If you are in your twenties and practice fighting arts that involve a heavy dose of athletics with high kicks, spins, many direct hits to the face, ( https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/mma-fighters-suffer-traumatic-brain-injury-in-almost-a-third-of-professional-bouts-study ) rolling around on the floor for most of typical classes, and other activities like this, you will get just so much mileage out of these activities after which, it will take its toll on your body. At some point, it will be important to throttle back or give it up to preserve your body. If not, it could impair your joints, you’re thinking, or your spine, in pursuing other activities.

Traditional martial arts benefit more on the inside than the outside.

For example, Wing Tsun works on the joints of the body to make its anti-grappling techniques effective. At the same time your joints are being worked for strength and flexibility. Wing Tsun also works on breath control with a chi-kung type of breathing. In stressful situations or a fight, it aids in calming you to survive and function in self-defense situations or daily life. Such breathing is healthy.

Do to the fact that high kicks take long to reach their target, Wing Tsun does not kick above the waist. In addition, the time during a kick is the time when a clever attacker can grab your leg and take you to the ground.

Since we are talking about time, time is very important to a Wing Tsun practitioner. A curved line attack takes a longer time to reach its destination. Therefore, Wing Tsun takes the shortest path, normally a straight-line. When the path is blocked, we stay. When the way is clear, we spring forward.

Wing Tsun doesn’t use methods that require a high level of energy compared to other arts. In a fight, this is counterproductive…

…however, we still find a way to get you in shape.

The inner way of Wing Tsun is of the mind also. Students must leave their ego at the door. Wing Tsun is a new way, quite different from longer range arts and even different from other Yip Man art lineages. Keeping the previous training as your natural reactions would be counterproductive. Still the first form, called the “little idea form,” has the same little idea. In practicing this beginner form, you must clear your mind, get rid of distracting thoughts and just focus on the idea of the form. The form represents important attributes of Wing Tsun positions which make a lot of sense in self-defense situations. They include upright stances, head over the shoulders, spine straight, torso over the hips, hips lined up with the legs.

Wing Tsun requires that you abandon your use of force against force. In addition, it requires the concentration to be aware of the moment. This is part of the training. When in combat, things just happen without warning. That is why Wing Tsun teaches sticky hands. It allows second by second subtle changes that cannot be perceived by sight alone.

Wing Tsun is true to itself. Self-defense should involve a short fight or escape.

-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg