A Demonstration To Help The Promotion Of The Ip Man Tong
If you were a Wing Chun practitioner and I said the words, ¡§what is Fat Shan famous for¡¨, you would probable say, ¡§Ip Man or Wing Chun¡¨. But to the local people of Fat Shan City in China, it is just as famous for its Pottery, Clothing and Metal Industry as its Martial Arts heritage.
Many famous martial artist of southern China are from Fat Shan, including, naming but a few. Wong Fei Hung of the Hung Kuen style, Tam Sham of the Choy Lay Fat style, Leung Jan, Chan Wah Shan and Ip Man of the Wing Chun style.
On the 3rd of November 2001, students and instructors of the Samuel Kwok Martial Art Association arrived in Hong Kong. The group was not just from England but also from the United States, Switzerland and Germany. The whole trip was organised and lead by Sifu Samuel Kwok and Sifu Ip Ching.
The purpose of this trip was to visit the Wing Chun community and help in the promotion of the Ip Man Tong, (Ip Man Museum) in Fat Shan, as well as to train with Sifu Ip Ching at the famous Ching Woo School, which is about 80 years old and its founder was Fok Yuen Gap.
The Ching Woo School is a place where many different styles of martial arts have trained; also many masters from north and southern China have trained and taught at this great school. Sifu Ip Ching taught and practised Sil Lim Tau, Chum Kiu, Biu Gee and Chi Sau techniques. It was a great honour for us to be able to train at the Ching Woo School and with the local Wing Chun community coming along to share the experience, it was a very memorable two days.
We were then asked to demonstrate Sifu Ip Man¡¦s Wing Chun for the Fat Shan¡¦s local community at the famous Ancestral Temple, which is over 900 years old and full of history. The whole event was organised by the Fat Shan Ancestral Museum Committee, headed by Chairman Leung. The Wong Fei Hung Museum of Martial Arts, headed by Lo Kueng, came to greet us with a traditional lion dance and took part in the demonstrations. Sifu Garry McKenzie from London England, who also brought several students with him, helped with the interpretation on the microphone, due to the fact that he can speak fluent Cantonese.
On the day before the demonstration, Sifu Ip Ching and Sifu Samuel Kwok had a meeting with Chairman Leung, to discuss the matter of the Ip Man Tong. At first the committee said, ¡§it would be at least 18 months before they could decide on a date, due to other projects they have to organise¡¨. Sifu Ip Ching then suggested they could organise a temporary site for the Ip Man Tong until they have a decided on a permanent site, they said, ¡§they would take the matter under consideration¡¨.
After the day of the demonstration, witch consisted of a whole range of Wing Chun techniques and seeing the huge amount of public support and interest, as well as being televised, the chairman of the Fat Shan Ancestral Museum Committee, had a second meeting with Sifu Ip Ching and Sifu Samuel Kwok. He felt that Sifu Ip Man¡¦s Wing Chun, which has been taught all over the world and that by building the Ip Man Tong could effect the prosperity and tourism of Fat Shan.
In late November 2001, the Fat Shan Ancestral Museum Committee invited the Ip Man Tong Development Council to discuss a location inside the museum for the building of the Ip Man Tong and an official opening date was given, 9th November 2002.
The Ip Man Tong Development Council would like to invite all Sifu Ip Man¡¦s linage of Wing Chun from overseas, to come to Fat Shan and visit the Ip Man Tong inside the Ancestral Museum and take part in all the activities, to help in the promotion of the Ip Man Tong and Kung Fu in Fat Shan.
[ Editor's Note: the official opening date of Ip Man Tong has not been confirmed yet. However, it was generally agreed that the date will not be later than December 31, 2002.