Wing Chun Kuen Kuit, also known as “Words of Wisdom,” capture the finer attributes of Wing Chun Kung Fu in poetic terms. Kuen Kuit is Cantonese for “martial sayings,” “fist poems,” or “fighting songs.”
Chinese martial arts use Kuen Kuit as concise, rhythmic verses that present a method or philosophy of a style. Even among different Wing Chun traditions, many sayings are recognized and shared.
The origins of Wing Chun Kuen Kuit are believed to be rooted in an ancient oral tradition and are reportedly connected to southern Chinese secret societies of the 19th century. According to Grandmaster Moy Yat, it was during the Qing dynasty that many of the proverbs were part of secret codes and rituals developed by rebels dedicated to overthrowing the Manchus. Over time, unrelated or inapplicable sayings were discarded, with only a few remaining sayings being considered truly intrinsic to Wing Chun Kung Fu.