Applying Wing Chun

Wing Chun is a concept based martial art, it is not technique or syllabus based.

Wing Chun is a concept based martial art, it is not technique or syllabus based. The forms are for developing concepts to apply in applications, they are not a set of positions or movements to be copied. Wing Chun should not be bound by a particular look, it should be adaptable and relevant in modern fighting.

The core principles of Wing Chun are what modern fighters use today whether it be street or sport. They use the power of the body through coordination, they use speed and flexibility in attack and defense, they have great awareness and intent. All are attributes gained from the concepts found in the Wing Chun forms.

But to get the most from our forms we should be testing them in varied applications, applications that are based on real and current attacking styles.

But to get the most from our forms we should be testing them in varied applications, applications that are based on real and current attacking styles. This is very important. Applications should not be based on a form movement, especially not on a static position. Instead applications should be based on an real attack, and then we should use the concepts of the forms to develop a defense or offense for that attack.

Too often I have seen this unrealistic practice where; one person throws a straight punch so the other can make a bong sau shape, copied exactly from the forms, to block the arm. They then follow up with with another static shape while their partner cooperatively stays still. They are making up the attack based on the defense. This is not real, who fights like that?

… the punching partner should not change their punch to make your application work, instead you should modify your response.

Instead a better application practice would be to start with the partner mimicking a real attack, mimicking a real fighter. A good old boxing hook punch for example. Now use the concept of the bongs sau, not its look, its concept. That is utilise the whole body to produce a strong arcing structure that you can roll up on the inside of the hook punch. And remember, the punching partner should not change their punch to make your application work, instead you should modify your response.

… you are utilising something that is proven to work, as opposed to something that looks like a picture in a kung fu book.

I think you will find that your response will start to look more like a boxing counter itself, and inside left hook to and outside right hook. That is fine, it shows that you are utilising something that is proven to work, as opposed to something that looks like a picture in a kung fu book.
When confident with this put on some gloves and actually get your partner to try and punch you in the face. That is really test it.

Failing to practice applications based on real attacks will result in failing to be able to defend against real attacks.

Failing to practice applications based on real attacks will result in failing to be able to defend against real attacks. How intense you want to practice is up to the individual, its a balance between reality and safety, but you should always at least practice against real types of attacks.
We don’t need to change Wing Chun or the forms, they are already a goldmine in how to use the body effectively. Instead we simply need to understand them and apply them in applications based on reality

  • Gary King

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