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The Creation of Wing Chun: A Social History of the Southern Chinese Martial Arts Kindle Edition
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The book tells the story of how Wing Chun co-developed with other martial art systems in southern China (namely, Guangdong and Fujian provinces). The book examined the ecology of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries that shaped the social, political and economic interests of the southern Chinese peoples and ultimately fostered the development of Wing Chun and other martial arts.
The authors include fascinating interludes into the background of several systems of kung fu including: Bak Mei (White Eyebrow) Choy gar, Fut gar, Hung gar, Li gar, Mok gar, Choy Li Fut, Dragon, Southern Mantis, White Crane and many other styles. These abbreviated backgrounds were interwoven with the story of Wing Chun to illustrate how the influences of both Punti (Cantonese "original local") and Hakka (Han "guest families") martial arts mixed among the systems, resulting in more than just a passing resemblance among them in their practice. This cross-influence and co-development of the diverse southern systems of Chinese martial arts is the true origin story of Wing Chun and southern Kung Fu. Interestingly, nearly all of these southern systems share the same mythical Shaolin origins motif. Similar traditions are recounted by some customary family lineage associations in southern China and in the initiation rites used by Triad organizations.
The later part of the book recounts the transmittance of Wing Chun to Ip Man and his systemization of the art in the 20th century. This modern history retells how Ip Man's instructors learned Wing Chun and instructed him in the martial art. Ip Man's learning and teaching of Wing Chun is told through the lens of Chinese history, focusing on the social institutions that shaped southern Chinese opinion of martial arts during the Republican Era, Japanese Occupation and ultimately, the Communist takeover of China. This historical outlook showed the personal stresses and social influences experienced by Ip Man that ultimately shaped his Wing Chun kung fu and led to the popularization of the system throughout the world.
> This is an important book because it is a highly focused case study on the development of a single art as it emerged from a particular area. It separates fact from fiction and lays the groundwork for further research. In short, it helps us understand the historical & social significance of Wing Chun well beyond any myth. I'm impressed at the amount of time, energy and research that has gone into producing this work. I believe that it will become an important reference in the decades to come.
This book goes to a great extent to examine the social climate surrounding Chinese martial arts and how the events of the late 1800s would influence martial arts into the modern century. The culmination of these events being Yip(Ip) Man and the spread of Wing Chun globally.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone serious about traditional Chinese martial arts as well as anyone with an interest in Chinese social and cultural history.
If you're interested in Chinese Martial Arts history, particularly as it fits into the society and the way it's changed, this book is really great.
Most recent customer reviews
Mentions history of wing chub and souther Chinese marital arts
It also talks about the rich culture of wing...Read more