The History of The Federation
Miroslav (July 2005)
Starting from the beginning!
Legends and myths hide their paths in the thickets of time.
There is the Mystery, the Hope and childhood feelings of the unexplored and wanting.
Today (the New Century of 2005) it is even harder not to get lost in seemingly endless information streams. Oceans of information colliding together can sink even the most robust of ships or turn everything into an illusion. To believe means to know.
We offer truthful information as we have been doing right from the very beginning. The year 2002 saw the launch of All-Russia Yun Chun Quan (Wing Chun), meaning Eternal Spring! The past, present and future at a single flow of time and space! 25 years of Yun Chun Quan in Russia!
Experience cannot be deemed simply good or bad. Experience is experience. Meetings, searches, betrayals, mistakes, findings: all from the very beginning.
As happens in myths, legends and folklore, once upon a time, the following people met and decided to forward the cause for Wing Chun!
The Yun Chun (Wing Chun) Master Martynov Valeriy Vasilyevich, a student of Huan Vin Zang (direct follower of the great Wing Chun Master, Nguyen Te Kong). Martynov is a romantic, a philosopher and an artistic director of life.
Pichugina Lyudmila Victorovna (later Martynova): she is an inspirer, a psychologist. She represents light, hope and love. She is active in Yun Chun (Wing Chun), Tai Chi and mime.
Petruk Petr Alexandrovich: he is a wizard and a kind, charitable man. Thanks to him all dreams took on new purpose and became reality. He also does Wing Chun.
Pavlovskiy Valeriy: he is a Vietnamese Wing Chun school graduate, a student of Wing Chun Mi An Chau (himself a follower of a student of Nguyen Te Kong called Chan Van Fung). He is a Real Buddhist and an open honest person.
Martynov Svyatoslav: he is the son of Martynov Valeriy Vasilyevich, a film producer and director. He is a Yun Chun junior class instructor.
Fedotov Alexey: he is a modest man devoted to the teachings of the Wing Chun school. He single-handedly leads a group, served in Afghanistan and used to be engaged in mime.
Dogaev Ivan and Natalia: they are both computer professionals, selfless employees who are both engaged in Wing Chun. Both were previously active in mime theatre.
Panin Andrey: he is an instructor in the Wing Chun school. He is soft but persevering. He is honest, hard-working and diligent in his work.
And, of course, Korolev Nikolay Venyaminovich: he is a State Civil Servant of the Department of Education. Without his knowledge it would have been very hard to break through the various State obstacles and mechanisms. And, in China, we would have been lost without him!
All of these people complement each other naturally and, from this moment on, the official birth of Yun Chun in Russia can be considered complete. We could try and look at the astrological and metaphysical meaning of elements and symbols. But reality is always simple. In simple terms, these people established the All-Russia Yun Chun Quan (Wing Chun) Federation. Now they are ready to welcome into their ranks everyone who is fascinated by the spirit of Eternal Spring’. The old understanding of sports societies and federations has nothing to do with us! Sweating, dirty sportsmen are not our style. Following the traditions of respected schools, we hope that we will be joined by people, who respect and understand the way to self-perfection through the art of Yun Chun (Wing Chun). Eastern ethics and aesthetics are not alien to our potential students. Developing and maintaining contact with the original source of the Wing Chun school, we call for separate groups and those who study from dingy books (and also simply from films) to take the wide and trusted route. It is not as hard to educate as to re-educate oneself.
There is an inexorable law of cause and effect. That is why the first steps and choices are so important in the study of deep and serious traditions. Wing Chun is neither religion nor sect. It is a well-designed technology of development and discovery of one’s human abilities. For a beginner, at an early stage, it is hard to see the difference in styles and directions of Wing Chun. Often one’s orientation can be misled by mystification or simply one’s own illusions.
Wing Chun has strict defined principles and unique qualities, for a fighter as well as for a developing person. All studies are interpreted by people, teachers, Masters and simple amateurs. At the start it is very hard to be sure which way and what mentor is right for you and to understand what is closer to ones own nature. Don’t hurry!
