Wing Chun 101
What is Wing Chun – And Is It Right For You?
by Sifu Chuck O’Neill
Wing Chun (also known as ‘Ving Tsun’ and ‘Wing Tsun’) is a Chinese martial art style of Kung Fu.
It is generally accepted as one of the most technically advanced and devastating forms of self defense, emphasizing economy of motion and efficiency.
It also prefers to use good structures and timing over strength, speed or brute force.
So you don’t have to be a “musclehead” or in top physical shape to use Wing Chun techniques to bring down an attacker.
Wing Chun is not a “young man’s” martial art – anyone can use it regardless of size or strength – to defend themselves. In fact, legend has it that Wing Chun was first used and taught by a woman – Yim Wing Chun.
However because it can be such an effective and devastating form of self defense, it is generally taught to adults only and not to young children.
Wing Chun itself is characterized by close-quarter fighting, quick hand striking, jamming and trapping techniques (to limit your opponent’s ability to counter).
It also includes low kicking moves – typically below the waist (for example, to the knees and lower body).
The Wing Chun Fighting System:
One thing that makes Wing Chun so attractive is that it is relatively easy to learn in a short amount of time (vs. other martial arts). It contains fewer forms than other martial arts and can be learned by anyone – regardless of size.
Wing Chun as a system, has three empty hand forms (Sil Lim Tao, Chum Kiu and Biu Ji), a Wooden Dummy form (Muk Yan Jong), and two weapons forms (Luk Dim Boon Kwan and Baat Cham Doa).
It also includes with plenty of drills and partner training like Chi Sau (rolling or ‘sticking’ hands) to develop your contact reflexes and sensitivity.
The forms build on each other but they can also be independent of each other.
The Sil Lim Tao, Chum Kiu and Biu Ji forms help to reinforce the various theories and techniques found in the Wing Chun system. The Wooden Dummy form brings a new level of practical training for the student allowing them to apply the techniques, strikes and hits against a ‘wooden man’.
The weapons forms are usually taught later to students that are more advanced and can be trusted with this knowledge.
At its core, Wing Chun is really a “no-fluff” martial art – focusing more on efficiency and practicality vs. flowery or complex movements that you may find with other styles.
It’s also a very “intelligent” martial art. Wing Chun uses the principles of physics and the body – and how they work together in order to get maximum power and effect.
Unlike some other arts where the skills and techniques tend to get weaker (as the student grows older and does not have the muscular strength of a young person),Wing Chun practitioners continue to improve and get better with time.
This is because the art does not require brute strength but the proper use of structures, balance, centerline, stance and proprioception – all things that can continue to improve as one grows older.
So if you’re looking for an effective martial art that can grow with you over time – Wing Chun may be right for you! To contact us about taking classes, private lessons or for other inquiries please visit our Contact Us page.
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