"The purpose of Wing Chun Kung Fu is to lead you to be free and relaxed. This can never be achieved if you are tied physically and emotionally to techniques. You must free yourself from dependence on mechanical expression and trust your body, your Kung Fu to protect yourself…"
– Grandmaster Moy Yat
Moy Yat was born in Toi Shan in the province of Canton, China. At the age of nineteen, his family moved to Hong Kong and he began training with Grandmaster Ip Man (葉問 - Yip Man) in the art of Wing Chun Kung Fu. He became a close friend and frequent companion to the Grandmaster, as well as being a dedicated student. Under Ip Man's direction, he began teaching Wing Chun in Hong Kong in 1962. At the age of twenty-four, he was the youngest of Ip Man's sifus.
Moy Yat continued to teach in Hong Kong for over a decade. In 1973, following Grandmaster Ip Man's death the year before, Moy Yat and his family immigrated to the United States. He joined his brother, Yit-Dean Moy, in New York city and began teaching Wing Chun in America. Throughout his career he travelled broadly, teaching at seminars and workshops across the United States, Canada, Brazil and England.
Along with teaching Kung Fu, Moy Yat was also a painter, seal maker, calligrapher and author. He published six books: 108 Muk Yan Jong, Ving Tsun Kuen Kuit, A Legend of Kung Fu Masters, Dummy: A Tool for Kung Fu, Ving Tsun Trilogy, and Luk Dim Poon Kwan. The book Ving Tsun Kuen Kuit includes prints of Moy Yat’s famous stone carvings of the history, lineage, and major principles of Wing Chun.
By the time he retired from teaching at age 60, Moy Yat had taught thousands of students. In his last published book, Luk Dim Poon Kwan, he named his five senior students and successors: Jeffrey Chan, Sunny Tang, Henry Moy, Lee Moy Shan, and Micky Chan. Grandmaster Moy Yat died peacefully at his home in Queens, New York in January, 2001 at age 62.