The concept of direct versus indirect is a bit abstract. However, it is important because it is the main point that separates Wing Tsun from a sport. It is all well and good to describe how a sport is an activity with rules and, as such, it creates opportunities for each player to score ‘hits’ or points. It then creates a situation where one player tries to hit the other within the context of the rules. Then they seem to take turns attacking and defending. Fine so far.

Wing Tsun is a ‘direct’ system. This is because Wing Tsun does not, in theory, attempt to distract so as to hit in another area that has been left unguarded as in an indirect system. In other words, Wing Tsun is not designed to use ‘fake’ techniques to draw the other player’s guard away so as to hit that area in real self-defense encounters.

The way it was designed, Wing Tsun does not care about fakes. When a technique is thrown by an opponent, the Wing Tsun practitioner treats it as a real attack. Since Wing Tsun uses ‘direct’ and simultaneous defense and attack and its striking and kicking flight path is shorter (straight lines), the idea is to beat your opponent to the target, most any vulnerable target. Thus its design as a self-defense system.

-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg