In 1957, it was popular belief that only unrefined people practiced Martial Arts. Thus, Moy Yat was intrigued when one of his close friends began attending Kung Fu classes and asked if he could meet his teacher. Shortly thereafter, Moy Yat would be introduced to the legendary Grand master Ip Man whom he found to be well educated and cultured. Moy Yat then began his kung fu training.
While training, Moy Yat completely emerged himself into the art of Ving Tsun. Besides formal classes, he also learned the deeper aspects of the art by spending time outside of classroom with his teacher. Most notably during “Yum cha” (drinking tea) and while accompanying him through life's daily routines. He acquired a lot of his knowledge through spontaneous lessons which were appropriate for the circumstance. Moy Yat later coined this method of learning as “Kung Fu Life" and said that “spending time with someone who possessed Kung Fu and learning and sharing experiences is “Kung Fu life.”
Moy Yat was dedicated to his teacher and to his training. Through hard work and sacrifice, he completed his training and became the youngest Sifu under Ip Man at the age of twenty-four. Moy Yat also contributed his artistic talents to his Kung fu family and created many works of art which can still be seen at the Ving Tsun Athletic Association in Hong Kong.
In 1973, Moy Yat and his family immigrated to New York City from Hong Kong. Upon his arrival, he embarked on the latter part of his teaching career. As a pioneer, teaching Ving Tsun Kung Fu in the East Coast, Moy Yat was met with resistance and many obstacles. The established Chinese immigrants in New York told him not to teach the art to non Asians out of fear that they would use Kung Fu against them.
Moy Yat hastily replied, “If you don’t show them how great our culture is, then they will never respect us!” Moy Yat always valued his Kung Fu as a treasure from his Chinese Culture.
Drawing from his rich experiences and deep knowledge and his infectious passion for the art of Ving Tsun, his following grew rapidly. Many who passed through his door benefited from his direct, honest and traditional way of teaching the system.
In January 23, 2001, Moy Yat peacefully passed away in Queens, N.Y. The world had lost a renowned Master, whose spirit of perseverance and endurance would always be cherished.