Development of Cho Ga Wing Chun
Cho Ga Wing Chun (曹家詠春拳), Sometimes written as Cho Gar or Cáo jiā, and also referred to as Nanyang (South East Asia) Wing Chun too. This is a very old traditional Chinese martial arts system; Cho Ga Wing Chun system which can be traced back to the Red Boat (Red Junk) opera troupe (廣東粵劇紅船) era.
As legend has it that one of the five elders from Shaolin Temple, a monk name Ji Sin or Gee Sin (至善禪師) flee from persecution of the Qing Dynasty government, seeked refuge in the opera boat disguise as cook with the traveling opera troupe, navigate the waterways of Guangdong Province connected to surrounding towns and villages where they perform.
The boat and its sail was distinctively painted all red hence the name “red boat” trade mark for the opera troupe, whenever it docked, a temporary stage was set up nearby to perform Chinese Guangdong opera.
Gee Sin was highly skill in martial arts and have taught and exchange martial skill with fellow member of the opera troupe, at the time those were present include Painted face 大花面(花面錦), Li Wenmao (李文茂), Liang Langui (梁蘭桂), Huang Huabao (黃華寶) & Liang Erdi (梁二弟) etc.
When the troupe disbanded / retired, Huang Huabao (黃華寶) & Liang Erdi (梁二涕) went back to Foshan taught Liáng Zàn (梁赞) , Liáng Zàn subsequently taught Zhǎoqián Huá (找錢華) and finally Zhǎoqián Huá taught to Yip Man (葉問) which give rise to the Hong Kong Yip Man Wing Chun Branch.
Around 1864, the late Painted face 大花面 (易金) retire and settle down with the Cao Family at Guǎngzhōu Panyu (廣洲番禺) , and to repay his gratitude he taught his lifelong skills to Cáodéshèng, (曹德勝), Cáodéshèng was a very gifted martial art arts student later on open 7 martial arts school around China Guǎngzhōu!
During the early century there was an influx of immigrants from southern China seeking better livelihood, set sail and settle along neighboring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand etc. Cho On, nickname Sifu On 曹廷安 (1899-1993) was one of these immigrants who settled in Penang Malaysia (circa. 1937), Since young he been learning Wing Chun (鴉湖詠春拳) back in his village with uncle Cáodéshèng (曹德勝) in China.
Sifu On was teaching Wing Chun in the early 60's at Panyu Association in Penang Malaysia, one of his early student was S Y Lau (劉順源) , the young S Y Lau was assisting the teaching of Wing Chun on Cho On's behalf, and always seek opportunity to test the effectiveness of Wing Chun with other martial arts.
Due to economic needs he move to Singapore to work in the 70's where he subsequently taught his Wing Chun skills to his nephew Ku Choi Wah (古財華) at the time master Ku Choi Wah was also working in Singapore.
Today Master Ku Choi Wah has been actively promoting this traditional style of Wing Chun system both in Singapore, Malaysia and oversea!