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Wing Chun Kung Fu: Traditional Chinese Kung Fu for Self-Defense and Health Paperback – July 15, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Grandmaster Ip Chun is the eldest son of legendary Grandmaster Ip Man, who was responsible for bringing Wing Chun to the modern world. Ip Chun is now considered the world's leading expert on Wing Chun Kung Fu.

Michael Tse is Qigong and martial arts master. He is the author of Qigong for Health and Vitality. Both authors live in England.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749916761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749916763
  • ASIN: 0312187769
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By L. Nguyen on September 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
So much of martial arts is degraded in the Western approach-- it becomes all about physicality, muscle and machoness rather than being rooted in energy, personal improvement and spirituality/philosophy. Most martial arts books are titled "the deadly something or other". Maybe it is a marketing ploy to attract all these sweaty pubescent boys who like to pick fights (and those "adults" who still act like that), but they have missed the philosophical/spiritual roots of the martial arts. They have lost the tradition and the honor; so where then is their authenticity? I found this book to approach wing chun from a more traditional, balanced combination of philosophical/theoretical (energy work) and physical. Because wing chun is a combination of both internal and external styles it is essential to understand Qi if you want to improve. Ip Chun addresses that. His analogy as an eighty year grandmaster is that as a young person you can, if you like, focus on speed and brute strength, but where will you be when you are elderly? It is only energy work that will sustain your martial arts into your old age. The first one third of the book is history and background, the second third is sil lum tao with lots of photos, and the last third is one and two-handed chi sao (sticky hands techniques) and practical application of wing chun techniques in self-defense for men and women. And of course, if you want to talk about lineage, then you cannot go wrong with Ip Chun, son of Ip Man (Yip Man) himself. As a practioner of Wing Chun/JKD (taught by the late sifu Akko Nishimura trained by sigung Francis Fong [Yip Man school] and guru Dan Inosanto), I found this book to be invaluable. It is important to understand the traditional roots, even if your own practice is more syncretic.Read more ›
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John on July 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
At first, I thought this book was kind of "basic". Having studied wing chun for a while under a competent sifu, I went back and the book has some really good stuff in it. First of all, it details the first form well. It also contains clear photos, and explanations from people who obviously have spent YEARS with this art (I can tell, because many of their insights can only be won after long study). I also liked the final section, which shows you the real "street fight" applications of the art, and of the techniques shown in the first form. I liked the discussion of Bruce Lee and his relationship with wing chun (to put it in a nutshell: Bruce never gave up on wing chun, and his Jeet Kune Do had wing chun as its core !). I liked the historical information on Yip Man in Hong Kong. This book really packs a lot into a short book. I really recommend it.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brian Popp on January 10, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This isn't the book that will take you all the way to full understanding of siu lim tao (first form), but it will do better than any other single book. Combine this with the video "Wing Chun - Science of In-Fighting," and you will have a complete intructional guide to the first form of wing chun. I agree that some steps seem to be skipped in the form pictures, but this is more than compensated by the additional information about wing chun and how to apply it. Get the video by Wong Shun Leung too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adelle Schauer on April 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the most unique books on martial arts that I have ever seen, and the main "author" Ip Chun is an astonishing man to read, and to watch on video online. He teaches a method that anyone can learn, and that a small person can use to defend against a larger person. It is not an offensive tactic, only defensive, and the user becomes very difficult for an offender to strike, as they learn to become "soft" instead of a "hard target", and to block efficiently, and to use parts of the body differently that they haven't even thought about before. It is changing the way I thought about martial arts in general, though I will say I am not a full-time student of these things. I like the concept of becoming a soft target that "melts away" in front of an attacker, and that a person can use the attacker's own force against him. This is thinking in a new way.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alejandro Arredondo Tovar on September 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Wing Chun is not speed and punch. The secret is in energy and sensitivity, Yin and Yang (Alfa & Omega). I found this book to be really helpful and valuable. Of course you must have practiced the Siu Lim Tao before, in order to correct mistakes and reach higher levels. Wing Chun is not only movements, but a philosophy, if you don't have the basics you can not reach higher levels. Thanks a lot to Yip Chun and Michael Tse for this wonderful book.
Have a great day!.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, this book is a very general overwiew of Wing Chun, not a comprehensive source on anything specific like WC History, WC Mechanics, the various Forms, etc. So if that is what you are looking for, then there are "better" books that would fulfill that more adequately. A lot of reviews do point this out, but I want to emphasize it again since someone might think it is more exhaustive or detailed than it really is, and be dissapointed in the process.

So in light of that, Ip Chun does an excellent job introducing the system of Wing Chun as popularized by his father Ip Man. You could know literally nothing about Wing Chun and be able to follow this book, as he makes no assumptions that someone is a practicioner or versed in terminology. The book also reads well, it is conversational instead of reading like an encylopedia or reference manual.

My main complaint is that since they chose to photograph and present SNT (the first and most foundational form), the photographs show too little for a beginner to grasp the movements. The explanations do not go into detail and explain the underlying concepts of the movements either. So for someone familiar with the form like myself, there is little to glean from this main section of the book. Conversely, for a potential beginner, the provided photos skip way too much movement to grasp correctly, and explanations lack detail for them to gain proper understanding.

While I enoyed reading the book, and it was worthwhile, it is more of a book to read and give away or loan out to others interested in Wing Chun, versus a book to keep and refer back to. There are just too many other more exhaustive books out there now. I gave it 4 stars for this purpose and also because it is from one of SiFu Ip Man's son's, Ip Chun, his most visible heir within the WC world.
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