Grand Master Chu Shong Tin: 1933-2014

Written by Blitz

Grandmaster Chu Shong Tin, one of Yip Man's original closed-door students, sadly passed away on 28 July, 2014. 

GM Chu Shung Tin (left) with the late Sifu Jim Fung

GM Chu Shong Tin was beloved by many worldwide and was a frequent visitor to Australia. He is best known to the Australian wing chun fraterninty as the master of the late Jim Fung. 

Continuing to certify instructors at Sydney's International Wing Chun Academy following Sifu Fung's passing in 2007, one of the Grandmaster's students Anthony Vallario wrote a heart-felt eulogy in honour of the great man:

"A sad day for the martial arts world as my wing chun kung ku Grandmaster, Chu Shong Tin, passed away on the 28th July. Over the past 20 years I have had the privilege of training with him, filming him, learning from him, laughing with him and being inspired by him.

When I first met Sigung, he came to visit our school in Sydney – the International Wing Chun Academy – to conduct seminars with Master Sifu Jim Fung. He had this aura around him that I was aware of immediately. I was a junior back then and I was very keen to meet him as he was one of the four closed-door students of the famous Yip Man, and he was also his senior instructor.

He spoke about stance, structure, relaxation amongst other things, and his use of internal force. His ability to focus and strike with absolutely no effort was astonishing. He was throwing around people the size of football players with no effort. This was so inspiring to me to see a humble gentleman effecting someone twice his size.

This gave me the inspiration to study wing chun. It was not about brute force, it was simple, direct and practical. The older I got , the better I became at it – I began to internalise it. On several occasions, I travelled to Hong Kong to train with Sigung – this was by invitation only. While there, it was all about stance, structure and Sil Lim Tao (the first form of wing chun). This is the foundation wing chun and Chu Shong Tin was known as the "the King of Sil Lim Tao". He would walk by me, place his hands and adjust my body in the correct position, all the while speaking Chinese (which I couldn't understand but knew exactly what he was trying to say). He would place me in the correct stance and structure and then, as he applied immense pressure, he showed me how I wasn't effected by his weight. Once he saw the look of disbelief in my face, he started to smile and then we would both laugh and I would say "show me again". He always would.

Wing chun has become part of my DNA. I will try to pass the knowledge and inspiration he has taught me onto my students. This world will certainly miss a great man, a Master, a teacher and a legend."

Rest In Peace, Grandmaster.

Anthony Vallario, Level 3 instructor  

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