MY VING TSUN (WING CHUN) FAMILY TREE
One of the most important things about learning a martial art is how valid it is. Does it actually work and is there a history? You certainly wouldn't want to learn from someone who just made it up themselves. In my case, my Ving Tsun family tree can be traced back to famous Grandmaster Ip Man. There have been many movies made about him, but of course the real man didn't do all those things on screen. He was however a great martial arts fighter and a great teacher.
So Ip Man taught Moy Yat. Moy Yat taught Sunny Tang. Sunny Tang taught Paul Stiles. And I have been fortunate enough to learn from both Sunny Tang and Paul Stiles. So in terms of family tree, Ip Man would be the equivalent of my great grandfather.
Although lineage is important, it doesn't tell the whole story. If you don't do the work, then no matter how strong your lineage is it doesn't mean anything. Everyone must do the work and make their martial art work for themselves. Show me 10 teachers who learned Ving Tsun and I'll show you 10 different ways of doing Ving Tsun. Of course the principles and concepts will be the same, but strategies and techniques will vary according to the individual's personality, attributes, etc. When teaching we like to say that our job is to teach you how to use the tools. But it is you who must build your house.