Wing Chun Masters from Foshan

Leung Jan

1826-1901. He followed in his father’s footsteps working in a pharmacy. He had a deep knowledge of medicine. He was well known as Mister Jan of Foshan’. Since early childhood he was engaged in Wushu and learned Yunchunquan from Huan Huayui. His students (true traditionals) were Lyan Bi, Chan Wah-shun, Lei Zhutszi, Lu Gua ( Gua pork’), Lyan Chi and Da Shanshu. He spent his last years in Foshan.

Chan Wah-shun

1849-1913. From the age of 13 he worked selling rice in a shop in Foshan. He was tall, physically very strong and persistent in martial arts. When he was 39 years old he taught Leung Jan in Foshan (Leung was known as the King of Yunchunquan’). At first Chan Wah-shun studied under Hua – wooden man’ (Li Hua). After the death of Li Hua, in 1889, he studied under Leung Jan. He inherited his true tradition. He was good not only in the art of martial combat, but also had a good understanding of medicine. He had many students. They were: his son Chen Zhumyan, Lei Zhutsi, Chen Sikhou, Li Houpei, Chen Kunda, U Syaolyu, He Hanlyu, Y Tzuvei, Ye Ven (Yip Man), etc.

Chen Zhumyan

1884-1942. From the age of eight his father, Chan Wah-shun, began to teach him Yunchunquan. Because of this and thanks to his persistent work, he quickly reached a significant level in the art of Yunchunquan. Furthermore, he taught Yunchunquan and was engaged in medicine. As he was the son of Chan Wah-shun, there was no shortage of students. They were: his sons Chen Tszyasin and Chen Tszyatszyan and later well known teachers of Yunchunquan Tsu Kan and Chzhao Tszyu. After 1932 he moved to Yuanzhou in the Gansu province, where he opened a school.

Ye Ven (Yip Man)


1893-1972. In his childhood he studied Yunchunquan under the leadership of Chan Wah-shun (student of Leung Jan). He then studied under Lyan Bi (Leung Jan’s son). In 1950 he left for Syangan (Hong Kong). There he began to teach Yunchunquan and became famous. As well as Chinese students, he also taught foreigners. Among his students was the world famous Lee Syaolun (Bruce Lee). Ye Ven taught in Hong Kong for more then 20 years and made a huge contribution towards Yunchunquan's development. His followers and students were Ye Chzhun, Ye Chzhen and Bruce Lee; Huan Chunlyan, Su Shantyan, Leung Jan not only brought Yunchunquan to a new level but spread it around the whole world.

U Chzhunvei

The father of U Chzhunvei owned a china shop. So his family was quite wealthy. U Chzhunvei loved Wushu from childhood. This is why his father intentionally invited the Yunchunquan teacher, Chan Wah-shun. U’s father was a close friend of Chan Wah-shun and often helped him. So, in acknowledgement, he agreed. U Chzhunvei studied very thoroughly and became a successor of the true Chan Wah-shun’s tradition. Later he also began teaching Yunchunquan, and his students were mostly the sons of wealthy people. At that time in Foshan there lived 3 heroes of Yunchunquan’: they were Yuan Tszishan, Yao Tsai and Ye Ven (Yip Man). They often came to his school to exchange experiences and to talk about Yunchunquan nuances. In his last year he was in financial difficulty and his numerous friends combined to help him.

Li Yechzhi

1901-1968. His father was a tradesman so their family was also well off. In his childhood he was very weak and frail. At the age of 13, in order to improve his health, he came to study Yunchunquan with Chan Wah-shun’s former student, Lei Zhutszi. Under the same teacher he studied medicine. After nearly 30 years of very persistent training (at the age of 40) he began teaching Yunchunquan. His students were: Lao Hua, Lao Suan, Yan De, Syu Sanchzhu and Ho Zhunchzhi. Li Yechzhy was very kind man and had a martial virtue’; earlier, only those from rich families could afford to study Yunchunquan, but he began to teach simple workers. He treated his students like his own children and never charged for teaching. But he never taught English or Japanese tradesmen.

Yuan Tszishan

1887-1956. His father Zhuan Chunmin worked in raw materials as a chemical industry tradesman. He was the fifth child in his family. He loved Wushu from his childhood. His father spared no money and asked Go Baotsyuan and Fen Shaotsin to teach his two sons: Yuan Tsziyun (the older one) and Yuan Tszishan. Yuan Tszishan was a very able student and, very thoughtfully from a scientific point of view, penetrated the secrets of martial arts. He mastered the basic technique very well, as well as his work with the wooden dummy, the sword and the pole. Along with Ye Ven (Yip Man) and Yao Tsai, he was one of the so-called three heroes of Yunchunquan’ at that time. He passed his mastership on to his close friends Chzhan Baoai, Tu Tsenneng and student Huan Tszin. They, in turn, spread Yunchunquan across the whole world.

Chzhao Tszyu

1902-1968. He was born to a rich family. Since his youth he studied under the famous Master Chen Zhumyan. His students were: Pen Nan Tsyu Kan, Chzhao Yun, Lyan Zhisin and Chzhu Gosyan. He loved engaging in martial arts. As he didn’t have to worry about providing for his living and had good health, he could spend a lot of his time training. As well as mastering the basic Yunchunquan technique, working with swords, the pole and the wooden dummy, he also learned to work with five- and seven-link chains, the chimei stick, the sword and pairs of tszyans’. He could demonstrate exercises with the pole (weighing 35 kg).

Chzhan Bao

1899-1956. He studied under Vei Yushen from Foshan. Chzhan was a close friend of Yuan Tszishan. They used to exchange experiences and train together. His students were: Den Hen, Huan Tszitsuan and Lyan Deyuan.

Yo Tsai

1980-1956. His father, Tsai Tsyutszi, was a pharmacist. Yo Tsai was called a strong Tsai’. He had extraordinary strong hands. From his childhood he strived to do Wushu. He asked Yuan Tsziyun to take him as his student. Under this Master’s leadership he achieved great success. Later his teacher Yuan Tsziyun left for Vietnam to promote Yunchunquan. His students were: his son Yao Tsi, Gao Man, Yao Si, Ho Chao, Lin Zhuili and U Zhimin.

Pen Nan

1911-1995. Because of a birthmark on his face the size of the palm of his hand, he was often called Nan black face’. From the age of 13 he became engaged in Wushu. His teachers were: Gan Chzhu, Lyan Shisu and U Venlun. At the age of 36 he began to study Yunchunquan under Chzhao Tszyu. Later he asked to be a student of Li Yechzhi, who passed on to him the true tradition. Later in his life he developed Yunchunquan in Foshan, tried to get to the roots of this martial art and left priceless materials to his offspring. His students were: Pen Shusun, Pen Shutszao, Chen Shuten, Tsiu Lunsin, Lun Ho, Han Guantszyu and Gan Tszyakan.

Li Syaolun (Bruce Lee)

1940-1973. His real name was Chzhen Fan. Due to weak health from childhood he started practicing Yunchunquan under Ye Ven (Yip Man). At the age of 18 he went to America to study and, after his graduation, opened the Goshu Chzhen Fan Club’ in Seattle. At that time he was engaged in martial arts research and created his own Tszetsyuandao (Djetkundo) style. He recorded lots of films, which shook the world and introduced it to Chinese martial arts. He became famous as Kung Fu King’. That is why the Foshan Yunchunquan he studied in his childhood became famous throughout the whole world. In 1973 he died unexpectedly at the age of 33. His works included: Tszetquandao’, Notes on Kung Fu’, Work with nunchaku’, Tszetsuandao research’, etc.