Since the middle of the last Century two main Wing Chun technological directions have been established. Before that time, Wing Chun was kept secret and was only practiced in family clans’ schools. In this article we won’t get bogged down by genealogical details but will look at Wing Chun schools’ various causes and trends.
So, one branch stems from the Hong Kong Master Yip Man and the other from the Chinese Master, Nguyen Te Kong, who immigrated to Vietnam (living in Su-to, Hanoi City from 1939-1954).
Among the modern Wing Chun students there is a long standing dispute as to which system or school is the true one. Each one calls its own Wing Chun the real one’ and maintains that the other is wrong’. A student cannot define the truth and judge the other school as he is naturally fascinated by his own school, mentor and classes. At the student level even a duel won’t produce a winner and, so, the argument descends into a simple fistfight, where the winner is the heavier and physically stronger aggressive person. That is why, in traditional schools, there are no competitions for a while and duels are forbidden. Wing Chung is based on self-defence, not on attack.
Among the great Masters, there are no disputes about which school is the real one’ and which is the wrong’. When they meet they just drink tea and talk about various other topics. Fights and fisticuffs are for uneducated people and those willing only to assert one-self on others through fighting (because of fear or to hide real motives).
Martynov V. V. (July 2005)
I can only share my 25 years of experience of searches, trials and mistakes. This is my current understanding of this question.
There was a point in the mid 1970’s when we were just starting to become engaged in Wing Chun. At that time we had practically no information on Wing Chun. Meeting the Master Huan Vin Zang was the only seed from which the flower of Wing Chun was growing. The Master was giving lessons in his free time. No doubt they were unforgettable meetings! Very many people were into Karate at that time and, as a type of cult, captivated masses of people.
Huan Vin Zang would choose his students himself. To be among them was a very prestigious and great honour.
But when the teacher used to leave for Vietnam for a long time on business, his students would be overcome by doubt, disputes and hesitations within themselves. They would try to find the keys to the school’s secrets and there they would often end up with odd books and films or touring teachers of other Wing Chun directions. Sometimes it seemed that this different way was better and more correct’. But, with the return of the Master, everything would get back to where it should be. Often vast tracts of information wouldn’t register with the student that quickly. This is when the older students would step in and help.
Huan Vin Zang spoke Russian very well so it was easy to communicate with him.
Trips to Vietnam used to strengthen one’s knowledge and meeting teachers would erase the doubts about whether the chosen route was the right one. Now that all these hesitaions are far behind and information on the school is comprehensive, what's left is to follow the school, not to be lazy but to exercise regularly, thus delving deeper into principles and discovering secrets step by step.
Huan Vin Zang used to say that, when the Master Te Kong was dying, he cried, in sorrow, that this particular branch of Wing Chun in China was also dying.
When I was in China in Foshan city (the centre of Yun Chun) I was told by some old Chinese Wing Chun Masters that many people knew Te Kong as a Great Master. They regretted, though, that his techniques and its forms were lost and that young students were under the influence of cinema and actors such as Bruce Lee and that they are more fascinated by the external Hong Kong style of the Master Yip Man.
In Europe, especially in Germany, the Hong Kong version of Wing Chun is being popularised thanks to such Masters as William Chen, Yip Chun Leon Tin (Yip Man's son), Kernspecht, Steven Chan, Augustine Fong and others. It is becoming stronger in Russia too. This school is very well organised at all elements and levels and is especially simplified for a European understanding (in the same way Karate was). It attracts aggressive people with self-esteem issues.
The Master Nguyen Te Kong’s style is hard to sub-divide into elements as it retains its old traditional basics, which must be perceived as a single whole. It requires, from its students, a visual thinking and an artistic nature. In our school a large emphasis is placed on calligraphy, poetry, studying Buddhist- and Taoist philosophy as well as medicine. A long time ago, in the pre-revolution Russia of the last century, there were two famous theatre directors: K.S. Stanislavskiy and V. Meyerkhold. They represented two different methods of acting skill perception. Stanislavskiy used to say that you need to get angry and then the fists will clench! Meyerkhold was the opposite, saying that it is enough to clench your fists and an actor would only then feel anger. Both methods have their own place and are useful and understood by different types of people’s psycho-types. Some are attracted to Meyerkhold’s bio-mechanic strain. Others, though, like to go deep into their own world of senses.
