What is Wing Chun?
Wing Chun is a very unique and effective martial art. It is the only martial art created and made famous by a woman. Ng Mui, the Shaolin nun who developed the system, realized that most of the techniques in Shaolin kung fu were useless for a small woman to use against a larger, stronger man. She also realized that a woman could not match a man’s stamina in a long fight. With this in mind, she developed a system of fighting that enabled a smaller, weaker person such as herself to destroy a bigger, stronger person within a few seconds.
Wing Chun immediately became famous in Southern China, and its name quickly spread throughout Asia. Almost three hundred years later, as Asian martial arts began to spread to the West, Wing Chun became famous in America. Its popularity continues to grow as increasing numbers of students are drawn by its simplicity and effectiveness.
How is Wing Chun Different?
Wing Chun is different from many of today’s popular styles, such as karate, tae kwon do, and Shaolin kung fu. While these styles block first and then attack, a Wing Chun student will defend and attack simultaneously. Wing Chun students also do not draw back before striking; instead, they strike from any position. This method both increases the speed and eliminates the telegraphing of the strike. In this way, in the time it takes a karate student to throw one or two punches, a Wing Chun student will throw at least nine.
While most other styles rely on windup to generate striking force, Wing Chun uses the structure of the entire body to create power in a small space. Wing Chun’s famous “one-inch punch” is a testament to its striking power. Because proper positioning will overcome sheer strength, much of a Wing Chun student’s time is spent training his or her body to move precisely and efficiently. Wing Chun uses chi sao (sticking hands) training to develop this precision and economy of motion.