Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ving Tsun Kung Fu?

Ving Tsun Kung Fu is a simple and beautiful martial art from ancient times that is well suited to the needs of people in modern society.  It has been preserved and passed down through generations in its authentic form. It is a complete traditional system of training.  It is an amazingly efficient and effective system in which one can become competent in a relatively short time.  Since it does not rely on physical strength, Ving Tsun is ideal for men and women of any stature.

How is Moy Tung Ving Tsun Kung Fu different from other martial arts?

Most martial arts are practiced as sports, and students of these arts are required to demonstrate their fighting abilities in competition. Ving Tsun, on the other hand, is not a sport, and students in Moy Tung schools aren't expected to compete in tournaments.

While it's typical for other martial arts schools to charge fees for rank promotions, there are no belt ranks or achievement tests in Moy Tung Kung Fu schools. In contrast to the strict military-style hierarchy and protocol common in other martial arts, students generally interact in a relaxed and informal way at schools in the Moy Tung family.

Are These Differences Meaningful?

One of the unique things about Ving Tsun is the way it’s taught.  In the Moy Yat Family Kung Fu Association, we do not simply teach “self-defense techniques” which may work in the controlled environment of a classroom but fail in the unpredictable “real world.”  We teach principles of kung fu which can be applied to any aspect of life and which have been proven effective for four hundred years on battlefields, in tournaments, on the streets of Hong Kong and New York, and in the lives of the students of Ving Tsun.

What are some of the principles of Ving Tsun?

Ving Tsun trains the martial artist in "Centerline Theory." Through forms and drills the hands are conditioned to occupy the body's centerline, the best position from which to attack and defend. Economy of motion, simultaneous attack and defense, and relaxation are also at the heart of the Ving Tsun system.

From what language does the terminology of Ving Tsun originate?

 The Cantonese dialect of the Chinese language. Many Cantonese sounds can't be accurately represented with the English alphabet. Different authors may use different English letters to represent the same Cantonese sound, so you may see a term spelled several ways. For example, the "moving the horse" drill may be written as toi ma, toy ma, toy mah, and tsui ma.

 How is "Ving Tsun" pronounced?

 It's commonly pronounced "wing chun" in America although this is only an approximation of the Cantonese pronunciation.

What in the history and lineage of Ving Tsun?

Ving Tsun King Fu is names after its founder, Yim Ving Tsun, a woman who was born in a small town in southern China about 400 years ago.  She studied kung fu with a nun names Ng Mui who was one of the top martial artists of the time.  Yim Ving Tsun revised and refined what she had learned until finally she had a distillation that was amazingly economical as well as extremely effective.  She taught the system to her husband, an actor named Leung Pok Toa.  Together the two taught Ving Tsun Kung Fu to a carefully chosen few while traveling throughout China with Leung Pok Toa’s show.  When they stopped in Fut Shan they taught a doctor, LeungChun.  He passed Ving Tsun on to Chan Wah Shuen, who in turn taught Yip Man.  In 1949, Yip Man brought Ving Tsun Kung Fu to Hong Kong where it became the most popular style of kung fu.  Among his students were the famous actor Bruce Lee and the man whose name this Kung Fu Association bears, Moy Yat.  Grand Master Moy Yat immigrated to New York in the 1970’s and, thereafter, popularized Ving Tsun in America and around the world.

Who were the greatest grandmasters in recent times?

In recent times, the greatest masters of the Ving Tsun system were the late Yip Man, who taught in Hong Kong in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and the late Moy Yat, who brought the system to America in the 1970’s.

What are the benefits of studying Ving Tsun Kung fu?

Kung fu offers a way to maintain health and fitness while learning effective self-defense.  Although the public primarily thinks of kung fu as a way of fighting, Ving Tsun also promotes personal growth, and its principles apply to all aspects of life.

What do you do in kung fu class?

 In a typical kung fu class, students warm up by playing forms.  They then pair off and play various two-person drills, switching partners occasionally so each student has the opportunity to train with different people. 

Some classes include group conditioning workouts with stretching, punching, and kicking exercises. Since taking breaks is also an important part of training, students rest several times during class.  Senior students and beginners train together in the same classes.  Students typically work out several times per week in class and on their own.  The basic training program of forms, drills, and conditioning is augmented by frequent workshops and seminars with the students’ Sifu and, frequently, their Sigung and Sitaigung as well.

Is kung fu hard to learn?

Not at all! Ving Tsun drills are simple and easy to perform. One of the amazing things about Ving Tsun is that it teaches advanced martial arts principles and techniques through exercises that anyone can learn to practice in no time.

How long does it take to become an expert in Ving Tsun?

Anyone who trains diligently can become an expert in Ving Tsun in a relatively short time. During the first few years of study, the student is opened up to forms and drills that lay the foundation for advanced training. After completing this basic program, the student becomes an instructor in their school. Everyone learns at their own pace in Moy Tung Kung Fu schools.

Why is Ving Tsun a good martial art for women to study?

Ving Tsun doesn't rely on strength, so it's ideal for both women and men of any stature. In fact, the Ving Tsun system was developed and founded by a woman, Yim Ving Tsun, hundreds of years ago and has been preserved and passed down through generations in its authentic form.

Can kids learn kung fu?

Yes! Kung fu is a lot of fun for kids. There are children's programs at several schools in the Moy Tung family. Contact us to learn more.

How can I learn kung fu? 

First, call for an appointment.  Schedule a free, no-obligation introductory lesson.  Train regularly and diligently. 

Where can I find some good video tapes to help me study Ving Tsun?

Although Ving Tsun training is complete and does not require outside source material such as books and videos, occasionally the student will seek to augment his learning with these materials.  The Moy Tung family’s Kung Fu Video Shop offers several high-quality instructional videos that give the student an opportunity to study the Ving Tsun system in detail through Grand Master Moy Tung’s extraordinary seminars.  To obtain details and ordering information, the student should contact his school’s administrator.

Do Ving Tsun students learn to use weapons?

At relatively advanced stages of training, students may train with the luk dim book kwan (6 ½ point pole) and bot jom doa (eight way chopping knives).  This training is coordinated directly with the Sifu, and does not occur in the school. 

What training equipment is used in a kung fu school?

Two training tools commonly used in Ving Tsun schools are the sao bow, a sand bag for punching, and the muk yan jong, a wooden dummy.  Schools with yards sometimes also have a field of gerk jong, wooden poles and stumps used for moving and kicking exercises.  Kung Fu is generally not trained with props that are commonly used in other martial arts such as padded floors and protective body armor.

What kind of uniforms do kung fu students wear?

The uniforms worn by kung fu students are similar to informal street clothes. The typical outfit includes a t-shirt decorated with the Moy family crest, lightweight pants similar to jogging pants, and thin-soled shoes. After students have been training for some time they often practice in street clothes instead of the uniform.  To obtain a uniform, the student should contact his school’s administrator.