In every Wing Chun school system their own truth and way exist. Will is given, but the route is shaped according to a person’s nature. His karmic debts and modern upbringing bring them to their own doorstep. Unfortunately (or luckily!) its character doesn’t change after visiting Wing Chun classes or from other exquisite practices or studies. They merely refine and sharpen its nature. A bad person or a traitor may put on the mask’ of a good pupil. His core, however, remains unchanged. If he is unselfish and honest, however, these qualities can only strengthen in him.
Wing Chun teachings offer instruments to manage ones’ feelings and mind. How to use them, however, is up to each individual person. We have a choice of light or darkness every moment of every day. A Vietnamese Master once said: “When I am at home I fight enemies inside me. When I go outside, I fight external ones. This is the way of the fighter.” (…but who knows who your enemy is and who your friend is…?) From my own experience, I can add that no religion, system or study can lead to enlightenment or to God. But they do lead to an author, who created this system. God, Light, Peace and Happiness: all of them are here now, around us and inside us. The route of the enlightened is very individual. That is why one has to find and follow his own way.
We are either in light or darkness and this depends only on our perception.
What is this? Every level and stage is karma-dependent. For beginners a lot depends on their mood. And the mood depends on what you’ve eaten, how you have slept, etc. The first stage involves: working on your own laziness, fears, and to simply make a step forward, to learn to see rather than to simply look; to hear rather than to listen. There is good and bad in everyone. Everyone also possesses the simple and the complicated, the clever and the clumsy. To accept yourself the way you are, to comprehend, to take under control: the will is given, you have to choose.
Here are the axes of possible conflicts and compromises.
In the light: in the shadow;
Sense of duty: egoism;
Who and what is Wing Chun or Yun Chun?
Nowadays, with the growth in people’s wealth, the need for good physical shape and a higher emotional state have arisen. This explains the increase in new fitness centres. But, like any typical commercial project, this only substitutes a healthy lifestyle, rather then cultivating one.
Wealthy people want to consume and indulge their body and feelings. Traditional schools are based on complete immersion. In other words, self-regulation of mind and body, i.e. to work on oneself. That is why not many people choose Wing Chun (even though Eternal Spring beckons with all its advantages). Laziness, unorganised business, volatile relations in family and at work: all of these things are unavoidable obstacles to beginning Wing Chun.
Those who managed to take the step forward gain real health and an internal and external balance. They gain rationality and accomplishment in business as well as harmonious relations at home and, indeed, with all people. In the past, Wing Chun was accessible only by the chosen. It was always a clan; a family school where knowledge was passed from father to son, daughter, wife and close people. Only in exceptional circumstances would life bring you to meet a stranger who would reveal family school secrets. There were several cases when Wing Chun was passed on (for big money) to already trained martial arts students in order to help family finances or for political reasons. But they were always people of the same faith, belief and ethical qualities. Of course many Wing Chun principles and techniques were used by secret services and mercenaries for their own purposes. But they never penetrated deep into the teachings and therefore couldn’t become a full school of thought. Especially nowadays, those wishing to assert themselves try to wrench out the basics of the Wing Chun school context and apply them for their own purposes. But their interest dies very soon as fragmented use of the Wing Chun technique doesn’t work in practice even though it appears accessible and tempting. Similar teachings evolved, like the Kadochnikov system or the so-called Russian Style’ for special forces. Real health is a unity of spirit and body, as well as a developed soul. This is mainly a balance of mind, feeling and will. Harmonious relations are very important in the family, between husband and wife, between parents and children, in essence all communication between people. And also, put simply, a good mood!
