Ip Man or Yip Man
Article by Dan Knight added on 20 Jul 2012. Last updated on 20 Jul 2012.
Was the Kung Fu Master Yip Man or Ip Man?
You will often see people referring to the late grandmaster of Wing Chun as both Yip Man and Ip Man, people even argue bitterly over the name. So which spelling is right? Ip Man is the official western spelling of the late grandmaster of Wing Chun and (teacher of Bruce Lee). Why is Ip correct and not Yip? Firstly in the passport Ip Man used he has spelled his name Ip Man and secondly his two son's Ip Chun and Ip Ching both take the name Ip not Yip. Please see the biography of Ip Mans life written by his son Ip Ching here Its worth pointing out here that Ip is the family name which is generally said first in China and Hong Kong.
Does it really matter? Yes and no. The name has the same pronunciation, it is just the spelling that is different (like saying tree and chree) and most people know who you mean when you say Yip or Ip Man. However people in generally do like their name spelled correctly, therefore some effort should be made to use Ip. The photo above is a copy of Ip Man's passport.
What about Wing Chun and Ving Tsun?
So what about Wing Chun or Wing Tsun or Ving Tsun? If the written history of Wing Chun is to be believed, the system was named after a women called Yim (Wing Chun). She probably never spelled her name in Latin characters so it does not matter too much how we spell it in our language. This is something that is really down to personal preference.