Overview of the Fighting Methods of Wing Chun: Part I

Posted By : eWingChun Admin
Date: Nov 9, 2010

This is the first segment of an in depth, multimedia article on Wing Chun's fighting methods by SiFu Lee. It is always best to discuss such intricate ideas in person where that discussion can be supplemented by hands on demonstrations. However, since that is not always possible, the upcoming segments of this article will attempt to convey these concepts as accurately and completely as possible through text, images, and integrated video clips filmed specifically for this piece. It is our hope that this will be a success in helping to bring a deeper understanding of this topic to not only our fellow Wing Chun practitioners, but to any others who may have an interest in some of the finer details of Wing Chun.
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Fighting is a real-life duel, and in a split second things can happen so fast that there is no time for you to hesitate or think of what to do with the situation. You can only respond instantly by your reflex and your natural instinct. A lot of diligent practice, practical application, and actual fighting experience are required to fully understand and to earn this ability. In this article I am trying to explain some ideas and provide some understanding of what I myself learned from my SiFus. It can only express my own interpretation and understanding of what I learned. Whether you feel it is right or wrong, my intention is for the following topics, which I will address individually later in this article, to be taken into consideration and to assist you in learning this particular Martial Art and attaining a deeper understanding of it through your sincere research and experimentation.

1. Fighting is a kind of body language. 打鬥是一種身體語言
2. The fighting post of Wing Chun. 詠春拳的各式樁頭
3. Smaller, Slower, Weaker vs. Adversary. (The use of opponent's power, speed.) 較矮小, 較慢, 較弱對較優勢之對敵.
4. Short Bridge and Long Bridge Power Usages. 短橋及長橋發力
5. Close Range Fighting: Sticky hand style - Jammed in with close distance, emphasis techniques, skill, speed and coverage. 近距離搏鬥
6. Evade aside, attack opponent on one side eliminate chance of exchanging blows; "Bright side" and "Blind side".
7. Counter Attacking: Dar Jong Moon, "crash in the door" fighting style; counter attacking at the instant the opponent initiates his attempt to attack. 撞門式打法
8. Wing Chun has a complete curriculum of the Martial Arts training. If any of the above strategies do work ideally on their own, we can combine them. 混合式打鬥法(長短橋混合利用)
9. The combination of Short Bridge and Long Bridge approaches. Compare and find out which you prefer, or, which is more suitable for yourself.
10. The Wing Chun Fighting Strategy. 詠春拳之打鬥策略與拳訣
11. The proper usage of hand techniques and combination with Kicking techniques in a Fight, doing defense and offense simultaneously.
12. "SiFu Jiu Wan Style."

Besides developing discipline, good health, and a diligent work ethic, the bottom line is that the purpose of truly learning and training in a Martial Art is for practical application. In the event of an unexpected dangerous situation, the skills attained can be applied to protect family members, friends, or oneself. What is learned must be handy and genuinely practical, so when initiating a defensive maneuver after one has detected an offense, that countering reaction is a fluent, accurate, properly timed, execution of perfect technique. The goal is for the response to be so effective and natural, it will be as if you were born with that kind of ability. In this real-life duel, even a tiny mistake can lead to serious injury being inflicted upon you, hospitalization, and ultimately a result that you may regret for the rest of your life. 抱憾終生. When preparing for a dangerous conflict, training should always be approached from the perspective that you are smaller, slower, and less powerful than your opponent. With this idea constantly in mind, you will never assume to be able to overpower or react faster and will always seek out ways to better conquer an adversary. Furthermore, despite years of training and studying the fighting art of the martial arts style of your choice, there may always be someone in the world with more experience or skill than you 強中自有強中手. Therefore, your fighting methods must be very clever so that your chances to win will be greater. We are so proud and grateful to our ancestors, who with their ingenuity and genius meticulously created and developed this sophisticated and comprehensive art, 詠春絕技 for having passed down the knowledge of the Wing Chun fighting methods to us.

Since the birth of Wing Chun, the guidelines, rules, and regulations of our style, 詠春門規, have always been:

“Conduct oneself in society, be humble and tame” 常處世態度溫文
“Nourish one's inborn nature, avoid fighting indiscriminately”  學養氣戒濫鬥爭
“Assist the young and weak, supplement benevolence with martial arts” 扶弱小以武輔仁
and the most important reminder:
"Martial Artists only Fight for Righteousness"  武術只為正義而戰

We always try our best and it is our responsibility to abide all the rules and regulations. However, we are all human, and since tempers sometimes flare or moods may often turn bad, conflicts are at times unavoidable, confrontations and fights may happen. In order to improve in the fighting art that we learn, it is always necessary for us to have some friendly contests and competitions. Through these methods, it will help us mutually progress more efficiently in a peaceful manner. One must also endeavor to fight with perfection of strategy, skill, and understanding. The fighting methods employed to do so are some of the most important attributes for us to decide the chance to win.

A true quest for knowledge is considered an endless journey of learning and research. There is a fitting quote of unknown origin that sums this up - "the truly educated never graduate". This is especially pertinent nowadays with new technology such as computer generated illustrations revealing the many physical aspects of fighting arts. With newfound fervor from television shows and the popularity of MMA competitions, the martial arts world continues to progress and improve. There are so many kinds of popular Martial Arts from all over the world, such as the French Savate, Israeli Krav Maga or Russian Sambo, Filipino Martial Arts, Thailand's Muay Thai Boxing, etc., and the newly renowned Mixed Martial Arts. People everywhere are being exposed to martial arts so frequently that it is possible to learn more then ever before through observation. Martial artists are also fighting smarter by developing an understanding of bio-mechanics, physiology, and the strategies of many different Martial Arts through this increased exposure. Similar to how many professional athletes prepare for a game by watching game films, martial artists are studying MMA competitions, documentaries, and online videos. With the plethora of information available over the internet and on television, it is possible to supplement one's own studies now through not only personal application but also through reviewing the practical or impractical results of other martial artists. With these tools people can to begin to understand what an actual fight is, whereas in the old times, students were allowed only to listen and blindly follow what their instructor said. While the others will learn it from their actual fighting, they can accumulate all their experiences from their previous fights, but this method may cause a lot of injuries and it is a very difficult or tough way to earn this kind of natural instinct for fighting. In recent times fighters are able to gather and study the methods of many other fighters and found advantages to replace the disadvantage. 取長補短. Learning from the scientific computer generated illustrations of human body mechanisms, fighters can understand how to optimize their own performance. Fighters know more than ever how to build up their body to become stronger, and to improve their constitution and stamina for longer endurance. Today, with all of these widely available tools it has become a greater challenge for us to deal with those fighters. However, no matter how hard you train, how much time you train, or how smart you fight, all human beings are born with only two hands and two legs, there must be some limitations. Once you are committed to a movement, there must be a gap. As we are all aware, Wing Chun is a Martial Art style of scientific design, every thing can be explained logically. Our style strongly emphasized in "theory" 拳理, "methods" 拳法, and "principal law" 法度. We always have a better way to deal with a fight, as long as we train extremely hard in all the attributes that Wing Chun offers, which is the program that SiFu Yip Man 葉問宗師 handed down to only a few Disciples. That is when we will then know what Wing Chun truly is and know that Wing Chun can match with any of the Martial Arts mentioned above.

Thank you.

SiFu Allan Che Kong Lee