Modern people take care of their car, house, pets and plants but pay very little attention to themselves and those close to them. Women afford a lot of attention to their appearance and want to look like mannequins, but forget that they have roles as mothers, wives and sisters. Not to forget nature’s miracle that women can give birth to children and, essentially, all humankind, which means that the future is in their hands! Eternal Spring’. It is you! All Women!
The art of Wing Chun is like clothes made from flowers’: it is light, elegant and practical. Your psyche is protected by the confidence in your own abilities. Feelings are balanced. Reaction and co-ordination won’t sell you short even in the most extreme situations. From early childhood you have to develop your agility, your attentiveness and application. Wing Chun never attacks first, but is always victorious against the aggressor. This is why this technique is close to women and those of a physically weak disposition. Yes, you must work hard to restore your youthful coordination, flexibility, understanding and attention as well as your hearing and memory. You also have to learn to maintain a well-toned state of mind and to be able to manage your feelings. All of these things guide us to understanding why’ and for what reason’.
Sometimes people with a closed mind and with an axe to grind’ come to our classes. For example, those who have been beaten by somebody and want revenge. In the process of the classes, however, their ideas disappear and, in pairs-exercises, they see a reflection of their problems and many discover a new way and broader targets.
Here is what the Wing Chun students ask:
What does Wing Chun mean to me?
By Udovenko Roman
After one and a half years of classes I still haven’t reached a final conclusion: What is Wing Chun for me?
There were moments when it was simple and clear. But the problem is that I cannot control myself well enough. More than once I was defeated by problems from outside’. Again and again I had to shake the dust off’ and get back up on my feet. This taught me that it is easier to achieve any target as opposed to maintaining what you have already achieved.
It is strange but, after finishing the previous thought, I pursued the idea:
- In order to hold onto what you have already achieved, you have to concentrate on going forward, rather then trying to concentrate on keeping what you have already achieved.
So, interestingly, back to the question: what is Wing Chun to me? To understand this, I have to ask another question: What do I need Wing Chun for? The answer suddenly becomes clearer: I need it to help me become real.
I find Wing Chun very interesting. It reveals the possibility to learn how to win, to achieve and be precise in all aspects of my life.
What does Wing Chun mean to me?
By Uvarov Grigoriy
Occasionally one experiences feelings of internal and external insecurity. This can manifest itself as the inability to change ones rhythm’ and the course of life’s events in general. Being late, not achieving, losing, etc. These things opened my eyes to an understanding of the wrong route to take in life and how to make decisions to counteract it. After long thought about the right martial arts for me, I came across a magazine which contained an article on Wing Chun martial arts style. It has now been three years since my first acquaintance with this school through its Master V.V. Martynov. Now I can say with full confidence that the Wing Chun doctrine and its principles are as complicated as your body, your spirit, your faith and your own principles, to the same degree as the damage suffered through the wrong choice of lifestyle. All of these aspects have a special relationship within the individual person.
The way of Wing Chun and its directionality in the new life I am building enable me to say that Wing Chun is a milestone in my life. At the very foundation of Wing Chun martial arts, there is man and woman. They are at the origin with all their positive and negative qualities. Leaving out the negative ones (but not forgetting about them) the Wing Chun style concentrates on the positive qualities of both Men and Women. Concentrating on qualities of opposing characters enables us to broaden the possibilities of the average person by the use of a wide range of thought and character qualities. Like a woman’s softness and weakness as opposed to a man’s strength which transforms into managed and controlled flexibility.
By following the centreline’ concept, one can extend the borders of ones movements’ qualities. Softness with the ability to absorb energy allows one to return the force exerted upon oneself. This depends on each situation, on your decisions. This leads to conscious control of any given situation. The possibilities to tailor oneself to any particular opponent are vital: the school and mentality of the centreline’ allows you to learn and understand other peoples’ states of mind (but always returning to the centre). And having understood the mentality of your opponent one can then find his weak points and, if needed, exploit them (in keeping with basic Wing Chun principles). It’s not trickery! One ought not to attack first. There will be no violence. One simply protects ones own centre line.
