Author(s): Chu Shong Tin
Translated by: Eddie Chan
Publisher: The Hong Kong Social Sciences Press
The martial arts world recently lost one of the living treasures of Wing Chun. The death of Master Chu Shong Tin has created a void, not only in our hearts but also in the transmission of his vast knowledge to the followers of Wing Chun.
Fortunately, the Master leaves behind a three-volume set of books on the Wing Chun system, exactly as it was taught to him by Grandmaster Ip Man, and further developed through his dedicated lifetime of training and teaching.
The Book of Wing Chun, Vol. 1 is beautifully put together—the overall design and layout is great, and the text is presented in both Chinese and English. The cover is a portrait of Master Chu Shong Tin, which is a highly fitting tribute to a great Gung Fu Master.
At more than 300 colour pages, the book features clear and concise photos, as well as diagrams covering all three of the empty-hand forms upon which Wing Chun is built.
In addition to the forms, Master Chu also explains different kinds of power utilised in Wing Chun and how power is generated and coordinated in application. There are also essays on Wing Chun history, and Master Chu’s history with his teacher Ip Man, as well as on the function of the seed hands; Taan Sau, Bong Sau and Fook Sau.
There is a chapter dedicated to Chi Sau, which covers both single and double-hand training. In this chapter, Master Chu explains the need for understanding the underlying principles of Wing Chun, including that of being sensitive enough to feel the intention of the training partner through the Bridge Hand. Also discussed is the relationship of the Taan, Bong and Fook Sau in controlling the opponent.
The meat of the book is in Master Chu’s demonstration of each movement of the three empty-hand forms, in clear colour photos, with no distracting background. Master Chu gives very detailed explanations of each movement of the forms, complete with charts, overlay lines and graphics that give clear instructions as to application angle and energy.
A book of this magnitude written by the man that Grandmaster Ip Man named “The King of Siu Nim Tau” is a literal treasure chest of knowledge for any Wing Chun enthusiast.
While this book is fairly hard to find, and quite expensive when eventually found, I highly recommend it as a great addition to any Wing Chun student’s library. It is loaded with knowledge and in many ways; Master Chu had a unique way of explaining technical aspects of the various Wing Chun techniques.
And if I may, I would like to relate that I had the great fortune of meeting and doing some training with Master Chu in 2005 on one of my trips to Hong Kong.
I found him to be not only a great Gung Fu Master but also a gentleman of character and integrity. He is greatly missed by all!