The martial arts stretching methods we use are built-in to the Leung Ting WingTsun® system. The first stretching practice comes in the upper body stretching in the first form which is called Siu Nim Tau. Wing Tsun™ forms (kuen) are not used for performance purposes. They are intended for the student practitioner to improve him or herself.
The first form’s hand positions and movements are done slowly at first so as to focus the mind on stretching the stiff muscles of the wrists, shoulders, elbows, and back. There are 23 wrist circles in this form. The practice stretches and strengthens the joints. The form is the basis of the whole martial art of Wing Tsun.
Proper posture is also an important subject in Wing Tsun. The very definition of fighting and self-defense technique in Wing Tsun requires parallel shoulders to one’s attacker as well as a straight spine so that one’s balance and position is not compromised, relative to an attacker.
The legs are strengthened with stance training in the early stages. The ankles are worked in the stance turning drills. The quadriceps of the thighs are strengthened. The hips and lower back are worked in certain key footwork drills.
While we are doing all these joint exercises, we are making our reactions to attack more flexible and ultimately, stronger. These are some of the benefits of traditional training.
-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg