“Ng Mui’s first student of the yet unnamed form was a beautiful young girl named Yim Wing Chun who was being pressured by a bandit warlord into marriage. After mastering the art so as to defend herself and eventually drive off the bandit, Yim Wing Chun would have the form named after her as the first student of Ng Mui. This is how the lineage of Wing Chun began according to popular legend.”
Considering how everyone is always bringing up the “created by a woman” Wing Chun legend (Nun Ng Mui invented the art and taught the local girl), I’ve been very disappointed by many women I’ve ever seen practicing or demonstrating our art.
Of course, I’m disappointed by most men too, but that’s another story. But all the women I’ve seen have looked as if their “skills” would be blown through by any angry opponent even slightly capable of throwing a Western-style jab or of tackling the woman.
Of course, we see plenty of capable and dangerous women in professional fighting, but in kung fu, I’ve observed a lack of seriousness and a lack of structure and what Gary Lam calls “Geng Ging” (killer instinct).
Its been one of my personal goals to train a female student to a level where I feel she could handle herself in a street fight against a man who was not holding back and using “kid gloves.” In my opinion, this is what you need to handle a assault scenario. The woman needs to be able to break free and blast the guy enough to keep him from chasing her down before she can get to a populated area.
I’m happy to report I’ve finally seen video of a woman practitioner who embodies the Wing Chun principles. Her name is Karen Armstrong and she was one of Sifu Jim Fung’s students (he studied with Ip Man student Tsui Seung Tin) . I saw a picture of her posing with Wong Shun Leung, Jik Fung, and Ip Man’s sons and I thought, “who’s that?”
Check her out on an Australian TV show – the action starts at the 2:30 minute mark.