Founded in Qing Dynasty, during the reign of the Emperor Kangxi (r.1622-1722), Wing Chun is a southern Chinese gung fu style. Legend has it, Ng Mui, a Buddhist nun of the Shaolin Temple designed the system to be one of finesse, unlike many of the other styles reliant on and/or developing brute force power. Naming the system after her top student, Wing Chun (“eternal springtime”), it greatly differed from other gung fu styles, namely in its principles of building bridges with its trapping hands as opposed to breaking them.
Beginning in the late 1960’s, Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution sought to preserve Chinese communism by eradicating any remnants of traditional Chinese society. This included many martial arts (Wing Chun included) deemed a possible form of rebellion against his government. Luckily, the most renowned Wing Chun master of the 20th century relocated to Hong Kong in 1948, and with Hong Kong being official British territory, Grandmaster Yip Man kept the art alive and introduced it to the public.