Wing Chun (Beautiful Springtime) is most likely the most famous martial art in the world because of its influence spread by Bruce Lee and his implementation of Jeet Kune Do during the late 1960s. Due to his widespread influence, Wing Chun peaked at its highest level of success as a martial arts style. Also contributing to its achievement, the death of the originator, Yip Man, caused it to reach a higher level of recognition.
The style is viewed differently depending on the level of the practitioner. Amateur level practitioners view the style to be ineffective or basic because of the lack of depth that it possesses. Opposing that perspective are the adept practitioners who enjoy the simplicity of the style.
The origin stories all come to the conclusion that the Shaolin nun, Ng Mui, actually developed the style. Ng Mui's interest was combining all of the major techniques of all the styles into one particularly supreme style. The name derives from a female student who Ng Mui trained, whose full name was Yin Wing Chun. The style combines offensive components of the White Crane and Snake styles, while the defensive components are of the Tiger and Dragon styles.
Wing Chun is broken down into three forms. The first being Si Lum Tao (a.k.a Siu Nim Dao), the second being Chum kil (a.k.a Chum kiu), and the third being Bil Jee (a.k.a Biu Gee). Si Lum Lao, or "little imagination," relies upon the practitioner to apply their imagination when executing movements. There is a 3-time repetition of a majority of the moves. The primary hand striking form is the Sun Fist, in which a normal fist is formed, but upon contact the thumb faces upward. Blocking and parries are applied by the use of the arms.
Chum Kil, or, "bridge-seeking" form makes an addition to the Sil Lum Tao form through more "sticky-hands" and "bridge" techniques. Bridge techniques utilize the prolonging of the arm to intercept and deflect linear strikes without heavy energy consumption. Three basic kicks that target the lower-body are also introduced to the style.
Bil Jee, or, "thrusting fingers," is an offensive form that uses strikes with finger thrusts and spear hands in multiple ways. Along with those came more footwork techniques using low kicks, a sweep, and stance transitions. Of the instructors who teach this style, each of them believes that their form is the definite teaching, but the individual influence upon the form has caused it to be defined as authentic.
Wing Chun kung fu." Shaolin Gung Fu Institute. Shaolin Gung Fu Institute. 28 Jul 2007 <http://shaolin.com/wingchun_martialarts.aspx>.