Wing Chun

Wing ChunBrief History and Background of Wing Chun

Wing Chun (Wing Tsun, Ving Tsun) meaning ‘Forever Springtime’ is a Chinese martial art steeped in legend and folklore and as such does not appear to have much in the way of any documented history. However it is believed (with no/little evidence) to have developed from an observation of a fight between a snake and a crane by a Buddhist Shaolin nun elder named Ng Mui and then taught to a lady called Yim Wing Chun. The history of Wing Chun the martial art gets further complicated with more stories and theories there after.

However there was a master of Wing Chun named the Yip Man who we do know started teaching the art to the public in Hong Kong in the 1950’s/1960’s and famously taught Bruce Lee. He has 2 sons, Ip Chun and Ip Ching who are also both Grandmasters of the art. Wing Chun is still a very popular martial art, especially when it comes to movies from China or Hong Kong.

Some associations include:
Ip Man Martial Arts Athletic Association
Wing Chun/Ving Tsun Athletic Association
Samuel Kwok Wing Chun Association

Wing ChunWing Chun Training

One of the first things taught is how to control your body by developing a good base and stance with balance and flexibility. This base structure teaches you to place your arms in front of you at your centreline covering your vitals, where you can both defend and attack from.

Many of the techniques are taught in various forms and drills, such as empty hand forms and wooden dummy forms. These techniques are carried out in a relaxed flowing manner, this is because a tense muscle uses and wastes a lot of energy and moves slower, which also reduces it’s potential power.

Attacks are generally carried out in a straight line from your base stance (in front of the centreline position), which is usually the shortest distance to travel. Most offensive attacks are made with punches and quite often several are thrown in quick succession with the practitioners full body being used behind the punches and with them moving forward into the opponent. Kicks are mostly limited to a front kick made to area’s below the waist, but can be a knee strike or even occasionally close range angled chopping kicks. These attacks allow the practitioner to string multiple strikes together in quick succession with very little commitment, due to the strikes not being loaded like a punch being thrown from behind their body and thrown forward full force, committing the attacker to a miss and then open to a counter attack.

Close range fighting practise teaches the practitioner how to get past an opponents attacks and the practise of trapping with hands between partners helps develop reflexes, making learnt techniques become more automatic and therefore flow easier.

The wooden dummy is also a much used tool in Wing Chun and is used to both practise strikes and strengthen the hands, arms and legs.

Weapons training follows the empty hand training and is seen to be an extension of the hand forms, i.e. as an extension of the body.

Some clubs may also encourage other/additional physical exercises for both strength, vitality, flexibility and conditioning of the body.

Wing Chun Equipment/Gear Used

Generally clothing for training purposes are t-shirts and tracksuit bottoms, with comfortable trainers. Some schools and clubs will have club gear or uniform. Traditional Chinese schools may wear silken clothing, especialy for shows/demonstrations.

Wooden dummy
Wall bags
Heavy bags
Training Rattan rings
Focus pads

Weapons used in Wing Chun

Long poles (Look Dim Book Kwan)
Butterfly Swords

Celebrity Wing Chun Practitioners

Bruce Lee
Donnie Yen
Nicolas Cage
Robert Downey Jr
Christian Bale
Jackie Chan
Michelle Yeoh

Movies featuring Wing Chun

Descendants of Wing Chun
Warriors Two
The Prodigal Son
Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story
Wing Chun
Rumble in the Bronx
Ip Man
Kung Fu Wing Chun
Ip Man 2
Ip Man 3 Zero/The Legend Is Born
I Love Wing Chun
The Grandmasters
Ip Man: The Final Fight