Chicago Wing Chun Gung Fu Club: Ho Kam Ming Pages

We greatly value our relationship with Master Ho and his students, and take every opportunity to participate in seminars and take private lessons.  On these linked pages, you can find some of our seminar notes, and other records we thought worth passing along.   

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Seminars

The below links will bring users to valuable notes taken by Curt James, found on his site.  

HKM1989 HKM1999

Yip Man

Master Ho Kam Ming related this Wing Chun story to a CWC group gathered around a dinner table, in Chicago. 

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History

During the reign of the Ming Dynasty (1358-1644) gung fu was practiced in the Siu Lum (Shao Lin) monastery...

History
   

    A story about Yip Man


    Ho Kam Ming related this Wing Chun story to us. I believe it was in 1999. We were gathered around a dinner table in a Thai restaurant in Chicago.

    Yip Man attended St. Stevens College in Hong Kong. There were also sons of the English colonialists attending the school. Some times fights would erupt between students. The larger English students would always trounce the smaller Chinese students. However while playing basketball in the schoolyard an unusual fight broke out in which a smaller Chinese student beat up not one but two of the larger English bullies. Well this news spread around a little bit. A classmate of Yip's was relating the story to his parents back at their tailor shop. Their accountant was there at the time and upon hearing the story, he said to their son "Tell your friend I'd like to talk to him about this."  So Yip Man was invited to stop over. When he visited the elderly man said that he was impressed by the story and wanted to know what kind of kung fu had he used to win this fight. Yip Man said he used Wing Chun Kung Fu.

    The accountant asked him if he had learned Siu Lim Tao and Chum Kiu. But Yip was distracted and didn't really hear the question or it didn't register to him.

    The accountant asked Yip Man to try the techniques he had used on him. Yip Man said "you're an old man I wouldn't want to hurt you." The accountant remarked "oh you don't have to worry about that." Yip still declined. The accountant said "Don't worry, if you hurt me you won't have to pay me anything, or maybe you are afraid. Yip responded, "I've never lost a fight, why should I be scared of an old man?"

    They ended up outside Yip Man attacked the man with a double punch technique. Figuring that even if the man blocked one hand the other would still do the job.

    The accountant calmly used a double hand block [kwun sau], which also opened up the lines for his own counterattack, a double palm strike to the chest, which hurt Yip and sent him down on the ground.

    Yip was stunned and embarrassed. He had had enough of this guy and without a word he went back in to pick up his coat and then just went home.

    The next day in school the classmate said to Yip "the old man said that your kung fu is pretty good." 

    Yip said "oh sure he knocks me down and then says that I'm pretty good. What, is he making fun of me?" 

    "The old man says that if you want to know why you lost, to come and see him," says the classmate.

    So Yip, being curious, did make a return visit.

    The old man said "you must be stupid. When I asked you if you knew Siu Lim Tao and Chum Kiu you should have known that I know Wing Chun too. 

    "Do you know who I am? asked the old man.

    Yip did not know.

    "I am Leung Bik, the son of Leung Jon, the man who taught your teacher." 

    Yip was told that his foundation wasn't bad but that he really needed further instruction in the art. Yip Man accepted the offer of learning from the old man.

    During his subsequent training Yip Man learned many things which were withheld from his teacher. This added greatly to his Wing Chun skills.

    For the first two centuries of it's existence the art was only taught to family members and a few close friends. Leung Bik said that his father [Leung Jon] had intended to teach the art of Wing Chun only his two sons. It was also illegal to teach Wing Chun at this particular time. Because whenever the police tried to grab someone who knew Wing Chun, it never worked for them. They would simply do a "huen sau" motion to evade capture.

    But Yip Man's former teacher, Chan Wah Sun, was a neighbor of theirs. He had been peeking through the fence observing as Leung Jon taught his sons.

    When Leung Jon discovered this intrusion he called the neighbor out to see just what he had learned.
    So Leung Jon Asked Chan to fight with one of his sons to see how he would do. The neighbor Chan had won. But this was due mainly to his very large size and the sons incomplete training at the time.

    Master Leung Jon thought that it would be wiser to agree to teach Chan even though he didn't have much trust in him. At least this way he felt more assured that Chan would not turn him in to the police for teaching Wing Chun.
    What Master Leung Jon decided to do instead was to teach Chan Wah Sun but to withhold the finer points of the art.
    Chan Wah Su eventually became the first to teach Wing Chun to the public. He had 16 students, the last of which was Yip Man. But Yip exclaims that his true understanding and skills in the art are due to training with his second teacher, Leung Bik.

    Yip did latter have a visit back to Fat Shan, China to see his old Wing Chun classmates. But I get the impression that he didn't make any attempt to impress them with his newfound skills or try to change his seniors over to accepting his new methods. He just let them continue doing what they were doing and went back to Hong Kong.

    Yip Man had learned these finer skills one on one, hand to hand. This is the best way to learn. Leung Bik taught only one student. Yip Man. This is why Yip didn't really have a method by which to teach a group of students.
   

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Class Pictures

Chicago Wing Chun is, above all, a positive group interested in building friendships as we grow in understanding of a martial art we all love.   

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Ho Kam Ming

We value our relationship with Master Ho and his students, and take every opportunity to participate in seminars or take private lessons.  

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Articles

Teachers and classmates who write articles, published or otherwise, are welcome to have their thoughts posted here for public consumption. 

Articles
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Curt James' Site

Curt James has written some great articles, over the years, and many are available on his site, linked here.    

Link to CJ Site