Yan Yong Chun (Yim Wing Chun)

 

            Yong Chun is credited as the founder of the Yong Chun (Wing Chun) style of martial arts, although she actually learned the style from a wandering Shaolin abbot.

    Yan Yong Chun was born in Guangdong during the reign of Emperor Kang Xi of the Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). She was said to be very intelligent since her youth. Her mother died when she was only a few years old, and her father Yan Er was falsely accused of a crime and sent to prison. Yong Chun had to support herself by selling bean curd at the foot of Da Liang Shan (Mount Da Liang).

    At the time, Shaolin Temple on Song Shan (Mount Song) in Henan Province, due to its large numbers of monks who practiced martial arts, was suspected by the Qing government of planning a revolt. The Qing government sent troops to destroy the temple, but initially was unsuccessful due to the valiant defense put up by the Shaolin monks. Later, Chen Wen Wei successfully bribed Ma Ning Er and several other monks in the temple, who set fire to the temple during another attack by Qing troops. The temple was burned down and the monks scattered away. The five abbots of the temple, Wu Mei, Zhi Shan, Bai Mei, Feng Dao De, and Miao Xian, all went their separate ways. Wu Mei took temporary shelter at Mount Da Liang. There, Wu Mei met Yong Chun.

    A bully in the area, seeing that Yong Chun was very beautiful, wants her to marry him. After learning of Yong Chunís worries, Wu Mei pitied her and decided to teach her a style of martial arts that Wu Mei had never taught to anyone else yet. Yong Chun traveled atop Mount Da Liang and learned martial arts for many days. When she finished, she was able to easily defeat the bully.

    Wu Mei decided to leave and roam the rest of the country, but, before doing so, told Yong Chun to teach her martial arts to others after her marriage and also to plot to overthrow the Qing Dynasty and revive the Ming Dynasty (the previous dynasty).

    After her marriage, Yong Chun first taught her martial arts to her husband Liang Bo Chou, then to many other students. Later, this style of martial arts was called Yong Chun.