Through it’s prevelance in Kung Fu movies coming out of Hong Kong, Wing Chun, a traditional Southern Chinese martial art, has come to the fore in China in recent years.
Regarded as one of the birthplaces of Liangzan Wing Chun, Gulao a town near Heshan, has become a Mecca for many Wing Chun enthusiasts. Mo Zhaoxin, a fifth generation Wing Chun practitioner, is one of them.
“It’s more like a belief for me,” Mo said. “If I practice well, I must undertake the responsibility to promote and transfer my skills to the next generation.”
“It’s my duty to raise awareness”
Since Liangzan Wing Chun was successfully registered as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Guangdong Province in 2008, the government of Heshan is aiming to establish itself as the “hometown of Chinese martial arts” and promote awareness of Wing Chun worldwide.
Inheriting the tradition of Liangzan Wing Chun, for Mo means promoting Wing Chun is his responsibility. He founded the “Jin Dao” Wing Chun club in Dongguan in 2013.
It’s estimated that more than 40 Wing Chun clubs are currently up and running in Gulao. In Mo’s opinion, however, not all teachers are good enough to pass their skills to their students.
“Generally speaking, there are 10 students per teacher, but only one or two of them will completely master the technique.”
Compared to many other masters, Mo adopts a more sophisticated basic technique,which requires the students to mentally divide their arms into three focus points: the palm, the forearm and the upper arm.
According to different movements, the force will be focused in a different part of the arm. Good hand- eye coordination is essential, as are flexibility, and keeping aware of your surroundings.
Self discipline and determination are the key to allowing this culture to continue to thrive. Mo hopes that people can learn from the patient and perseverent nature of Wing Chun. He hopes that practitioners will, if possible, found a club like he did to promote Wing Chun.
Innovation:”I don’t want to be everybody”
Polishing the Wing Chun cultural brand, Government of Gulao Town built a Wing Chun cultural park located in the former residence of Liangzan, the master of Wing Chun in 2015.
Simultaneously, the government encourages schools to develop morning exercise of Wing Chun so that more and more teenagers can learn charm of the martial arts.
In 2016, he built the first and the only one souvenir shop of Wing Chun. He then resigned his high-paying job in Dongguan and set up his own business in his hometown.
Walking in Mo’s shop, you can find shirts of Wing Chun, dolls of Kung Ku masters and other interesting souvenir.
Mo always comes up and introduces products to visitors. During his spare time, he always uses photoshop to design new Wing Chun products.
In the initial stage of his business, in addition to the offline sale of real products, Mo Zhaoxin also uses the WeChat platform for product promotion. He uploads his own Wing Chun tutorial video on the Internet.
Speaking the plan for promoting Wing Chun in the future, Mo indicated that he is preparing to cooperate with some companies to design popular products and to better open the market.
The inheritance of Wing Chun culture cannot live without innovation. “I want to show the Wing Chun spirit from my product,” Mo said, “As a Wing Chun master, I myself have much knowledge of it. The souvenir market is very big, and the channels are opened, and development will be smoother in the future.”
Author: Ye Zhanhang, Wang Xiaoyang, Li Guoyi, Chen Yecheng, Huang Mingting, Liang Mengfei, Xu Le
Editors: Simon Haywood, Steven Yuen, Sylvia Xu