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.Read more
Two methods of evading an attack using Wing Tsun methods will be described here. Evading an attack in the martial art of Wing Tsun™ involves movement in the most economical way. Wing Tsun uses the smallest movements possible. The first method involves a compact turning out of the path of the attack. Only one foot is required to make the turn. It might be more accurate to call this a shift. A practitioner of Wing Tsun™ turns on the center of the foot. To train this skill, you must be sure that both the toe and the heel turn at the same rate and angle. As you do this, 100% of your body weight must shift to one leg. The back remains straight with gravity. Your back must not lean back. The turn is normally at least 45 degrees but can be as much as 90 degrees. The non-weighted leg remains on the floor with light pressure but NO weight!
From the first few Wing Tsun lessons, you learn to move both hands at the same time, doing different tasks. We know that if you try to defend first, then attack, it is much too late. Your opponent’s next attack is already on the way! It is completely unrealistic to consider the defend-then-attack scenario. We see this all the time in real fights. Quite often the combatants attack at the same time. Often, both miss in landing their first attacks.
Wing Tsun is an old martial art, the creator(s) of which which reduced the number of movements of the old Shaolin systems to create a new system. Relatively fewer representative techniques remain within Wing Tsun forms to preserve them and allow you, a practitioner, to access the roots and intentions of the founders. Unlike other arts of that era, however, Wing Tsun became an urban self-defense system with applications highly relevant for today.
Wing Tsun applies five ranges in actual fights and self-defense. They are the kicking range, punching range, knees and elbows, anti-grappling, and ground. In an encounter, a Wing Tsun practitioner does not choose a range. The range is what is appropriate based on the attack. Elbow techniques are a close-range method of striking.
If the attack starts at kicking range, a Wing Tsun practitioner might have to kick. If the attacker retreats or dodges after a kick, the kick is often followed up with a step and a series of punches. If the attacker tries to close-in, knees or elbows might be used.
Every student of any martial art must learn new movement skills. Some martial arts are athletic in their approach. A student must stretch, strengthen, use calisthenics and aerobic exercise in addition to stances, kicks, long range punching, power exercises, jumping skills, tumbling skills and other athletic skills.
WingTsun™ is less about high kicks, jumping kicks, spin kicks, and bending into low stances, – we have none of those – than it is about being sharply focused on self-defense skills. However the skills developed in WingTsun training are more like sharpening a knife than making a dinner recipe. The creators of WingTsun realized that self-defense cannot happen with a recipe. There is no recipe. A student must be prepared to sharpen his or her weapons. In the case of WingTsun, it is the whole body.
A man dressed in black jumps out of the dark area behind the shrub and reaches for your neck. Your training kicks in and you step sideways, and he turns you as he grabs your shoulder. You didn’t choose to turn in that manner. He turned you, but it surprises him. You lift a punch under his left arm and connect with the soft tissue behind his chin. The noise is sickening as he bites his tongue and screams but you do not stop. You follow up with chain punches to his nose! He falls back and holds his face. You decide to bolt out of there, glad that you have your safety and your life.
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 of the main attributes and principals coming out of your Wing Tsun training is “simplicity.” If you crowd your brain with too many techniques, especially if they come from different martial arts with different approaches and concepts, your defense is bound to be shaky at best in a street situation.
If your repertoire is entirely from one system of martial arts, even Wing Tsun, it can also confuse you if you have too many techniques on your mind as to the response in a given situation. That is why we discuss the concepts rather than one technique versus another in defending. It is most important to gather the ideas of Wing Tsun together in your mind and perfect them regardless of what technique you might be using.
Training in effective self-defense can be extremely important especially in the face of today’s extreme situations. Training on defending oneself should be as basic as health and obtaining food and water. You never know when you could be a victim of random violence today. It can happen in the best of neighborhoods.
Self-defense training is rather different than training for fighting competitions. It can take many forms because we cannot know in advance what type of an attack will occur. An art like Wing Tsun kung fu takes this into account.
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