What is meant by “internal martial arts?” Generally, it refers to an emphasis on structure, breathing, and dealing with opposing forces to defend against an attack. In Wing Tsun, to strengthen the body, many joint exercises are represented in the three forms to unify the body as a coordinated whole. Structure, angles and in the case of Leung Ting WingTsun®, mobility are paramount issues in dealing with an attack. The development of the elastic qualities of the body are used to facilitate defense when encountering stronger forces. Read more
One can argue, in my estimation, that Wing Tsun is a form of athletics. It is a step-by-step training method to train the muscles to react in a flexible way to defend against attack. It can be a form of athletics without being a sport, however.
To be a sport, it would have to have rules. Wing Tsun does not have anything called a rule.* It does, however, have movement principals. All the fine skills in small muscle groups must be trained. You cannot expect a muscle to react like you want it to without repeated practice.
Many programs offer possible solutions to stress and correcting health issues but not all solutions are suitable for all people. WingTsun™ offers the Siu Nim Tau set which is a series of movements done while standing. Siu Nim Tau is a relatively gentle series of movements, the first section of which is done very slowly. It involves a light meditative focus and a breathing component that can be escalated or left as a gentle, natural breathing. The advantage of this form of stress reduction is that it can be done in most any location. It has a small ‘footprint’ which does not require a large amount of space. It does not require sitting or lying on a floor and is a suitable form of training for an aspiring beginner martial artist. The movements have definite self-defense applications which are taught in subsequent classes.
One can enter into martial arts training and learn a series of movements only, or one can enter into training and understand what those movements mean beyond function and structure. If you are lucky enough to be in a martial art that has a traceable lineage and a story behind its creation, even better. The history of a martial art is often the clue as to whether the movements have a practical benefit. All martial arts are not created equal.
Wing Tsun in Daily Life
You cannot ignore the obvious that WingTsun is a self-defense system… it’s great to know it when you need it but some may ask “When am I ever going to use these techniques in daily life?”
You can use Wing Tsun in daily life. However, can you use these self defense movements unless you live on the streets and life is a daily survival lesson?
If you find your insides need attention and find yourself at the beck and call of something other than your personal well being twenty-four-seven, you might consider that your insides, a.k.a. your health and mental peace might be important too. It is not just about what you deserve. It is about what you must have to be fully human. WingTsun™ offers a constructive reason to get away for a few evenings a week to better yourself.
Wing Tsun addresses stress
Wing Tsun addresses stress within the context of the training, primarily in the first form, Siu Nim Tau. The stress regulating effect of a Wing Tsun kung fu class is remarkable. It doesn’t happen all at once. Any change in one’s routine can be a bit jarring and even a bit scary. A new student may wonder, “How will I perform?” “How will I look to others in the class?” Will the instructor think I am clumsy?” “Can I cut it?”
Learn basic form and correct breathing
Learn basic form and correct breathing with training in Wing Tsun kung fu. The basic form, Siu Nim Tau has a breathing method which calms you. The slow movements create a calm demeanor and builds balance in the body by slowing things down, both mentally and physically. This is a big advantage in our fast paced, computerized society. The Siu Nim Tau teaches the basic movements from which come the self-defense ideas and methods. Once the movements are learned, the breathing can commence!
More Than 300 Years of Development
WingTsun™ is Grandmaster Leung Ting’s modern day teaching system but it has been under development for over 300 years. Many stories have been written on its origins including the standard one that a Buddhist elder of the Siu Lam (Shaolin) Monastery, a woman named Ng Mui, invented it from her expertise in Siu Lam Kung Fu. Some history ‘experts’ think they know how it was developed but in reality we have only verbal traditions prior to the 19th century. Accounts earlier than Leung Jan are not written accounts. We have some idea that certain early practitioners did exist we but have no confirmation of their role in its development.
WingTsun is a highly adaptable system of martial arts. It is far more than a collection of fixed techniques. In fact, its forms are only representations of techniques and ideas. Not only are these ideas practical and efficient for self-defense, they are useful for correcting bad postural habits and flexibility problems.
For people that have tense shoulders or stiff necks, practicing WingTsun forms or fighting applications help improve or steer you toward correct posture and favorable structures. It is incorrect, from the standpoint of self-defense, to tense one’s shoulders or use the wrong muscle groups to enhance the power of a punch. It is a better strategy to use the attacker’s momentum, strength and intent against him.
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