Some schools that teach a mixture of styles of martial arts may begin by showing you the basic moves in more than one fighting style with no basic start of understandable concepts. Oh they might explain how this set of techniques is used and why but that hardly explains how you, the tall guy, for example, are supposed to deal with your opponent who is a more athletic guy with a bigger build. In addition, those moves are a few steps more advanced from where you should be. They do it as a sales gimmick to keep you interested. Sounds fine, you say. It is not fine. Every person, no matter how talented, requires repetitive practice of a technique in isolation before they can put it together with footwork, follow-ups, and other relevant details. Your ability to absorb details that make success possible with those techniques are not going to be ingrained into your “muscle memory.”

An enemy or a ring fighting opponent is going to try to disguise their intentions should they initiate an attack. To use the techniques you have learned, those techniques need to be available to use instantly without pre-thinking. In addition, your own skills need to be flexible enough to change in a nano-second. This requires some mental training as well. Some beginners may have the mindlock of indecision, fear, or stubbornness born of loyalty to what you trained on last night. If you have ever been in a fight, you know that you cannot pre-plan anything about such an encounter. Wing Tsun teaches you to “give up” that favorite technique or your pride in your strength if it isn’t working.

It is important to learn a system of movement that has flexibility. That sounds fine but what real flexibility is, is the ability to move like rubber and cling to an attacker’s limbs to guide them away from their target or you moving away with rapid footwork while counterattacking at the same time. You will not need to see an attack and then try an intercept it in mid-air. This is an error-prone strategy. True sticky hands skills are the solution to this missing element in most fighting styles. It is part of what you will learn at Wing Tsun Arizona.

-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg

Wing Tsun is unique among martial arts in that it is not so much a system of “movements” or even techniques as it is one of concepts. In order to make those concepts come alive, however, we need structure. Structure starts with movements. The first form, called the Little Idea Form, is known as Siu Nim Tau in the Chinese – Cantonese language from which it came. Wing Tsun aims to build the effectiveness of its system by correctly defining the reasons for its choices of techniques. Ideas like the shortest distance between two points is a straight-line and the shortest straight-line is the centerline help give life to the system.

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Among martial arts classes in the east valley are the Gilbert self defense classes presented periodically for Wing Tsun students by Wing Tsun Arizona. They are presented as ‘special topics’ classes. They teach concepts rather than fixed techniques against pre-set attacks. Since Wing Tsun kung-fu is already a comprehensive self-defense system, it is redundant to present a separate self-defense class.

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Pre-arranged Techniques

It has become common to see videos on the internet showing a series of self defense moves and then the maker of the video claiming that these are the best ways to counter ‘these attacks’ or these ‘ring fighting’ techniques.

In fact, the unfortunate trend in martial arts training has been examining specific techniques for validity versus some theoretical idea of how a street fighter or criminal attacker or ring fighter might attack instead of understanding concepts. For many, many years, martial arts instructors have stated that one cannot learn martial arts from a video and yet here we have a whole generation of internet video fans attempting to do just that.

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WT vs. the indirect arts

One of the most important differences between Leung Ting WingTsun® and other arts is the DIRECT versus INDIRECT concept…

This concept goes hand-in-hand with the straight-line / centerline concept and so I must explain this concept first in order to make the DIRECT versus INDIRECT concept clearer.  In WingTsun, we always attack and simultaneously defend along the centerline.  The centerline is the shortest straight-line.  While our WingTsun fighter is guarding this line 100% of the time, our attacker is forced to go around the centerline defenses to try and grab or hit our WingTsun fighter.

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WingTsun, A Different Concept

WingTsun™ cannot be classified so easily in to the framework of the spectrum of martial arts.  It is a descendant of techniques sometimes called Siu Lam (Shaolin) kung fu.  More likely it is based on techniques from several older systems.  It is not necessary to claim that it came from Siu Lam in order to categorize its quality.  WingTsun is also a southern Chinese system and that generally means that it is not an acrobatic martial art, favoring instead, close range hand techniques and low kicks. The arms are normally kept low at the elbows in order to protect the flanks.  This is as far as the similarity goes to other martial arts…

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