Master Jiu Wan was born in 1921 in the city of Foshan in Guangdong Province, China, the same city as Grandmaster Ip Man. Jiu Wan began his Wing Chun training when he was eight years old with his uncle, Jiu Jow. As he grew older he enrolled in the Jing Mo Guen Wing Chun school in Foshan, training under Grandmaster Chan Wah Shan and Chan’s son, Chan Yu Min. A classmate at Chan’s school was a fellow policeman, Ip Man.
Ip Man did not complete his studies at Jing Mo Guen, escaping political turmoil to move to Hong Kong. There, he completed his Wing Chun studies under Leung Bik, the son of Leung Jan. If you recall from Wing Chun history, Leung Jan was Chan Wah Shan’s teacher.
Jiu Wan remained in Foshan for several years after Ip Man left, completing his Wing Chun with Chan Wah Shan and Chan Yu Min. After graduating, Jiu Wan became an instructor at the Jing Mo Guen school.
As the communist rule continued to tighten and threaten the state police, Jiu Wan followed Ip Man to Hong Kong, reuniting with his old classmater several years later. Since Ip Man had left his original Wing Chun studies early, Jiu Wan at first thought he would continue training with his Kung Fu brother and complete his training. Imagine his surprise when he learned that Ip Man had completed his studies in Hong Kong, and had even gained a much deeper understanding of Wing Chun from studying with Leung Bik. Greatly impressed by Ip Man’s skill, Jiu Wan asked to become his disciple.
Jiu Wan, in fact, became Ip Man’s third disciple in Hong Kong, joining other members of the Restaurant Worker’s Association such as Leung Sheung, Yip Bo Ching, Wong Shun Leung, Lok Yiu and Chu Shong Tin. Since they were old classmates and from the same home town, Ip Man and Jiu Wan were very close friends and training partners, often socializing and dining together after class.
In fact, the only Wing Chun school that Ip Man every officially authorized for any of his students was for Jiu Wan’s school. Ip Man presented Jiu Wan with a signed plaque on which was written the words Wing Chun Jing Tung, translated as “Wing Chun the Pure Tradition.” When Ip Man died, Jiu Wan became the new Grandmaster of the Wing Chun family in Hong Kong. However, Jiu Wan died only one year later in 1974 at the age of 52. He died leaving a great legacy carried on by his many students.
NEXT: Sifu Moy Yat
Wing Chun Concepts was inspired by Master Moy Yat’s emphasis on understanding the underlying principles and concepts of Wing Chun. In the next section you’ll learn more about one of Ip Man’s youngest sifus and one of the early pioneers to bring Wing Chun Kung Fu to the United States.