Thursday, December 01, 2005

Wing Chun Kung Fu

What is Wing Chun Kung Fu?
Wing Chun is a martial art over 300 years old that was developed in southern China.

Is it a hard or soft fighting style?
This question arises all of the time in the martial arts world and if you are not a student of Wing Chun Kung Fu then it is difficult to grasp the concept but basically it is both a hard and soft style of kung fu.

For example in Wing Chun when you are punching you are completely relaxed until the moment of impact when you tense your striking muscles. The reason we strike like this is that a relaxed arm/leg will travel much quicker than one that is tensed and it also conserves energy and does not waste it in mid air but instead explodes on impact with what you are striking. Bruce Lee used a phrase to describe this method he said it was "like a chain with an iron ball attached to the end" and I think that is a very good description.

From a defensive point of view many would describe Wing Chun as a soft style as the blocks used tend to intercept and deflect the opponents strikes which is accurate however do not take this to mean that the block is weak as we learn to use our energy to solidify a soft block. For example a Tan Sao is a soft block in that you are not meeting force with force however it is a very solid block and when used correctly with the right energy cannot be collapsed by a strike.

It is a very important part of the Wing Chun defensive concept that we remain relaxed as only then can you feel your opponents force and have the relaxed speed to intercept and deflect it using your opponents force against him. You can now understand how Wing Chun Kung Fu is suitable to both men and women of any sizes.

Are there any kicks in Wing Chun Kung Fu?
There is a common misconception among martial artists that a student of Wing Chun does not kick but this is simply not true! We use a variety of kicks in Wing Chun but we never kick higher than half way up the body as it really does not make much sense. If I was to kick at your head if would take a lot longer than me striking at your head with my hand, think about it this way: how often would you punch someone in the foot? it is the same principle about kicking to the head.

In a Wing Chun 'T' stance all of your weight in on your rear supporting leg which is rooted and this enables the student to use his front leg at will for kicking or blocking kicks without having to transfer weight which slows the movement down.

In Wing Chun there are a lot of kicks to the knee and there is a very good reason for this as no matter how big you are your knee will not have muscles to protect it and so with everybody it is a weak point that we aim to kick, it is especially effective when your opponent is committed to kicking you as the force of his kick meeting your stamping kick to the knee will bring his down very quickly. There are kicks in Wing Chun Kung Fu and they are used effectively.


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12:57 PM  

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