The capabilities of the individual are encouraged and developed.
WT is non-violent:
WingTsun instructors are against any form of violence. WingTsun is a Martial Art and purely for self-defence.
WT is fun:
WT instructors pass on their knowledge in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
WT is intensive and versatile:
Self-defence skills are learned by concentrated and regular training.
A simple little idea
WT centres on unique, multi-faceted techniques which can only be learned by concentrated practice and conscious willingness. Flowing movements and sudden speed combine into systematic, coordinated sequences and blend to form a new, powerful whole. Systematic WingTsun training improves your physical and mental flexibility and heightens your perception. On the way there your body is "refuelled" by specific relaxation and concentration techniques, as well as breathing exercises.
WingTsun builds on the existing potential of each student. It is not muscular strength and stamina that are required for WingTsun, but the willingness to let your body respond, to get to know your strengths and to put them to use. Training centres on learning a coordinated and healthy way of moving and heightened perception.
Learning WingTsun gives you a new awareness of your body and a new level of self-assurance. Intensive training gives students more confidence and they become aware of their capabilities and potential. This newly developed self-assurance and physical wellbeing leads to a new quality of life. Personal constraints become less important in day-to-day living. Life becomes more varied and dynamic. WingTsun students are no longer the "victim-type" and for this reason alone rarely get into dangerous situations.
But if the need arises they possess an effective system of unarmed defence. WingTsun is uncompromising self-defence. WingTsun absorbs the strength of the attacker, converts it into its own strength, reinforces it and directs it back at the attacker.
This process is similar to a game of chess. The chess-player is at one with his pieces and instinctively knows his next move, as he has considered the actions of his opponent beforehand. The WingTsun fighter is the same: when in action the reflexes are used immediately.
Concepts, Principles & Training Areas of WingTsun
The Four Ways Of "Force"
In dealing with "force", there are four principles in WT:
- Be free from your own "force".
- Free yourself from the "force" of your opponent.
- Use the "force" of the opponent.
- Add your own "force" to the "force" of the opponent.
Through training WT students learn to "borrow" the energy of the attacker by way of yielding.
Once a WT-fighter has gained his/her advantage by a punch he/she doesn't just give it up but lets other chain-punches follow the first. This is one of the most effective arms at all, traditional martial arts know of no means to counter them. The quick sequence of punches overwhelms the capacities of the opponent to process information as he is overcome.
The Three Key Areas Of Wing Tsun Training
WT consists of 3 empty hand forms (Sui Nim Tao, Chum Kiu & Biu Tze), Wooden Dummy Form, Butterfly Knives Form and the Pole Form, which teaches shapes, movements, energies, and far more. EVERY move in Every WT Form has many practical applications.
Chi Sao (Sticking Hands)
WT is the only martial art that features the unique exercise of tactile reflexes which are determined by the sense of touch. Chi Sao reflexes are far quicker than reacting to visual input and they also allow for the WT-fighter to defend him/herself blindly.
Lat Sao (Sparring Exercises)
The goal of Wing Tsun is to develop fighting-capability . In Lat Sao (which means "free style fight") the WT-student learns trains through the various attacking & defending ranges to improve timing, coordination, reaction training & confidence.
The Five Distances Of A Fight
In a real self-defence or "fighting" situation there are five ranges at which the can occur:
1st Distance: Kicking - Long Hitting Range
2nd Distance: Punching - Medium Hitting Range
3rd Distance: Knees And Elbows - Short Hitting Range
4th Distance: Anti-Grappling (Locks & Anti-Locking - Throws & Anti-Throws)
5th Distance: Anti-Ground Fighting
The Four Principles of WT
On the highest level of the systems hierarchy are the four WT principles:
- If the way is clear go FORWARD!
- If resistance is met, STICK with it!
- If your opponent is stronger, GIVE WAY!
- If the opponent retreats, FOLLOW!
The Way of Power - By Dr. Leung Ting
The Biceps and Triceps
The biceps and triceps are voluntary muscles of the body that enable us to move e.g. punching as in fighting. In moving the forearm, the work is done by the muscles of the upper arm using the elbow as the fulcrum. The two groups of muscles in the upper arm are namely the biceps and triceps.
The upper group, the biceps controls the withdrawing, and the lower group, the triceps control the extending of the forearm. The biceps are the contractor muscles, and the triceps are the extensor muscles. When the biceps are tightening the triceps are relaxing and the whole forearm is bent at the elbow.
Simultaneously, the two groups of muscles are performing exactly the opposite function.
