Duncan Leung on Yip Man

Duncan LeungFunny, interesting… maybe a little sad. This is what Duncan Leung had to say. Enjoy. The Yip Man I knew was soft spoken, gentle, liked jokes, walked very firm, never complained, not in front of me anyway, never talked behind anybody’s back, seldom to talk about himself. He was being very smooth never saying anything to upset anyone.When I was in the regular school whenever a student asked him a question he would always ask the student to tell him the answer after the student thought about it and he would always compliment the person and tell him he was right regardless right or wrong. When I got into private lessons with him he was much different then. He did show more concern and gave many details and when I had a question he answered without hesitation always direct to the point. Even though he was not a scientist or doctor the amazing thing about him was whenever he explained theories and techniques he would always come up with some kind of example from life that made it completely clear and these things always stay with you.
He smoked a lot.
He only had a few friends that I knew of that he was close to. Basically, they were from the same place he came from.
I did Chi Sau with him every time we met all through the years he taught me never more than 15 min. because of his age. When we met it was about 1 or 2 times a week the rest I work out myself. The lessons were one hour sometimes he stayed 2 hours to check and see what I did. He would read the papers a lot in the bathroom and stay in there for a long time. When he would come out the smoke just poured out of the door. My servant hated him.
All the time with him I only have one time seen him fight. It was over in less than a second. At that time I was just a beginner in his school.
I only saw him demonstrate one time. He took a 6 and a half point pole and drove a long coffin nail all the way into a thick wall with one strike.
That is all I saw him do.
Every time I had time he wanted to go to a place to eat nearby and order Dim Sum and wanted someone to pay for it that is why he asked me to go. He would not eat very much but would read the newspaper again and I would sit there. He looked like he really enjoyed himself.
Sometimes he wanted to talk about his past and I was too young and not a good listener for these type of things so I never remembered it.
At the time I had to leave him to go to Australia at the end of my training he had quite a few senior students with him and his older students had schools around him. When I was with him personally mostly he only talked about Jiu Wan and Jiu Wan’s students. He seldom talked about his own students. He was closer to Jiu Wan and somehow the direct students of Yip Man were not close to Jiu Wan’s students. I never figured out why.
Yip Man was the kind of person that you could never tell inside his heart if he liked you or didn’t like you. Once in a while when we were talking and some person’s name came up I could tell the way he said things he actually hated the person very deep, but you would never realize it if you were to see him and the person together. He would never show know how he felt but was always nice and polite.
These are some of the memories I now have left with me of my SiFu.

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