Character Sun Thrusting Punch with partners…

Learn a Real Close-Up Martial Art

by Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

The close-range fighting methods of southern China have their own methods and WingTsun™ is significant among those martial arts.  WingTsun fighting techniques operate inside the comfort zone of many people and well inside the comfort zone of many other fighting systems.  At this range, most fighting methods have no defenses. It is assumed by some martial artists that when you are very close to your opponent, one simply switches to knees, elbows and grappling techniques. There is more to the story than just switching distances and weapons.

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Wing Tsun™ Dynamics

Wing Tsun is first learned as a series of fixed positions so that the beginner can become acquainted with the concepts used.  For example, we place many of our #defensive arm positions along the line that connects the chest of two participants.  This line is called the center-line.  It takes some practice to keep the positions constant while standing still.  When this skill is developed in a variety of technique positions, the student can then use them in more #dynamic self-defense applications.  Wing Tsun effectiveness lies in the learning of these basic concepts well and then applying these concepts to much more realistic attacks.

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WingTsun™ Kup Jarn

Kup Jarn is a downward smashing elbow technique from WingTsun’s third form called Biu Tze  (thrusting fingers form). The form contains several advanced elbow techniques. 

The strike is with the point of the elbow while sticking to the attacker and borrowing his force.


WingTsun™ Sut Sau

The WingTsun Sut Sau technique is a special method of attacking the neck with the open hand.  It is taught in the third Wing Tsun form called Biu Tze (thrusting fingers form).  It is executed like a Biu Tze sau hand technique except that the strike is with the edge of the hand.


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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Herewith is a reprint of a write-up by Marie-Elizabeth Finamore about Wing Tsun movements.  Marie Elizabeth Finamore can also be reached via Facebook:

What the West has to say about

Wing Tsun Kung Fu

By Marie Elizabeth Finamore, MS, ATC, CSCS, LMT

with WingTsun technical assistance by Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

Wing Tsun challenges the physical body in many ways, and exercises and improves concentration, visual acuity, balance, core stability, and breath control, as well as a full body muscular exertion.  Speed, agility, power are developed, and keys to the technique.  Really the only movements NOT challenged in this system are those involved in overhead reaching. 

Core stability is challenged in the basic stance, which a semi-squat with all lower extremity joints rotated inward achieved after alternately rotating the joints externally and internally.  Isometrically this also challenges balance and all lower extremity muscles, as this is a very unusual position to most Westerners.  Of course, and movement of the arms or legs away from the core challenges your stability, especially at the speeds demanded in Wing Tsun.  In actual combat, of course, any blow landed or blocked also challenges the core.

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Wooden Dummy Techniques of WingTsun Kung-fu

The wooden dummy (Muk-Yan Chong) is one of the features of WingTsun™ kung – fu that has made the art famous.  Bruce Lee was a famous user of the wooden dummy as a training tool.  It was again featured in the recent “Ip Man” movies.

The wooden dummy training has been applied in different ways according to the interpretations of the individual trainee and Wing Tsun, Wing Chun or Ving Tsun lineage.  Some want to use it to build strength and toughness in the forearms and legs.  Some use it in the context of a martial art other than that of Yip Man.

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A misunderstanding persists among some people in and out of the practice of martial arts on the meaning of what is meant by references to ”soft” and “hard” in talk about martial arts techniques.  In the way that we define it in Leung Ting WingTsun®, soft does not mean weak.  Something soft can be very strong. 

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Some WingTsun™ principals…

1)      Use the straight-line – guard the center line

2)      Simultaneous defense with offense – hit and defend at the same time

3)      Do not clash with your attacker’s force

4)      Use your attacker’s movement to trigger your own counter attack

5)      Use your attacker’s force to enhance your own counterattacking force

6)      One hand controls two

7)      Move forward while defending

8)      No backward steps

9)      Fight nose-to-nose, not nose to fist

10)   100 percent of the weight on the back leg

11)   Step into your attacker’s area

12)   Start later, arrive first

13)   Keep both feet on the ground unless you are sure to land a kick

14)   When grabbed, hit