Wing Chun Blog - Sifu Linda
Roots of Wing Chun Tour
November, December 2015
As the days near, the expectation and anticipation of the trip build. One never knows just what to expect: even after 6 previous trips. Once at the airport, you know the waiting has past and the time has come for the journey to begin. It’s always so very exciting.
Our first port of call is Singapore. As I expected it was very hot and steamy. Being from Melbourne we are not use to such intense humidity. As we drive to our motel, we pass the Gardens by the Bay. Wow it looks spectacular, a must see for anyone going to Singapore. The steel electronic trees look huge as they stretch upward on the skyline. In the next couple of days we pay them a visit. Up close they are massive. The trunks are covered in ferns, flowers and vines which brings them to life. It looks like a scene from the alien movie ‘The Day of the Triffords’. In the evening the garden has a light show, where the trees light up in different colours to a musical sound track. It was absolutely fabulous. The Gardens are also worth a look through the day, they have some wonderful flower, exotic orchids and art work displays in a couple of domed greenhouses which are not opened through the night.
The school we are here to visit is Sifu Joel Lee’s. We catch a taxi to a Law University where they hold classes, its huge, lucky the driver knows the building. One of his students is there to meet us and show us up to the training area.
Sifu Lee greets us with a very warm welcome; he is tall and lean with a very friendly face. His lineage stems from Leung Ting, which was taught to Leung Ting in Hong Kong during Yip Mans final years. So it makes for an interesting system to check out.
After some introductions and lots of hand shaking we share a cultural exchange. We both demonstrate our Wing Chun Forms, some technique and of course some qi sao. My lineage is Traditional Wing Chun and has its roots with Leung Bik/Yip Man.
We found there were many differences in our systems. Sifu Lee’s three forms, Sil Lim Tao, Chum Kieu and Biu Gee were very different to our forms. We maintain a fifty fifty stance where Sifu Lee’s students assumed a sixty forty stance, with more weight on the rear leg. Sifu Lee’s system worked with the centre line theory where we work with the central line theory.
Researching other lineages of Wing Chun is fascinating, it opens your mind to all the different expressions there are of this great system. It also enables you to meet wonderful people on your wing chun journey, like Sifu Lee, his wife and their students who have that same burning passion for Wing Chun.
Wing Chun has three different classifications, soft, soft and hard and hard. Traditional Wing Chun, which is my system, is soft and hard.
Sifu Lee’s Ling Ting System was the opposite being soft. Soft does not translate into weakness. Soft builds a lot of internal energy for power in application and allows you to train for long periods of time.
Our next stop is Taipei, the capitol of Taiwan, to visit with Grand Master Lo Man Kam. Yip Man was Lo Man Kam’s Uncle; when he was a young man he trained with Yip Man in Hong Kong after the Communists took control over China in 1949.
Lo Man Kam later moved to Taiwan in the 60’s.