Ving Tsun Origins

There are many stories surrounding the history and origins of Ving Tsun (Wing Chun) Kung Fu. The legend that has been passed down in our lineage is that of the famous Ng Mui and her first student, Yim Ving Tsun.

An artist's depiction of Yim Ving Tsun training on a Muk Yan Jong.

An artist's depiction of Yim Ving Tsun training on a Muk Yan Jong.

In the 17th century, the southern Shaolin temple was destroyed by authorities of the Qing government. A handful of Shaolin monks, known as the Five Elders, managed to escape the destruction. One of the Five Elders, Ng Mui, was inspired by the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of fights she had observed between animals. In particular, that of the snake and crane. Ng Mui then proceeded to develop the martial art we now know as Ving Tsun.

However, it wasn't until Ng Mui met her first student, Yim Ving Tsun, that the martial art got its name. Yim Ving Tsun was a young woman who was being forced into marriage with a warlord. Ng Mui taught the martial art she had created to Yim Ving Tsun so that she could defend herself from him. A martial art created by a woman to fight bigger and stronger men had to be able to transcend both size and strength. Ving Tsun was created based upon principles and universal truths that have stood the test of time.

Yim Ving Tsun eventually got married to a person of her choosing and taught him Ving Tsun. Over the next few hundred years, Ving Tsun continued to be passed on from Sifu (teacher) to Toudai (student) and this tradition continues today. Check out our lineage page to view our full Ving Tsun lineage from Ng Mui to Sifu Brad Schonhorst and Sifu Liz Schonhorst of Montgomery County Kung Fu.


Pass on the tradition - Preserve this Chinese art and rules of conduct.
— Kuen Kuit