Student Comments

Wing Chun - A Woman's View

The first image that comes across anyone's mind when talking about martial arts is that of tough strong males. Most techniques discussed in the martial arts magazines work very well for such individuals. But WHAT IF YOU ARE A FEMALE, SMALLER, WEAKER OR OLDER? THEN WHAT? A recent article in a martial arts magazine mentioned that a tournament participant who outweighed his opponent by 50 pounds was able to win over a smaller, weaker opponent. The article was ridiculous because even without any martial arts training he would have had a good chance of winning.

In my opinion, an ideal martial artist is someone who even though they are much weaker or smaller, is still able to deal with larger opponents without being injured.

I have been a Wing Chun practitioner for about eight years. I have had matches with mostly bigger and stronger opponents than myself. You see, I am only 5' 2" and 115 pounds. Most of my opponents are male. I find that I have a lot of trouble getting near enough to touch them, since my reach is much shorter than theirs. They only need to stretch their arm out and they get me in my face. From my experience, I really don't have much choice but to use speed and timing to avoid strong attacks coming at me, and jump in like a cat when there is an instant opening or when the opponent makes an error. Once I am in contact with the opponent, then that's where my fine skill in Wing Chun really pays off. I was taught Wing Chun with a heavy emphasis on sticking hands training. Knowing my sticking hands well gave me an advantage against larger opponents. Once in close range, I can hit my opponent non-stop in the right places. I just stick to their arms so that whenever the opponent tries to attack, I smother that attack and hit back when there is an opening. Being good with sticking hands means I can use my hands like antenna to detect the force of the opponent. I don't need to rely on my vision too much once in sticking hands mode. I realize that being weaker and smaller means my martial arts has to be much better than that of my stronger opponent, so that I can get him with fine skill and technique. Otherwise, I can't think of any other way of winning. I would like to hear how other smaller, weaker martial artists respond to bigger opponents. I feel that Wing Chun was invented just for this purpose and it does make sense that this art was invented by a woman.

-Yvette Wong

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