1899 – 1905
Yip Man 6 to 12 years old Foshan
Studied Wing Chun kungfu with Chan Wah Shun (Money Changer Wah) at Yip’s family hall, Main Street of Foshan (Song Yuen Dai Gai)
At that time studying together with Yip Man were Lui Yui Chai, Ng Chung So, Chan Yui Min, Ng Siu Lo and others.
Yip Man 12 years old Foshan
Chan Wah Shun died, but before he died he asked Ng Chung So to help Yip Man to complete the system. Chan Wah Shun’s body was taken by his kung fu disciples to Chan village in Shunde for burial.
1905 – 1907
Yip Man 12 to 14 years old Foshan
Yip Man followed the last words of his teacher to study with Ng Chung So’s school situated in Sin Heung Street of Foshan.
Yip Man 15 years old Hong Kong
With the sponsorship of his relative, Pong Wai Ting, Yip came to Hong Kong to study in St Stephen College. Yip lived at Craine Road , Hong Kong Island.
1909 – 1913
Yip Man 16 to 21 years old Hong Kong
Yip knew Leung Bik, the second son of late Grandmaster Leung Jan, through his classmate and studied with him for four years.
1914 – 1937
Yip Man 21 to 44 years old > Hong Kong – Japan – Foshan
In 1914, with the help of Yip’s brother, Yip Gai Gak, he originally planned to further his study in Kobe , Japan but this plan was spoiled for some reasons.
During this 20 years, Yip’s job was mainly in the army and police force. He married Cheung Wing Sing and had four children, sons Yip Hok Chun (Yip Chun),
Yip Hok Ching (Yip Ching) and daughters Yip Ar Sum and Yip Ar Woon.
When Yip was not working, he liked to get together with other martial artists to practice and exchange kung fu ideas with his wing chun schoolmates in his house.
Yip installed a wooden dummy in the corner of his living room. Practicing at that time with Yip Man were Yuan Kay Shan, Yiu Choi, Yip Chung Hong, Lai Hip Chi,
Tong Gai and others. He became famous among the martial arts community of southern China .
Yip Man 44 years old Foshan
The Japanese invaded China
1937 – 1945
Yip Man 44 to 52 years old Foshan
China was occupied by Japan . Yip Man swore not to be used by the puppet Japanese government so he became very poor. Luckily his good friend, Chow Ching Chuen gave him financial support from time to time. In order to repay his friend’s kindness, Yip accepted his son, Chow Kong Yiu as student. From 1941 – 1943, he taught Wing Chun Kuen in Luen Cheung Cotton Mill at Wing On Road. Other than Chow Kong Yiu, Kwok Fu, Chan Chi Sun, Ng Ying, Lun Kai, Chow Sai and others. These were the first batch of Yip Man’s students. Kwok Fu and Lun Kai are still alive and teaching Wing Chun Kuen in Foshan today.
1937 – 1945
Yip Man 52 years old Foshan
1945 – 1949
Yip Man 54 to 56 years old Guangzhou, Foshan
This period was the busiest period at work of Yip Man. Yip even had to leave his beloved Wing Chun Kuen for a time. In spite of Yip’s busy work, Yip still coached Pang Nam on the Wing Chun forms in Sheung Sha Chung Yee Athletic Association because of his good friend Tong Gai and Pang Nam ’s sincere request.
Yip Man 56 years old Macau, Hong Kong
Yip Man went through Macau to Hong Kong . Yip had stayed 2 weeks at Cho Dui Street with friends who owned a bird shop.
1950 – 1953
Yip Man 57 to 60 years old Hong Kong
In July 1950, through Lee Man’s introduction, Yip Man started teaching in Tai Lam Street , Shamshuipo, Kowloon . The first Wing Chun class was for the Restaurant Workers Association. There were only people including Leung Sheung, Lok Yiu in the first class. Later, the class was joined by Tsui Sheung Tin, Yip Bo Ching, Chiu Wan, Lee See Wing, Law Ping, Man Siu Hung and others. This period of time was called the forefront of the Restaurant Workers Association. Yip Man also taught in the Restaurant Workers Union Headquarters, Sheung Wan in Hong Kong Island . Students there included Lee Wing, Yue Mei King, Lee Ngan Foon and others.
