WING CHUN (詠春) is a concept-based Chinese martial art and form of self-defense utilizing both striking and grappling while specializing in close-range combat. It is a relatively young martial art, with most historians agreeing that it developed in southern China approximately 300 years ago.
According to legend, Wing Chun was created by the Buddhist nun Ng Mui, who was a master of Shaolin Kung Fu. Using her martial training and personal experience, she synthesized a compact form of Kung Fu to exploit weaknesses inherent in the other combat styles of her time and give an advantage to smaller fighters like herself. This new system was well-guarded and passed on to only a few, very dedicated students. Her style became known as Wing Chun, after Ng Mui's first student, a woman named Yim Wing Chun. (See the next section to read more about Wing Chun's history.)
Wing Chun began to quietly spread throughout southern China, evolving as it was adopted into various groups. It gained popularity when Grandmaster Ip Man began to teach openly in China and Hong Kong. His students continued the evolution, and spread Wing Chun all around the world. Today, many people have learned of Wing Chun through the late martial arts superstar Bruce Lee or through the popular Ip Man series of movies.