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.
Because of the idea of simplicity, Leung Ting WingTsun® affords the beginner the realistic opportunity to become proficient at 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.
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