In 1949, when mainland China fell into the hands of the communists, my father left his homeland and went south to Hong Kong, where he settled down, set up a gymnasium, admitted students and taught them techniques of Wing Tsun. For the following thirty years he worked as a martial art tutor, and had so far brought up more than five hundred thousand students, who all help spreading the Wing Tsun techniques to all parts of the world. This great success meant as much to himself as to others who worked hard for the same aim of spreading the techniques of Wing Tsun, for they all shared the joy of this successful deed. Grandmaster Yip Man would smile in satisfaction if he knew this.
Amongst the students of my father, Bruce Lee was one of the most well-known. Bruce Lee met Grandmaster Yip Man at Hong Kong, when he was studying at the St. Francis College. Bruce Lee's father, Lee Hoi Chuen, was a good friend of my father. They were fellow natives of Futshan. The close relationship between Bruce Lee's father and Grandmaster Yip Man, coupled with Bruce Lee's jealous inclination towards martial arts and his assiduity in his studies, resulted in my father's dedicated coaching for the boy. And before the end of the third year of learning Wing Tsun techniques from my father, Bruce Lee had to suspend his martial art lessons, for his had to leave Hong Kong for taking up academic studies in U.S.A.
Shek Kin & Bruce Lee together during a break in the filming of "Enter the Dragon ".
yeung Bruce Lee
The Great Grandmaster Yip Man & Young Bnjce Lee.
The parting of Bruce Lee from Grandmaster Yip Man did not show any sign of permanent separation between the student and the master. But in fact there was disagreement in their mind. The fact was, 1 guess, that before Bruce Lee left for U.S.A., my father reminded him that Chinese kung-fu is one of the sophisticated arts of China, that we Chinese need kung-fu techniques to defend ourselves and to keep good health, and that techniques of Chinese kung-fu should not be taught so freely to foreigners, (it was the typically Chinese traditional thinking of the old kung-fu masters!) Bruce Lee promised to bear this in mind before he left for U.S.A. But soon after Bruce Lee had reached U.S.A.. he set up a gymnasium, admitted foreign students, and taught them Wing Tsun techniques, to the surprise and disappointment of his master.
Grandmaster Yip Man, the author's son, and the author's wife in Yip's 75th Year Birthday Party.
BRUCE LEE'S AMBITION
In the summer of 1965, Brucc Lee returned from U.S.A. to Hong Kong, brought with him his wife and his son. He paid a visit to his master, and requested him to teach the latter part of the Wooden Dummy Techniques, which Bruce Lee did not learn during the three years when he followed his master in Hong Kong before he went to U.S.A. He further asked my father to allow him to make a shooting with an 8 m.m. film of the complete set of Siu Nim Tau fLittle Idea) techniques, which he needed for his teaching in U.S.A. In return for his master's favour, Bruce Lee offered to buy Grandmaster Yip a new domestic flat.
However, Bruce Lee made a very serious mistake. That was, he emphasized too much about money so as to hurt his own teacher's self-respect! So Grandmaster Yip Man refused him, saying, "I can't promise you that, for the reasons that firstly you were not the only student I admitted, secondly, 1 had never promised any one of my students for such a request. If I accept your proposal, what should I say to my other students?" Having been rejected by my father, Bruce Lee turned to me to ask for help. 1 said, "Indeed we lived in hardship since.we first came to Hong Kong more than ten years ago. We did not even had a house of our own. The offer of a new flat would of course ease our hardship. However, there is something more valuable than a comfortable materialistic life to a man. Besides, my father has a strong willpower, and is firm-minded. This is what you and I know. If he refused you, I can't persuade him to change his mind."
WING TSUN KUEN & JEETKUNE-00
Bruce Lee returned to U.S.A. feeling bored. He didn't teach Wing Tsun anymore, because he knew that he would never become the "No. 1 Man" in Wing Tsun. In order to suceed in his career, he had to set up a new style and became the "Founder" himself. So he formulated his techniques into Jeet-Kune-Do, which he taught his own students, and for which he became famous. However, the techniques of his Jeet-Kune-Do, as observed on screens, were in fact mainly based on the techniques of Wing Tsun combined with Taikwondo and Karate, with some more western boxing, judo, northern Praying Mantis Kung-fu, etc. His theories, as released on newspapers, books, and magazines, were mostly the theories of Wing Tsun, then added up some Chinese philosophies o! Taoism, as well some theories of western boxing or judo. When Bruce Lee became famous for hisJeet-Kune-Do, my father never mentioned Bruce Lee. He even did not like people talk about Bruce Lee in front of him.
Bruce Lee the famous kung fu star.
As a matter of fact, the disagreement between my father and Bruce Lee was due to the difference of the life background and education of the two. My father when young received traditional Chinese education, and was influenced by Confucianism. He had thus a strong feeling of nationalism. Besides, he was strict and firm-minded. He could bear hardship of life. Though he was poor during his life as the captain of the dectective squad and as a tutor of martial arts, he felt happy in accepting his life.
On the other hand, Bruce Lee was educated in an English school in Hong Kong before he went to U.S.A. to further his education in philosophy. He was deeply influenced by pragmatism. He struggled for fame and wealth during his life. He succeeded in obtaining both, but leaving both behind on his death - one to the world of martial arts, the other to his wife.
Grandmaster Yip Man teach -ing Bruce Lee the Wing Tsun Chi-Sau exercise.
The High & Low Gaurvsau Movement as demonstrated by Master Yip Chun.
TERMS OF MOVEMENTS, EXERCISES, & EQUIPMENTS
BA R T-CHAM-ÜA 0
Fight-Cutting Broadswords Techniques
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