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Is Wing Tsun Simple?

Internet surfers for martial arts information, tips, philosophy and other info may have run across the assertion that Wing Chun is simple or stated another way, it is one of the simpler martial arts perhaps because it has only three forms or it has low kicks or other reasons. The only problem is, none of this is true.

Wing Tsun is neither simpler to learn nor more difficult to learn than a great number of other martial arts.

What some writers may be referring to but never get around to explaining is that the Wing Tsun approach is a simple one. Wing Tsun concepts are simple, so simple they are hard to grasp at first. In Wing Tsun execution, the simplest solution is usually the best. There are no complicated sequences for self-defense application against a particular attack. The Wing Tsun tools are used in a way appropriate to the situation based on sticky hands mechanical reflex.

Wing Tsun has more than three forms. In addition to Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Tze, there is the Muk Yan Chong (wooden dummy set). Some say that it is not a form but rather a set of advanced techniques done on a piece of equipment and not a ‘shadow boxing’ set like other forms. However, it is a fixed sequence of movements. One can argue a point like this to infinity. In addition, Wing Tsun and other lineages have two weapons forms. One is the 6 ½ point long pole form and the double broad swords form. In reality, Wing Tsun has six sets of movements with matching drills and skill sets.

Although Wing Tsun kicks are low, that does not mean your legs do not get a work out or that Wing Tsun is designed for slackers. If one’s muscles and nerves are not conditioned, defending oneself is problematic. Low kicks are closer to the targets aimed for in efficient self-defense concepts. Those targets are the knee, the shin, the ankle and the instep. Low kicks are an art in and of themselves in the Wing Tsun world.

-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

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