Chow Ching-Chuen IP man

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This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author's own.

Ip Man is most famous for being the teacher of Bruce Lee. He is also credited with being the first person to teach the kung fu style of Wing Chun to the public. Below is a chronicle of the life of the Ip Man.

Ip Man was Born on October 14th, 1893

1899 - 1905 - Ip Man 6 to 12 years old (Foshan) Studied Wing Chun kungfu with Chan Wah Shun (Money Changer Wah) at Ip's family hall, Main Street of Foshan (Song Yuen Dai Gai) At that time studying together with Ip Man were Lui Yui Chai, Ng Chung So, Chan Yui Min, Ng Siu Lo and others.

1905 - Ip Man 12 years old (Foshan) Chan Wah Shun died, but before he died he asked Ng Chung So to help Ip Man to complete the system. Chan Wah Shun's body was taken by his kung fu disciples to Chan village in Shunde for burial.

1905 - 1907 - Ip Man 12 to 14 years old (Foshan) Ip Man followed the last words of his teacher to study with Ng Chung So's school situated in Sin Heung Street of Foshan.

1908 - Ip Man 15 years old (Hong Kong) With the sponsorship of his relative, Pong Wai Ting, Ip came to Hong Kong to study in St Stephen College. Ip lived at Craine Road, Hong Kong Island.

1909 - 1913 - Ip Man 16 to 21 years old ((Hong Kong) Ip knew Leung Bik, the second son of late Grandmaster Leung Jan, through his classmate and studied with him for four years.

1914 - 1937 - Ip Man 21 to 44 years old (Hong Kong, Japan, Foshan) In 1914, with the help of Ip's brother, Ip Gai Gak, he originally planned to further his study in Kobe, Japan but this plan was spoiled for some reasons. During this 20 years, Ip's job was mainly in the army and police force. He married Cheung Wing Sing and had four children, sons Ip Hok Chun (Ip Chun), Ip Hok Ching (Ip Ching) and daughters Ip Ar Sum and Ip Ar Woon. When Ip was not working, he liked to get together with other martial artists to practice and exchange kung fu ideas with his wing chun schoolmates in his house. Ip installed a wooden dummy in the corner of his living room. Practicing at that time with Ip Man were Yuan Kay Shan, Yiu Choi, Ip Chung Hong, Lai Hip Chi, Tong Gai and others. He became famous among the martial arts community of southern China.

1937 - Ip Man 44 years old (Foshan) The Japanese invaded China

1937 - 1945 - Ip Man 44 to 52 years old (Foshan) China was occupied by Japan. Ip Man swore not to be used by the puppet Japanese government so he became very poor. Luckily his good friend, Chow Ching Chuen gave him financial support from time to time. In order to repay his friend's kindness, Ip accepted his son, Chow Kong Yiu as student. From 1941-1943, he taught Wing Chun Kuen in Luen Cheung Cotton Mill at Wing On Road. Other than Chow Kong Yiu, Kwok Fu, Chan Chi Sun, Ng Ying, Lun Kai, Chow Sai and others. These were the first batch of Ip Man's students. Kwok Fu and Lun Kai are still alive and teaching Wing Chun Kuen in Foshan today.

1945 - Ip Man 52 years old (Foshan) Japan surrendered.

1945 - 1949 - Ip Man 54 to 56 years old (Guangzhou, Foshan) This period was the busiest period at work of Ip Man. Ip even had to leave his beloved Wing Chun Kuen for a time. In spite of Ip's busy work, Ip still coached Pang Nam on the Wing Chun forms in Sheung Sha Chung Yee Athletic Association because of his good friend Tong Gai and Pang Nam's sincere request.

1949 - Ip Man 56 years old (Macau, Hong Kong) Ip Man went through Macau to Hong Kong. Ip had stayed 2 weeks at Cho Dui Street with friends who owned a bird shop.

1950 - 1953 - Ip Man 57 to 60 years old (Hong Kong) In July 1950, through Lee Man's introduction, Ip Man started teaching in Tai Lam Street, Shamshuipo, Kowloon. The first Wing Chun class was for the Restaurant Workers Association. There were only people including Leung Sheung, Lok Yiu in the first class. Later, the class was joined by Tsui Sheung Tin, Ip Bo Ching, Chiu Wan, Lee See Wing, Law Ping, Man Siu Hung and others. This period of time was called the forefront of the Restaurant Workers Association. Ip Man also taught in the Restaurant Workers Union Headquarters, Sheung Wan in Hong Kong Island. Students there included Lee Wing, Yue Mei King, Lee Ngan Foon and others.

