Wing Tsun is an old martial art, the creator(s) of which which reduced the number of movements of the old Shaolin systems to create a new system. Relatively fewer representative techniques remain within Wing Tsun forms to preserve them and allow you, a practitioner, to access the roots and intentions of the founders. Unlike other arts of that era, however, Wing Tsun became an urban self-defense system with applications highly relevant for today.
One of the main attributes and principals coming out of your Wing Tsun training is “simplicity.” If you crowd your brain with too many techniques, especially if they come from different martial arts with different approaches and concepts, your defense is bound to be shaky at best in a street situation.
If your repertoire is entirely from one system of martial arts, even Wing Tsun, it can also confuse you if you have too many techniques on your mind as to the response in a given situation. That is why we discuss the concepts rather than one technique versus another in defending. It is most important to gather the ideas of Wing Tsun together in your mind and perfect them regardless of what technique you might be using.
“Everybody tries to make martial arts complicated,” something Grandmaster Leung Ting Ting has often stated. The Wing Tsun idea starts with simplicity. This martial art started out 300 years ago as a martial art of change. The developers thought that existing martial arts were too complicated. They wanted to change the prevailing approach which was teaching numerous predetermined sequences of movements to make the learning faster and simpler and retain effectiveness. Learning numerous forms was and is considered a distraction. Predetermined poses, sequences and techniques can greatly slow a martial art student’s path to effective self-defense abilities, many of which have no relevance to today’s applications. Many old martial arts were designed for military battle where the weapons were halberds, swords, and soldiers on horseback on uneven terrain.
WingTsun Simplicity in Self Defense
Instead of spending hour upon hour perfecting choreographed movements that have been organized into a sequence by an old society, WingTsun training moves on from the ABCs of movement (a form) to practice a drill, and then to practice a skill building exercise in order to learn how to defend. Only a few hand and leg tools need be learned in order to adapt them to every conceivable self defense situation. When a student’s mind becomes trapped into a complicated solution, we instructors teach the simplest way. The simplest way is the way. In real life situations against real thugs, real criminals or even somebody you might trust, WingTsun is effective! It works!
Because of the idea of simplicity, Leung Ting WingTsun® affords the beginner the realistic opportunity to become proficient in a whole kung fu system.
WingTsun, which is a southern Chinese kung fu system, is simpler in several ways than Shaolin kung fu. WingTsun has just three forms (kuen, in Chinese kata in Japanese, hyung in Korean). Many different Shaolin systems have anywhere from 9 to 50 different choreographed forms which form the ‘shape’ of the system. A student might learn all of the forms and still not be able to defend or fight effectively since forms are not the path to fighting skill or self-defense effectiveness. Applying the techniques of the forms through practice drills and fighting training is the way. The founders of WingTsun recognized the real purpose of forms which is to build the shape of the system at each level within the student’s muscle memory and quite often to perform a meditation and breathing exercise. The forms also represent an important mental ritual.
Narrow it down
You can learn to punch. You can learn to kick. Fine. What, then, are you actually doing when you punch or when you kick? What is the range? What is the purpose? When you punch or kick air, you are practicing the flight path and the energy of the movement. In Wing Tsun™, many of the movements are taken in isolation at first. This teaches a student the precise thing that is happening. What muscles are being tensed? What is it supposed to feel like? How does one emit power?
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