up until his passing. His son William and Sifu Henry Moy now teach at both the Chinatown School as well as at the Bayside, Queens school with Sifu Micky Chan. The Moy Yat Kung Fu Family is quite extensive, with students throughout the world spreading the art of Ving Tsun. His disciples are teaching Ving Tsun in their own schools throughout the United States and around the world, with schools as far reaching as Canada, Brazil, and Mexico.
MOY YEE TUNG
Marcus Evans Sr.