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!
You can also evade attack with an angling step, in training, 45 degrees. The step is like Wing Tsun’s advancing step. The lead leg steps long and pulls the rear leg up to shoulder width and you execute the evading step with the counter attack at the same time. Evading an attack must be done in real time, at the same time as the attack but only when your opponent has committed to it. Once the mechanics of the movement have been mastered, this method must be practiced over and over with a live partner. It must be practice at different speeds and angles and with different levels of commitment by the attacker, your training partner.
Disregarding Wing Tsun technique and concepts for a moment, in a real self-defense situation, you can evade an attack if you can think ahead and an attack is not completly unexpected or not a surprise attack. It should go without saying that walking or staying in unsafe stretches of road, sidewalk, alleys, rough drinking establishments is another way of evading an attack. If you think you are good at doing this, you might evade attack successfully and then again, you might not. Wing Tsun footwork training in evading attacks is a leg-strengthening and balance-improving exercise that transfers its benefits to other activities. Wing Tsun training allows you to stay healthy, fit, and active into old age.
-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg