A running argument on the internet goes something like this: Is Wing Chun practical? Wing Chun is no good in a street fight. MMA fights prove Wing Chun is not practical. False.

Possibly an individual that has the incorrect mindset is no good in a street fight. The art is above average and maybe the best for street self-defense.

MMA fights do not prove that a martial art lacks a practical application for the street since streets fights are totally unlike a ring fight that has rules, time-limits, limits on legal targets and techniques. Of course, any fighting practice prepares a student in certain areas of person-to-person combat.

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The legendary founder of Wing Tsun is supposed to have analyzed the techniques of her native martial art, Shaolin and found it impractical to learn and impractical to use in a real encounter against her stronger male adversaries. She reduced the repeated movements in the forms and reduced the total number of choreographed forms. It is doubtful that the full transformation in developing her own method took place in one generation. She taught another female, a teenager named Yim Wing Tsun and it was passed among a series of family members and “Red Boat” opera performers over a 250-year history.

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Movement skills

Every student of any martial art must learn new movement skills.  Some martial arts are athletic in their approach. A student must stretch, strengthen, use calisthenics and aerobic exercise in addition to stances, kicks, long range punching, power exercises, jumping skills, tumbling skills and other athletic skills.

WingTsun™ is less about high kicks, jumping kicks, spin kicks, and bending into low stances, – we have none of those – than it is about being sharply focused on self-defense skills.  However the skills developed in WingTsun training are more like sharpening a knife than making a dinner recipe. The creators of WingTsun realized that self-defense cannot happen with a recipe. There is no recipe. A student must be prepared to sharpen his or her weapons. In the case of WingTsun, it is the whole body.

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To analyze martial arts effectiveness, first one must define whether it is important to be effective for participation in a sport as in tournaments or ring fighting or for self-defense. WingTsun™ is practiced as a self-defense system while offering a mental training that directs a student to the simplest solution in an encounter and improved overall confidence. Complex procedures have the effect of possibly failing in a real situation.

In a self-defense class, if you are taught to dissolve an arm grab by circling your arm in a clock wise direction for the right arm grab, are you really going to remember, in a panic situation, which arm grab requires clock-wise or counter-clock wise rotation? The WingTsun concept is to simply hit / kick your attacker. Complex procedures are time-consuming. Time is a critical element in all self-defense.

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Surprise Attacks

Surprise attacks are perhaps the most feared personal situation. The obvious reason is fear  for lack of preparedness and training. Your attacker is waiting for your attention to lapse or waiting for you to be distracted. Surprise attacks can be most anything from an attacker to come at you from behind, from the side, while you are sitting down, while lying down, with a weapon and so on. Very little in sport martial art curriculums prepares you directly for this type of situation. At Wing Tsun Arizona, we have special topics classes where students learn how to apply the Wing Tsun concepts to real situations.

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The Body is the Self Defense Weapon

In Wing Tsun, the body is the self defense weapon. It is a practical idea. Wing Tsun practitioners can use the whole body moving horizontally as the weapon or the hands, forearms, shoulders, knees, shins, feet, or side of the body as a self defense weapon. Normally the closest part of the body is the tool to do damage to one’s attacker. In the above photo, attacker B on the right, tried to grab and twist the defender, A’s arm. Defender A was not rigid but rather flexible enough to dissolve his attacker’s force …and dispense with his grapple while simultaneously stepping in for the hit against attacker B’s chest. The hands, feet, knees, elbows and shoulders all come into play. The most advanced form, Biu Tze, has a sophisticated elbow-counterattacking concept.

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Special Concepts Class just finished

We just finished another special two-hour class this past Thursday in WingTsun™ concepts which taught the ideas and methods of applying the simple WingTsun ideas in a variety of dangerous and uncomfortable situations.  WingTsun is practical.

– Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

WingTsun is Practical Self Defense

When we think of the word practical, what do we normally think of? Normally we consider how useful something is. If a car is a red, low-slung fast sports car with seating for two, we would not consider that to be practical. You cannot carry more than two people and certainly not the family. You cannot go to Home Depot and load it up with building supplies. It is much too small for that. It attracts a lot of attention, sometimes the wrong kind. You, the driver, get a ticket once in a while because it is so fast from a standing start.

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