The Kicks in the Leung Ting system

Many readers of blogs or onlookers assume that WingTsun™ does not kick or does not place importance on kicks but the reality is different. The kicks in the Leung Ting System of Wing Tsun have their own unique application. WingTsun is a system with a more urban base and methods involving jumping over rocks, logs and bumps in the landscape does not occur in the WingTsun fighting environment. In general, the basic thinking in this system is that kicks are there to “help the hands.”

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Wing Tsun punches

Wing Tsun punches are not like the punches from boxing or other martial arts.  The most basic Wing Tsun punch is called the “character sun thrusting punch.”  It is executed, starting from the center of the chest outward toward one’s opponent.  The aim is at his center line. If the punch is deflected or interrupted, this of no consequence since the punches come in a chain. There are many more where that came from!

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What Makes WT Different?

WingTsun™ (pronounced ‘wing chun’) is also called Leung Ting WingTsun®. Many people call it ‘WT’ for short.

A student of WingTsun kung-fu that has reached the first few student grades can understand the differences in WingTsun from a technical point of view but how would he or she explain this to a friend?

Leung Ting, the Grandmaster of this version of the art of Ng Mui and late Grandmaster Yip Man, made certain aspects of his system his “technique trademarks” and footwork was the most important.

The popular culture and a few so-called martial art experts in the media have, in the past, pronounced the art of Yip Man as lacking in worthwhile footwork. Quite frankly, this might be true in lineages other than those of Leung Ting if those in that lineage do not actually TEACH the footwork in the system!

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Adaptable WingTsun™

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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Flexible Self Defense and Thrusting Fingers

Wing Tsun is flexible. The apex of this is in the Thrusting Fingers form, Biu Tze.

WingTsun™ has just a few main few tools that can be applied infinitely to any self defense situation. That is one of the hallmarks of the system. In a real situation where you are forced to defend yourself, you do not have the option of using a fixed pattern technique learned by rote. An attack will not conform to the style of path practiced in the training hall. One must be able to adapt to the situation using sound principals. WingTsun is uniquely able to apply its concept to an attack.

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Students learn top notch self-defense skills

We first teach the foundation of great self defense skills. Footwork and basic hand skills that really work are taught early on.  They form the basis of the ability to stay on one’s feet if attacked, borrow an attacker’s force and move quickly out of the line of attack.

Unlike the other versions of Wing Chun coming from the Yip Man lineage, Leung Ting WingTsun® teaches applications on the ground as well as anti-grappling and applications against techniques from other fighting methods and weapons.  Unlike the other versions from the Yip Man lineage, Leung Ting WingTsun® teaches the footwork necessary to get out of the way of an attack and apply the concepts within the first few ranks. The realistic applications training is ongoing.

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 The Chi Sau Factor

The topic that really grabs a lot of attention in martial arts circles when you say “Wing Chun” or Wing Tsun is chi sau (sticky hands*). These two words describe the one thing that the martial arts public knows only exists in Wing Tsun / Wing Chun.** Chi sau is the reason Wing Tsun dominates the close-range in fights and self-defense. This is so true that there are numerous copy-cats. Some invent their own style with “sticky hands” as a feature. Some try to incorporate it into an existing style. None of them equal the original of course.

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What is Behind Wing Tsun’s Close Range Techniques?

Legend has it that Wing Tsun was invented by a woman named Ng Mui who later taught it to a female teenager named Yim Wing Tsun. There is some dispute among historians about this story. However the techniques give substantial evidence that it could be true. At every turn there is some technical reason to believe that a woman developed Wing Tsun. Only a woman would give such great consideration to design every technique to not clash with an attacker’s force, but rather to borrow the force. At no point does a Wing Tsun trainee have to lift, push, or otherwise resist an attack by direct force.

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Because of the idea of simplicity, Leung Ting WingTsun® affords the beginner the realistic opportunity to become proficient in a whole kung fu system.

WingTsun, which is a southern Chinese kung fu system, is simpler in several ways than Shaolin kung fu. WingTsun has just three forms (kuen, in Chinese kata in Japanese, hyung in Korean). Many different Shaolin systems have anywhere from 9 to 50 different choreographed forms which form the ‘shape’ of the system. A student might learn all of the forms and still not be able to defend or fight effectively since forms are not the path to fighting skill or self-defense effectiveness. Applying the techniques of the forms through practice drills and fighting training is the way. The founders of WingTsun recognized the real purpose of forms which is to build the shape of the system at each level within the student’s muscle memory and quite often to perform a meditation and breathing exercise. The forms also represent an important mental ritual.

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Chi Sau

Leung Ting WingTsun®, like all versions from the Yip Man lineage, has chi sau which was referred to as sticky hands 粘手  by Bruce Lee.  This is because this drill trains the hands to be “sticky.”  Grandmaster Leung Ting prefers the words “clinging arms.”  The classic Chinese term for the drill is chi sau which can mean “energy hands.”  The word “chi” has several different meanings in Chinese.

The chi sau programs in Leung Ting WingTsun® are extensive.  The programs are standardized within the Leung Ting WingTsun® family so that all of the students around the world will learn the same material and nothing will be left out.

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