Wing Chun; proven self defense
practical training… not a belt factory – part 1
(this article can not be copied or used on any other site, permission only to share link) I believe, like so many other practitioners before me that Wing Chun techniques must be proven with your hands doing the talking for skill and achievement. Showing what a martial art can do is powerful. When people think of great Wing Chun they refer to Ip Man, Wong Shun Leung, Bruce Lee, Simon Lau. Men known for fighting with Wing Chun not just doing forms practice.
I have seen children walking around with master levels and wonder to myself what is the real level of a master anymore. The perception that has been given to the public is that attaining a black belt is easy. Even right around the corner from the first day you pay. Real skill and technique is a thing of the past, a old hat, a tool that “old masters” used to keep their students from that Black belt.
Black Belt/Sash use to mean something because it was difficult to attain. It took a numerous amount of years to achieve and was forged from hard core practitioners, not given to make someone feel better or keep them going.
Unless you can use the techniques on a live, struggling and decisive opponent, it is only theory.
Using the techniques means against other styles than your own. This way, you know its universal not just situational to a particular school or style. False confidence and theories cannot help you in a life threatening situation and forms without fighting skill, ability and understanding to perform them are useless. Too many techniques and schools in the martial arts world are becoming more and more based on the theory of a instructor instead of resisting practicality. A fancy move that looks great but when applied against a live resisting, striking, fighting opponent it just doesn’t work. Unless proven and applied a theory remains in that realm only; a great and wishful thought.
Wing Chun is a scientifically based martial art system using body mechanics, torque, redirection and rapid subtle power to stop a much larger foreign aggressor. Everything comes into play.
If something is slightly off upon application, there is a large loss of power and structure. Yet this again is theory, unless you know how to use Wing Chun in a stress induced situation. Since a fight is chaos with speed and power behind intent to injury and dismay. A Wing Chun practitioner has to practice to use precision under stress to build theory into application. Wing Chun is an extremely effective and direct martial art though too few practice and train in it with resistance and sparring, that is focused less on kickboxing like responses and more on the reason it is so effective. Wing Chun wants you to train with attacker counter response to your actions, resistance, immediate reflexes, and stress induced reflex applications.
Everyone comes to the martial arts for different reasons some wish to just know of and talk of Wing Chun understanding and principles. For these individuals training for years on Sil Lum Tao (1st form), Chum Kiu (2nd form), Bil Jee (3rd form), Chi Sau and Wooden Dummy is fun and stress free. Some people feel that by analyzing Wing Chun and being able to explain it means they can use it. This type of form and low stress training is good if you are only seeking out the internal Yin style of Wing Chun. Though there should be no argument that a person who trains in forms will never beat a person who spars, fights and trains for reflex and full body understanding of the techniques. Techniques are muscle memory and are reaction. Forms can teach us many things but they will never prepare the body for the adrenaline dump, stress, anxiety, fear and quick movements, reactions and footwork of actual combat. Fortunately, Wing Chun under the right instructor can be all about this reactionary training.
There are so many ways to train and spar in Wing Chun Kung Fu and all of them can lead to an extremely great practitioner in the art.
We start new student practitioners with drills and quick techniques that can be used on day one against a resisting opponent. These techniques use quick reactions to your opponents aggressive nature, such as blocking and attacking simultaneously both high and low. Blocking and attacking simultaneously sounds like something any school could talk about incorporating, but Wing Chun Kung Fu is a complete system that teaches this in every aspect, not just one or two techniques. It is ingrained into everything and trains a practitioner to use redirecting footwork such as shifting to throw an opponent off balance and exploit weaknesses with quick reactions while trapping and attacking. They learn how to place the right hip movement into each attack without throwing the shoulder out or losing balance within a rooted foundation.
Beginners also start learning how to control their own balance so that each attack has no indication before it strikes but rather hits and is then felt but rarely seen. New students test their martial art ability by using these skills to block and attack from a multitude of angles. Students must demonstrate that they can get out of the way of blows while using their Bui Sau’s (high block with a simultaneous punch), Gan Sau’s (low block with a simultaneous punch) and Tan Sau’s (mid-block with a simultaneous punch) so that every movement comes as a reflex to every incoming blow. This is trained with safety and precaution to turn a student who has never trained in the martial art system of Wing Chun (ving tsun) into a reality based family protecting practitioner.
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