Chi Sau with Grandmaster Ip ChunWhat is Wing Chun?

Ip Man Wing Chun Kung Fu is one of the most practical styles of Chinese Martial arts to exist. It is an ingenious system that teaches you how to overcome a bigger, stronger opponent using skill, technique and sensitivity. Its principles are based on directness and simplicity and it teaches you how to use your opponent’s strength against himself.

Ip Man Wing Chun Kung Fu is said to have been created over 400 years ago by a nun from the Shaolin Temple named, Ng Mui. Her first student was a young girl named, Yim Wing Chun and it is after her that the style takes it name. The story goes that a local bandit was forcing himself on Yim Wing Chun. Seeing what was going on, Ng Mui took pity on the young girl and decided to teach her Kung Fu. After training very hard, Yim Wing Chun challenged the bandit to a fight which she convincingly won.

Grandmaster Ip Chun and Grandmaster Michael Tse

Master Tse & Grandmaster Ip ChunThough there is a great deal of debate as to the accuracy of this story, what is agreed is that today Wing Chun is one of the most popular and effective forms of Kung Fu. This popularity is due to the teaching of late Great Grandmaster Ip Man who brought the skill from China to Hong Kong and from there it has spread all over the world. Great Grandmaster Ip Man’s most famous student was the legendary Bruce Lee. Since Great Grandmaster Ip Man passed away his eldest son Grandmaster Ip Chun has taken over his father’s role. He has spent many years teaching all over the world. Even though he is now over 95 year old his skill is unsurpassed.

This skill was passed on to Grandmaster Michael Tse, who is Grandmaster Ip Chun’s most senior student teaching in Europe. Grandmaster Tse in turn passed this skill to many of the students, grand students and great grand students in the Tse Qigong Centre.

Ip Man Wing Chun Direct Lineage

Sifu Christine Barbier is listed on Grandmaster Ip Chun’s official family tree, under

  • Grandmaster Michael Tse
  • Martin Gale
  • Christine Barbier

Ip Man Wing Chun Kung Fu Classes – On-line and in Hexham area

People take up martial arts for many reasons. Some to improve their health & fitness, some to learn how to defend themselves, some for increased sense of confidence and others simply for a pastime to immerse themselves in. The Ip Man Wing Chun class with its high level of teaching and the friendly relaxed atmosphere caters for all these differing needs.

Wing Chun for Ladies

Wing Chun Kung Fu is well suited for ladies as it does not require any specific level of strength. The art is low contact and there is no need to do physical training like punching bags or doing push ups.

Practicing Wing Chun is very good to improve one’s level of confidence and develop inner strength. It is also a very practical skill to help ladies deal with confrontational situations, whether verbal or physical. Ladies are very welcome to join the classes to find out more about this special skill.


Wing Chun has three forms. These are Siu Lim Tao (for training stillness and Gong Lik, inner power), Tsum Kiu (for training foot work and turning) and Biu Ji (for training special attacking techniques using the fingers and elbow).

Wooden Dummy – Muk Yan Jong

Wing Chun Dummy with Grandmaster Ip ChunThe Wooden Dummy training helps us to bring together all we have learnt in the forms to polish our ‘defence techniques’. It also allows us to practice Wing Chun kicks and train the accuracy of our stepping and body position.


Wing Chun has two weapons: The Six and a Half Point Pole and the Baat Jam Dao (Wing Chun Knives). The more you train these weapons, the stronger your bones will become and so your Qi will develop to a very high level.

Chi Sau – Sticking Hands

Chi Sau is the practical training of the applications found in the forms. Whilst training with a partner you will develop sensitivity, footwork and timing. Soon you will begin to understand how to use an opponent’s energy against himself (or herself). Regular practice develops instinctive reactions allowing you to adapt to change without thinking. For successful self defence this is essential. Chi Sau is like a game and is not meant to be treated as fighting or sparring. It allows you to develop your skill in a safe environment because you can relax and let go.

Good for Health

Not only is Wing Chun a highly effective form of self defence, it is also a very healthy pastime. It strengthens the body internally as well as externally, and it also helps to relax the mind and the body

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On-line classes, every Wednesday, all year round (on Zoom)

  • 6.30 to 7.30pm: Qigong
  • 7.30 to 8.30pm: Tai Chi and Chun Yuen Quan
  • 8.30 to 9.30pm: Wing Chun

In-person classes, occasional

Beginners are welcome to join one or more classes at any time during the year. Classes are suitable for all levels of fitness. No special equipment is required, just comfortable clothing and footwear.

Download a class leaflet here.

In-person classes located in Hexham and Tyne Valley area – within 30 mins by car or train of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Consult the In-person class schedule for details of location.