What is Wing Chun?
Wing Chun is a very complete skill. It is very clever in that it uses less energy to defeat stronger energy. Grandmaster Ip Chun says, “The highest-level martial art skill is the one that uses the least amount of energy to defeat an opponent.”
Can a smaller person defend themselves against someone bigger and stronger? Many people believe that it is impossible. However, in the martial art called Wing Chun Kung Fu, it has been proven time and time again that it can be done. Why is this?
One reason is that we learn how to use less energy to defend ourselves and then use an opponent’s energy against him. Another reason is because Wing Chun uses footwork to move when attacking and defending, creating more possibilities for attacking or defending without using energy.
Wing Chun is not difficult to learn and very quickly you can begin practising techniques and footwork to improve your level. Michael Tse says, “My Sifu, Grandmaster Ip Chun, is only a small man, weighing less than 100 lbs. However, I have seen him do Chi Sau (a way of practising the Wing Chun techniques in training with a partner) with Westerners much bigger and taller than him and every time he easily controls them.”
“They always try to use strength against him, but being smaller, he knows that he does not have the same strength to fight back. So he uses his sensitivity to “listen” to his opponent’s hands and body movements. In small ways, they will give their intentions away before they have actually committed all of their energy. He can then move or change his position to defend and even change their energy to trap them and attack back. Anyone who sees Grandmaster Ip Chun is impressed by his skill, especially as he is now over ninety years old and still very fit and healthy!”
Wing Chun skill is a martial art that you can practise for life and is not for just the very young or strong. With proper practise, you will become healthier and more balanced and will understand the true nature of learning a traditional Chinese martial art.
History of Wing Chun
The history of Wing Chun Kuen can be traced back to the Southern Shaolin Temple, in Fu Jian Province, and dates back 400 years to the Qing Dynasty.
At that time, people were still loyal to the conquered Ming Dynasty and were not happy being ruled by the Manchurians. Ordinary people could do little about it, but is someone had a martial art skill, they may be able to fight against the government. At the Shaolin Temple, all the monks practised martial arts and their skill was very high. They made the Qing government feel insecure, so they sent an army to attack Shaolin. At first, they were unable to defeat the monks. However, the Qing army was able to corrupt one of the monks and with his help, they burnt the temple down and killed many of the monks. Fortunately, five of the leading monks and a nun escaped in the fire.
The nun who escaped was Ng Moy, and she was very skilled in martial arts. She made her way to the southwest of China to the White Crane Temple. One evening, she saw a crane fighting a wild cat. Each time the cat attacked, it failed to hurt the crane. The crane seemed very clam and looked as if it knew what to do. Eventually the cat became exhausted and ran away. Ng Moy notice that the crane used very skilful methods to fight the cat: it did not use a lot of energy and it appeared very relaxed. This gave her much to think about, and she stared to create a new martial art…
Philosophy of Wing Chun
The philosophy of Wing Chun teaches you how to keep yourself centred. This idea comes form the principles of Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism. Through the practice of Wing Chun you can understand how to balance your life. In life, there may be something you want but you cannot do just as you please to obtain it. You have to make the circumstances appropriate before things fall into place. This take experience and a lot of practice, it is not just luck. Without skill, luck will no last. Good luck is made from a lot of experience, just like the flowers and fruit you see on the tree. They only appear when the tree is growing in the right conditions, with the correct amount of water, air and sunlight.
A Wing Chun practitioner has to practise hard as well as contend with difficulty and failure in order to become successful. Wing Chun has two parts which we all have to practice. One part is based on skill and the other part on energy. Through practising Wing Chun, you can train yourself to become more centred and grounded person.
Principle of Wing Chun
A true martial art must cover internal and external training so that you can continue to practice as you get older. You should be able to practice until you are sixty, seventy or even eighty. Martial arts are not just for the young and strong. They should be suitable even for those who are small and weak.
Wing Chun covers all these skills. The principle of Wing Chun is to maintain your centre and consider the centre-line of your opponent and the shortest distance it take in which to attack him or her. Following a straight line is the fastest way to attack an
opponent but when this line is obstructed we will curve around to hit the target. In addition, once we attack an opponent, we will continue to attack alternately with both hands and even kick. So Wing Chun Kuen is both fast and direct.
Our Wing Chun Lineage
- Ng Moy
- Yim Wing Chun (circa 1700)
- Leung Bok Chau
- Leung Lan Kwai
- Wong Wah Bo
Leung Yee Tai (exchange for six a half pole)
- Leung Jan
- Chan Wah Shun
- Leung Bik (Hong Kong)
- Ip Man
- Ip Chun
- Michael Tse
- Tom Rogers
- Costa Stratikopoulos