Among martial arts for self defense, Leung Ting WingTsun® is consistent throughout. It is important from a realistic standpoint that a defender have automatic reactions trained into their nervous system so that a surprise attack can be dissolved without planning, thinking about it, or reconsidering, all of which would mean failure to defend oneself. It is also important that a self defense martial art or a self defense course not be a grab bag of ‘solutions’ which are formulaic. There are no formulas to defend in an unknown attack.
Leung Ting WingTsun® has a concept which can be called ‘simple.’ About 80-90% of all common forms of attack from the front can be dealt with a knee strike, kick, and chain punches. The main requirement for this simplicity is training and timing so that one is not grabbed, punched, or otherwise harmed before one can land a knee, foot, or fist! This requires awareness of one’s surroundings and not focused on private phone calls or hand held devices in public, or otherwise distracted. Awareness itself, prevents many attacks from even occurring. Persons bent on attacking will seldom make themselves present before they attack unless it is a challenge match.
Of course, Wing Tsun has many back-up methods to defend including anti-grabs, anti-ground fighting, and defense versus other fighting methods. All this is done without borrowing from other martial arts or fighting methods. Wing Tsun would only be called a limited system by those who have not followed through with more training.
Regardless of a pressing need to learn self-defense, a martial art like Wing Tsun offers many benefits not found in other pursuits. In the process of learning techniques of fighting off an attacker, things like joint flexibility, leg strength, posture, breath control and other skills are practiced. Joint flexibility can be looked at as a by-product of regular training, particularly in the upper body. Leg strength, balance, and leg skills such as circling and sticking is another high point of the training. These are skills of ancient martial arts systems which seem to be neglected in many modern martial arts training curriculum.
Proper attention to one’s health and safety is a practical way to live. Learning a martial art is not a pursuit that is off the beaten path but a forgotten skill that can fill a missing ingredient in modern, stress filled lives.
-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg