Wing Chun
PDF Print E-mail

Wing Chun Kung Fu (Wing Tsun, Ving Tsun) is superb technique for surprise situations or when one has little or no room to work in. I like to think of it as training to fight in a phone booth. The training emphasizes sticking to the opponent and counter-fighting. Curriculum includes the three forms (Sil Lum Dao, Chum Kiu, Bil Jee) Sticking Arms and Legs (Chi Sau, Chi Gert, long range Chi Sau), Wooden Dummy (Jong) Techniques, the Gert Jong (kicking dummy), Sandbag training, Long pole, Butterfly Knives, and the Kuen Kuit (epigrams that explain theory, strategy, and tactics). There are some similarities between Wing Chun and Tai Ji Chuen in that both use sticking techniques, and in general try to feel out the opponent. Wing Chun is an interesting methodology in that the forms are intended to teach body mechanics, principles, and strategies, and in general do not present full blown tactics/techniques like one finds in the forms from the systems of Tai Ji Chuen, Hsing-I, and Ba Gua Zhang. What would qualify as fully elaborated techniques appear in the the last hand form, Bil Jee, and the Wooden Dummy form. Nonetheless the technique is intended for countering an opponent that uses strikes and kicks, and also anti-grab/grapple methods. In general this is stand up technique that emphasizes deflections, dissolves, striking and kicking to vulnerable points, with only the simplest of Chin Na or throwing/sweeping.The methodology is intended to overcome power and strength with technique and skill.  In as such I consider this a wonderful foundation method, as there are many tactics/methods within the forms that can be expanded on if one knows how. However there are many "purist" practitioners who are content with this methodology and will practice nothing else. The system is designed to develop a natural fighter who responds to the situation and changing circumstances.

   Wing Chun Kung Fu has an interesting history, and there are several variations. Most refer to the Nun Ng Mui, who was one of the "Five Elders" who escaped the burning of the Shaolin Temple. In the legends she taught Yim Wing Chun, a young woman who used it to avoid being forced to marry an over zealous suitor. After later marrying the man of her choice, he named the style after her. After a number of generations Yip Man took the relatively unknown style to Hong Kong in the 1950's, when he fled the communist takeover in China. There Wing Chun Kung Fu became well known, and from Hong Kong the system has spread to the rest of the world. With the opening up of the People's Republic of China in the 1980's, the other systems of Wing Chun have gained recognition. Most of these have similar forms, usually more extended and elaborate, and some contain numerous weapons in the system.

  There are several variations on the name Wing Chun (Yung Chun in the Mandarin dialect). Leung Ting uses Wing Tsun. Numerous practioners from Hong Kong use Ving Tsun. This is because they wanted to avoid the abbreviation WC (which meant water closet in British Hong Kong). This includes practitioners of the Moy Yat Ving Tsun system (based in New York City). Moy Yat is my Si-Gung (teacher's teacher or grand teacher). However I call what I do Moy Gar Wing Chun (Moy family Wing Chun). No matter which variation of spelling you use: Wing Chun, Wing Tsun, Ving Tsun, they are all pronounced Wing Chun.

   Because of the challenge matches fought in the early days in Hong Kong, Wing Chun is often perceived as an aggressive methodology. The development of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee reflects this sort of approach. However my opinion is that although it can be done aggressively, it is really a more defensive counter-fighting method, that emphasizes making the opponent miss and then counter attacking when the circumstances are favorable to do so.