Who was Ip Man?

by / Tuesday, 08 September 2015 / Published in Kung Fu, Wing Chun

Ip Man, also known as Yip Man and Kip Kai-Man; Ip Man was born to a wealthy family in China in 1893

Who was Ip Man?

Classic Chinese films, Hollywood movies and TV series from all over the world are only a few things that have given awareness to the world of today about the beauty of martial arts. Not only do these show interesting moves and exciting plots, but many have also realized that self-defense does not require weapons such as guns or knives. Your body can be your weapon.

One of the most famous martial artists who ever walked the earth was Ip Man. He has taught and inspired countless students of his day and even today his legacy lives on as his Kung Fu practices are still being studied. The story of IP Man is a true one. Ip Man required no stunt man or a body double - he was a legendary master.

The Life of Ip Man

He was also known as Yip Man and Kip Kai-Man; Ip Man was born to a wealthy family in China in 1893. Though he started learning martial arts at a young age, Ip Man went to a traditional Chinese school then moved to Hong Kong to continue his studies. He eventually became a police officer. At the same time, he taught students the Ip Man Wing Chun, a form of Kung Fu. He held lessons at the Sham Shui Po then at the Yau Ma Tei. Many of his students became successful masters in their own right and started to teach others too. He and some of his students established an organization dedicated to Wing Chun called the VingTsun Athletic Association.

Wing Chun’s global practice and fame became the legacy of Ip Man. In 1972, sadly, he succumbed to his battle with throat cancer.

How Ip Man Wing Chun Came to Be

Contrary to popular belief, Ip Man wasn’t the founder of Wing Chun; however, it became his legacy because he taught enough students who went on to became famous through the skills and knowledge they acquired from him. Ip Man was only 7 years old when he started learning Wing Chun from his instructor Chan Wah-shun. When his instructor was already dying, he learned from the second eldest disciple of his first master—Wu Chung-sok.

When Ip Man moved to Hong Kong several years after, he taught friends and relatives as well as some students including Bruce Lee. Even after his death, Ip Man Wing Chun is still being taught to many martial arts students.

In 2008, a Hong Kong film starring Donnie Yen called Ip Man was released in cinemas. The movie was based on the life of Ip Man. Many artifacts of Ip Man’s life and history of the art of Ip Man Wing Chun had been left behind when he died. Many of his followers and martial arts fans visit the Foshan Ancestral Temple’s Yip Man Tong museum to view these.

Decades after his death, indeed, the legacy lives on with Ip Man Wing Chun.

To learn wing chun or to learn self-defense, one can go to The Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School in China, where full time all inclusive kung fu training is given to students of all levels.

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