Introduction » About


Wingchun- clever and beautiful material art

(According Phu Nu Thu Do, No 6, 08/02/2006)
Wingchun- Origin, import and development process in Vietnam
Wingchun came from China in mid-seventeenth century, which was invented and contributed by a Buddhist nun -Ngu Mai Lao Ni, who is the great kungfu master  of the Shaolin Sect. She always torment that why women and men have the similar teacher with the similar practice skill but they always lost, it’s really not fair. Therefore, she paid attention,  analysis by her best effort  and creative a new material art which is very suitable for women. The name of the material art is name of her first student : Yim Wing Chun. Wing Chun is not only the very high fighting effect, but also maintains a high nourishing skill.
In the end of 1939, Master Nguyen Te Cong, moved from Hong Kong  to Vietnam, he taught Wingchun in Vietnam. Master Nguyen Te Cong is the first person teaches Wingchun in Vietnam, he created Vietnamese Wingchun. There are a lot of people who are interested in studying Wingchun when they still are pupil, such as  Doctor Pham Khac Quang, Lawyer- Nguyen Thanh Vinh and the General Secretary of The Lao People's Revolutionary Party- Kaysone Phomvihane and so on. Additional, there are many successful masters in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city, eg. the late masters- Tran Van Phung, Tran Thuc Tien, Ngo Si Quy, Do Ba Vinh, Ho Hai Long, Luc Vien Khai and so on. Students of the late master- Nguyen Te Cong was continuously teaching Wingchun for thousands students until now. Only in Hanoi, there are more than 10 material art schools teaching Wingchun, which proves that Wingchun is more and more polulal in Vietnam.
The particular of Wingchun in the life:
In 1970s, the famous movie star- Bruce Lee made the world know the particular of Wingchun in fighting. Everyone looked at Wingchun by new eyes, because it is a very elaborately and new actions. In fact that Wingchun is a internal family material art ( NHU QUYEN), which is suitable with characteristic of woman because the creator of Wingchun is a Buddhist nun. Wingchun does not require student to pay their muscular strength instead of relaxing, flexibility, simplicity in every single movement, however, it implies a high internal power and effective. All of methods and techniques are natural . The gold key can open all the successful doors in Vingchun that is your will and hard working, hence,  Wingchun is very suitable for officers. Moreover, Wingchun  is also suitable for citylife: do not require pratice place ( you can pratice in only 2-3m2), no pratice equipment, no noise, no effect to anypeople. 
Master Tran Thuc Tien is one of students of Master Nguyen Te Cong, before he study Wingchun, he got TB –level 3. This is a big trouble for him because TB is one of the most dangerous desease in 1940s. However, Wingchun and Mater Tran Thuc Tien gave him a big chance to live and more than that living healthy, destroyed the desease and achived a very high level skill of Wingchun technique. His weight was only 48 -50 kg but He wass till very fine after the late boxing champion – Pham Xuan Nhan hitted in his body by the best effort. Although he stand by one feet but the champion cannot push and move him.
Mrs Nguyen Thi Bich Van, is his student also, had to stop her job because of desablement when she was 30 years old. She had went to a lot of hospital and use every kind ofpossible medicines but her situation was not changed. She joyed a wingchun class of Master Tran Thuc Tien and luckyly she is received internal methods and techniques from him. After only short time, she not only recovered but also she have internal power that is a most special technique of Winchun. She can stand with a lot of sputums and kicking in her body like Master Tran Thuc Tien.  Until now, noone can think that she is 65 years old, she is younger than her age too much. Master Nguyen Khac Vien also follow and study Wingchun. He combine Wingchun with some other kind of techniques that help him lengthen his life tens years than what doctors guess about his living ability. Master Nguyen Khac Vien analysis and wish he can apply Wingchun in sport lessons in Vietnamese education system. There are too much another case who came with Wingchun and luckyly can receive benefits not only for their healthy but also for their soul like that.
According the old boxing champion – Pham Xuan Nhan : “ the techiques of Wingchun is awesome and fantastic. I love and admire so much” (according  toàn văn lời tâm sự của bác Phạm Xuân Nhàn in website: Mrs Nguyen Thi Bich Van - a wingchun senior teacher, a writer said that “ The praticing techniques and methods are very valuable, because the Kungfu can help people who almost pass away can recover and more than that live with healthy body and strong espirit. Professor Nguyen Manh Nham, manager of Wingchun Hanoi Club, wth 50 years to become fond of Wingchun, He said Wingchun is a very valuable treasure, a very noble heritage, there is so lucky for us that we can know and receive quintessences of Wingchun.
We wish that Wingchun, the material art of Spring, The material art of beauty will help people find out secret abilities that are deep inside their body and soul. Bringing to everyone wealthy, fresh, young, beauty and full of energy like the Spring.   
Hanoi, 05/01/2006
Manager of Internal Wingchun School
Master-Engineer Nguyen Ngoc Noi
(Người dịch: Huấn luyện viên, - thạc sĩ Dương Thùy Dung)

