From the first few Wing Tsun lessons, you learn to move both hands at the same time, doing different tasks. We know that if you try to defend first, then attack, it is much too late. Your opponent’s next attack is already on the way! It is completely unrealistic to consider the defend-then-attack scenario. We see this all the time in real fights. Quite often the combatants attack at the same time. Often, both miss in landing their first attacks.

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A prominent feature of Wing Tsun kung fu training is defending and attacking at the same time. Wing Tsun’s hands, located at the center of the chest, go out to meet the attack simultaneously in some long-range applications. In other applications, a bridge is established microseconds before the fight is underway to establish the direction, the power and speed of the attack, as well as the posture, tension and even the attitude of the attacker.

In some instances, a simple straight-line thrusting punch is all that is needed. This is the ultimate in simultaneous defense and offense.

The backup to this approach can be bong sau (wing arm) which is an arm which bends like a green branch of a sapling tree, followed by the punch, pinning hand-punch (gum dar), or edge of the hand strike (fak sau).

-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

Some martial arts teach blocking as a defense within the first few classes. One arm is used to push an attack away or set up a ‘fence’ to keep the attacker’s arm from entering the defender’s area. Wing Tsun’s Grandmaster Leung Ting tells his instructors to stay away from the term ’blocking’ because it implies cordoning off an area. It means to clash force with an attacker. In Wing Tsun we do not ‘block’ but we do defend, differently. From the very first day we are teaching a student to yield to the force of an attack by deflecting, moving aside to evade an attacker’s power, or dissolving his force with efficient anti-grappling methods. The next step in training is to learn the footwork required to use that force against the attacker.

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Defend and Attack

To defend and attack; these are basic ideas in martial arts and war.

WingTsun™ instructors are taught by the Grandmaster of our art, Leung Ting, that if attacked, avoidance measures are the best way to insure safety. If there is a chance to run away to safety, it is the best course of action.

However if forced to defend, many self-defense situations will have to involve a counter-attack by the defender. WingTsun teaches that, in defending, a defend-and-then-counter approach, in terms of the time factor is much too slow a response. It is completely unrealistic.

In fact in fights, even in non-contact tournaments, one never sees a block-then-defend approach. By the time you as our defender blocks a punch, for example, the opponent’s next attack is already on the way or even has already hit you! In WingTsun, however, simultaneous defense and offense is emphasized from early in the training.

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