Yik Kam

Posted by tommy56nc on Dec 16, 2011
Category: 
Ancestors and Sifus
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Yik Kam (Yi Jin, Changing Gold) was an actor in the King Fa Wui Goon Opera troupe, who played the role of Cheung Tan (Ching deng or Male playing “Female” role). Cho Family Wing Chun traditions state, he was the third senior student, after Wong Wah Bo and Leung Yee Tai, with Dai Fa Min Kam following in fourth.

Yik Kam is said to have first began teaching Wing Chun Kuen, following an encounter where he bested three young brothers, originally from Poon Yu Village. One of the brothers, Cho Shun, was an actor and, after witnessing Yik Kam’s skill, sought to become his student. Variations of the story place Cho Shun learning from Yik Kam after being bested in a contest of skill, and than later, during time between shows, visited his native Poon Yu Village, telling his two or in some accounts three brothers, about Yik Kam and his unique Kung Fu method. The Cho brothers didnt believe their brother, and wanted to see for themselves. They met with the same luck Cho Shun did, loosing to Yik Kam. The Cho Family than impressed with his skill, invited Yik, when he retired, to move to Poon Yu village, where he would be cared for, in exchange for instruction in Wing Chun Kuen.

Some accounts from Yip Kin’s family in Malaysia, state Yik Kam’s real name was So Kai Ming, which has been mentioned by several descendents of the Cho family but denied by others. It is said that after retiring from the Opera, Cho Shun retured to Poon Yu, with Yik Kam following by the invitation of the Cho Family. Yik Kam than became the instructor of the family continuing Cho Shun’s training, as well as furthering the training of Cho Shun’s son Cho Dak Sang, and other Poon Yu natives. At some point it is related that So Kai Ming, also opened a Osteopathic clinic. It is said So Kai Ming learned his Wing Chun Kuen from Leung Gwai Lam a name that sounds very close to Leung Lan Kwai, mentioned in Yip Man family oral and written traditions. Leung Lan Kwai, in the Yip tradition learned from Leung Bok Lao and brought Wing Chun Kuen onto the Red Boats. It is unknown at this time, if So Kai Ming is Yik Kam, and/or if Leung Gwai Lam is in fact Leung Lan Kwai, who may or may not have existed.

Some oral tradition states Yik kam was actualy a second generation Red Boat Wing Chun practioner, that was the only Disciple Leung Yee Tai accepted on the Red Boats.

Sources: 
  • Oral accounts Cho Family
  • Leung Publishing
  • Oral and written traditions Yip Kin Family
  • Oral and written traditions Sam Chan and Cheung Way Boe
  • New Martial Hero
  • AWCKRI
  • Oral and written traditions Yip Man

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