The History of Wing Chun
The origins of Wing Chun Kung Fu can be found in the turbulent, repressive Ching dynasty of over 250 years ago. It was a time when 90% of the Chinese race, the Hons, were ruled by the 10% minority, the Manchus. The Manchus placed a great amount of unjust law on the Hons. For instance, all the female Hon infants were made to bind their feet so that when they grew up they would be dependent upon their parents or husband. The work opportunity of the Hons was also restricted. They were unable to hold office in Government higher than a certain level. Heavy tax burdens were placed on the country so that the Manchus could have economic control of the Hon people. Kung Fu training was also banned for the Hons, however the Manchu Government was adopting the Hon culture. They respected the Shil Lim Temple as a Buddhist sanctuary.
When all weapons were outlawed by the Manchus, the Hons began training a revolutionary army in the secret art of Kung Fu. The Shil Lim Temple became the secret sanctuary for preparatory trainings of a classic style which took 15 to 20 years to master.
To develop a new form, one which would have shorter training time, five of China’s grandmasters met to discuss the merits of each of the various forms of Kung Fu. By choosing the most efficient techniques from each style, they developed training programs that would develop an efficient martial artist in 5 to 7 years, one third the original time. However before this new form could be put into practice, the Shil Lim Temple was raided and burned by the Manchus.
Ng Mui, a nun, was the only survivor of the original five grandmasters. She passed her knowledge onto a young orphan girl whom she named Wing Chun. The name represented “hope for the future”. In turn Wing Chun passed her knowledge on to her husband. Through the years the style became known as Wing Chun. Its techniques and teachings were passed onto a few, always carefully selected students.
In 1950 Yip Man started to teach Wing Chun in Hong Kong. One of his first students was the new Grandmaster, William Cheung, head of the World Wing Chun Kung Fu Association. Sifu Keith Mazza was handpicked by Grandmaster as a closed door student and I had the great honor of training 11 years under Sifu Mazza and continue the tradition of passing down the art.
The History of Tai Chi
Also know as "T’ai-chi Ch’uan".
T’ai-chi ch’uan is usually literally translated as “grand ultimate boxing”. I see this as meaning the “grand ultimate” portion of the name refers to the Chinese concept of the origin of the universe. That is the principle of yin and yang. In fact, the common yin-yang symbol is properly called the t’ai chi diagram. Tai-chi ch’uan is the art of the harmony of yin and yang, in tangible form.
The history of t’ai chi is foggy at best. There are many conflicting stories from the past, and the confusion continues right up to the present. To make matters worse, there are many revisionist versions of t’ai chi’s history which are expounded by those out to promote their own style as the best, or the most authentic.
The foundational concepts of t’ai chi ch’uan come from Taoism and Confucianism. They come from Lao Tzu’s monumental text, Tao Te Ching, from the I Ching and from various other health-promoting and breathing exercise treatises. The actual art can be traced back only 300 to 700 years, however. The founder is said to be Chang San-feng (Zhang Sanfeng), who is thought to have lived from 1279 to 1368, but no one knows if he actually existed. Some experts claim him as just being a myth, while others argue he did exist and there are monuments to him in China.
Many believed Chang San-feng was a Shaolin monk who decided to leave the monastery to become a Taoist hermit. On Wu Tang (Wudang) mountain, he gave up the hard fighting style he had learned and formulated a new art based on softness and yielding. One story tells how he had a vision between a snake and a crane (although some say it was a magpie, an eagle or a hawk). In theory, the crane should have had an easy time killing the snake, but in Chang’s vision, the crane would try to attack the snake’s head, and the snake would evade and hit the crane with its tail. When the crane would try for the snake’s tail, the snake would bite the crane.
This resulted in the discovery of the basic t’ai chi concepts of evading, yielding and attacking. Chang assembled a martial art that used softness and internal power to overcome brute force. He is believed to have written: “In every movement, every part of the body must be light and agile and strung together. The postures should be without breaks. Motion should be rooted in the feet, released through the legs, directed by the waist and expressed by the fingers. Substantial and insubstantial movements must be clearly differentiated.”
This marked the beginning of t’ai-chi ch’uan, but at that time it was called chang chuan, or long boxing after the endless flow of the Changjiang (Yangtse) River. Later, Chang formulated the 13 postures of t’ai chi. While no one knows what his art looked like then, it is thought that the movements were practiced as individual techniques and/or concepts.
Bullying & Its Affect On Children
Bullying can destroy the very spirit of your child.
Empower your child, give them the gift of self-confidence and the strength to stand up to the bully!
How does martial arts help?
Kung Fu is a discipline and a sport. The practice has many benefits for people of all ages including children. The practice combines benefits spanning physical, social and mental attributes of our lives, so much that a child can essentially gain a stronger understanding of all three. The martial arts can help children mentally and physically prepare themselves for adulthood and gain a significant amount of confidence along the way.
Martial arts encompasses life skills such as:
Confidence and personal security
Having respect for others
Gross motor skills development
Fitness Activity and health conscientious
The martial arts also help children strengthen their learning abilities. The practice provides them with a significant amount of disciplinary learning techniques that teach them goal setting skills, concentration and physical fitness.
Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying.
Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use/abuse,
It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern. Even more important we need to empower them to stop the bullying! Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues.
Sifu Lou's Training Lineage
Sifu Lou Comes From A Very Powerful Lineage
Great Grandmaster Ip Man
At the time of his death, Yip Man could not have imagined that his name would be remembered among those of the most distinguished international grandmasters in the annals of martial arts history: Dr. Jigoro Kano, Gichin Funakoshi, Moriehi Uyeshiba. Yip Man’s name belongs on that list of immortals. His teaching has become a cornerstone of the modern martial arts era. The bare-boned efficiency of his fighting techniques, coupled with the knowledge that he was Bruce Lee’s instructor, caused millions to regard his art with awed curiosity. Wing Chun means magic to them. Throughout the world, wherever instruction is not readily available, martial artists have at least attempted to imitate the subtleties of the art’s sticking and trapping techniques.
Grandmaster William Cheung
On November 22, 1998, Grandmaster William Cheung was inducted into the 1998 Blitz Hall of Fame, receiving the award for “Lifetime Tribute for Martial Arts”. He has been called the Masters’ Master; he was considered by Bruce Lee to be the “ultimate fighter”: William Cheuk Hing Cheung was the sole inheritor of the Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu system, and was the person responsible for introducing Bruce Lee to Wing Chun Kung Fu.
Master Sifu Keith Mazza
Wing Chun master Keith Mazza has been studying Wing Chun under Grandmaster William Cheung since 1983 and now runs the New Jersey branch of Cheung’s World Wing Chun Kung Fu Association His ability to adapt his kung fu skills to any situation has served him well on the tough streets of New York, as well as in various security roles and as a No-Holds-Barred champion fighter. As an instructor, he’s also been somewhat of a chameleon, taking on many roles, including coach of a world-champion boxer and self-defense instructor to the elderly.