Rene pictured with Master Ho at the Macao school taken
in the eighties
About the Instructor, Ng Tak Cheung (Rene)
Rene was born and raised in Macao, a small port city off the southern coast of China near Hong Kong. In the early seventies, he was introduced to Wing Chun by his high school classmates. He began his training at the Macao Wing Chun Athletic Association under Master Ho Kam Ming, a top disciple of the late and famous Wing Chun master, Yip Man. The Macao school was famous for its Wing Chun across Southeast Asia, and was well-known as the training ground for some of the top Wing Chun fighters at that time, including Lam Fat Ming, Lui Ming Fai, Shorty Ho, and Fong Chi Wing (Augustine Fong, who now teaches the art in Tucson, Arizona), to name a few.
Traditional Wing Chun training was typically very grueling. Master Ho was an exceptional and very disciplined teacher who demanded the best efforts from his students; anything less was not acceptable. His profound knowledge and understanding of the art was impeccable, and reflected the results of his decades of loyal tutelage under Master Yip Man. His students all showed the same qualities of humility, confidence, competence, and passion, and were well respected within the kung fu world.
Over the years, Rene's love for the art grew, and along with it his passion and dedication. At the same time, the concurrent teachings of the underlying philosophies behind the art became an important part of his upbringing as well. He became trained in the Chinese healing arts and Oriental Medicine. He continued to train diligently in both the martial and medical arts, even after he immigrated to the United States and moved to New York in 1982. The call to California came in 1987 when he moved to San Diego. There he founded the San Diego Wing Chun Kung Fu Club. His dream for the club was for it to become a traditional learning center and training ground for anyone genuinely interested in the art. Since then, he has trained many Wing Chun practitioners, some of whom have successfully competed in national martial arts tournaments. His class at the Jing Institute is one of the most popular, and has attracted people from all walks of life, with new, enthusiastic students joining every week.
As Rene puts it, kung fu is not a sport, nor is it a hobby, but a way of life. How true !
Click here to check out: Rene's Wing Chun Class: Levels of Training at JING
Wing Chun class at JING Institute. Women and men, young and old.
What is Wing Chun?
Wing Chun is a kung fu style from the southern part of China. It is believed to have originated from the Shaolin Temple in the Henan Province, and is based on the snake and the crane techniques. It is a no-nonsense fighting art, very simple and direct, which is easy to learn but difficult to master? It emphasizes close-range fighting and power generation, and the use of the opponent's force against themselves. Over the years, it was primarily a hidden art known only to a few until the late, great Master Yip Man moved to Hong Kong in the early part of the 20th century and introduced it there. The art later became widely known and publicized by one of Master Yip's students, Bruce Lee, whose kung fu was based on Wing Chun. In the last two decades, the art has flourished here in the United States and around the world, and has become one of the most widely sought after styles at kung fu schools.
The style (Yip Man Wing Chun -- known as such to distinguish it from other branches of Wing Chun lineages passed down by Master Yip's kung fu brothers and cousins) is relatively small compared with other kung fu systems. There are a total of 3 empty hand forms, 1 wooden dummy form, and two weapons forms. Students develop sensitivity and the proper structure/techniques via the empty hand and dummy forms as well as chi sao (sticky hands drills). The weapons are for strength training in addition to their actual applications.
There are no belts used in the system. Students are considered kung fu brothers and sisters with each other. The only form of seniority is gauged by when a person joined the class, much like in a regular family in which seniority is determined by who was born first. Classes follow the format used in traditional kung fu training, which includes both group training and individual training. Students do not follow any particular timetable, but progress at their own pace based on their own needs and goals.
The only true requirement in successfully learning the system is patience, hard work, and a passion for the art.
Brief History of Wing Chun
Wing Chun is a southern, close-range fighting style with roots that can be traced back to the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, China. The art is said to have been founded a few centuries ago by a lay monk named Ng Mui who was one day observing a fight between a snake and a crane while walking in the forest. She developed the style based on these observations, which was later made into a complete fighting system by her disciple, Yim Wing Chun. Wing Chun matured and flourished not only as a highly effective and efficient martial art that could be mastered in a fraction of the time taken by traditional styles, but also as a weapon utilized by those who were rebelling against the evil, ruling government at that time.
Long kept secretive and taught only to a selected few, Wing Chun was introduced to the world in the late sixties and made popular by the famous movie star and actor, Bruce Lee , who formulated his own style, Jeet Kune Do, around the principles of Wing Chun. Before that, the art remained in low profile while in China, although it gained widespread fame under the legendary doctor and martial artist, Leung Jan, along with one of his disciples, Chan Wah Sung, in Futshan. In the early part of the twentieth century, Wing Chun was brought out of China and into Hong Kong by one of Chan Wah Sung's disciples, the famous Yip Man, who helped to promote Wing Chun and made it one of the most sought after art in the world.
Master Ho Kam Ming, one of Yip Man's senior and top disciples, opened a school in the small town of Macao off the coast of China called "The Macao Wing Chun Athletic Club", and produced high quality Wing Chun practitioners, some of whom became champion fighters all over Asia. These days, still extremely vibrant and healthy in his late seventies, Master Ho lives retired in Toronto, Canada.
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