Grandmaster Leung Ting, has said that WingTsun™ is not a ‘style’ but a system. All the parts work together without contradiction. Carried further, Wing Tsun is a concept. It is a system not weighted down by thousands of techniques grouped together from several disciplines, the majority of which are unrelated as to concepts. They would be impossible to put together and used with any degree of speed or reliability. In a real self-defense situation, a defender must react spontaneously according to the moment. There certainly is not any time to re-think that anti-grapple or that kick you just learned the way it was done in class. You must react according to the concept rather than the choreography. After all, your attacker doesn’t know this movement and he doesn’t care! Self-defense that is available is the most useful.
WingTsun specializes in low risk movements. That is why you do not see flashy, acrobatic techniques demonstrated in Wing Tsun. They are just not taught. For example:
Entertainment fans repeatedly see fights between the ‘good guy’ (or good woman) and the bad guy (or bad woman) spinning, high kicking, jumping, rushing in. These entertaining action scenes are done just for that. They are entertaining and fun to watch. They are rehearsed over and repeatedly. They are videoed and edited again and again. They are also filled with risk. One wrong angle, timing or slippery floor and you are done, maybe for life. They are also easy to counter when an attacker doesn’t play by your rule book.
Effective self-defense today must be spontaneous and instantly available. If attacked, your body must rise to the occasion. If grabbed, WingTsun uses the whole body, the shoulders, the legs, the knees and the elbows as well as the hands.
WingTsun concepts reject the idea that you need to be stronger, faster, or a better athlete. In self-defense that is just not realistic. You will have to use angles, straight-lines of attack, softer energy and fast steps to nullify the advantages of your attacker. This is what is taught in Leung Ting WingTsun® classes world-wide.
-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg