The Creation of Wing Tsun – A German Case Study



Ip Man’s immigration to Hong Kong in 1949, followed by Bruce Lee’s sudden fame as a martial arts superstar after 1971, ensured that wing chun kung fu, a previously obscure hand combat style from Guangdong Province, would become one of the most globally popular Chinese martial arts. Yet this success has not been evenly distributed. Despite its cultural and geographic distance from Hong Kong, Germany now boasts a number of wing chun practitioners that is second only to China. The following article draws on the prior work of Judkins and Nielson [2015], as well as on systems theory, to understand possible reasons for why this is the case. Drawing on both local historical sources and various theoretical approaches, we outline which constellations, structures, and semantic strategies proved decisive.


Chinese Martial ArtsWing ChunWing TsunGermanyKung FuBruce LeeGlobalization
  • Volume: 7
  • Page/Article: 5-18
  • DOI: 10.18573/mas.60
  • Published on 21 Jan 2019
  • Peer Reviewed