There are many different martial arts styles that have become popular over the years. Disciplines such as Muay Thai, judo and kickboxing have been popularized by the growth of mixed martial arts. More traditional techniques such as karate and taekwondo have managed to withstand the test of time and are widely practiced today.
However, there is a style that isn't widely known and is somewhat mysterious, but was also embraced by Bruce Lee. He is widely considered to be the greatest martial arts master of all time. Wing Chun isn't known as an offensive fighting style. Instead, it teaches students how to react defensively. Because of this, it is far less glamorized than other disciplines. However, mastery of Wing Chun is part of what made Bruce Lee such a legendary figure in the world of martial arts today.
Bruce Lee and Wing Chun
In an article written for Australian Blitz Magazine, Grandmaster William Cheung wrote that he was instructed by another legendary grandmaster, Yip Man, to train Bruce Lee in the Wing Chun fighting style. It wasn't long before he surpassed many of the senior students in his class. Before being kicked out for not being full-blooded Chinese, Lee was beginning to master some of the foundational tenets of Wing Chun.
These principles would later become part of the martial arts style created by Bruce Lee himself: Jeet Kune Do.
New Wing Chun record set
In attempt to raise more awareness and get people interested in learning Wing Chun, the Guinness Book of World Records recently recorded the largest display of the style to ever take place in Sichuan, Chengdu, China. The old record was held by practitioners in Guangdong, China, where 3,000 people performed Wing Chun movements in concert with one another.
However, the Sichuan Southwest Vocational College of Civil Aviation shattered that mark when 10,021 people performed many of the grappling and striking techniques that make up the foundation of the discipline. The Guinness attempt was a promotional tool to advertise the Wing Chun classes offered by the college.
"The successful challenge for the Guinness World Records title makes Wing Chun more popular, and I hope it will now become popular around the world," a spokesperson at the college told Guinness.
Time will tell whether or not this new record will drive increased interests in Wing Chun. It does, however, introduce those interested in learning martial arts about a unique style they may not have known about but that is a key part of the culture.