Wing Tsun Kung Fu Chain Punches, part II

Like most Wing Tsun defense and attack techniques, the chain punches follow the center line which is the line that connects the chest of two opponents.  The Wing Tsun straight-line thrusting punch starts at the center of the chest.  The elbow pushes the punch outward using the triceps muscle.  The chain punches are a series of these punches thrown in rapid succession. 

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Wing Tsun Kung Fu Chain Punches, part I

I just checked out a post by Robert JR Graham on his site called Kung Fu Chain PunchesIt is really my article on Three WingTsun Kung Fu Punches.  The article discusses the three different WingTsun punches that are taught in three separate WingTsun forms, Siu Nim Tau, Chum Kiu and Biu Tze.  At the end, the point is made that in WingTsun, many things are done in threes.  The three chain punches at the end of the forms recognize that humans only have two hands.  If you throw three punches and your opponent tries to block each one with each hand, he does not have a hand left to defend the third punch!

Close range effectiveness

Wing Tsun™ can be compared to other arts in a different way.  That way is the distance at which we engage our attacker.  Wing Tsun is, by design, a very close  punching, striking and kicking martial art, much closer than other martial arts commonly taught all over the western world and on every street corner.  The repertoire of the close range methods and techniques in Wing Tsun is complete:  close-range low kicking and sweeping, knees, elbows, special close-range punching, striking and take downs.  In Wing Tsun we believe this is where the fight really exists.  Surviving an attack in this circumstance is the most important and where a lot of martial arts programs do not have the right stuff.

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The Question I Always Get: Weight Training?

When I began Leung Ting WingTsun® training under Great Grandmaster Leung Ting, one of the first big points he made was that I was to avoid weight training because it would tighten my muscles and I would not learn the “force borrowing” skills or the “soft power” skills of WingTsun™.  Although it was controversial in many circles at that time, I followed his instructions.

All these many years later, I realize why he gave me those instructions.  Followers of many physical disciplines and sports can #benefit from a concurrent program of weight training.  However in WingTsun it is very difficult to mentally and physically reconcile the two training programs and get full performance at the same time …

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The Miscasting of Martial Arts

Our modern culture has reclassified physical movement disciplines into its own little bucket of definable terms.  Leung Ting WingTsun® kung fu is ‘kung fu’ and is not a sport.  In fact, it might be more accurate to call it WingTsun wu shu.  Kung fu means “hard work – achieving skill” whereas wu shu means “military art” which is more precise description of WingTsun even though Leung Ting WingTsun® is more civilian in nature but uses the military smarts of Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese general and master strategist.

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WT vs. the indirect arts

One of the most important differences between Leung Ting WingTsun® and other arts is the DIRECT versus INDIRECT concept…

This concept goes hand-in-hand with the straight-line / centerline concept and so I must explain this concept first in order to make the DIRECT versus INDIRECT concept clearer.  In WingTsun, we always attack and simultaneously defend along the centerline.  The centerline is the shortest straight-line.  While our WingTsun fighter is guarding this line 100% of the time, our attacker is forced to go around the centerline defenses to try and grab or hit our WingTsun fighter.

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WingTsun, A Different Concept

WingTsun™ cannot be classified so easily in to the framework of the spectrum of martial arts.  It is a descendant of techniques sometimes called Siu Lam (Shaolin) kung fu.  More likely it is based on techniques from several older systems.  It is not necessary to claim that it came from Siu Lam in order to categorize its quality.  WingTsun is also a southern Chinese system and that generally means that it is not an acrobatic martial art, favoring instead, close range hand techniques and low kicks. The arms are normally kept low at the elbows in order to protect the flanks.  This is as far as the similarity goes to other martial arts…

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Traditional martial arts by definition, stick to a time honored method to convey the full learning experience to a student.  Defending (blocking) is taught first.  This is the most frustrating aspect for a beginner.  This is not the glamorous thing he or she imagined. This kind of practice does not release the frustrations of everyday life.  Times change. Of course in ancient times, this was the way that instructors weeded out the student that would be a trouble maker and misuse the knowledge.  Such trouble-maker personalities normally would not do blocking techniques for several months and so they would leave the training.

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Your attacker’s force

A key thing to remember if you are ever assaulted is to slow the attacker down. An attacker depends on the element of surprise to be successful and so he will likely act suddenly and fast. One way to do this is to plant the bottom of your foot on his knee cap. If you have rooting, that is, a good plant on the ground with your other foot and a vertical posture, the power of this defending foot is not even as important as the forward pressure. You can slide this foot to either side of his and press. All the while you must keep your hands in a position to protect your upper body. In WingTsun, a kick is always accompanied by a hand technique. Once you have done damage to your attacker’s knee, you can advance forward and rain on his parade with chain punches.