Wing Chun in Vietnam - Past and Present Secrets

1. The Name
Recently, in Vietnam’s newspapers and journals there were some articles introduced Wing Chun (Forever Spring) or VingTsun (Praise Spring) kung-fu system. However, it takes time for many things to be clear. Even the name of the system has two co-existing versions: Wing Chun and VingTsun. This happened not only in Vietnam but also in China, where the system was originated. Our teacher – the late grandmaster Tran Thuc Tien – told us about brief history of the system (as taught by the founder of Vietnam Wing Chun – the Grandmaster Nguyen Te Cong) as follows. Wing Chun was created by Abbess Ng Mui from Shao-lin temple. While hiding from pursuit of Manchu dynasty, she created the system and trained a girl called Yim Wing Chun (literally means Forever Spring) to protect herself against a local bully. Due to pursuit of Manchu, Ng Mui had to leave. Before leaving, she told her pupil “ I created this new system but still did not give it a name. Now, I realized that your name does reflect the essence of the new system. I will give your name to the system - Wing Chun”. Yim Wing Chun, later lived in a temple called VingTsun (Praise Spring), in Jian Chang province China. Over generations, many people also took the name of the temple as the name of the system (Since in the past many systems were named after their original localities, where the systems were founded. For example, Shao lin, Wu Tang, Shan Dong, E mei etc.). To respect Ng Mui thinking, this may be a good idea to call the system as Wing Chun. Moreover, the name is also fitted to the effect of the system, since the training of Wing Chun bring a good health for people, prolong their youth and their life. In other words, it prolongs their Spring Forever.
2. Several special features of Wing Chun methods
Wing Chun is a kung-fu system that requires a training with the greatest efforts and patience, despite the system has only few forms. Besides some weapons forms (such as double knives and six-and- half-point pole), there are following bare-hand forms:
  • Thu-dau-quyen, (basic bare hand techniques, equivalent to Siu-nim-tao, or Litlle Idea in China)
  • Chi-kung Wing Chun Kuyen form,
  • 108 (movements) form (which includes 3 sub-forms: static 108, dynamic 108, and 108 with wooden dummy.  The last form is known in some countries as Dummy techniques, but they have different techniques and different number of movements),
  • Five separate 5-animal forms (dragon, snake, tiger, panther, and crane),
  • One synthesized 5-animal form.
Besides above forms, Vietnam Wing Chun also has several special training methods with their unique principles.
Among the above Wing Chun forms, the static and dynamic 108 forms (especially the static form) have a unique characteristic that no other kung-fu system has. That is, while training, pupils must train with the teacher one-by-one from the start until when the pupil obtained and comprehended the deepest essence of the form. This usually last many years. In order to get to that level, the pupil cannot train with anyone except the teacher who already has inner strength, i.e. “nei kung”( That is, the teacher can let the pupil strike as strong as possible directly on teacher’s body during the whole training period of the 108 form). Many people think that Wing Chun inner strength is just the ability to generate great force. It is not so. In Wing Chun, ability to generate force is called “inner force” (“nei li”), while “inner strength’ is the ability to endure strikes (direct strikes on body). This “inner strength” is a secretive technique ( taught by mouth only and must be under personal special instructions of teacher). “Inner strength” is the highest technique of Wing Chun. In the past, the founding father Nguyen Chai Wan taught it to the late grandmaster Tran Thuc Tien, who later taught it to extremely few pupils.
To be successful in Wing Chun, pupils must have a strong belief, good intelligence, patience and diligence. Training in Wing Chun is not merely to memorize all forms, but more importantly, to comprehend the deepest spirit, essence of those forms. At the same time, pupil must master their “will”, and “chi power”. At higher level, the training in mastering “will” and “chi power” require more efforts. Therefore, Wing Chun is not appropriate for those people who like to use their muscle, those who want a quick achievement, and those who lacks of patience and diligence. Wing Chun bare-hand forms do not use much of muscle strength, and they are not eye-catching. Therefore, Wing Chun System is not an attracting system for demonstration. Moreover, those who got to high levels in Wing Chun also do not want to show their ability. As a result, Wing Chun was not widely understood and seems to have many secrets.
3. Wing Chun in Vietnam
At the end of 1939, Grandmaster Nguyen Chai Wan ( whose Vietnamese name is Te Cong, or Tai Cong) fled and took refuge in Vietnam. During this period, he accepted some pupils and taught Wing Chun to them. For Vietnam, he became the founding father of Wing Chun Kuyen system. In 1954, he moved to the South of Vietnam. His pupils in the North opened several classed to propagate Wing Chun. In Hanoi, there are 3 branches of 3 late grandmasters: Tran Thuc Tien, Ngo Si Quy, and Tran Van Phung. In October 2003, these 3 branches jointly established an organization called “Ha Noi Wing Chun Club”, led by the pupil of the grandmaster Tran Thuc Tien – the Associate Professor,  Nguyen Manh Nham as the president of the club.
During the period in the South (1954 – 1959), the founding father also trained several pupils.  At the present, there are several Wing Chun classes in the South. In Vietnam, counting from Grandmaster Te Cong up to now, there are 4 generations of pupils were successfully trained (that is, they themselves have ability to train Wing Chun adequately ). We believe that Wing Chun in Vietnam will retain its own unique characteristics and develop further.
Kung-fu is one of the best human cultural forms. The founding father of Kung-fu was believed to be Abbot Da Ma, who is also the founding father of Shao Lin Kung-fu. As many other Kung-fu systems, Wing Chun also has origin from Shao Lin, although it contains its own unique techniques and principles. At the present, the primary purpose of Kung-fu training is to enhance body strength and especially, to improve self-control, self-confidence for a good and useful life. Still, the techniques of Kung-fu in general, and Wing Chun in particular, have their own nimbus, attracting many people to understand and master them. This creates perpetual driving force for all Kung-fu families to preserve and develop further their unique techniques and methods.
[Published in Journal Ngay Nay, No 10-2003, UNESCO Club Association ]
By Si-fu Nguyen Ngoc Noi