The Martial Art that Made Kung Fu Famous
I’ve had a fascination with Kung Fu (Derived from the mandarin Gong Fu 功夫) since I watched my first Kung Fu movie and was banned from borrowing Kung Fu books from the library after using my new-found ‘techniques’ on my classmates at recess. This fascination began when I saw my first Bruce Lee movie, as it did for millions of people around the World. I dare-say, Bruce Lee may be a pivotal factor in my being in China, writing this now.
One of the most essential parts of what made Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee was in fact his form of Kung Fu. While not the Hollywood version, which is much flashier, particularly not some of the Wire-Fu of the ‘90s; using Wing Chun, Bruce Lee could put an opponent down in seconds.
Studying under master Ip Man, whose name you might recognize from the recently produced movies, Ip Man and Ip Man 2, who stripped the 350 year-old martial art down to its bare essentials, Bruce Lee learned the skills that took him to the other side of the World and made him one of China’s greatest-ever ambassadors.
While my fascination with Kung Fu has unfortunately waned over time, I am no less fascinated with the people or the culture behind it, and so was very grateful to have the opportunity to speak with Ronald Kho Hian-qui at Fusion Martial Arts Club on Sunday to get the insights of a master on one the World’s most effective martial arts.
What is Wing Chun?
Wing Chun is a close-quarter fighting system that differs from other martial arts in that rather than maintain distance from an opponent, a Wing Chun fighter will immediately go on the offensive when attacked, removing an opponent’s “long-range” weapons such as kicks or round-house punches, and using the fists, fingers, elbows, and shoulders depending on proximity, disables an opponent as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Some people believe that Wing Chun is not effective as it doesn’t have kicks, which is wrong. Wing Chun has low, debilitating kicks that are simple to execute and very difficult to block, that are especially effective when using strikes as camouflage that have resulted in some people referring to the Wing Chun kick as the ‘Invisible Kick’ as it is rarely seen by the opponent.
Why should someone learn Wing Chun?
Learning Wing Chun is not just about learning how to fight, it is a martial art with a 350 year old history that is deeply rooted in the Chinese culture that so many have grown to appreciate and respect. Unlike some martial arts that come and go with passing generations, Wing Chun has stood the test of time and will be around long into the future, for good reason.
Wing Chun is also an extremely practical martial art; it does away with all the flamboyance that is common of other martial arts and gets the job done as efficiently as possible. The style focuses on deflection and the use of straight lines, the most direct means of reaching an opponent. The body is treated like a cylinder so as to deflect strikes, while delivering successive blows nearly simultaneously. While in attack, Mr. Koh puts it best, saying:
“Because we learn relaxation, our movements can be very fast; if a strike is blocked, we can very quickly change to another technique to a forward position whether it is in attack or defense”
Born in Hong Kong, Ronald Kho Hian-qui, learned Wing Chun under martial arts practitioner Samuel Kwok in England for 20 years. Both Kwok and Kho have also learned from Ip Chun and Ip Ching. Kho, a chartered building manager, has been in Shenzhen since 2007. He is a member of the Hong Kong-based Ip Man Athletic Association and Ving Tsun Athletic Association, the British Council for Chinese Martial Arts, a fellow of the Society of Martial Arts (Salford) and has been a regular contributor for the Huddersfield-based Martial Arts Illustrated magazine.
Sifu Kho has a class every Sunday at Fusion Martial Arts in Shekou.
Fusion currently has a promotion on where students can take 10 classes of either (can mix and match) Aikido, Brazilian Jujitsu, or Wing Chun Kung Fu for 1,000RMB. If interested, please contact Yan at 13417474739.