How Does Wing Chun Work?


Wing Chun is a revolutionary martial art. It appeals to people who want to use their bodies and their minds in an intelligent and effective way. Human beings did not become the dominant animal on this planet by being the biggest or the strongest or the fastest, we achieved this by being the most intelligent (some of the time anyway). To live a life of self confidence, health and free of fear does not mean you have to big and strong or small and fast or any other combination. You just have to be you and understand how to optimise yourself so that you move forward through life in an enjoyable and flowing way. The reason you do not have to be big or strong or even fast to be good at Wing Chun is because of the scientific way that combat is approached. Essentially Wing Chun works by sending out bridges (your limbs) in a three dimensional spiralling wedge or cone shape towards an opponents central core (imagine a human is a giant candle, we move towards the wick). If these bridges are not interrupted on their journey towards the opponents central core they strike and continue to strike until the battle is finished. If at any point these bridges are intercepted they deform unconsciously under pressure (kinaesthetic or visual) ensuring your protection by moving you out of the way and into a new line of attack.

So what does this mean, you may ask? Well the easiest way to understand is to feel, so we recommend you come and try a class. However, we will also have a go at explaining; basically most systems teach attack and defence as separate entities, Wing Chun does do this but it also looks to incorporate the two synergistically as well. Take a punch for example; a standard punch would move along a two dimensional line from where your fist is to its target on the opponents body. Or take a block; this again is two dimensional, your arm will draw out a two dimensional plane in space. Wing Chun works three dimensionally. By moving forward with either an up or down component and a component in or out you can consciously move forward into a gap you have detected either visually or kinaesthetically. This can be achieved by having spiralling movements which allow simultaneous forwards and outwards pressure. Through your Chi Sau (sticking hands) training your forward pressure will either strike its target or be unconsciously deformed by an opponents defence. To achieve this your arms and your legs must work in harmony. In Wing Chun we do have kicks but our feet are generally used for moving us around and our arms are used to strike.

This is far from a complete picture but hopefully it gives you a little bit of an idea on how Wing Chun works. To overcome speed, strength and size we rely on superb body coordination and awareness. It is far from being a magic formula but it is a system that does not discriminate on the grounds of genetics. Through consistent training in Wing Chun you can achieve this level of body competence.