The denial of primary aggression leads to a controlled and adequate response action enabling one to acquire a self believe in ones abilities and actions. This enables one to observe events by simply on-looking, foreseeing the right action and turning the events to the required direction. For this you need persistent training.
Actions are joined up with a corresponding state of mind, merging as a single whole. The diversity of such mergers’ enables one to better understand yourself, your problems and accomplishments. The greater the diversity of conscious actions, the higher the level of skill.
A woman’s qualities (like cunning) put together with a man’s logic are exposed as irrational. They are unpredictable for the uninformed individual. At the same time, however, they are logically complete actions for the one undertaking the action. This increases the survival in martial’ situations as well as domestic ones.
A human, in his ultimate assignment, seeks to out-do himself. By eliminating thinking and acting by route.’ (Gurdzhiev)
The transformation of one’s nature and composition is a feature shown by a particular flexibility in the choice of actions and the response of the body on the mind. They come together as a symbiosis, increasing in intensity. It is known that the second is the beginning of the development of the third. If these two components are correctly balanced (in relation to harmony and the phase of the world), then the mind and its feelings develop intuitively through an understanding and coherence of the body with the world, the mind and ones feelings. This launches a conscious working of the mind (logic) in the required key’ without any isolation from reality. So, in this amazing way, a human-like God (in image and likeness) begins to consciously build his own world. Ones own vector is ones own existence in this world with principles of compliance and acceptance of all that is happening around one. There is no dependency on liking or disliking. An adequate response to violence on your person and spirit is required. Following this path (without denying others’ potential) is made possible thanks to the Wing Chun school, the Master and your own conscious attitude to Wing Chun martial arts and its philosophy.
To change the large without destroying it is possible by changing small within large.’ (Gurdzhiev)
In the same way that the conscious pursuit of Wing Chun (through constant work on your body and spirit by fundamental principles), and with the right attitude to these principles, negative forces are gradually replaced by more dominant positive ones: Love, Faith, Hope and their sincere representations.
Aim to live your life honestly and without a total fear of death. As whenever it catches you, you will be ready. One does all possible here and now’ to perfect one-self and to live in complete harmony with the world.
What is Wing Chun for me?
By Demenova Snezhana
It is a style of martial arts. It is a way of interacting with other people. It is the possibly of a future lifestyle. Perhaps I am one of those who learns only from my own mistakes. The rest is for the wise ones among us. From the experience of my mistakes I would like to learn to overcome life’s obstacles. This is to be achieved, though, without spending too much energy. We should aim not to hit your head against the wall, but simply to find the door beside you…
To find or at least to understand where to look! I would like to learn, not to force my own way like a bull through a gate, not to spoil relationships with other people because of my uncompromising attitude and non-flexibility. The main thing is not to lose those who are dear to you. I hope the route I started taking several years ago continues but at a crucially new level. It should be an easy and happy way… Not to break always yourself trying to overcome internal reluctance, rather to move seamlessly, winding into an already existing foundation of new components. Let the events happening change to become a part of yourself, the vital part, rather then a strange and forced element from the outside. It may be hard and take a long time but it feels right.
I want to find the understanding and support of those who are close to me at the classes, those who follow the same route. It is very hard when you are disturbed by those who are attempting to prove their supremacy. Or when one comes, not to study, but for other unclear reasons. It is bad enough when there is no skill, but it is worse when there is no motivation.
I want to learn to apply Wing Chun principles in my real life routine. Turning the opponent’s strength against himself: nothing can be more necessary! Flexibility, concentration, and the ability to listen to another person are vital. The person able to apply these principles will be the one most likely to be successful at work and in private life. Naturally everybody wants to be successful…
I also want to teach all of this to my children (if and when I have any). Maybe in future (if I ever become a teacher) I will gather a group of children and teach Wing Chun. Children in our world require a huge investment of your time and energy.
I want to understand myself and not to be afraid of the result…