Simplicity is perhaps the most obvious principle of Wing Chun. The less complex your techniques are, the higher the probability of them working. Straight line blasts of force into the face, body, and groin is the simplest method of attack, neutralising incoming attacks with simple triangle structure, connecting the force to your base for compression and reuse is simple as pie. All combinations must flow fast and efficiently to stay in harmony with Wing Chun theory.
Work your attacks straight from wherever your hand is to the target. If your hand is out wide from a Bil Sau defending a wide swing, thrust your hand straight down into your opponents head. To return your bil sau hand to the centre line to shoot out your next hit would go against the Wing Chun theory of the “shortest distance between two points is a straight line”. The only time a curved line is used is when there is an obstruction on the straight line. In this case, shearing force would be used to prevent a counter attack.
Wing Chun avoids using large, flowery movements as there is to much wastage of force. To economise movement and maximise energy output is crucial to good Wing Chun. Short, fast bursts of energy allow for effective fighting that is hard to defend.
Wing Chun believes in defending and attacking simultaneously. While one hand is neutralising the force the other is returning the force to the attacker. This is crucial to stay in harmony with the economy of motion theory. To kick an attacker in the groin as he throws a punch is defence and attack. This is the ultimate in economy of motion and simultaneous attack and defence.
Ask any 100 metre sprinter how to get more speed! The chances are he’ll say relax. Relaxation allows for speed. A tense body is slow body. Tense movement is slow movement. Relaxation allows for greater sensitivity, faster response and greater speed and power in attack.
Using softness in your bridge allows you to feel your opponents intention and react to it with greater speed and precision. Soft force is generated through relaxing under your opponents centre of gravity before exploding into it. Only softness will carry internal energy. People who use a tense bridge during chi sao are easily defeated with basic Wing Chun principles.
Wing Chun will always be practical in its approach to self defence. Throwing a kick in a crowded space would not be practical. A short, straight, burst of chain punches into your opponent would be much more effective. Use your kicking skills when your hands are busy either carrying something or dealing with another attacker. Using practical common sense in self defence is essential for a Wing Chun fighter. One must adapt to the situation to overcome it.
Defending is yin, attacking is yang. Yin and yang cannot exist without each other. Like the yin/yang symbol the circle of force is continuous. As energy is thrown at you, you receive it in a yin fashion, drawing and sucking its force into your stance while returning it simultaneously in a yang fashion through a verocious attack. Attack and defence are one continuous interplay of yin and yang.
Soft force starts in the ground, powered by the stance, controlled by the waist and released through the extremities. To raise soft force through your body you must first learn to relax. Relax the feet, let chi in your feet melt into the ground. Leaving your feet empty, relaxing your ankles, letting them melt into the ground. Continue this same process all the way up your body, leaving only emptiness behind. Upon reaching your shoulders, let the shoulders drop away to the ground, as your punch is launched with a wave of relaxation. Sink the elbow as the punch drives forward, cracking the punch like a whip as it hits the target. Allow your relaxed wave of force to continue through the target. It is all in a relaxed, vacasious, mental attitude.
Centre Line Theory Wing Chun places great emphasis on controlling the central line between you and your opponent. Most angles are referenced to this connecting line. It is the most efficient line to attack along as it offers a superior defensive position. The shortest distance between you and your opponent is a straight line so always take control of it.
Sifu Rasmus has been practicing Martial arts since the Mid-70's, starting his training in Karate before moving through several different styles, eventually discovering Wing Chun in the mid-80's. Sifu Rasmus has focused his energy over the last 10 years on developing an internal approach to Wing Chun. All his articles are based on his experiences and development, and are not claimed to be traditional, even though many of the principles are traditional concepts. Sifu Rasmus teaches on the Gold Coast in Australia and is available for seminars globally. You may e-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org/au
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