Wing Chun, as this Martial Art is popularly known is a traditional Southern Chinese Kung fu style which requires firm stances from which to execute quick and efficient blocks and strikes with the hands and feet. Wing Chun emphasises speed and quick techniques which are executed in a relaxed manner.
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A female Abbess, who was one of the Five Elders of the Shaolin temple, founded the principles of Wing Chun which was largely based on the Fujian White Crane style of Kung-fu.
The principles on which Ng Mui founded Wing Chun was due to the difficulty she experienced during engagements with larger and stronger male opponents. She opted for a combative method that suited a smaller person which would emphasise technical skills as opposed to brute force.
Ng Mui had passed on her new fighting system to Yim Wing Chun so that she could protect herself against the unwanted advances of suitors. Yim Wing Chun proved to be such a phenomenal student that Ng Mui named her Martial Art Wing Chun Kuen, as a sentimental gesture.
- Forms – a precise set of movements to illustrate philosophies, concepts and fighting approaches.
- Chi-Sao – a series of exercises to develop tactile awareness of an opponent during close quarters combat.
- Practical Applications – applying the forms and Chi-Sao into sparring with a partner. This is where the practitioner learns to use the techniques and philosophies of the Martial Art.
- Muk Yan Jong - The Wooden Dummy is a versatile training aid which facilitates limb conditioning, adaptation to combat in immovable positions and developing a flow state of strikes and blocks.
The Martial Art in Practice
Wing Chun is beautiful and simplistic in nature. Its movements are compact and efficient allowing its practitioners to fight and maintain stamina over long periods.
Practitioners make use of a strong core to deliver powerful strikes in quick succession. Wing Chun relies on wrist strength to execute blocks and trap opponent limbs. A defensive strategy that is often employed in the Martial Art is to attack the opponent’s non-kicking leg whilst the opponent executes a kick.
At the core of this Martial Art is the protection of one’s own centreline, whilst also attempting to attack the opponent’s centreline. The centreline of the human body is seen as the areas that are most vulnerable.
- Five Principles – Simplicity, Directness, Practicality, Economy of Movement, Minimum use of Brute Strength
- Centreline – The area along the human body from the head to the abdomen that must be protected at all costs.
- Guard - the Wing Chun guard is simple and compact with the arms defending the upper body and the legs defending the lower body. The guard is used to consistently protect the centreline which forces the opponent to attempt to attack around the centreline. This creates good openings for the Wing Chun practitioner for quick counterattacks.
- Stance – Stances are square on and deeply rooted to allow for maximum power delivery from the floor through the posterior chain. The square on stance allows for easy mobility to maintain the centreline during combat and allow the Wing Chun Practitioner to use 3 limbs at once in a coordinated strike. Another advantage of the square on stance is that it facilitates the maintenance of the centre of balance so that the full force of the body can be applied to strikes.
Two frequently used stances is the center and front stance. The front stance serves to "blade the body" to facilitate kicking with the back leg which exerts more power when needed.
- Footwork and Low Kicks - footwork is nimble and quick and enables the execution of low kicks which serve to break structure.
- Striking to Vital Areas - as with the centerline theory, striking to vital areas such as the eyes, throat and groin is an important part of this fighting system.
- Baat Jaam Dou - Butterfly Knives
- Luk Dim Bun Gwan – Long Pole
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