Much information is written and shown on the internet about Wing Chun but key elements of great Wing Chun is often overlooked. Some of these concepts may be new to you, some you may heard of, but there are key informations that you may have missed.
I still remember the time when Grand Master Wong Long taught me some of these concepts and dramatically improved my Wing Chun; I was stunned because I thought I knew those concepts already, but his explanations of the concepts made me understand them completely like never before. I also came to a realization that all techniques in Wing Chun possess these key elements.
1. Integrating The Whole Body
This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT thing you will learn in Wing Chun. If you are only moving with your hands, you are doing something wrong. To be able to generate the speed and power, Wing Chun practitioners MUST rely on the whole body. The movements of the hands should be in-synch with your horse. When you punch (in most cases), you should be doing a Cho Ma (turning horse) or a Sern Ma (stepping horse). When that happens, your movements become much faster and more powerful.
Before you say “Oh, I already knew that”, look back at your training or your training partners to see if each movement (attacks or blocks) includes the whole body.
Another key note is that it takes time. Right now, it may be faster and more powerful if you use only the upper body to generate the attacks and blocks (in most cases, blocks and attacks with only hands do not deliver enough power or speed to be used in a real situation). In the end, integrating the whole body trumps using only hands.
This does not mean you should over commit your whole body towards your opponent (they can use it against you), but rather integrating turning and stepping into your blocks and attacks.
Read more about using the body: Discover How To Increase Speed And Power Through Body Integration
2. Relax, Relax, Relax
If you learned Wing Chun from us, you are most likely to hear ‘relax’ more than a thousand times. Relaxing allows you to tap into the speed (and thus power), structure, and sensitivity aspect of Wing Chun. Without relaxation, you will not be able to apply Wing Chun successfully against stronger opponents.
Many of us mistake relaxation as moving slow and soft. In reality, to apply Wing Chun, you must know when to relax and when to ‘harden’ to deliver the speed and the power (e.g. the punch: relax the whole way, harden at the point of contact, and relax right after). Being relax does not mean moving slow and soft in your own blissful dream world.
Read more about relaxing: 3 Basic Relaxation Concepts To Improve Your Wing Chun
3. The Art Of Practice
It does not matter how many concepts or techniques you learn if you do not know how to practice it. The end goal of all practices should be this: to be able to apply the concepts and techniques at will when the situation calls for it.
Practice should also be deliberate. No more just going through the motions. You must consciously think about your movements and the concepts that you are practicing. This applies to forms, sparring, drills, and all types of practice. It allows you to improve your techniques and root out the bad habits. It also tests your knowledge as well (What if you don’t know what the move is for? Ask your instructor!).
Read the secret behind practicing: 5 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Practice
4. Using Logic And Science
Each technique and concept that you learn and practice should be backed by logic and science. You should know exactly why the techniques are the way they are, the answer should never be “just because”.
For example, one of the reason why the Wing Chun punch is vertical because it allows the elbow to be supported by the body, not the shoulders.
After you know the reason, you should test it out. Just like science, repeated testing will either confirm or deny your “hypothesis” or reason.
Because of logic and science, really authentic Wing Chun is effective and practical. In simple terms, Wing Chun is a series of techniques and concepts that have been tested over and over again for hundreds of years for self-defense. So think twice and test it way more than twice before disregarding old techniques and concepts that precedes us.
Read this post about logic and science: 4 Steps To Improve Your Wing Chun Through Logic And Science
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