1953 – 1954
Yip Man 60 to 61 years old Hong Kong
The school was moved to Hoi Tan Street . Students at that time were Wong Shun Leung, Wong Kiu, Wong Chok, Ng Chan and others. Yip Man also taught private lessons at Three Princes Temple on Yui Chow Street , Shamshuipo. Students were Lee Hon and others.
1954 – 1955
Yip Man 61 to 62 years old Hong Kong
The school was moved back to Restaurant Workers Union Headquarters, Sheung Wan. This period is called the later stage of the Restaurant Workers Association. At this time, Yip was joined by Lee Kam Sing, Kan Wah Jeet (Victor Kan), Lo Man Kam, Cheung Cheuk Hing (William Cheung) and others.
1955 – 1957
Yip Man 62 to 64 years old Hong Kong
Yip Man moved the school to Lee Tat Street , Yaumatei, Kowloon . Students like Chow Tze Chuen, Lee Siu Lung (Bruce Lee), Chan Shing, Cheung Hok Kin (Hawkins Cheung), Siu Yuk Man, Poon Ping Lid, Pang Kam Fat and others joined by that time.
1957 – 1962
Yip Man 64 to 69 years old Hong Kong
Yip Man moved the school to Li Cheng Uk Estate. At this time, students were Chow Tze Chuen, Ng Chan, Wong Chok, Mak Po, Yeung Hei, Moy Yat and Ho Kam Ming.
Most of Yip Man’s private lessons were taught during this period of time. They were :
1.Shun Kei Pottery Shop, Shaukeiwan. Students were Wong Bak Yee, Wong Wing, Yeung Chung Hon, Wong Kwok Yau and others.
2.Po Lak Hong, Tsimshatsui. Students were Tong Cho Chi, Lee Wai Chi, Chan Tak Chiu, Tam Lai and others.
3.Tai Po Road . Students were Chung Kam Chuen and Chung Wing Hong.
1963 – 1965
Yip Man 70 to 72 years old Hong Kong
The school was moved to the top floor of the Tai Sang Restaurant on Fook Chuen Street , Taikoktsui. Originally, this had been the storeroom and owned by Ho Luen who let Yip Man use the place. Most of the people from the school at Hing Yip Building also moved there. Added to Ho Luen, there were also Yeung Chung Hon, Wat Yung Sang, Pang Kam Fat, Cheung Ching On, Lee Yan Wing, Yau Hak So and others. During this period, Yip Man also taught students, mainly from the police, privately on Hin Hing Street , San Po Kong.
These included Tang Sang, Nam Yin Fat, Yuen Chi Kong, Lee Yiu Fai, Wong Kwok and others.
1965 – 1972
Yip Man 72 to 79 years old Hong Kong
The school at the Tai Sang Restaurant finished and Yip Man lived in his apartment on Tung Choi Street . Because of his advanced age, Yip Man was partly retired. Despite this, he was still teaching one to one private tuition. Going to Yip Man’s home during this period of time were Wong Chung Wah, Wong Hei, Hon Chak Chuen and others.
He also went out teaching to three places.
The Ving Tsun Athletic Association, which in 1967, was the first martial arts society to be officially registered with the government. The Association then decided to open Wing Chun classes at VTAA.
The classes were in charge by Yip Man. Assisting him were Chung Ching On, Fung Hon, Wong Hon Chung and others. However, this was only for about 3 months.
Chan Kai Hong’s home on Waterloo Road.
Learning here were Chan Kai Hong, Siu Lung brothers, Wong Tze On, Chan Kam Ming, Chung Yau, Lau Ying Kau, Man Yim Kong and othrs.
Tze Yau Road .
When Chan Kai Hong could not continue offered the place at Waterloo Road, Yip Man moved to the roof top of Lau Ying Lam’s home. Joining here were Wong Chi Ming and a female student called Ng Yuet Dor.
Siu Fai Toi at Yip Sing Cheuk’s home.
Yip Sing Cheuk was a solicitor. Apart from him, the rest of students were also mostly solicitor. This was the last place that Yip Man taught Wing Chun.
Yip Man passed away at his home on Tong Choi Street on 1 st December 1972 . He had 79 years of life. His tomb is now situated in Fanling.
Source of Information :
a) “Grandmaster Yip Man Centenary Birth” published by Ving Tsun Athletic Association.
b) Chow Tze Chuen sifu’s verbal information.
This chronicle is about Yip Man’s contribution to Wing Chun. Therefore the details of his life, education and profession will only be covered in brief.