Technical Note #1

Wing Chun Fighting Principles

  1. Position

    Get into an advantageous position.

    If someone is behind you with a hand wrapped around your neck, they have the advantage. If your opponent occupies the center, they have the advantage. The first step to fighting is to get into a better position than your opponent. This applies whether you are standing up or on the ground. On the ground, try to relax and squirm your way into a better position. In standup mode, take control of the center.

  2. Sensitivity/Feeling

    Don't use crude barbaric brute force methods to smash your way through an opponent's defenses. Don't think you can just rely on speed. Relax and feel what is happening first.

    Brute methods won't work against larger, stronger opponents. This is why people talk about being soft, relaxing and going with the flow. It's why Wing Chun people spend thousands of hours trying to master sticking hands. It is why they say Wing Chun is a woman's art. Wing Chun is gentle enough for a woman, yet strong enough for a man!

  3. Timing

    Without proper timing you will not succeed. Timing depends on the ability to recognize subtle fighting signals. Proper timing can only be attained from much practice.

    Real combat has the important element called timing. In fighting there are windows of opportunity that you detect using your senses. When you detect such a window you must attack quickly or else the opportunity is lost. Sometimes you only have one split second chance. Sometimes you have to wait patiently before an opportunity occurs. Sometimes you have to set up the attack.

  4. Speed

    You can defeat strength but not speed.

    Speed and strength are always important factors in fighting. Soft neutralization methods were designed to handle the factor of strength. Even then, there are limits to how much strength you can handle. If your positioning is incorrect, you will always lose to strength. If an attack is as fast as a bullet, of course you can't deflect it. By sticking, you can neutralize the speed factor. If you are close, but not touching the opponent, then whoever attacks first will win. If you are touching, or if the distance is greater, then the reverse is often true.

  5. Strength

    When skills are equal, the stronger opponent will have the advantage.

    The stronger opponent has the advantage, but sometimes skill can compensate.

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