A group of around 20 people from the Tse Qigong Centre went on a Wing Chun Trip to Hong Kong and China in August 2013 to participate in the celebration of the 90th birthday of Grand Master Ip Chun, the son of famous Wing Chun martial artist Ip Man. The trip includes sightseeing, experiencing the Chinese way of life and lots of Wing Chun training and meeting up with other Wing Chun schools from around the world. Christine was on the trip and here is a short recollection of her time there.
Photos of the trip will be added to the gallery soon.
Wing Chun Trip to Hong Kong and China – August 2013
by Christine Barbier
Whilst I was expecting heat and humidity I did not think that my glasses would steam up when coming out of air conditioned buildings into the street! Also we took the habit to carry a light jumper to put on when entering buildings with air conditioning. It was always a rush to take the jumper off before going outside – an upside down / inside out world compared to the north of England!
Like for the first trip I found observing people going about their business fascinating. Their use of all sorts of motorised cycles is impressive, whether it is a mum with baby strapped to her front on a scooter, a whole family with mum, dad and two kid moving along on a single motor bike or a delivery man with his hybrid vehicle made up of a tractor front and a load carrying trailer.
We had a very good atmosphere in the group with everybody getting to know each other very well during the trip and having the opportunity to train and Chi Sau with everybody.
We went shopping with Tse Sigong quite a few times and it was so good to have him not just do the translating but also introduce us to Chinese specialities that we did not even know existed. He also asked for recommendation from people he knew in the area so we went to the good places to eat. Once again, we also used Shahriar’s expertise on tea buying and bargaining to buy tea as a group.
We attended Ip Tai Sigong’s 90th birthday parties in both Hong Kong and China. China was very impressive with over a thousand people attending. I still can’t imagine how the Chinese manage to organise food for so many people as once. The room was very big and we were sat at a table near the front and next to Ip Tai Sigong table so we had a good view of the proceedings. We were the first group to have our picture taken with Ip Tai Sigong and his wife, a testimony of Tse Sigong’s seniority.
We had the opportunity on a couple of occasions to watch traditional Cantonese Opera, both at the party and the ancestral Temple in Foshan. This was the first time I had seen it and it was good to see it in the flesh knowing that the Chun Yuen skill that we study had passed down through the operatic tradition.
We visited the Ip Man museum and met Ip Tai Sigong there who was doing an interview with Guangdong television. My Sifu (Martin Gale), Tse Sigong and his son Anthony were interviewed too. There was another Wing Chun group visiting the museum at the same time and I got the opportunity to Chi Sau with one of their students, which is always a good experience.
There were also plenty of opportunities to Chi Sau with students from other schools as we went to Ip Tai Sigong’s (Grandmaster Ip Chun) class three times during our time in Hong Kong. This was challenging at times as some used a lot of energy but it was also very good to see how to handle that situation and Sigong helped us improve our skill with question and answer sessions.
I always find Chinese art so beautiful, particular the gardens and parks, which we visited on several occasions. They are both a work of art and peaceful places to visit.
The trip as a whole was thoroughly enjoyable and seemed to last a lot longer than the 10 days we were there as there were so many interesting things to do in such good company. I know how much work it is for Tse Sigong and Tse Sitai to organise these trips so I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to join in. Thank you very much for such a great time.