History of Ving Tsun Kung Fu
The common legend as told by Ip Man involves the young woman Yim Wing Chun (Wing Chun literally means forever springtime or praising spring) at the time after the destruction of the Southern Shaolin and its associated temples by the Qing government. After Wing Chun rebuffs the local warlord's marriage offer, he says he'll rescind his proposal if she can beat him in a martial art match. She asks a Buddhist nun- Ng Mui, who was one of the Shaolin Sect survivors, to teach her boxing; this still nameless style enables Yim Wing Chun to defeat the warlord. She thereafter marries Leung Bac-Chou and teaches him the style, which he names after her.
Since the system was developed during the Shaolin and Ming resistance to the Qing Dynasty many legends about the creator of Wing Chun were spread to confuse the enemy, including the story of Yim Wing Chun. This perhaps explains why no one has been able to accurately determine the creator or creators of Wing Chun.
Yip Man was well respected by other martial arts instructors in Foshan and Hong Kong. He was the first person to teach Wing Chun to a wider public. The style he taught was renamed Ving Tsun based on the sound in Chinese. After his death, many of his students formed separate schools.
Yip Man was well-known for having a very quick wit and an acid tongue. His teaching style, along with the very direct nature of the art and its despising of superfluous talk, infuses the art with a certain edginess. This is probably why Ving Tsun is well-known for being split into many factions.
A notable student of Yip Man was Leung Ting. Leung Ting formed the IWTA or International Wing Tsun Association and taught an American student named Jeff Webb. Sifu Jeff Webb earned the rank of 5th degree level Master under Leung Ting and was the Head Instructor for IWTA North America for many years. Master Sifu Jeff Webb left the IWTA to formulate his own theories and innovations on the style and started the NVTO National Ving Tsun Organization which has had great success. Sifu Scott Tarbell earned the rank of 4th degree Instructor in the NVTO under his former teacher, Sifu Jeff Webb. In 2023 Sifu Scott Tarbell broke ties with the NVTO and Siffu Jeff Webb in order to formulate Wuxia Ving Tsun Kung Fu, which integrates concepts from Sifu Scott's understanding of many martial arts.
History of Traditional Yang Style Taijiquan
To understand the emergence of tai chi, it is important to understand Chinese history, which can be traced back more than seven thousand years to a time when China was considered the center of Asia. Initially developing along the banks of the Yellow River, their culture spread far wide throughout Asia. China was known as a Central Kingdom, and to neighboring countries, it was culturally advanced, as well as being proficient in martial arts. There were often battles with local tribes and wild animals, and with these battles developed an understanding and proficiency in effective techniques, which were passed down from generation to generation. They would watch carefully wild animals fighting, and they believed animals possessed natural talents and skills for fighting. Many of their strikes, kicks, blocks are based on the tiger, the eagle, the crane and the snake. The relationship between animal survival and human fighting has become part of the Chinese culture. With many battles within neighboring countries and local tribes, it was important to the Chinese to keep these martial arts skills secret. At this point in time, the term ‘tai chi’ had not yet been coined. However, it was understood that to compete and survive in this harsh culture of battles, each martial art style needed to have four basic techniques:
The earliest known references to tai chi date from the T’ang Dynasty (618-960 AD), where movement patterns were practiced by recluses who had retired to the Chinese mountain regions. As with many events in history, facts and myth are intermingled and it is difficult to be specific with dates.
Historical records state that Zhang Sanfeng (Chang San Feng) ( (1279-1368) studied under a Taoist recluse living in northwest China. Zhang Sanfeng is credited with developing a Wudang Sect in Wudang Mountain in the early Ming Dynasty (1368) and gradually had a large following. After years of the study of Taoism, he made a great contribution to promoting Taoist theory. He also developed a number of bare hand martial arts which gave rise to ‘tai chi’. Zhang Sanfeng followed the tai chi process which leads the student from body to mind to spirit and eventually back to the ‘Great Void’ to merge with the cosmos. He studied in the Wudang Shan, a mountain held sacred by Taoists.
Zhang Sanfeng spent nine years studying nature and discovered the martial potential of yielding (rather than continuous attacking) while watching a snake and bird fight. He saw in their movements continuous attacking and yielding, with neither action dominating. This is how the concept of Tai Chi was formed. It is the conquering of the unyielding with yielding and coping with all motions by remaining motionless. This encounter is often shown in artistic forms as the ‘Crane and the Snake’. This realization began the cultivation of energy through qigong or ‘soft’ fighting.
From 17th Century, many ‘modern’ styles of Tai Chi can trace their lineage to tai chi families of the Wudang region. These families include Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu (Hao) and Sun. These five different schools (or families) taught their own style of ‘tai chi chuan’ to family members. It was a very closed community of learning ‘family secrets’. The Chen school was well established by 1800s, but only members of the Chen family could be students. However, a poor worker in the household spied on these sessions and became an excellent fighter – so much so, that he was welcomed into the Chen family. His name was Yang. Chen style is known for its dynamic and physically challenging style. Yang developed his own style to suit the limitations of the Emperor’s courtiers who had no martial arts training. Therefore, Yang style is more gentle and flowing. Wu, a student of Yang, also developed his own style, incorporating features of both Chen and Yang. the Sun family of tai chi is the youngest of the tai chi styles.
In the early 20th century the health benefits of tai chi became well known and it took on a new role as a preventative medicine or wellness exercise. In 1956 the Chinese government sponsored the Chinese Sports Committee, which commissioned several tai chi masters to create a short form, to keep their citizens healthy. This form is known as Beijing 24, or 24 Form Yang style and is much simpler to learn and practice than the 108 Long Form, on which it is based.
Tai Chi Chuan (T'ai chi ch'uan), literally means Supreme Ultimate Fist and was originally taught as a martial art and longevity exercise. The principles of tai chi are based on Taoism, the ancient Chinese philosophy which believes that there is a natural balance in all things and we should live in spiritual and physical harmony with nature. In the 21st century, there are many different short forms, styles and hybrid styles of tai chi, all of them beneficial to the physical, mental and spiritual well being of practitioners.
History of Sanshou Kickboxing
Sanshou's competitive history is rooted in barehanded elevated arena or Lei Tai fights in which no rules were observed. However, Sanshou as a competitive event developed in the military as these bouts were commonly held between the soldiers to test and practice barehanded martial skills, ability and techniques. Rules were developed and the use of protective gloves etc. was adopted. It was originally used by the Kuomintang at the first modern military academy in Whampoa in the 1920s. Later it was also adopted as a method by the People's Liberation Army of China. Sanshou's curriculum was developed with reference to traditional Chinese martial arts. This general Wushu Sanshou curriculum varies in its different forms, as the Chinese government developed a version for civilians for self-defense and as a sport.
History of Modern Arnis
Remy Presas studied his family's system from an early age. He went on to study the Japanese systems of Shotokan Karate and Judo, achieving high rank in each; but he simultaneously studied a variety of other Filipino systems, most notably Venancio Bacon's Balintawak . Beginning with a small gymnasium in Bacolod in the 1950s, he attempted to spread the art to the local youth as both a cultural legacy and a form of physical development or sport. He taught the art at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos. His desire to reinvigorate interest in his country's traditional martial art grew over time, and he began making modifications and improvements to what he had learned. In 1969 he moved to Manila at the request of a government official, and formed the Modern Arnis Federation of the Philippines. He was assisted by individuals such as those who now are on the Modern Arnis Senior Masters Council: Rodel Dagooc, Jerry dela Cruz, Roland Dantes, Vicente Sanchez, Rene Tongson and Cristino Vasquez. He continued to develop and spread his art, including via books, until political considerations forced him to relocate to North America.
There he met Wally Jay, George Dillman, and other artists who influenced his development of the art of Modern Arnis. In particular, many locks from Small Circle Jujitsu were added to Modern Arnis. The art continued to grow and change, in technique and in emphasis, though it always retained a focus on the single stick and on general self-defense. Those who trained with Remy Presas in the United States in the 1970s and early 1980s experienced the art differently from those who began training in the late 1990s. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he traveled extensively for seminars – the principal form of instruction in the system was through weekend training camps held around the world but especially in the U.S. – and produced books and videos. During the 1990s Wally Jay, Remy Presas (Modern Arnis), and Jack Hogan (Kyusho Jitsu) traveled together throughout the United States and worldwide promulgating small-circle jujitsu. At that time many elements of Small Circle JuJitsu were well integrated into Modern Arnis.
History of BJJ / Submission Wrestling
BJJ / Submission Wrestling came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early 1990s, when Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Royce Gracie won the first, second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships, which at the time were single elimination martial arts tournaments. Royce fought against often much larger opponents who were practicing other styles, including boxing, shoot-fighting, muay thai, karate, wrestling, judo and tae kwon do. It has since become a staple art for many MMA fighters and is largely credited for bringing widespread attention to the importance of ground fighting. Sport Grappling tournaments continue to grow in popularity worldwide and have given rise to no-gi submission grappling tournaments, such as the ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship.
Submission wrestling (also known as submission fighting, submission grappling, sport grappling, or simply as no-gi is a general term for martial arts and combat sports that focus on clinch and ground fighting with the aim of obtaining a submission through the use of submission holds. The term "submission wrestling" usually refers only to the form of competition and training that does not use a gi, or "combat kimono", of the sort often worn with belts that establish rank by color, though some may use the loose trousers of such a uniform, without the jacket.
The sport of submission wrestling brings together techniques from folk wrestling (Catch wrestling a.k.a. catch-as-catch-can), Judo, Greco-Roman wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, jujutsu (of the traditional form),Shuai Jiao, and Sambo.
Submission fighting as an element of a larger sport setting is very common in mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, catch wrestling, and others. They are also known for using submission techniques normally banned in other arts or competitions such as heel hooks, toe holds, wrist and finger locks.
Submission Wrestling promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using leverage and proper technique, taking the fight to the ground – most notably by applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.
History of Qinna (Chin Na)
All martial arts contain qinna techniques in some degree. The southern Chinese martial arts have more developed qinna techniques than northern Chinese martial systems. The southern martial arts have much more prevalent reliance on hand techniques which causes the practitioner to be in closer range to their opponent. There are over 700 qinna traditional techniques found in all martial arts. In the Non-Temple White Crane style there are 150-200 qinna techniques alone. Along with Fujian White Crane, styles such as Northern Eagle Claw (Ying Jow Pai) and Tiger Claw (Fu Jow Pai) have qinna as their martial focus and tend to rely on these advanced techniques.
While techniques of qinna are trained to some degree by most martial arts worldwide, many Chinese martial arts are famous for their specialization in such applications. Styles such as Eagle Claw (Ying zhua quán), which includes 108 qinna techniques, Praying Mantis (Tánglángquán), the Tiger Claw techniques of Hung Gar, and Shuai Jiao are well known examples.
There is quite a bit of overlap between qinna theory and technique with the branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine known as tui na as well as the use of offensive and defensive qigong as an adjunct of qinna training in some styles.