“There were also no attacks to the eyes, throat or groin, but everything else could be applied. Also if there was excessive blood loss, then the injured fighter would be announced as the loser.”
Yuen Yim Keung
After the untimely death of the Great Master Wong Shun Leung, an enormous hole has been left, as the guidence of the fatherly figure is no longer there. There was an air of sadness that affected myself as I walked in to the Ving Tsun ameteur atheletic association headquarters located in the district known as Prince Edward in Hong Kong recently. One of the many who is attempting to fill this void is one of Sifu Wong Shun Leung’s more senior student by the name of Yuen Yim Keung.
Yuen Yim Keung was one of Wong Sifu’s more gifted fighters, he learnt the hard and long way, so much so that he spent more than eight years learning the Baat Jaam Do (Ving Tsun’s famous Knife form). This was to lay a strong foundation in his own mind.
He is a very articulate teacher, giving his utmost attention to his students, in the form of advice and correcting technique. Here is an insight into one man’s perspective of how Ving Tsun should be performed
John Smith How did you get involved with Ving Tsun?
Yuen Yim Keung Initially, I was a second-dan black belt in Goju Kai.
At night school, my English teacher, who knew I had a passion for Martial Arts,
introduced me to a friend of a friend who was a senior student of Leung Sheung
(who incidentally was Yip Man’s first Hong Kong student). This gentleman
noted that my legwork was good but my hand techniques needed
considerable attention. At first, I wanted to learn Ving Tsun from him,
but he said it would be better for me to be taught by a much better
teacher/fighter called Wong Shun Leung. At this time, Wong Shun
Leung would not take any person who had been practicing another
Martial Art before, but after intense negotiation Wong Sifu relented and I
became his student.
John Smith How many years ago was this, and who were your Sihing (seniors)?
Yuen Yim Keung I commenced training in 1970. Lam Man Hog (Gary Lam)
who is now teaching in the United States of America and Cheuk Hing Chuen, who was the most outstanding student according to Master Wong Shun Leung.
Cheuk Hing Chuen has actually become a Buddhist monk and does not teach any
more due to his religious beliefs.
John Smith What was training like in those early days?
Yuen Yim Keung The teaching was very slow, but it was taken much more
seriously than nowadays. Siu Nim Tau (young idea form), which is the first form of Ving Tsun to learn, took about two (2) months to complete. The basics were really drilled in initially. Wong Shun Leung used to give more attention to the students who used to go out and fight. They therefore took their fighting more seriously and therefore they were taught more.
John Smith It has long been known that Wong Sifu was an excellent fighter
and used to relish the chance of proving his skills in the Bei Mo (challenge fights), where he was never beaten. But as I understand he used to encourage his students to do the same thing. What type of preparations where taken before such challenge fights?
Yuen Yim Keung None. As these fights were taken completely ad hoc. All of
these fights were illegal and if the police found out, there would always be big