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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Many a Wing Tsun / Wing Chun / Ving Tsun student and lay person has read and studied the story of the origins of Wing Tsun. They have heard of the Buddhist elder, Ng Mui who was a Siu Lam (Shaolin) kung fu expert. The story goes that she escaped the burning of the Siu Lam Monastery by Ching soldiers along with four others each of whom gave rise to various kung fu styles that exist today. Ng Mui eventually taught another female, a teenager named Yim Wing Tsun. The teenager eventually married her betrothed. Her husband decided that this secret style should be named after her. Wing Tsun was eventually passed down in a narrow family line until the present day. Read more

It can be useful for WingTsun students to develop self-defense scenarios in their mind as long as they are not “fixed formulas.” In other words ask yourself “what if this happened?” OK, most of my students already know that if somebody asks, “What if I took a swing at you?” or “What would you do…,” that this can be a useless and even dangerous verbal exercise. After all, you really don’t know how they will attack until they actually do. However, it can be useful to speculate with yourself. In other words, ask yourself this question as a bit of internal dialog, “How well would I do in a real self-defense situation?” “What WOULD I do if somebody came around a corner and tried to grab or hit me?” These mental exercises can help you visualize the beginning, the middle and the end of an attack defended by classical WingTsun movements. This can also aid your self-confidence.

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Martial Arts for Self Defense

Nearly all instructors say that their schools offer martial arts for self defense. It is usually in their list of activities and benefits but the inevitable emphasis and the way they remain a large scale business is to offer martial arts for competition, that is, for tournaments. Competition and martial arts together certainly offer character-building elements similar to other sports.

Martial arts for self defense such as Wing Tsun really do specialize in the idea of real time self defense abilities. Offered correctly, martial arts for self defense can be a fantastic way to gain confidence and at the same time, gaining coordination and overcoming fears. This is what motivates this writer – offering this kind of confidence to a student.

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Best Self Defense Martial Art

One perspective is that the best self defense martial art is probably the one you are taking right now. This is because if you are currently learning something that bills itself as a self defense martial art and if you stop now and start over to learn a new set of reflexes it delays your ultimate goal of gaining self-defense skill. Self-defense is more than a set of techniques that you drill over and over. It is an attitude that you should be able to turn on and turn off and use instantly if the need arises.

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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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Available Self Defense Skills

Regarding available self defense skills, Wing Tsun’s Grandmaster, Leung Ting, has said that WingTsun™ is not a ‘style’ but a system. All of the parts work together without contradiction. Carried further, Wing Tsun is a concept. It is a system not weighted down by thousands of techniques grouped together from several disciplines, the majority of which are unrelated as to concepts. They would be impossible to put together and used with any degree of speed or reliability. In a real self-defense situation, a defender has to react spontaneously according to the moment. There certainly is not any time to re-think that anti-grapple or that kick you just learned the way it was done in class. You have to react according to the concept rather than the choreography. After all, your attacker doesn’t know this movement and he doesn’t care! Self defense that is available is the most useful.

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What can I do if I am jumped from behind? This is a common enough question that gets asked of martial arts instructors. The best answer, of course, is “…do not let that happen.” This might be easier said than done in many cases, especially if you are not a big person or carry yourself with a lot of awareness and confidence. In WingTsun™ kung fu training, we have simple ways to turn and face an attacker. Of course there are no one-sentence or two minute training methods for this question. Once you have turned, then what? A defender’s response depends on many factors. Among them are whether the attacker has a weapon, are you being grabbed, are you being struck, do you have room to move?

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