Kung Fu Tea, which happens to be specifically about Wing Chun, but which applies to all martial arts. The whole article may be read here.
of the debates in the Wing Chun world today focus on the question of
lineage. People want to know which expression of Wing Chun best
captures its essential essence? Which is truly “authentic”? Often it
is assumed that authenticity must be expressed in terms of history.
Some individuals then conclude that the branch of Wing Chun which is the
oldest must the most “true.”
to say this entire exercise is problematic. There are too many
undefined terms and leaps of logic in the foregoing statement to count.
Yet this sort of reasoning is what is driving a lot of the public
conversation on Wing Chun these days, lacuna and all. Side stepping the
issue of “authenticity” for a moment (a topic complex enough to deserve
a post in its own right), I have real doubts that the pure expression
of anything is really linked to its oldest form (or better yet, our best
attempt to recreate it).
truth is that things change for a reason. Historically speaking, all
martial arts, almost without exception, have been forced to reinvent
themselves in every generation in order to survive. Every true Sifu or
Sensei instructs his or her students not just to be a clone, but to rise
to ever greater heights. And occasionally this actually happens. As a
result our arts change, grow and evolve over time. They adapt to new
markets and new economic conditions almost continually. What was done
in the late 1700s or the mid-Ming dynasty can never truly be replicated
today. Deal with it, and consider some other ways of defining