HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY OF
SHUI TA OF WING CHOON KUNGFU
Grandmaster Wong demonstrating a pattern from Shui Ta
"Shui Ta" means "Miscellaneous Fighting". I learned the set from Sifu Choe Hoong Choy, the Patriarch of Choe Family Wing Choon, in the 1980s. As I learned the set quickly in just a few days many years ago, I could not remember its exact routine. So when I was asked to teach Wing Choon Kungfu in Barcelona in 2014, I composed my version of Shui Ta and made this set the core of the course.
Wing Choon Kungfu was invented by a lady Shaolin master, Yim Wing Choon, in the 19th century during the Qing Dynasty in China. The fundamental set is "Siu Lin Tou", which literally means "little-practice-beginning" because this was what Yim Wing Choon started her daily kungfu practice.
"Shui Ta" follows closely the principles of "Siu Lin Tou", including internal force training at the start of the set. A special feature found in "Shui Ta" and Choe Family Wing Choon but not found in popular styles of Wing Choon Kungfu practiced by most other Wing Choon practitioners, is the use of Shaolin features like Bow-Arrow Stance, Leopard Fist and Phoenix-Eye Fist.
I remember asking my sifu, Sifu Choe Hoong Choy, about this difference. He replied, befitting a great master, that was what he learned from his sifu, which he found very useful. Later I found from my research that was also what Yim Wing Choon learned from her sifu, the Venerable Ng Mui, the most senior of the Shaolin Five Elders, and that these features were very useful for females against hefty male opponents.
When I composed "Shui Ta" for the Barcelona Wing Choon Course in 2014, I had in mind combat application for modern day free sparring against other martial artists. Hence, Wing Choon techniques against Boxing, Kick-Boxing, Muay Thai, the Shoot and Mixed Martial Art attacks, which modern fighters often use, are included.
Wong Kiew Kit
22nd December 2015
Shui Ta Course 2014