Wing Chun was said to have been developed by a Buddhist nun, Ng Mui, during the Qing dynasty. As the legend has it, she taught the art to a young woman, Yim Wing-Chun, who faced the prospect of a forced marriage to a criminal. Wing Chun then challenged the man to a fight and won, thus escaping the marriage.
Gu Lao Wing Chun, the style taught at the Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy, was formulated by Leung Jan, a resident of the village of Gu Lao who was sometimes called the King of Wing Chun. By concentrating on teaching forty drills, he developed a system of straightforward-seeming fighting techniques stressing speed, agility, and the elimination of unnecessary movement.
In the traditional manner of the Gu Lao branch of Wing Chun, the main focus of training is on drills, repetition of techniques and understanding of the principals of the movements. This rapidly increases muscle memory, speed, reaction timing and the fluidity. These drills cover the entire range of the wing chun style from stepping and footwork to all the possible hand and arm positions. These exercises also include many of the hand combinations that frame the groundwork of the style.