Wingchun Characteristics - Kunlun International Martial Arts Academy

Wingchun Characteristics

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Company:
Kunlun International Martial Arts Academy
Contact Person:
Jiaming Xie
Phone:
86-535-4622266


Product Description
CharacteristicsBalance, structure and stanceSome Wing Chun practitioners believe that the person with better body structure will win. A correct Wing Chun stance is like a piece of bamboo, firm but flexible, rooted but yielding. This structure is used to either deflect external forces or redirect them.Balance is related to structure because a well-balanced body recovers more quickly from stalled attacks and structure is maintained. Wing Chun trains the awareness of one's own body movement derived from muscular, tendon, and articular sources. Performing Wing Chun's forms such as Chum Kiu or the Wooden Dummy form greatly improve proprioception. Wing Chun favours a high, narrow stance with the elbows kept close to the body. Within the stance, arms are positioned across the vitals of the centerline. Shifting or turning within a stance is carried out variantly on the heels, balls, or middle (K1 or Kidney 1 point) of the foot depending on lineage. All attacks and counter-attacks are initiated from this firm, stable base. Wing Chun rarely compromises structure for more powerful attacks because this is believed to create defensive openings which may be exploited.Structure is viewed as important, not only for reasons of defense, but also for attack. When the practitioner is effectively "rooted", or aligned so as to be braced against the ground, the force of the hit is believed to be far more devastating. Additionally, the practice of "settling" one's opponent to brace them more effectively against the ground aids in delivering as much force as possible to them. RelaxationSoftness (via relaxation) and performing techniques in a relaxed manner, is fundamental to Wing Chun.Tension reduces punching speed and power. Muscles act in pairs in opposition to each other (e.g. biceps and triceps). If the arm is tensed, maximum punching speed cannot be achieved as the biceps will be opposing the extension of the arm. In Wing Chun, the arm should be relaxed before beginning the punching motion.Unnecessary muscle tension wastes energy and causes fatigue.Tense, stiff arms are less fluid and sensitive during trapping and chi sao.A tense, stiff limb provides an easy handle for an opponent to push or pull with, whereas a relaxed limb provides an opponent less to work with.A relaxed, but focused, limb affords the ability to feel "holes" or weaknesses in the opponent's structure (see Sensitivity section). With the correct forwarding these "holes" grant a path into attacking the opponent.Muscular struggle reduces a fight to who is stronger. Minimum brute strength in all movement becomes an equalizer in uneven strength confrontations. This is very much in the spirit of the tale of Ng Mui.CenterlineWhile the existence of a "central axis" concept is unified in Wing Chun, the interpretation of the centerline concept itself is not. Many variations exist, with some lineages defining anywhere from a single "centerline" to multiple lines of interaction and definition. Traditionally the centerline is considered to be the vertical axis from the top of a human's head to the groin. The human body's prime striking targets are considered to be on or near this line, including eyes, nose, throat, solar plexus, stomach, pelvis and groin.Wing Chun techniques are generally "closed", with the limbs drawn in to protect the central area and also to maintain balance. In most circumstances, the hands do not move beyond the vertical circle that is described by swinging the arms in front, with the hands crossed at the wrists. To reach outside this area, footwork is used. A large emphasis and time investment in training Chi Sao exercise emphasizes positioning to dominate this centerline. The stance and guard all point at or through the center to concentrate physical and mental intent of the entire body to the one target.Wing Chun practitioners attack within this central area to transmit force more effectively, since it targets the "core center" (or "mother line", another center defined in some lineages and referring to the vertical axis of the human body where the center of gravity lies). For example, striking an opponent's shoulder will twist the body, dispelling some of the force and weakening the strike, as well as compromising the striker's position. Striking closer to the center transmits more force directly into the body.PunchesDue to the emphasis on the centerline, the straight punch is the most common strike in Wing Chun. However, the principle of simultaneous attack and defense (Lin Sil Die Dar) suggests that all movements in the Siu Nim Tau with a forward execution flow into a strike if no effective resistance is met, without need for recomposure. Other explicit examples of punches can be found in the Chum Kiu and Bil Jee forms, although these punches may appear to be superficially different they are simply the result of the punch beginning from a different origin position while following the same fundamental idea, to punch in a straight line following the shortest distance between the fist and the opponent.The punch is the most basic and fundamental in Wing Chun and is usually thrown with the elbow down and in front of the body. Depending on the lineage, the fist is held anywhere from vertical to horizontal (palm side up). The contact points also vary from the top two knuckles, to the middle two knuckles, to the bottom three knuckles. Punches do not turn at the wrist as a primal directive is economy of motion and this would create two distinct motions for a single movement.When executing the punch, one must relax and not use the shoulders or activate the trapezius muscles. The punch comes from the center, Kuen Yau Sum Faat (The punch starts from the heart). The punch is not propelled forward by the elbow, it is projected by simply reaching forward with a closed but relaxed fist as it is a maxim that the body part closest to the intended direction begins the motion.Wing Chun primarily encourages utilizing the whole upper body from the waist to maximize power, this is often referred to as "coiling", which increases impact and minimizes "telegraphing" strikes, and is motivated by observations of the snake.Punches that do not utilize maximum body mass such as punches thrown in quick succession in a "straight blast" or "chain punching" are executed correctly, when used primarily for disorienting and off-balancing the opponent. Criticisms of favoring weak punches are a misunderstanding of their intended purpose.Wing Chun favors the vertical punch for several reasons:Directness. The punch is not "loaded" by pulling the elbow behind the body. The punch travels straight towards the target from the guard position (hands are held in front of the chest).Protection. The elbow is kept low to cover the front midsection of the body. It is more difficult for an opponent to execute an elbow lock/break when the elbow occupies this position. This aids in generating power by use of the entire body structure rather than only the arm to strike. Also with the elbow down, it offers less opening for the body to be attacked while the forearm and punch intercept space towards the head and upper body.Strength and Impact. Wing Chun practitioners believe that because the elbow is behind the fist during the strike, it is thereby supported by the strength of the entire body rather than just a swinging fist, and therefore has more impact. A common analogy is a baseball bat being swung at someone's head (a round-house punch), as opposed to the butt end of the bat being thrust forward into the opponent's face (wing chun punch), which would cause far more damage than a glancing hit and is not as easy to evade. Many skilled practitioners pride themselves on being able to generate "short power" or large amount of power in a short space. A common demonstration of this is the "one-inch punch", a punch that starts only an inch away from the target yet delivers an explosive amount of force. This is a principle example of a coiled strike in which multiple abdominal muscles can contribute to the punching power while being imperceptible to the attacker. It is a common misconception that "one-inch punches" utilize a snapping of the wrist.Alignment & Structure. Because of Wing Chun's usage of stance, the vertical punch is thus more suitable. The limb directly in front of the chest, elbow down, vertical nature of the punch coupled with a snap twisting of the waist requires a practitioner's body to naturally untwist or release before the rebound of the punch. This effectively demonstrates an understanding of the equal and opposite force reactions attributed to Newtonian Physics. This is a desirable trait to a Wing Chun practitioner because it promotes the use of the entire body structure to generate power and prevents wrist injury or being pushed away by the high degree of forward power being reflected.KicksKicks can be explicitly found in the Chum Kiu and Mook Jong forms, though some have made interpretations of small leg movements in the Siu Nim Tau and Bil Jee to contain information on kicking as well. Depending on lineage, a beginner is often introduced to basic kicking before learning the appropriate form. Traditionally, kicks are kept below the waist. This is characteristic of southern Chinese martial arts, in contrast to northern systems which utilize many high kicks.Kicks in Wing Chun are mostly directed at the lower half of the body. Wing Chun kicks are designed to knock an opponent off balance, break their leg, or to bring an opponent on their knees.Variations on a front kick are performed striking with the heel. The body may be square and the knee and foot are vertical on contact (Chum Kiu), or a pivot may be involved with the foot and knee on a plane at an angle (Mook Jong). At short distances this can become a knee. A roundhouse kick is performed striking with the shin in a similar manner to the Muay Thai version with most of the power coming from the body pivot. This kick is usually used as a finisher at closer range, targeting anywhere between the ribs and the back of the knee, this kick can also become a knee at close range. Other kicks include a stamping kick (Mook Jong) for very close range and a sweep performed with the heel in a circular fashion.Every kick is both an attack and defence, with legs being used to check incoming kicks or to take the initiative in striking through before a more circular kick can land. Kicks are delivered in one movement directly from the stance without chambering/cocking.Types of Kicks include:Front Kick, Side Kick, Roundhouse Kick (usually delivered to the ribs or thigh), Shovel Kick (A kick that targets the knee/shin), Bong Gerk (Blocks opponents kicks), Nao Gerk (Hooks the persons front leg and takes out the back leg with a side kick), Spinning Back Kick, Sweep.Elbows and KneesWing Chun relies heavily on Elbow Strikes at close range. Common targets for elbows include the chest, chin, head, and face. Elbow Strikes are delivered in a manner similar to Muay Thai, using the whole body and turning of the hips to generate power. Elbow Strikes include: Rising Elbow (6 to 12), Horizontal Elbow, Kneeling Elbow (12 to 6), Reversing Elbow, and Spinning Elbow Strikes. Knees are delivered also, usually in a clinching position, but some Sifus also teach entering with flying knee strikes to bridge the distance.Uncommitted techniquesWing Chun techniques are uncommitted. This means that if the technique fails to connect, the practitioner's position or balance is less affected. If the attack fails, the practitioner is able to "flow" easily into a follow-up attack. All Wing Chun techniques permit this. Any punches or kicks can be strung together to form a "chain" of attacks. According to Wing Chun theory, these attacks, in contrast to one big attack, break down the opponent gradually causing internal damage. Chained vertical punches are a common Wing Chun identifier.Trapping skills and sensitivityThe Wing Chun practitioner develops reflexes within the searching of unsecured defenses through use of sensitivity. Training through Chi Sao with a training partner, one practices the trapping of hands. When an opponent is "trapped", he or she becomes immobile.Chinese philosophy:" Greet what arrives, escort what leaves and rush upon loss of contact (來留去送,甩手直衝)" —  Yip Man


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