Mass and Velocity and their relevancy to a straight punch
We can generalise that there are two kinds of punches, straight and curving. The whole process of delivering a straight punch involves the straightening of the arm in a very short space of time.
This "speedy" process is of great significance as in physics: Force=Mass x Velocity i.e. the weight of the fist if multiplied by the speed of delivery and we have a force of destruction. Of course, the 'weight' of the fist is fixed, and for a powerful punch, we have one variable i.e., the speed of delivery.
The faster the punch, the more powerful it becomes.
The Power as in a Heavy Punch
So the power of a straight-line punch depends on it's speed. The speed of a straight-line punch depends on the triceps' sudden extension. Better built triceps have a better extension ability, and the speed of the punch is also increased. In summary, well developed triceps gives rise to powerful blows.
Weight Lifting and it's Irrelevance to WT
The straight-line punch is the most important attacking punch, others such as the palm, finger, elbow and shoulder are only secondary to it.
The punching fist is held in front of the chest. In execution, the back muscles (lats) initiate the move, secondly the triceps are utilised, the forearm and finally the fist. The whole procedure involves the tightening of the extensor muscles. As the contractor muscles and extensor muscles perform the opposite task at the same time, it would be naturally better to have less well developed contractor muscles to hinder the extensor muscles.
The WingTsun system eliminated the need for weight lifting, pulling chest expander, etc., so as not to over develop the contractor muscles i.e., biceps.
Power Generated at Joint Between Bones
In executing a straight-line punch, it is done without reservations; the whole arm is thrust forward. This is not to say the shoulder is also carried forward. On the contrary, the shoulder even jerks back slightly as a reaction to the forward force, to give the punch a shattering impact at it's limit. To test this theory, we can try throwing a wet handkerchief forward, then abruptly pull it back. The result is a shattering force at the tip of the handkerchief.
The late Grandmaster Yip Man mentioned that the more joints between bones, the more places there are to generate power. Using a snake as an example, there is a bone with many joints running the whole length of the snake. A chain reaction of these joints and muscles push the snake forward at incredible speed in its unusual forward motion.
What is meant by power generated a the joint between bones?
The ligaments are a tough fibrous tissue binding bones together, which also has an elastic, flexible quality when the fist is in full flight and the whole arm is relaxed in the course it will come to a sudden rest at the limit of the arm's length. This does not mean everything stops. As the momentum carries the fist forward there is a stretching of the ligaments at the joints i.e., the joints at the shoulder, elbow and the wrist, then the retracting to it's normal state. This action is very similar to the example of a wet handkerchief.
Exert Force Late, The Force is at the Fist
So far we have discussed the throwing of a punch with the greatest of speed. As the fist is held in the front of the chest, it's on a short,straight line, it loses very little of its impetus on its course to the target.
For optimum result in the punch, we must come to the finer point of "exert force late, the force is at the fist." It implies that in making a punch, the impetus is held back until the target is hit.
This is like a secondary explosion, it maximises the destructive power and the power is also penetrating to the body.
Exert Force Early, The Force is at the Arm
There is a saying in WingTsun which freely translates as "exert the force early, the force is at the arm. Exert the force late, the force is at the fist." The essence of a straight-line punch is in it's destructive power. It should take no more than one punch to annihilate an opponent in actual fighting.
What is meant by "exert the force early, the force is at the arm?" If in executing a punch, all the power is exercised at once, it is noticeable that the punch is power-packed at the beginning, but in the moment of connection, there is disparity between power at delivery and connection. Even though the punch homes in on its target, it may do the damage as anticipated.
Is WingTsun short bridge (hand)?
Some styles of kung fu favour showy flourishes, broad horse stances, attacking well away from the enemy and extravagant movements. Some people also call WingTsun a style that favours short bridge (hands not fully outstretched) and a narrow horse stance. This is an erroneous assumption. True, the horse stance is not wide, but the hands are certainly not restrained in attack. A more correct way of putting it is that WingTsun favours close to body attacks. In this method of attack, often the opponent can't make use of his room-consuming movements.
In observing WingTsun in action, people also assume the style favours combat in confined space or deadened lane. Again, this is fallacious for WingTsun is equally effective whether in a small or broad area. What makes WingTsun so special is its long bridge striking method, which means the hands can punch with destructive power given only a short distance between the target and the fist. Even in day to day training, the hands and feet are usually extended in punching and kicking moves. Distance reached when in actual combat is far greater than those with extravagant movements because they restricted the hands. Their restriction was on the wrong belief that fully stretched hands are liable to be broken by the opponent.