As promised in the last installment of the heddspace blog here are copies of some exclusive behind the scenes dialogue between the compiler and editor of this space and Emin Boztepe: himself amongst the foremost internationally recognized exponents of the Wing Chun style of Kung Fu. As regular browsers of the Merlinhedd YouTube channel will have noted, this dialogue began after Emin, and his nineteen year old student Aitken, posted some comments on one of the uploaded videos.
Subj: Thanx for the comments
Hello There Aitken and Emil,
Sorry for calling Emil ‘Emin’ but a friend of mine bought an excellent video called ‘Explosive Wing Chun’ a few years back, which I had the good fortune to view, and it said ‘Emin Boztepe’ on the front, so apologies on that score.
Further to your invitation to exchange ideas which may be beneficial to us both, here is some stuff about some of the lesser known aspects of Wing Chun that I have researched and how they, and the style in general, relate to all Chinese Sacred Science, from Acupuncture to Feng Shui and from the I-Ching to Astrology:
I hope that it is not too intellectual or too heavy going for you.
Essentially my philosphy of Wing Chun is this: all of the various clans within the style hold something that we can learn from even the man you call ‘Con Man Chueng’. Personally, I think that the only person who Cheung really conned was himself.
More about that in the New Year.
In the meantime, here is a clip which Aitken probably thinks is wrong or rubbish but which I would like to discuss with you to see what you think about my ideas about how this rather strange and antiquated footwork developed even if it isn’t quite up to your wslwerewolf style of fighting.
With All Good Wishes,
Re: Thanx for the comments
I have uptill now researched,tried,rejected,applied kung fu ,shaolin as well as many other forms along with feng shui chinese traditional medicine,massage as well as acupunture.
My way to go about it was learn study live all this aspect one or two at a time for a year see how it benifits as well as harms you.My main stream always beiong wing chun gung fu and health.
Plus you have to understand that what I master I pass down to my students so cannot teach them half baked knowledge.I have uptill now found out wt is best appleid straight direct fast.
the courses i my self went through health wise indian yoga is the best,massage a mix of thai with chinese works well,feng shui does not work and utterly failed me.
To succeed only determination, humility and dedication works.
The video that you sent me has a lot of flaws,bit on the william cheng type.My knowledge of english is limited to explain it.I have worked a lot with one teacher and he works from australia his name is David peterson if you can get hold of his cd on cham kiu and siu nim tao you will understand the difference I am talking about.
I am not critsizing it but just saying it needs more refine ment and you need to go slowly through your form so that your spine not your brain remembers the movement once that happens you will react to any aggression or your reflex will be faster then waiting for the messege to reach your brain and then react.
As Mr.Cheung is concerend my scorn is just because he has sent out about 50 instructors everyone with a different knowledge on the same branch of wing chun who in return teach more bullshit to their students.
Wing chun for me is life religion and spirit all put into one.I hope on my last days on earth I will breathe only wing chun
Subj: Ng Mui at Tai Leung Mountain
Hi There Emin,
Apologies for not having replied to you sooner but I have been rather busy over the past few days and have not had the time to do your latest message to myself the justice it undobtedly deserves. First of all let me say that I appreciate you having taken so much of your valuable time to take the trouble to reply to me: something for which I must now deliver the thanks that it so justifiably deserves.
Yes, you are right, the short video I sent you is of a form directly linked to the Cheung Clan of the Wing Chun style: a branch of which suffered a considerable loss of credibility as a result of your heroic defeat of its self styled Grand Master. As I made clear during the course of my original message to you, even such antiquated and clearly inferior forms such as this have some kind of value to them; even if they are not as effective or scientifically evolved as your own particular branch of the style: the reasons for this I shall now attempt to explain.
As you will doubtless recall from having studied the history and evolution of the style, after the destruction of the Shaolin Temple the original founder of the style, Ng Mui, took refuge at a location referred to as the White Crane Temple on Tai Leung Mountain according to your teacher Wong Shun Leung. This is the version of the style’s history that is set out in his ‘Wing Chun: the Science of In Fighting’ video which deals with the elementary and intermediate forms.
In the Leung Ting ‘Quintessence of Wing Chun’ video which deals with much of the same level of theory, the exact location of this temple is given as being on the border of Szechuan Province: a far distance away indeed from Yip Man’s own native town of Foshan, to which the style is eventually known to have gravitated. So what is the relevance of this to the video that I sent you?
Essentially, the point of relevance is this: according to the man you refer to as ‘The Con Man Cheung’, Yip Man taught him a version of the original style, as created by Ng Mui, before it was modified and adapted by later generations of masters. If you examine the primitive and antiquated footwork in this style you will see that it is very suited to the kind of broken terrain that you are likely to find in desolate and mountainous areas. Whereas the kind of footwork that Wong Shun Leung employs employs the sort of stance work that you are likely to want use in a modern city streetscape, where the terrain is flatter and the ground can be more easily shuffled across in the style that has become the most popular among followers of the Leung Jan Clan of the art that we ourselves espouse.
As to how the Leung Ting and Wong Shon Leung style of footwork appears to have evolved, once again the stories relating to the evolution of the art once more give us clues as to how this would have occurred. As you will be aware, during the period of Leung Yee Tye and Wong Wah Bo’s joint custodianship of the various traditions that have now been incorporated into the current versions of the style, the pair are said to have been members of a travelling opera troupe which travelled along the southern coasts aboard a ship called the Red Junk.
Looking at the type of stances that the later versions of the Leung Jan branch of the style have since come to favour, all of them are ideally suited to being performed aboard junks and sampans of the type that Leung Yee Tye and Wong Wah Bo would have been accustomed to travelling around on. The point of relevance here is that comparing the original style that Yip Man taught the individual you refer to as ‘The Con Man Cheung’ and that which you yourself follow through descent through the Mastership of Wong Shun Leung is rather like comparing a seventeenth or eighteenth century musket to an automatic weapon such as a Mac-10.
Although a musket has little defensive value when employed against a weapon such as a Mac-10 it does have an ascetic value in that without the musket the Mac-10 would never have evolved to the state of refinement that such weapons currently enjoy. And that is why the preservation of the more antiquated version of the style to which Cheung was given largely exclusive access has some sort of historical value, even if its defensive qualities are limited.
I myself am of the opinion that Yip Man taught Cheung in the manner that he taught him because he knew that Cheung had a personality disorder and would teach what he knew to the sort of people that he himself wouldn’t have approved of. As you know Yip Man was very particular about who should be allowed to learn his art and who shouldn’t. By teaching Cheung an older and inferior version of the style he thereby succeeded in preserving the original system of the art with all of the flaws and unrefined features intact, whilst simultaneously keeping anything genuinely dangerous out of the hands of the sort of people he thought Cheung might be stupid enough to teach.
As well as environmental conditions such as those experienced by the various masters and custodians responsible for the formulation and evolution of the style as it now exists, certain other factors that need to be taken into consideration are those of footwear and clothing. As you may or may not be aware, before the arrival of the horse herding nomadic tribes known as the Hsiung Nu on the north western frontiers of China in the third century BC the Chinese wore robes instead of the trousers we more readily associate with the practise of Kung Fu. The evolution of footwear has had a similar influence upon the art that we ourselves have currently come to practise.
This key and vital ingredient of superior footwear is a lesson you seem to have taught Cheung, as photos and video footage of your fight with him would appear to show. If you look at the kung fu slippers that he had on his feet, which are probably no further evolved in many ways than they were at the beginning of the last century, and the ankle boots that you are wearing, which are ideal for use on the slippery floor that he claimed in a letter to ‘Combat’ magazine in the wake of his own defeat had been his own unfortunate undoing, my point can be perfectly illustrated: in that Cheung never really had a chance when dealing with the situation with which you were able to confront him.
The fact that it took him weeks if not months to work out what had happened though is perhaps the key to his undoing: in that he is not the greatest of intellects. Basically, he should have seen you coming.
As you will have seen from my original dialogue with your student Aitken, I thought he was one of his students. Whenever I see any biased and negative comments with an Australian flag on them I automatically think of Cheung. Basically, what Aitken needs to learn is that just because something isn’t as direct as the Wong Shun Leung branch of the style doesn’t mean that it is totally irrelevant. You can always learn from something even if it lacks the street fighting effectiveness of the style that he and you follow.
Before signing off I feel that I should thank you once again, owing to the fact that at the time that Cheung was attempting to we establish himself as the overall Grand Master of the style, the club where I used to train used to get regular visits from the followers of his branch of Wing Chun. After you defeated Cheung all that nonsense came to an end, so we all have you to thank for being able to get on with the serious business of training in peace.
Thank you also for accepting my offer of YouTube friendship. It is an honour to have the great Emin Boztepe amongst my Youtube friends.
Thank you once again.
With all good wishes for a prosperous New Year,
Re: Ng Mui at Tai Leung Mountain
Happy new year and thank your mail.
Just to share with you what sifu wong and sifu ting shared with me.When yip man
became famous a lot of reporters wanted and exclusive story,at the same time yip man wanted people to become aware of wing chun which was the least practiced style. In those days hung gar etc was practiced more in the south.So yip man invented the ng mui legend and the bully story.It never existed! So far no one has been able to establish a direct relationship of wing chun with shaolin.All we know is that it some how ended up in foshan and the later history of yip man we know.
So sifu ting also does not tell this to students as every human being wants a rosy exotic story to what martial are he has been practicing.Suits me fine.
As forcomming back to my friend cheung there is really very few records he studied loong time with yip man.only in brue lee biography his name pops up..
Secondly wing chun is a concept if the concept does not work for you come back and modify it to your liking same what bruce lee did.
Facts about wing chun simple straight attacks or blocks (with an itention to attack) using your footwork ,using energy from the ground.least amount of muscular force.
you are a very diligent student ,i did not even realize what foot wear i or cheungwas wearing,guess when you get into a bar fight you do not see if you are wearing sandals or mountain shoes.If so everybody will be in army gear all friday and saturday.hahahhaha
problem with cheung is that his technique did not work for him still he teaches it to others even after his defeat.I have been told by some students of mine in australia that his students come over and ask for fights to prove his styles is better.Makes me laugh.
Re: Ng Mui at Tai Leung Mountain
this video is very accurate just i like is a proper jat sau and jejung at the end of each form.