Wing Chun Kuen Kuit
Article by Dan Knight added on 21 Jul 2012. Last updated on 21 Jul 2012.
Sayings and Maxims of Wing Chun
The Kuen Kuit Chops of Wing Chun Kung Fu are part of the legacy Ip Man left behind. The set of chops were made by his student Moy Yat.
The Wing Chun chops
Part of the legacy Ip Man left behind was the set of chops he commissioned Moy Yat (artist and student to Ip Man) to carve. These chops are usually refereed to as the Kuen Kuit. The 51 chops consist of different kinds of stone carved in different styles. It is said to have taken Moy Yat 3 years to collect the stones and an additional 3 years to plan and carve them.
The chops contain key names in Wing Chun's history and some of the Key principles of Wing Chun. Below we have outlines some of the inscriptions (translated). It is hard to tell which of the stones come from Moy Yat's thinking and which come explicitly from Ip Man. However both men are considered to be amongst the greatest kung fu practitioners of their time and so the information and advice in the chops are key messages well worth spending some time to think about. However as a word of warning, many other sites on the internet offer lists of many hundreds of supposed Kuen Kuit many of which were not carved by Moy Yat. Whist some may also be useful sayings to help people understand Wing Chun many are just personal opinions of more recent instructors that only server to dilute the significance and profound messages of the original Kuen Kuit.
Timing is achieved through practice.
The theory of Ving Tsun has no limit in its applications.
People walk the bow, I walk the string.
Occupy the inner gate to strike deep into the defence.
Punch from the heart.
Understand the principles for your training.
The hand that hits also blocks.
Charge an opponent. Execute three moves together.
Make the first move to take control. Attack according to timing.
Soft and relaxed strength will put your opponent in jeopardy.
Be humble to request your teacher for guidance.
Perform the Mok Jong in the Air.
Avoid Pak Sau on the inner door.
Chi Sau with both eyes closed.
Co-ordinate the hands and feet, movement should be together.
Hand to hand, foot to foot, there is no ultimate technique.
Upon achieving the highest level of proficiency, application of techniques will vary depending on the opponent.
The pole does not hit twice.
Fist is not polite.
Wing Chun lineage
by Moy Yat (sometimes Mo Yat), 1967
The following text is a translation of three seals from the Kuen Kuit which detail the origins and lineage of the Ving Tsun family.
The Ving Tsun system started during the Ching Dynasty under the rule of the Emperor Yung Jing. The Siu Lam Temple was burned down. Five of the senior monks hid themselves in different mountains. The nun Ng Mui lived in White Crane temple in Wan Nam. She saw a snake and a crane fighting. This gave her an idea to modify the kung fu she knew. She met a girl named Ving Tsun and taught her the new kung fu so she could defend herself against a bully who wanted to force her to marry him.
Ving Tsun later divided her new system into siu nim tao, chum kiu, biu je, mui fah jong, luk dim poon kwan, and bot jom doa. Her followers named the style after her. She passed the art on to her husband Leung Pok Toa, who passed it on to Wong Wah Po. Wong Wah Po passed it on to Leung Lan Kwai, Leung Yee Tai and Leung Tsun.
Leung Tsun passed it on to Fung Wah and Chan Wah Shuen. Grand Master Yip Man learned the complete system from Chan Wah Shuen. Grand Master Yip Man is the leader of the style now. From what I have heard, that is how the family tree has grown. I have set the legend of Ving Tsun in stone carvings for the future generations.
- Grand Master Moy Yat, 1967
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Kuen KuitPhilosophyTheoryHitstoryMoy YatIp Man