Instant Reactions in Leung Ting WingTsun®

WingTsun’s little idea is simple. React instantly to attack and use the straight-line to the target. Move “according to how the opponent moves.” To do this, one must train the footwork and cause the feet to spring to life and shoot inward toward the attacker like an arrow released from a bow.

As the photos illustrate, when an attack begins, get to the target first, before your attacker can change course. It is a simple matter of timing but also confidence. Training is the key. Instructors always call Wing Tsun ‘simple.’ It is not necessarily always simple to master but the “little idea” (Siu Nim Tau, the first form, translates as “the little idea form”) is a simple idea.

Using a little idea from the form of the same name, the idea of ‘stillness’ in the first section of the form – the training is to form the skill to move instantly from a state of stillness to one of instant reaction taught in the form.

Physical training is one thing. Many people can exercise and get muscles in condition. However WingTsun is a mind-body exercise and, as such, one must get rid of negative thoughts as to one’s ability to do the things the body can certainly do. One of those things is to learn unique footwork that requires a certain coordinated sequence of impulses to move forward without weight on the forward leg and timing the punch along with the stepping in the correct sequence.

The above sequence utilizes the attacker’s power against him in a ‘collision’ of forces; his forward action combined with the defender’s forward action thus increasing the force of the blow.

It is not necessary (or wise) to try and block his punch. It is more prudent to get inside his punching range and ‘hit him first.’ Hitting first according to the motto ‘Start later, Arrive first’ has the effect of nullifying his punch due to intense impact of the punch on the attacker’s face!

– Sifu Keith Sonnenberg