Thursday, January 15, 2009

Our Founder - Grandmaster Yip Kin of Poon Yue



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The founder of Yip Kin Wing Choon Kuen (葉堅詠春拳), Grandmaster Yip Kin (葉堅), was born in 1883 during the Qing Dynasty (dynasty duration: 1644 to 1911). He first resided in Au Wu Hamlet and later shifted to the adjoining Wang Hung Tau Village in Guangdong Pak Wan San (White Cloud Mountain) Yan Woh Chan sub-district, Southern China. He learnt martial arts from four masters.

1. From Sifu Soo Kai Ming, Yip Kin learnt the Wing Choon Kuen we practice today.

2. From Sifu Yip Hung Seng of the Yip clan memorial hall, Yip Kin learnt Yum Yeung Ba Gua Kuan (陰陽八卦棍).

3. Sifu Cho Fei Hoong taught Yip Kin the intricacies to master 5 weapons, viz:

  • Plum Flower Staff ()
  • Rope and Weight (飛鉈)
  • 3 Section Staff (三節棍)
  • Twin Willow Leaf Broadswords (柳葉)
  • Bench (黄頭櫈)

4. During the Red Boat era when Yip Kin was a member of and traveling with the Chinese Opera Group, Sifu Yik Kam passed on his skills to enable Yip Kin to master the following weapons:
  • 5, 7 and 9 section iron whip (五、七、九節鞭 - Not a Wing Choon weapon and is not taught in the current syllabus)
  • Kwan Dao (春秋大刀)
  • Spear (梅花槍)
  • Subdue the Tiger Trident (伏虎大耙)
  • Broadsword and Rattan Shield(单刀籐牌)

Grandmaster Yip Kin also learned various other forms from other Wing Choon Kuen masters and various other martial arts in his travels across China.

Seven Years from the fall of the Qing Dynasty, in 1918, Yip Kin migrated to Malaya (now Malaysia) at the age of 35. He settled in Selangor State, Kuala Lumpur town (now City) and stayed there for the rest of his life.

During this period, he became famous for his fighting skills, helping people at the mines where he worked, at the tea houses, food stalls and restaurants where he ate and the area around his house where he lived.

In 1926, at age 43, he started his martial arts school and began imparting his knowledge of martial arts, specifically Wing Choon, to his students. After a teaching career spanning 43 years, Yip Kin passed away in 1968 at age 85. Yip Kin had 4 children, 3 boys and a girl; all learned Wing Choon Kuen from him. The youngest of the sons, Yip Koon, is the father of the current patriach of Yip Kin Wing Choon Kuen system, Grandmaster Yip Fook Choy.


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