Yip Man - Fatshan Lineage

Police Station Students - later period Fatshan:

Prior to the creation of H.K Wing Chun, young Yip Man passed down Wing Chun Kuen to a very few students during his time in Foshan.

Many legends have replaced historical fact, on who Yip Man learned from. According to Yip Man's oral account of his life, in an interview with Mok Po On? for New Martial Hero? magazine, Yip stated he was accepted as the last disciple of Chan Wah Shun, at age 11. He was to be the 16th and last student Chan would accept paying two taels of silver for tuition. This would have been ruffly in 1903.

6 Months after accepting young Yip Man as his student Chan Wah Shun had a severe stroke. The once proud Wing Chun Master was left with paralysis, and had to retire back to Shunde province, to be looked after, by his family. Chan asked his top student, Ng Chun So?, to help young Yip Man continue his training. Accounts from Leung Ting suggest Yip learned from Chan from the ages of 11-13 when Chan finnaly had his stroke and Ng Chun would take up Yips training.

Between 1920-1940 the Yip Family estate was set on fire and burned to the ground. This was caused by ill feelings about the Yip Family wealth, and the involvment with Yip Man's grandfather with smuggling opium. Yip Man's father was close friends with Mr.Yuen the owner of the local fire works factory. It just so happend that Mr.Yuen had two sons, Yuen Kay Shan and Yuen Chai Wan who were also avid Wing Chun students. At the time of the fire, Mr. Yuen took in the Yip Family, allowing them to stay with the Yuens until other arangments could be made. According to oral accounts passed down by Yuen Kay Shan, his father knew young Yip's master Chan Wah had gotten sick and died. Feeling bad that the young man now had even more adversity, asked his son, Yuen Kay to train with young Yip. Yuen Kay Shan agreed and during the time the Yips lived at the Yuen manor, introduced Yip to the Look Sau platform.

As Yip Man grew he spent much of his time at the club that Ng Chun So managed for the Yiu family. Ng Chun also taught Wing Chun classes at night. Many famous Wing Chun masters spent recreational time here, gambling, smoking and discussing Wing Chuns finer concepts and principles.Ng Chun So?, Yiu Choi, Yuen Kay Shan, Lai Hip Chai, Lui Yu Chai, Jiu Chow?, and others spent alot of time interacting together in the spirit of friendship.

In 1943 after developing a well rounded understanding of the Wing Chun system, Yip Man accepted his first few students. Out of the students from the Foshan period of teaching, only Lun Gai? and Gwok Fu are still alive passing on the system.

Whats very interesting to note is that the Wing Chun Kuen that Yip taught in Foshan, is very similar to other mainland Wing Chun Kuen. If one examines the Chan Family (Chan Yiu Men), Jiu Family (Jiu Chow and Jiu Wan), Pan Nam Family (Lai Hip Chai and Jiu Chow), and Ng Chun So Family (Fok Joy and Yiu Choi) - (all one strain from Chan Wah Shun), one can see that the Wing Chun Yip taught in Foshan, was exaclty like what everyone else practised within his family branch, substantiating that what Yip taught in H.K, was a modernized version of Wing Chun, that he created, by streamlining and minimizing the system, for teaching the public.


  • Oral and written tradition Yip Man Family
  • Leungs Publishing
  • Oral and written tradition Lun Gai
  • Oral and written tradition Gwok Fu