Origins and Development
There is a generally accepted legend about a Shaolin nun named Ng Mui, a master of Kung Fu that developed a system effective against men and her friendship with Yim Wing Chun whom she named her kung fu system after. Although this is certainly possible, it is only a legend. It turns out that some Chinese historians are now saying that it never actually happened. There is a more believable account with some historic documentation of a Tai Chi practitioner named Dr. Leung Jan and his development of Wing Chun by his encounters with European martial arts practitioners.
This would mean that Wing Chun is heavily influenced by western martial arts concepts and not purely eastern as some would have you think. In fact, the concepts found in Wing Chun spring from Wudang and are also found in western fencing; not in any Shaolin system. This westernized form of fighting was all but lost in the west due to our heavy emphasis on firearms. However, in recent years western martial arts have had a resurgence in Europe and here in the United States and are now being actively developed to their original expertism via the rediscovery of concept based methods.
Whatever the true origin, the Wing Chun system has been developed by some very intelligent individuals who took great care in making Wing Chun a highly efficient kung fu and China's martial arts treasure. As techniques were passed along, the now traditional weapons of the system were incorporated into Wing Chun Kung Fu as well. During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Wing Chun, like other martial arts, was banned in China and survived only through the persistence of practitioners like Ip Man. The veil of secrecy around the art was finally broken in 1949, when Grandmaster Ip Man brought the style out of communist China into British Hong Kong and eventually to the rest of the world.
A man by the name of Leung Sheung had heard about Wing Chun since he was quite young, and in 1949 found out that one of its most famous teachers, Ip Man, was currently in Hong Kong. Leung Sheung promptly introduced Lok Yiu and Tsui Sheung-Tin to Ip Man, and the three of them became the first batch of Wing Chun students in Hong Kong. From 1949 until 1978, Leung Sheung remained Ip Man's most senior student. He trained under Ip intensively and taught Wing Chun until his passing in 1978. Among Leung Sheung's more well known students are Kenneth Chung, Leung Ting, Jack Ling, Siu Wong, and others. Armando Sainz' lineage descends from Kenneth Chung who best retained Leung Sheung's methods and most importantly, his unique energy.
Armando Sainz' Wing Chun lineage is distinctive in many ways and extraordinary because each master in the line is a senior student of the previous teacher. More than that, however, Wing Chun's development went into high gear when insightful individuals like Karl Godwin began an innovative expansion of this great martial art. One of the ways of expansion was through the study of the roots of the world's martial arts, in particular those of western fighting arts; their development and finally their compatibility with Wing Chun. This is where Wing Chun's western roots were recognized and reemphasized in the system.
As a result, Armando Sainz spent much time developing, refining and teaching his western influenced, cutting-edge Wing Chun. Armando took what he learned and further developed it by in-depth study of the internal aspects of Wing Chun via Chen Tai Chi Chuan, Hsing-I Chuan theory, Dragon Style Ba Gua Zhang and Tao Style. He spent two years training with Master Frank Paolillo studying in particular, the essence of Chen Tai Chi, which is realized in its distinctive silk-reeling spiraling power. Armando's internal martial arts insights coupled with scientific principles, allowed him to reinforce his martial art and to address the grappling issue by developing a complete counter-grappling curriculum using geometry and human biomechanics.
Counter-grappling is not grappling or wrestling but is the complete solution for dealing with any grappling situation. It is the perfect equivalent counterpart answer for the Wing Chun practitioner or anyone wanting to powerfully and effectively counter a wrestler no matter his style. Counter-Grappling is a concept based, structurally well-built method that allows you to counteract all grappling attempts. It naturally sustains the fluid effortlessness that is present in the stand up Wing Chun approach, but now is applied on the ground. Basically, Armando unlocked what was already present within the concepts of the system that others didn't see. It is a completely compatible method that has shown itself to be exceptionally effective.
Armando also adapted practical concept based weapons to his curriculum that is in tune with the sum and substance of his martial art. SKG Concepts is Stick, Knife and Gun self-defense. Sifu Armando concentrates on are stick, knife and gun because they represent a blunt instrument, an edged weapon and a firearm. These three embody all weapons one might encounter on the street. SKG Concepts is unique in that it is a systematic method of weapon self-defense that has been proven time and again. This system allows the practitioner to disarm assailants, and use their weapons against them. Also this method pits weapons against each other so that in the trained hands of the practitioner, the self-defense scenario is handled quickly. WingChun³ is an unabridged, world-class martial art system that enables the practitioner to be at the ready.