Building a Solid Wing Chun Foundation

Building a solid Wing Chun foundation reminds me of a biblical parable and the house built on the sand:

“…And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

– Matthew 7:27

Biblical Truths Can Be Applied to Your Training

This parable from the Bible speaks about a man who built his house on the sand. It fell as soon as pressure from the storm and winds came. Before that, the verse speaks of the man who built his house on the rock. It stood firm under the tempest. The same goes for your training! Without good structure, techniques will not have a solid base from which to operate. They will collapse under the weight of an opponent that has developed their structure.

Yee Chi Kimyeung Ma – The First Form

Wing Chun uses Yee Chi Kimyeung Ma with its first form and many drills. This helps develop the student’s structure within the very first steps. Teaching students to root through the heels and keep their hips tucked underneath their spine allows for the lower body to be “rooted” into the ground. This is exactly the same theory as when one is finishing a squat. With the proper structure aligned through the spine, the student can now work on combining the hand techniques with the lower body structure.

With this combination, nearly any attack can be withstood! But this adjustment doesn’t come overnight. Something as integral as structure takes a long time to not only learn, but understand how to tap into that correct structure for power and strength. But why is this so hard? What could be so difficult about tucking in your hips?

The Difference with Wing Chun Foundation

As we grow as humans, from the very first step we learn to lean and press from our toes to walk. As we play sports and go through P.E. We always hear, “be on your toes” from our coaches. So the body is programed to learn to draw power from the toes from very early on. Structurally, however, this isn’t optimal location to withstand weight. With the balls of the toes being the primary source of contact, instead of utilizing the bones for structure, the calf and tibialus anterior is now recruited to stabilize the rest of the body.

The ability to withstand pressure is no longer contingent on the alignment of the bones of the body, but the muscle strength of the individual. Therefore, utilizing the toes as the contact point for structure is not the best option for the smaller fighter. Since it’s been recruited for so long, the body will not understand how to draw power from the heels without constant and consistent training.

Drilling Until It’s Second Nature

When practicing to develop any technique there are two (arguably three, with some) stages to learning and using a new skill: Programming and applying. When programming a new skill, first the user must be made aware of how to make the proper skeletal adjustments and where bad habits are manifesting. Once the awareness has been raised, the student can now practice to make the adjustments automatic. After the new technique has been programmed, it must be refined under pressure in the application portion of training. Just as gold is refined under fire, so will structure manifest itself when real, strong pressure it used against it! Once t’s tested over, and over, and over again, it will settle in with the mind-body connection.

So, you must decide. With your training, when the tempests come, and you are tested, will you have a strong house built on a rock? Or will you settle for one built on the sand? Find a good blueprint, and then work, work, work to make that house impregnable.

Wing Chun Biu Jee Thrusting Fingers (Bil Jee)

When it comes to fighting someone larger or stronger than yourself, you need to exploit every advantage possible. This is the key to surviving a street confrontation versus a sporting event. The mentality of “fighting dirty” could be the deciding factor on ones ability to survive an attack from a larger opponent, or potentially multiple opponents. One of the targets considered illegal in a sporting event is the eyes. On the street, however, it is one of the best targets to aim for. But how do you attack it? Wing Chun Biu Jee (Bil Jee), or “thrusting fingers” is a great tool for such a target.

Using Wing Chun Biu Jee (Bil Jee)

The Biu Jee’s primary use is offensive, but it can be used defensively. Before addressing either of these let us address the structure of the Biu Jee or Bil Jee. Since Wing Chun’s focus is to protect the centerline while finding the most direct route to another’s, the Biu Jee is shaped in a way that when retracted, can easily protect the ribs of the user. The lead hand comes straight out from the shoulder, and the wrist is curved away from the body. This shape not only allows the eyes to be attacked, but it can also be used as a defense intercept of a jab or cross.

The second hand has two options: It can either be kept in a Wu Sau position, (hand in the center of the chest pressed outward, fingers pulled back) or a secondary Biu Jee. The secondary Biu Jee is kept chambered under the elbow of the primary hand. This secondary hand allows for a quick release of that hand. This serves two functions: It allows firing a follow up Biu Jee or clearing a hand pressing in on the elbow of the other arm.

Using the Hand with Biu Jee Thrusting Fingers

Wing Chun Bui Jee Thrusting Fingers William CheungMoving on to the hand itself and how it is used, there are again two options. The hand, if striking towards the eyes, should actually be kept loose. If the fingers are stiff there is a likely chance of a break due to the eye being encased in bone. There is an exception to this: The fingers can and should be stiff if using the same technique when striking the throat. With a fast whipping motion, the fingers are thrust forward into the eye of the opponent simulating the striking of a snake.

If the eye is missed, the finger will simply collapse against the pressure only causing minor discomfort versus a break. The attacker may not have been dealt any serious damage but with a strike going towards the eyes he is almost sure to close his eyes or at least pull his head away. This is the perfect moment to follow up with another attack.

When you combine the elbow structure and the hand shape, you now have a tool that has multiple uses. As mentioned earlier, it can be used to intercept strikes from the outside. It’s also quite useful from the inside against hooks. Since the elbow is kept below the hand, similar to the shape of a Tan Sau, it can be thrust towards the bicep crease of an arm to be used defensively. The same concept applies (as mentioned earlier) against a jab or a cross.


In application, the Biu Jee can be used in quick succession against a quick Jab and cross combo. First, you can intercept the Jab from the outside. Then, depending on the situation, you can slip the cross on the inside and take the center. You can also redirect the cross off, and take the opposite side. With the opponent committed in their cross, their structure can now be compromised with that outside angle.

On the street, you have to do what you can to survive. If that means jabbing someone in the eyes to get home safely, do it. The Biu Jee is a great tool. Offensively and defensively, it can be fired quickly and easily against very common attacks or for a direct line to disrupt and seriously damage your opponent. Effective and direct, it is a tool everyone should have in their street arsenal.


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