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Five Principles of Wing Chun


1. Keep Calm and Relaxed

One of the hardest things to master in Wing Chun is to stay calm and relaxed in a pressure situation. If you are not relaxed, then it is more difficult to change quickly. Also, you will tire at a much quicker rate. When you are tense, you can easily be controlled by the opponent.

Wing Chun relies on suppleness and sensitivity of touch in order to detect what the opponent's next action will be. When you are tense, this is no longer possible except in a very crude way.

A relaxed martial artist is much more effective overall. The idea of learning fighting as an art is to be in total control of yourself, as well as your opponent.

The best way to master the relaxed way of combat is to practice slowly and accurately. Try to understand your art completely and experiment with forces in a controlled manner.

2. Don't Telegraph

An unpredictable attack is much harder to handle than one that is prearranged. If you know what the opponent is going to do, then it is easy to find a solution.

The Wing Chun sticking hands training develops a soft sensitive force detection system which lets you know everything about your opponent's intentions, without letting the opponent know anything about yours. In this way, your opponent's moves are predictable but yours are not.

In order not to telegraph, you must stay very relaxed at all times. Never pull your hand back to hit. Don't wind up. Hit from wherever your hand is.

Attack only when the opponent has made a mistake. This gives you a timing advantage.

Always monitor your own muscle tenseness. Ask yourself if you are relaxed or tense. Abdominal breathing helps to stay relaxed.

3. Use Economy of Movement

An attack is defind as any kind of force coming your way. In general fighting, the opponent is unpredictable;meaning that an attack can be directed to any part of the body.

Wing Chun reduces the complexity of trying to intercept an attack by dividing the upper body into four quadrants or regions. The four quadrants are defended by the arms which are strategically placed so as to reach any quadrant in the same amount of time. With the elbow remaining fixed in the center, the time to intercept an attack or to recover from a mistake is reduced.

The region below the four quadrants is not defended by the hands, but is defended by means of intercepting leg movements or by means of moving the stance to evade the force.

From a side view, Wing Chun further divides the body into a front guarding region and a rear guarding region. An attack which slips past the front guard is caught by the rear guard.

4. Keep to the Center

Wing Chun seeks to dominate the center. This is done by always keeping a guarding hand in the center and also by keeping the elbow in the center.

It is advantageous to attack the opponent's center, because it is easier to hit the target. Also, the full force will be received instead of being deflected. An additional advantage is that a shorter distance is traveled.

It is advantageous to defend the center by occupying it, because two things can't occupy the center at the same time. If you occupy the center, then your opponent can't. By defending the center, you can defend each of the four quadrants in the same amount of time.

Try to use shifting and suppleness to control the center, and not brute strength.

5. Remove the Obstruction

Wing Chun attacks by sending a straight force towards the opponent. If that force is obstructed by some kind of a block, then remove the obstruction.

Use the techniques of :

Pak sau - slap off the obstruction Lap sau - grab the obstruction Huen sau - go around the obstruction

Shifting your stance may help to create a more suitable angle for attack.

If you cannot remove the obstruction, then try to stick.


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