1953 - 1954 - Ip Man 60 to 61 years old (Hong Kong) The school was moved to Hoi Tan Street. Students at that time were Wong Shun Leung, Wong Kiu, Wong Chok, Ng Chan and others. Ip Man also taught private lessons at Three Princes Temple on Yui Chow Street, Shamshuipo. Students were Lee Hon and others.

1954 - 1955 - Ip Man 61 to 62 years old (Hong Kong) The school was moved back to Restaurant Workers Union Headquarters, Sheung Wan. This period is called the later stage of the Restaurant Workers Association. At this time, Ip was joined by Lee Kam Sing, Kan Wah Jeet (Victor Kan), Lo Man Kam, Cheung Cheuk Hing (William Cheung) and others.

1955 - 1957 - Ip Man 62 to 64 years old (Hong Kong) Ip Man moved the school to Lee Tat Street, Yaumatei, Kowloon. Students like Chow Tze Chuen, Lee Siu Lung (Bruce Lee), Chan Shing, Cheung Hok Kin (Hawkins Cheung), Siu Yuk Man, Poon Ping Lid, Pang Kam Fat and others joined by that time.

1957 - 1962 - Ip Man 64 to 69 years old (Hong Kong) Ip Man moved the school to Li Cheng Uk Estate. At this time, students were Chow Tze Chuen, Ng Chan, Wong Chok (Wong Tsok), Mak Po, Yeung Hei, Moy Yat and Ho Kam Ming. Most of Ip Man's private lessons were taught during this period of time. They were: • Shun Kei Pottery Shop, Shaukeiwan. Students were Wong Bak Yee, Wong Wing, Yeung Chung Hon, Wong Kwok Yau and others. • Po Lak Hong, Tsimshatsui. Students were Tong Cho Chi, Lee Wai Chi, Chan Tak Chiu, Tam Lai and others. • Tai Po Road. Students were Chung Kam Chuen and Chung Wing Hong.

1962 - 1963 - Ip Man 69 to 70 years old (Hong Kong) School was moved to Hing Ip Building, 61 Tai Po Road, Shamshuipo. Students were Cheung Yiu Wing, Ho Luen, Cheung Ching On, Chan Luen Lam, Chan Tai Yim and Kwok See Yan. Private lessons were taught at Yee Wah Tailor Shop at Tsimshatsui. Students were Peter Cheung and old students of Po Lak Hong.

1963 - 1965 - Ip Man 70 to 72 years old (Hong Kong) The school was moved to the top floor of the Tai Sang Restaurant on Fook Chuen Street, Taikoktsui. Originally, this had been the storeroom and owned by Ho Luen who let Ip Man use the place. Most of the people from the school at Hing Ip Building also moved there. Added to Ho Luen, there were also Yeung Chung Hon, Wat Yung Sang, Pang Kam Fat, Cheung Ching On, Lee Yan Wing, Yau Hak So and others. During this period, Ip Man also taught students, mainly from the police, privately on Hin Hing Street, San Po Kong. These included Tang Sang, Nam Yin Fat, Yuen Chi Kong, Lee Yiu Fai, Wong Kwok and others.

1965 - 1972 - Ip Man 72 to 79 years old (Hong Kong) The school at the Tai Sang Restaurant finished and Ip Man lived in his apartment on Tung Choi Street. Because of his advanced age, Ip Man was partly retired. Despite this, he was still teaching one to one private tuition. Going to Ip Man's home during this period of time were Wong Chung Wah, Wong Hei, Hon Chak Chuen and others.

He also went out teaching to three places.

(1) The Ving Tsun Athletic Association, which in 1967, was the first martial arts society to be officially registered with the government. The Association then decided to open Wing Chun classes at VTAA. The classes were in charge by Ip Man. Assisting him were Chung Ching On, Fung Hon, Wong Hon Chung and others. However, this was only for about 3 months.

(2) Chan Kai Hong's home on Waterloo Road. Learning here were Chan Kai Hong, Siu Lung brothers, Wong Tze On, Chan Kam Ming, Chung Yau, Lau Ying Kau, Man Yim Kong and othrs.

(3) Tze Yau Road. When Chan Kai Hong could not continue offered the place at Waterloo Road, Ip Man moved to the roof top of Lau Ying Lam's home. Joining here were Wong Chi Ming and a female student called Ng Yuet Dor.

(4) Siu Fai Toi at Ip Sing Cheuk's home. Ip Sing Cheuk was a solicitor. Apart from him, the rest of the students were also mostly solicitor. This was the last place that Ip Man taught Wing Chun.

Ip Man passed away at his home on Tong Choi Street in December of 1972. He lived to be 79 years old. His tomb is now in Fanling.

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