Wing Chun Vs. Tae Kwon Do

Comparing martial arts has been happening for ages. It has it’s benefits but if not done with respect it has it’s pitfalls. Before I get into my article I want to clarify this article is a technical analysis of the two styles. It is not designed to bash either still but to show how one style would deal with the other. Wing Chun Vs. Tae Kwon Do is a hot topic because of how wide spread Tae Kwon Do is and the rising popularity of Wing Chun.  This article will hopefully give some insight into the two styles if someone is looking to train in one of them.

My Wing Chun Vs. Tae Kwon Do

Having started in Tae Kwon Do and now studying Wing Chun I use both in my training. Wing Chun is used as my primary art which I train against other ex Tae Kwon Do practitioners. I then return the favor as the “bad guy” helping my Wing Chun family against my Tae Kwon Do. Needless to say I have much experience using the two arts against each other. I will first address using my Wing Chun against Tae Kwon Do.

Wing Chun seeks to destroy the enemy as quickly as possible. Using structure and an overwhelming wave of attacks the aim to not give your opponent a chance. But to be maximized it must close the distance and keep it closed. Trapping can be utilized, which to someone who doesn’t grapple or know any counters, can be detrimental. The issue can be found in closing that distance. One of the most useful tools I employ is making sure I attack with at least two weapons.


Kicking while either blocking or intercepting an attack is a favorite. With my the Wing Chun structure keeping both hands and at least one foot in range allows me to hit multiple points at once. This disrupts most peoples timing. This also serves to slow down my opponent if he is very mobile. A stomping kick (or what we refer to as a Shadow Kick) to the thigh usually does the trick.

Understanding the Opponent

A Tae Kwon Do fighter will try to use his reach and distance. Switching kicks quickly can be tricky to deal with. However, if directness is maintained it won’t be a problem. Front kicks can be dealt with by using a Bui Ma step with a Gan Punch to clear the kick. A back up option is simply dropping the lead elbow on the ankle of the opponent. Round houses are usually stopped using a Double Jum Sao followed up with a back fist or chop. Because of the structure of Wing Chun once the distance is closed the opponent usually doesn’t have much of a response.

My Tae Kwon Do Vs. Wing Chun

When fighting another Wing Chun student the hardest part, as mentioned above, is the directness.
I must keep my distance and rely on speed, fakes, and mis-directions to even come close to landing a good strike. Using my lead foot I will fake low and go for a head shot. This is one of the most effective strikes if I time it properly. Second to that a spinning back kick can be slipped under the protecting hands of a Wing Chun Fighter if executed quickly enough.

The hardest part again, is keep the Wing Chun fighter away. Quick movement in and out, outside hook heel kicks, and low to high kicks are the best options.

Which One

Of the two systems I do prefer Wing Chun for combat.. Even though the Tae Kwon Do fighter might be more mobile, the Wing Chun system provides a more sound answer to attacks. Based on my experience Wing Chun allows me to end a fight much more quickly which to me is the most important part.

The Infinite Wing Chun Difference

wing chun difference

The wing chun difference for me started at Sifu Och Wing Chun about a year and a half ago and couldn’t be happier that I did. Prior to Wing Chun, I had practiced Karate for ten years and had already fallen madly in love with the martial arts. The Karate that I do incorporates a mixture of Tung Su do, Aikido, and Jujitsu and is infinitely different than Wing Chun. But when I moved to Lakeland for school, I knew that I had to find somewhere new to practice. As a broke college student, I also knew that I couldn’t really afford to train, but I really couldn’t afford not to. After doing a trial month at Sifu Och Wing Chun, I decided that I had to make it work.

First Weeks of Training wing chun difference

wing chun difference lakeland floridaThe first two weeks of training I was extremely cautious and suspicious of everything that Sifu taught. It was so different from everything I knew, that at first it felt like it couldn’t possibly be right.

But over those two weeks I grew to trust Sifu and appreciate Wing Chun as a martial art. Now whenever I feel like something isn’t right, it’s usually because I’m doing it wrong. Wing Chun is so different than Karate that it took a lot of getting used to. I constantly wanted to use my legs and felt trapped in all the hands only combat that they focus on in beginner Wing Chun.

Though I was reluctant to rely heavily on them, hand work was something that I desperately needed to improve. Another major difference that messed with my head was how Wing Chun fights squared up instead of sideways. I had to constantly force my back shoulder into a square position effectively distracting me – but I quickly learned to love having both hands up and in front of me.

Karate girl Learning to Love Wing Chun

infinite wing chun difference lakeland floridaLearning to love Wing Chun was a struggle at first. Because some of the techniques were contrary to my first love of Karate, it felt a little bit like betrayal. I had been training Karate for ten years! For the past five years, I had been teaching and instructing the art that I love. Now suddenly I was at the bottom of the food chain, knowing absolutely nothing about Wing Chun – it was a hard transition to say the least, but one well worth making. I was soon able to respect and appreciate each art for their differences, and have started down the road of incorporating them both.

First couple of months in Training

Learning Wing Chun in and of itself is hard. For the first couple of months I was very confused in my training.  Trying to keep up with all the Chinese terminology and different techniques. It took about 2-3 months for my confusion to subside and for me to feel comfortable, performing all the moves that I’d learned.

Too many give up to quickly

Unfortunately, a lot of people give up in those first few months feeling like they won’t ever get it. Every single person that I got my first sash with has left as well, and it is so sad! What I have learned from Wing Chun has been exponentially beneficial to almost every aspect of my life. karate vs wing chun difference kung fu lakeland flMy overall health and fitness has improved including strength and endurance. My mental health improved as well, relieving the stresses of daily life in class every night. This year I started a very emotionally draining internship dealing with girls that have been sex trafficked.  Wing Chun allowed me to refrain from going insane and relieve my frustration.

I would recommend Sifu Och Wing Chun to anyone that wants to be able to protect themselves.  If you want to better their health, and make friends – and who doesn’t want that?  You should be down here training.

Written by Sarah L. (recently passed her year and a half mark!)


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