Women, Men, Wing Tsun Kung Fu Self Defense

Today’s blog is all about women, men, Wing Tsun Kung Fu and self defense. A woman in China invented WingTsun 300 years ago as system designed to defeat her stronger male adversaries. Today, the greatest stimulus for most women to study a self-defense system is the immediate threat of violence. This is a shame because learning how to fight off an attacker should not wait until the threat is in your neighborhood, your backyard or your home and then, when the fear fades, the need is forgotten! By the time the threat is so close, it is TOO LATE to learn self-defense effectively. That is the pattern though.

The most common question that we get is “How long will it take to learn how to defend myself?” This is an understandable but an unfortunate question. It is usually stated as though there is some emergency to learn something quickly with a time limit attached and then, when the emergency is over, it is time to move onto something else. It is regarded as a distasteful bit of business that a woman is faced with learning in the short term, like it or not.

The human body and mind does not respond well to a “force-feeding” of new skill and knowledge. Physical training is the same as mental training. It requires time to gain skill and should be a weekly, if not a daily practice. No time you say? Hate the idea of trying to hit somebody? Hate the idea of somebody trying to hit you back? Sound too grim? After all, this is serious business – learning to “take somebody out.” WingTsun training combines your physical workout, your mental training and your self-defense into one activity. It is actually a lot of fun to work with people in learning these important skills. These are ALL things that we ALL need in today’s world. Using schedule as an excuse cannot be the excuse.

WingTsun is a skill-based martial art with the most efficient straight-line concepts in the martial arts. There are no “tricks” that are going to work 100% against a determined attacker. People want guarantees and nobody can truly give that to them. The best thing a man or woman can do is to actually learn the real thing – real street kung fu, not movie and stunt kung fu.

WingTsun DOES NOT use brute power in its techniques when defending against attackers. A smaller person, be it a man or a woman, cannot hope to succeed in defending themselves by directly clashing with a much stronger force. WingTsun uses evasion, deflection and dissolving of an opponent’s strength and power. Students work on skills that lead to the borrowing of an opponent’s strength and power in order to use it against them. There is no wasted effort and WingTsun does not use acrobatics, high kicking or board breaking as part of the training. We are only concerned with safety and what works in reality.

Our Grandmaster says something quite profound but simple, “Go from knowing NOTHING to knowing SOMETHING.” Have you ever took part in a self-defense seminar and learned a LOT of “moves” and scenarios and then, later, wondered if you could ever make any of that work? This is a case of learning a lot of NOTHING. The mental confidence and automatic reactions of having done that move 1000 times has to accompany the simple ‘knowing’ the technique. There is no substitute to understanding the concept of the technique and then training it so that the skill becomes like riding a bicycle or driving a car – certain things become ingrained as automatic reflexes in your “muscle memory.” This is the way we do things in a WingTsun class.

© Copyright 2008, Keith Sonnenberg, All Rights Reserved. No reproduction without permission.