Wing Chun—literally meaning “spring chant” or “forever springtime”—was named after Yim Wing Chun from southern China during the Qing dynasty. According to legend, Yim Wing Chun rejected a local warlord’s marriage proposal telling him that she’d reconsider if he beat her in a duel. Yim met a Buddhist nun, Ng Nui, a Shaolin sect survivor after the destruction of Shaolin and its temples by the Qing government.
Ng Mui agreed to teach Yim to fight and, per legend, taught Yim a new form of martial arts Ng Mui created after observing a confrontation between a snake and a crane. The new style helped empower Yim to win the fight against the warlord and was thereafter named after her—Wing Chun.