Wing Chun was originally passed down from teacher to teacher orally rather than through written documentation, making it difficult to confirm or clarify the differing accounts of its creation. Some have sought to apply the methods of higher criticism to the oral histories of Wing Chun and other Chinese martial arts. Others have attempted to discern the origins of Wing Chun by determining the specific purpose of its techniques. Mentions of the art start to appear in independent third-party documentation during the era of the Wing Chun master Leung Jan, making its subsequent history and divergence into various branches more amenable to documentary verification.
The common legend as told by Ip Man involves the young woman Yim Wing Chun (Wing Chun literally means forever springtime or praising spring) at the time after the destruction of the Southern Shaolin and its associated temples by the Qing government. After Wing Chun rebuffs the local warlord’s marriage offer, he says he’ll reconsider his proposal if she can beat him in a martial art match. She asks a Buddhist nun- Ng Mui, who was one of the Shaolin Sect survivors, to teach her boxing; this still nameless style enables Yim Wing Chun to defeat the warlord. She thereafter marries Leung Bac-Chou and teaches him the style, which he names after her.
Since the system was developed during the Shaolin and Ming resistance to the Qing Dynasty many legends about the creator of Wing Chun were spread to confuse the enemy, including the story of Yim Wing Chun. This perhaps explains why no one has been able to accurately determine the creator or creators of Wing Chun.
Ip Man is highly respected by other martial arts instructor in Foshan and Hong Kong. He was the first person to teach Wing Chun to the mob crowded. After his death, mostly from college students to form their own Wing Chun. Because the very famous Yip Man, Wing Chun and his life story made become feature films including Man Ip 1, Ip Man 2 and The Legend Is Born – Ip Man.
Pupils leading from Ip Man include Lun Gai, Gwok Fu, Leung Sheung (梁 相), Lok Yiu (骆 耀), Chu Shong-tin (徐尚田), Wong Shun Leung (黄 淳 梁), Wang Kiu (王 乔), Yip Bo Ching (叶步青), William Cheung, Hawkins Cheung, Bruce Lee, Lo Man Kam, Wong Long, Wong Chok, Law Bing, Lee Shing, Ho Kam-Ming, Moy Yat, Duncan Leung, Derek Fung (Fung Ping Bor 冯平波) , Chris Chan (陈 成 Shing Chan), Victor Kan, Stanley Chan, Chow Sze Chuen, Tam Lai, Ip Ching, Ip Chun, Lee Che Kong, Kang Sin Sin (Kwong Sun Sun) and Leung Ting (梁 挺).
One practitioner of Wing Chun Ip Man branch was Samuel Kwok, derived from Ip Ching and Ip Chun, the two sons of Ip Man. Samuel Kwok Wing Chun spread to other countries such as Britain, America, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and Africa.