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Yip Man

Sifu Yip Man (1893-1972) was a grandmaster of Wing Chun, a well-known Kung Fu style.

Yip Man (1893-1972)
Yip Man (1893-1972)

Coming from a wealthy and traditional family from Futsan, he was accepted at six years as a disciple of Chan Wah San, who was then teaching in the temple that belonged to his family.

After his death, he trained with Chan Wah Sanīs sihing (older brother in Kung Fu), NgChung So. In 1908, he went to study in Hong Kong where he met Leung Bik, the youngest son of the great master Leung Jan. After Leung Bik defeated him in a duel, Yip Man became his new pupil, studying more sophisticated techniques and theoretical applications he had not seen before.

Yip Man later joined the police in Futsan. He taught Wing Chun to several of his subordinates, friends and relatives, but did not run a martial arts school. During the Japanese occupation in World War II, his family went through major financial difficulties. Being an official of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party), he fled to Hong Kong after the rise of the Communists to power in China in 1949, where he began teaching Kung Fu to sustain himself.

The success of his students in street fights and Kung Fuīs informal tournaments (known as Gong Sao) helped to popularize Wing Chun and increased Yip Man's reputation. One of them, Bruce Lee, would later become an icon of cinema.

He created a new design of the Muk Yan Jong (known as wooden dummy) to fit the needs of training in an apartment.

In 1968, he founded the Hong Kong Ving Tsun Athletic Association. He died in 1972 from throat cancer, due to his smoking habits (Yip Man was said to have smoked opium regularly).

A museum (the "Yip Man Tong" museum) in his honor exists in China.

He has been since the subject of several Hong Kong-Chinese martial arts films and television series.

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