THE RED BOAT OPERA

Yim Wing Chun’s husband Leung Bok Chao passed on his art to members of a traveling opera company known as the ‘Red Boat Opera’. Some historians believe that these traveling performers were in fact anti-government revolutionaries who used the opera as a cover while they secretly spread their propaganda. Others believe that the story of Yim Wing Chun was fabricated to hide the fact that Wing Chun was secretly practiced and taught within the Shaolin temple to fight the Qing dynasty.

In any case, the Red Boat Opera member Leung Lan Kwai is said to have learned Wing Chun directly from Leung Bok Chao and passed it on to fellow opera members, including Wong Wah Bo and Leung Yee Tai. Leung Yee Tai also befriended a cook on the Red Boat Opera named Jee Shim, who was apparently another former abbot of the Shaolin Temple in hiding. He taught Leung Yee Tai the now famous six-and-a-half point pole techniques. Wong Wah Bo is said to have further developed and added the Eight Cutting Knives (Bart Cham Dao) form to Wing Chun.

 

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