About Wing Tsun
Our WingTsun™ martial arts classes in Gilbert and Scottsdale, Arizona teach Wing Tsun, a southern Chinese kung fu method, Yip Man Lineage. We are part of the largest Wing Chun organization – the International WingTsun™ Association. We break the mold of your usual type of martial arts class. Individual attention is part of the instruction instead of the ‘mass teaching,’ military style of larger schools. It is a close-range punching, striking, low kicking and anti-grappling system that develops highly evolved “sticky hands” skills in all students that persevere. It is a superb system of self-defense. Certain martial arts from southern China and Okinawa are probably related to it because of certain similarities but nobody knows for sure. The legend says that it was invented by a female monk from the Shaolin monastery. In the 20th century, Bruce Lee studied from Yip Man. There is no ‘sport’ application. Students learn exacting self-defense skills and mastery of the inner self, mentally and physically. Head instructor, Sifu Keith Sonnenberg, has 34 years experience teaching the Leung Ting WingTsun® system of the Yip Man Lineage. We teach four classes per week of Wing Tsun in Gilbert in the evenings. You can read more about Wing Tsun on our NEWS section which has an ongoing list of informative blogs.
What is Wing Tsun?
Sifu Leung Ting was the first instructor to use the spelling Wing Tsun in Hong Kong in the 1970s. The most interesting part of Wing Tsun may be how truly effective the early techniques are in common self-defense situations. Just the straight punch takes care of a great many situations that involve curved paths to their targets. Grabs and arcing punches come to mind. They are defeated by Wing Tsun’s straight-line techniques.
We encourage the reader to look at and read the many News and Blog entries on this site to get a better idea what Wing Tsun is. In lieu of that, briefly, Wing Tsun is a way of practical and economical movement and logical thinking that can transform your life. Millions of people in the western world have made these eastern practices a way of life. As with many things, the benefits one can expect from Wing Tsun depend heavily on the individual’s dedication to the idea, the learning and the mental and physical training. Learning self-defense, coordination and becoming more fit are benefits that come along with the major benefit which is the holistic way it can positively affect one’s self-image and approach to living.
Changes seldom come immediately in life. The skills you learn in WingTsun take time to fully become part of you. Prospective students should consider the fact that most martial arts are a journey and it is the journey, not the destination that is the most important.
One of the major differences between the WingTsun approach and other martial arts is the prearranged sequence of movement practices in other martial arts. WingTsun does not rely on them but rather progresses out of practice drills into “free application at will.” An attacker will not use the same techniques that you learned in a practice drill and therefore memorizing a great number of rote movement sequences will not move a student with no skills to great skills in dealing with techniques by an attacker. Instead, a WingTsun practitioner will train the reactions of his or her limbs based on the pressure against them in real time and use that energy against the attacker. This is accomplished mostly through chi sau training (sticky hands).
What Wing Tsun is Not
Wing Tsun is not a ‘made-up’ martial art. It has an authentic lineage from Yip Man. Wing Tsun, Yip Man lineage, has a completely different idea for self-defense than the other common martial arts styles. We are used to getting a skeptical reaction to these words. Many martial arts claim they teach a small person to use the power of a larger attacker against them but the truth is, most arts that claim this do not have the kind of technique or instruction necessary to do this. In addition, the learning of chi sau (sticky hands ) requires patience on the part of the student.
Who can learn Wing Tsun?
Some of the best candidates are those with previous martial arts training since WingTsun™ can be considered high concept. WingTsun was sought out in the past by experts from other systems who were looking for a martial art with more advanced concepts and were willing to start at the beginning with an “empty cup” – in other words forget the previous training so as to accept a new ‘little idea.’ Those without previous martial art experience can also learn WingTsun but will sometimes learn at a slower pace. It is important to commit to no fewer than two classes per week or more. Similar to any other field, lost momentum usually cannot be made up.
Some martial arts instructors like to classify students according to their body build to determine which style they should study. The goal in WingTsun is to develop core leg strength and flexibility and upper body flexibility. Strong core strength in the legs and the presence of slender and flexible upper body muscles greatly assists in learning Wing Tsun. Poor physical condition greatly slows progress in any physical endeavor and Wing Tsun is no exception.
If you are in already in good physical condition and are in reasonably good health, you can enhance your overall fitness and health as well as gaining unparalleled self-defense skills with Wing Tsun martial arts training. If you have been waiting for something to come along to give you instant gratification however, Wing Tsun is not that thing. A real martial art cannot give you that because it takes time for the mind and body to load into it all the mind body connections in order to understand the teaching. If, however, you want the learning experience of a true martial art, Wing Tsun is it.